Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum Epic

Note: My posts tend to make a short story long, so if you would like the  Skeleton List in lieu of reading and reading and reading… I take no offense :)

Not Back to School Blog Hop

If you are here by way of Heart of the Matter Online's Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop, 


My readers know I like to carry on, so fix yourself a  cuppa coffee or tea, and settle in! 
Here we go!
This fall marks our 4th official year of homeschooling!  I am so incredibly humbled that God has called me to this work.  It is the most difficult work I have ever done, but I am realizing more and more each day that this work is among the more important work that I could ever do.  I am learning that homeschooling isn’t just about educating the children – homeschooling is also about teaching me!  Yes, I believe that God is doing a work on me, through homeschooling…and boy does He have some work to do!  I can be as stubborn as a mule sometimes.  Sigh….

checking out finds at OBX this summer
While we are distinctly laid-back CM’ers, I am learning to let go of my hardcore-renegade-unschooling leanings.  It’s just not right for our family.  I studied and really tried to work with Waldorf education, but again – a very bad fit for our family. (Though I will say that I cling to many of the ideas and practices therein)  I returned to my first love, Charlotte Mason education.   My friend, Lecia and I joke about how we are with Charlotte Mason -- we feel like we have two gospels to share: #1 is the Good News of Jesus! I love it!!   and #2 is the beauty of a Charlotte Mason education!
I am like many homeschool moms out there –
I. Love. Curriculum.
I love to read reviews.  Write reviews.  Talk to folks about curriculum.  Talk to myself about curriculum.  I love to fill my online shopping carts with curriculum (B is thankful that I don’t finalize my order, hee hee!).  I . just. can’t. stop. 
I am getting better need to get better at choosing a curriculum and sticking with it.  Because I can’t stop looking!  There is always something else to try! 
But this year, I am resolved to put God at the head of this planning ship, and not make any decisions that don’t involve prayer.
So are you ready to see what I have planned thus far?  It’s going to change a bit, because God and I are still working out the details on history ;)

~ ~ The Students ~ ~

We have three children who will be doing “school” to some degree:

**MG is our oldest daughter, and she is almost 11.  Traditional school puts her at entering 5th grade this fall.
**EK is our 7.5 yo daughter, and she would be in 2nd grade this fall.
**HR is our almost 5 yo son, and he is running and jumping through what the system would call PreK5.
**SA is a two year old juicy bundle of pure energy and mischief  life!  She IS my membership to the Y!
~ ~ The Good Stuff ~ ~

--MG, age 10--
  •  Discover 4 Yourself: How To Study Your Bible, for Kids.  I am super excited about getting this book in!  She really needs to learn how to use her Bible, as do I!
  • Apologia’s Who Is God?  This will most likely be done more with me and her dad, but I am so head over heels over this book, and it hits what she’s seeking right now!
  • BBC’s free typing program.  MG LOVES doing this!  She is moving along quickly…perhaps I need to think about another program….hmm…
Language Arts
Really, this girl takes in the written word like air.  I have to be so, so careful about what she reads, because she can read so well.  Just because she CAN read something, doesn’t mean she should, know what I mean?  For MG, spelling isn’t an issue.  She can see the word and know how to spell it.  She has keen comprehension skills. She has learned most of what she knows simply by reading and then narration (which is simply retelling what she read – and good gracious, does she ever love to do that!)  At first thought, I would say she needs no formal LA instruction.  On second thought, here is what she will be doing:
  • Grammar
Queen’s Language Lessons!  I am so excited to get into this with MG!  She will use Language Lessons for the Elementary Child, Volume 1. Queen Homeschool is the best!  Mrs. Queen’s style is gently, yet quite thorough, and the books are lovely!
  • Copywork
We are new to this, though I have read about it for several years.  I plan to loosely following the schedule that Lindafay presents at Charlotte Mason Help.  She suggests to make each day of copywork be a different piece, hitting different types of writing: a poem one day, a Bible verse another, and so on. 
  • Cursive
I am 95% sure I am going to use Queen’s Pictures in Cursive.  We would start with Primer, then move to Book A.  4% of me wants to follow Nadene's lead and go it alone.  And that pesky 1% yells out to keep looking!!
MG will follow readings for Year 5 of Ambleside Online’s on-line curriculum.  This includes:
She will follow along with Ambleside Online Year 5 and spent 12-ish weeks each on the following poets:
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • John Greenleaf Whittier and Paul Lawrence Dunbar
--EK, age 7--
EK will look at Bible storybooks and as she improves her reading, will begin I Can Read God’s Word, a borrowed nugget of gold from her MeMe!

Math  Like her sister, we are using Horizons.
She can also play games, read my collection of math books, and “do math” with her dad!

