I've always wanted to join in the Not-Back to School Hop. We are gearing up to start school tomorrow and I have been planning for the last 4 days so it seemed like a good time to jump in! After much thought, prayer and planning here is our curriculum plan for this year:
Math: I have issues with math. If there is a math curriculum I have tried it! Singapore has been my favorite because of the way it teaches them to think and the amazing mental math my kids are able to do since using it. So, we will be continuing with it on a daily basis, but I want to inject some fun into math because I haven't given it as much "creative" effort as I have the other subjects. And that makes me sad because math can be so hands on and fun. This year one of my goals is to change that. Ashton has been begging to do Life of Fred since we did Fractions last year so we are going to back and start at the beginning of Fred. The math will obviously be too easy but we love the story. We also will review and extend Hands on Equations because it is one of the best math programs I have ever seen. Mastering algebra by age 9- can't be beat.
Jackson is going to try Teaching Textbooks and if he likes it will probably use it to replace Singapore. As if all of this isn't enough, I ordered Math on the Level over a year ago and still haven't implemented it. I LOVE the idea of having all the skills kids need from pre-K to 6th grade all listed for you so you can teach them in a fun way and review them with only 5 problems a day! The only problem is I haven't devoted the time needed in planning to use it but hope it will hope me meet my math is fun goal! Now obviously, we won't be doing all of these all year or every day. Fred and Hands on Equations will be at different times and not year round. The others we will see how they are going and probably drop what isn't working! Hey, I told you I have math issues!
Language Arts: I loved teaching reading and writing as a public school teacher but somewhere along the way lost the love in our homeschool and got too caught up in workbooks-ahhh! So, I will be doing my own reading and writing program based on the workshop approach I used in public school. It's such a better way to learn with authentic reading and mini-lessons. I hope to be sharing lots more posts about how we are accomplishing this and how it's going. We will also be trying out some book units from Total Language Plus. I'm really excited about this new program and had the hardest time deciding which one to do! Jackson will start with My Side of the Mountain and Ashton with Pippi Longstocking. Ashton will also finish up Explode the Code this year. They will both continue with A Reason for Handwriting.
Science: We do the majority of our science through our tutorial. This year they will be doing Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space. I will be filling in with some topics we really haven't hit starting with forces, motion, and simple machines.
History: Ashton and I will be doing Story of the World Year 3 at tutorial which actually lines up nicely with where we are in our American history studies. We kind of do our own history thing with LOTS of historical fiction and some Evan Moore History Pockets and other hands-on activities.
Pre-K: I can't believe my boys will be 5 in 3 days! How did that happen? They are not going to start kindergarten officially because of their August birthdays. So we will be doing a mixture of things including Raising Rock Stars Preschool, You Can Read, and some other preschool theme packs. Our main curriculum which I am SO, SO excited about is Before Five in a Row. I have had the best time planning some great rows and can't wait to get started!
Specials: My dream (in a perfect homeschool day) is that we will end each day with a "special". That's what we always called them in school so it just seems natural!
Monday we will be doing Spanish. Daddy wants us to learn Spanish as a family because he was tired of the kids at the orphanage in Nicaragua on his mission trip laughing at him :) I'm kind of making up my own program involving vocab cards and LOTS of games.
Tuesday we'll be doing art using Confessions of a Homeschooler's World's Greatest Artists curriculum and some other projects I find on the web! I'm also hoping to find some homeschoolers to do artist trading cards with (homemade ones that you trade like baseball cards). We'll also be doing chalk pastel tutorials from Hodegepodge blog.
Wednesday will be music day. We have never studied composers so we will start with Confessions of a Homeschooler's World's Greatest Composers. We'll also really focus on their piano and guitar lessons since we let them slide way too often!
Thursday is tutorial. Ashton will be taking Meet the Masters, and Jackson is excited to do Lego League!!!
Friday is slotted to be PE or nature walk day. This is where I will have to be tough with myself because by then I am worn out! Hopefully, I will get Daddy on board with this one since he's definately the sporty, naturalist in the family.
Delight Directed: Last year I felt like we became more mechanical in our homeschool and less joyful. There was much more of "what do I have to do today to be done" more than "what do we get to learn about today" for sure. This summer I have wrestled with that as more then anything I want my kids to love to learn. I was inspired by a great blog series at Walking by the Way on Delight Directed studies where you follow the kids' passions. I don't have it in me to be a complete unschooler so we will still do all the above mentioned things, but I want to devote an hour each afternoon on studying whatever the kids are interested in. This is a big question mark on how exactly it will work, but I'm excited to discover it together.
Yeah, I always bite off way more than I can chew, but I am excited about our year and that helps more than anything!