So school is about to start and I’m spending time putting together my lesson plan and gearing up for school to start. We’re starting early this year to coincide with the kids’ new “Monday school.” Monday school is a one day a week enrichment program for homeschoolers in my area, where the kids get to do Art, PE, and other classes I don’t usually focus on. I am better at teaching the “core” curriculum, so Monday school is perfect for balancing my kiddos out.
I am definitely more of a classical method teacher than a crafty teacher. I have often beat myself up over not being able to help my kids get creatively messy. But it’s just NOT one of my strengths. So I was VERY grateful to find this enrichment program. Now my kiddos get social skills and messy and creative, and I don’t have to clean it up! (Heehee, Woohoo!)
Anyway, this is my 3rd year homeschooling and I’m just starting to get into a routine that I like. Though I realize that will be turned upside down by adding my kindergartner.
My oldest homeschooled kid is starting Second Grade and we are both excited for the new year. I’ve decided to use the following books for my core subjects this year:
For Scripture Study, we will be reading through the New Testament, I have a manual from Sunday School (Primary 7) that I use to hit the highlights and teach the gospel topics. The picture shows the Old Testament book (Primary 6) because we haven’t received the New Testament book yet (see my note in the next paragraph about being a bit behind my plan). I chose Old Testament last year to coordinate (loosely) with the History curriculum, which started with Ancient Times. So this year we will continue forward in time.
For History, we will continue using Story of the World. We will start on Volume 2: The Middle Ages in October or November. We moved across the country last November so we fell behind quite a bit. I had hoped we would get more done during the summer, but it’s summer… I let go of stressing about it months ago. After all, this is part of why we homeschool. We don’t have to be slaves to a book’s beginning and ending. This year should be much more stable so I expect we’ll make good progress.
(On a side note, while we were packing and moving and unpacking, we were using unit studies and life lessons on the days that we could.)
For Language Arts, we are using 2 different books; for Grammar we’re studying First Language Lessons, and for Spelling we’re using All About Spelling Level 2.
For Math, I’m trying out Lessons For a Living Education. I wanted a curriculum that balanced worksheets with real world examples and this seems to do it nicely. It also doesn’t overwhelm my kiddo with dozens of practice problems. It has a nice balance between practicing new skills and reviewing old ones. So far my son really likes it. And he can do it mostly independently, so I like it too. This is the first time I’ve stuck with a Math curriculum for more than a week, so I’m very pleased with it (we’ve been using it since April).
This year I’ve decided to add something new into the mix, with Manners Made Easy For the Family: 365 Timeless Etiquette Tips for Every Occasion. I’m going to try one tip per week and see how it works. Also for Life Skills, each child has a chore to do for the home (on top of keeping their room and bed tidy). I’ll do another post on how I do this later.
Of course, all of my kids will be expected to read to himself each day and sit and listen while I read-aloud. This year we are going to start with Aesop’s Fables and then move to Fairy Tales as we get further into the middle ages.
For my kindergartner, I’m still not going to do a full schedule. But for her part-day, 5-10 minute lessons, I am going to have her join us for Scripture Study, History, and Manners. Then we’ll work on Handwriting and an occasional All About Spelling (Level 1) lesson for Language Arts. One thing I really like about All About Spelling is that I can help her learn how to spell without her having to write the words. Her handwriting is struggling quite a bit, but the tiles AAS uses helps her learn the methods and rules without requiring her fine motor skills to be perfect. We’ll round out the plan with Math games or manipulatives.
toddler preschooler will join us when he feels like it. I have books and busy boxes for him when he feels like hanging out in the school room with us. He wants to be close to us most of the time, but sometimes he wanders off into the play room for awhile.
(FYI: For your convenience I’ve linked to the sites for the curriculum I use, so you can research them more if you like. But I don’t get anything if you follow the links, so I don’t have a “disclosure policy.”)
So there it is, I’ll do another post later on how I organize my kids to be more independent, as well as one on how I organize myself. But this is enough for now.
Good Luck and God Bless on your journey! And please feel free to add your comments below on what works for you.