I wrote this in 2008! That was so long ago! My boys were 6, 5 and 4 and my daughter was just 5 months old. I wanted to share with you what I picked out for the year. As I look back on this post, I realize that I did not use everything I had planned. It is ok. We do not have to be perfect, homeschool Mamas!! We can change our minds on curriculum choices when they aren’t working for our family. It’s not flaky or wishy washy or even “curriculum ADD”–choose what is best for your family.
I’ve had my nose in books for a while now! I am spending several hours over the weekend planning out our homeschool schedule that will start in January. Yahoo! I am having SO much fun. I totally feel in my element, as I love books, teaching, learning, organizing and planning.
I am planning 9 weeks at a time–2 9 week sessions with 1 review week after each and a 1 week of spring break and we’ll finish up around the same time as the Canby school district.
So what are we going to study? So far I have the first 9 weeks pretty well planned out, so I can share:
–Tapestry of Grace, the most wonderful curriculum EVER (the teachers notes remind me of BSF study guides–so rich with Biblical history!!). We are studying the Nile River, Pharaohs and Pyramids, Egyptian Polytheism and the Judgment of God, Creation Through Noah, Babel to Ur: Early History of Mesopotamia, The Patriarchs: From Ur to Egypt, In The Wilderness: The Tabernacle and the Law, In The Wilderness: Holiness: Worshipping God as God, and In The Wilderness: Slaves to Warriors. I love TOG, because we will study these exact same subjects again in 4 years, with different texts as they will be in different grade levels. We will do this over and over (going chronologically through history) until they graduate, or until we decide to discontinue homeschooling (we will see!). So they will have a VERY good understanding of history, government, Bible, literature, philosophy, logic, etc., by the time I am done teaching them. I LOVE that.
–Along with that, we’ll be reading Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World, volume 1. Such a fun exploration of history!!!
–Spell to Write and Read and “Cursive First”–We are studying basic phonograms, spelling rules, writing cursive, and spelling words. I am going to focus more on Isaac and Kaleb with this stuff, as they are older. I am not going to push Noah into it at 4 years old, but if he naturally picks it up, great! Isaac is VERY interested in learning to write words, daily. Isaac and Kaleb are constantly talking about words that rhyme. I think if we just spend a little time on it, I’ll have 2 readers and writers here.
(***Updated note: I found Spell to Write and Read complicated to figure out. I prefer All About Spelling.)
–Math U See–We are using the Primer books, but I have a feeling that the older 2 are going to zip through them pretty quickly. I also got a book for Noah, as these concepts are pretty easy to grasp. We use blocks to learn simple addition and subtraction. And then the blocks can also be used for all other math concepts, up to high school math–but I’m not sure how to do it yet (gotta watch the dvds to learn how to teach as we advance in this program!).
–Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, by Jeannie Fulbright-we are learning about basic Zoology and classification. Then we move on to 8 weeks of learning about BIRDS! How fun. We will learn about bird songs, and classifying birds, and migration, and nests, and their muscles, and flight patterns, and what they eat, etc., etc.!
–Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade (Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism)–I started reading this to my kids about a year ago, but they were a bit too young. I am excited to use this great tool.
-Once in a while, we’ll be using Art for the Very Young. I know that getting really messy is good for this age group, it’s just so much work with 3 boys so close in age. I used to be so much better at art with them–I’d set up finger painting paper all over the kitchen floor and just let them go to town. Then I’d carry them each to the bath tub, and I had to mop the floor and wipe down all of the cabinets and walls they touched…I think I got a little worn out after all of that. TOG has a bunch of activities using Old Testament Days, and we’ll be making things like a Salt Map, and Egyptian clothing and necklaces, etc. But I do want to teach basic art concepts (like understanding color, and shapes and lines in art)–so we will be using this book sometimes…
–A book about physical education activities in homeschooling that I cannot find…I have it…I remember it, blue with yellow writing–hmmm…where did it go? I have so many books…I’ll find it soon.
My methods? I love the Charlotte Mason method–I like using objects to teach math (like the blocks with Math U See)–I like nature walks (we will be doing at least 3 per week), and narration (such a great concept!). I also enjoy some of the Classical concepts–I am really big into literature and reading GREAT literature to my children. I get fed up with silly little books that teach nothing–those are the books that I let my non-readers take to naptime with them, but I don’t spend a lot of time reading them. I have lists of classic books to read to them (a list from Ambleside’s website, one from William J. Bennet in The Educated Child, one in Honey for a Child’s Heart, one from the Spell to Write & Read company, etc. We’ve been reading classic books since they were babies, I think. I believe in reading books without pictures (not that pictures are bad, just introducing them to books without picturs earlier than many people do), and encouraging the kids to really enjoy the story. I am so thankful my husband reads big books to them for bed time stories. They went through “Peter and Wendy,” and “Robin Hood,” and now they are into their 2nd book in the “Chronicles of Narnia.”
Well, back to planning I go!