Language Arts
While she is 7, she is just now starting to express any interest in reading and writing…and it’s not a bunch of interest at that.  She is my artist, happy to have art supplies all around.  I have used a light touch this year, perhaps too light.  We are going to start using the following tools with EK:
  • Reading
I am using Delightful Reading, by Simply Charlotte Mason and it is wonderful! 
  • Copywork:
This will be a combination of my own selections for her to copy and Queen’s Language Lessons for Little Ones, Volume 2.  Focus is a habit that we will be working on this year.  :)


EK will be following the readings of Year 2 from Ambleside Online.  This includes:
--HR, age 5(at school’s start)--
I am following My Father’s World Kindergarten program with my guy, though very loosely.  Thank you to Lecia for letting me borrow it!

We have several story books that he can look at.  Pretty simple for this guy.
Right now, I am not planning anything in particular.  Games, copying his sisters, and a very light touch with My Father’s World Kindergarten’s math component and we’ll call it a day!
Language Arts
As I mentioned, I am going to let my Father’s World Kindergarten guide me a lot.  There is no way I can do everything it suggests with HR, since I have three others that need me, but I can hit the high spots.  We will do the letter of the week component and add in any extra activities I find from around the Internet.
I will also have him do “school” like his sisters with Language Lessons for Little Ones I.  I am quite pleased to get him going on this!
--SA, age 2--
Into making mischief of kind and an another! (Really.  Can you get mad at those eyes?  Look at those fingers – nope, she’s protected by the Cute!)

Now, on to the group stuff!
Bible at Breakfast:
I intend to use Leading Little Ones to God  and For Instruction in Righteousness over breakfast.  Why?  We tend to get it in this way – it speaks to the younger and the older – I don’t eat breakfast much anyway – it’s important to start the day the right way! 
We are also going to join the many who use Simply Charlotte Mason’s Scripture Memorization System, along with Seeds Family Worship!  I can’t wait!!
I have prayed over our history for a long time.  I REALLY want to do AO’s separate readings, which means Years 2 and 5.  I have most of the books.  This includes:
  • Church History
  • England’s History
  • American History
  • World History
So, England’s History, I get, but that’s the first to go if I got too overwhelmed.  And MG can totally handle the book load – no problem.


I have Mystery of History I and I love it.  I also have TruthQuest History: American History for Young Students, Volume I(AHYS) and I love it (ps-look for a gushing review soon!). 
The question I keep asking is, “Can we handle all that history?”  I don’t like it, but we can’t.
So for history, we will either have EK doing AO’s Year 2, and MG doing AO’s Year 5 (with some catch-up) or Mystery of History I and TruthQuest History.  I have time, right?

More science?  Mm-hmm!  I am giddy-happy about this: Apologia Botany!!  Oh, how I love love love Apologia!  I have the notebooking journal for MG and will be ordering the Junior Journal for EK the moment it’s out.  More on this later…

There are other things that we will be doing, a couple that have already begun, and things I am hope to get to…..

handwork: EK on knitting, HR continuing to finger crochet, MG kick up her knitting and add some needlework
music lessons: when we find that extra money laying around somewhere, we would like to get at least MG in piano lessons
Spanish:  I have La Clasa Divertida I and II, but they are VHS and (1) we don’t have a VCR and (2) the stuff my husband got to transfer VHS to DVD is more persnickety than a cat.
Sign Language:  the kids all learned it as babies, and MG has always enjoyed it.  EK is very dramatic and it seems to suit her, but Mama need practice, haha!
Art: We have Drawing with Children and MG has already gotten a taste of it from our doctor/friend/homeschool co-op art teacher, Mrs. Kim (unless we are at the doctor, in which case, she morphs into Dr. Kim).  I would like to work through it casually.
Picture Study: I *think* we will follow Ambleside Online, but I’m not sure.
Composer Study:  Same for this one.
Latin/Greek:  We will use English from the Roots Up.  It’s more for MG, but I know good and well EK and HR will want to be present for at least some of it.

Hmm…..have I missed anything? Let me think…

I wanted to mention that we are moving more and more towards notebooking.  I love the idea of it, and am working on a post about it now.  I bought the Treasury at Notebooking Pages when she was running a sale and WOWSA!  That’s a lot of stuff!!  Jimmie, of Jimmie’s Collage has a notebooking website, The Notebooking Fairy, which has lots of nifty pages, and moms – you have to check out her Squidoo lenses!

 Notebooking Pages logo            notebooking-fairy-button

Thank you for following along with all my ramblings! If you would like to keep us accountable for all this keep up with our listed goingson and more this year, subscribe to the blog in all the fun ways available in the right-hand sidebar and drop me a line in the comments section!
Thanks for stopping by { with eager hands }!


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