Just like Rose, Firecracker is difficult to plan for. He is so easy going and so interested in everything that he could plan his entire day out so much that every waking hour would be given over to school. That’s not healthy for anyone!!
So, with that in mind, he and I have collaborated on a schedule that I feel like will be beneficial to him and one that will be flexible enough to allow him to pursue his interests along the way.
Don’t forget as you read this that things will be pushed aside to make room for review products and interest-led projects, so don’t hold us completely to this schedule.
We attend a local Community Bible Study. This year we will be studying Matthew, and he’ll have a workbook with 30 weeks full of homework and learning for him to do. He also attends AWANAs and sometimes puts forth effort into learning verses.
In addition, I’m beginning our trip through the first year of the Bible Road Trip Curriculum. We’ll be using this as curriculum but also as the impetus for Bible based unit studies. It is very doubtful that we’ll make it through the whole curriculum this school year.
He has about a million things that he’d like to do for English, and he’ll probably work on several of them. Most of the ones he works on, he’ll only do it once or twice a week.
He’s still reading through Star Toaster’s Orphs of the Woodlands: The Treasure of High Tower. (Read my review here.) We received a year’s access, so he has been in no hurry to rush through it. It’s my first priority of all his English practice because it’s building his vocabulary and fluent reading skills and because it’s an online program with a limited time period of access.
Along with reading, he’s been using Dynamic Literacy’s WordBuild: Foundations Level 1 to expand his vocabulary using prefixes and suffixes. (Read my review here.) He’ll probably continue to use it at some point.
He’ll also continue to use IEW’s Fix-It! Grammar and their Student Writing Intensive A. I’m very impressed with how both have improved his writing and grammar (read my review here), so of all the English resources I’m listing, he’ll probably use this one the most consistently.
He’s still working through CursiveLogic as well. Slowly and steadily, he is picking up a lovely cursive script.
He also wants to continue to work in Logic of English: Essentials into his school weeks. (Read my review here.) It’s an all-in-one that targets his grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and reading skills at the same time. It is highly popular with him because of the games 🙂
He also uses his Pokemon writing project and his read aloud journal for additional language arts practice. I’ll be reading to him (as well as the other children) often.
He has tried four different online math curricula this year (as a reviewer’s kid). I won’t be sharing a full review with you until next week, but I think the one we’re going to stick with for him for now is the Unlock Math: Pre-Algebra.
He has also expressed a wish to go back to the very beginning of the Life of Fred series and complete the entire series from elementary on up through the end and complete to problems as he goes along. I don’t know how feasible this idea is for him timewise, but I’m perfectly willing to allow him to begin working on that project this year.
Art & Music
He’ll be continuing to work through the ARTistic Pursuits Early Elementary Books 1 & 2. (You can read my reviews here and here.) We’re around halfway through with each book, so there’s still plenty of art to do before we’re ready to move on to something else.
He also loves cartoon drawing tutorials on You Tube and has learned how to draw several Pokemon characters that way. He’ll probably continue doing that as well.
He reviewed Latina Christiana this year (you can read my review here), and he would like to continue with that. However, we’ve pulled him off of that for now to introduce Spanish because we don’t want him getting confused between the two languages. My Hubby came back from a short-term mission trip to the Dominican Republic with the desire for our whole family to learn Spanish. He and Firecracker are currently using DuoLingo, but I’m on the lookout for resources that will be friendly for the whole family.
I’m going to lump all of these together because these are the subjects that we’re going to be using more flexible unit studies to go through as a family. Firecracker would actually be okay with either the textbook or the unit study approach. He just likes to learn. However, for the benefit of the more reluctant learners in the house, we’ll be using a more unit study approach. Here are a few of the topics we’ve picked out for this year, and if there’s a product involved a mention it. We’ll be adding to and altering this list as we see fit.
- The Middle Ages: We’re using Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport and it’s so huge hat we’ll be using that for quite some time to spur history study. (It has 25 lessons, and we’re currently on lesson 6.)
- The Armor of God: This is inspired by our Road Trip Bible Curriculum. We’re doing an Armor of God lapbook I purchased on CurrClick and and making The Armor of God: Warfare by Duct Tape pieces as we learn
- Blueberries for Sal. We’re doing this as a big literature unit for the little kids. Firecracker will be working through the Hands of a Child lapbook, (even though it’s a little young for him) and will be doing additional research on bears using library books and his IEW techniques to write a paper.
- With Lee in Virginia. We’ve listened to this audio adventure, but we’ll be using the study guide for more intense character and history study.
- Dog Breeds We’ll be using the Hands of a Child lapbook as well as a children’s book I’m reviewing and library books to complete this unit.
- A House for Hermit Crab: This is another unit that is aimed a the little kids. However, I’m going to run a parallel unit on Oceans alongside for the older children with this lapbook.
As you can probably tell, those units may get us through half the year or more depending on how involved we get with things,, and we’ll be continuing to add based on the children’s interests, different reviews or more books that we decide to unit study.
He has a strong interest in animals, and he wants to spend some time learning about dog breeds, cat breeds and different kinds of rodents. I haven’t decided how to make anything but the dog breeds happen yet, but I will. His sister has decided (in the time since I worked on planning with her) that she wants to learn about Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. So, there are a lot learning avenues that we can explore. I’m sure that more will come up as we read and learn together.