Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Curriculum Choices: 2011-2012

Ethan is in third grade, and Daniel is in first, technically.  I go by where they'd be if they were in public school.  Hannah tells everyone she's in kindergarten and that she does school and that she's doing "weally, weally, gweat!"  I tell her how modest and humble she is, too...  Grace does storytime and cooking and cleaning with Mommy.

So what are we doing this year?  I've had several people ask about what we do at home.  I keep portfolios with samples of their work in each subject as it progresses throughout the school year, as well as monthly attendence report copies, intent to homeschool form copies, field trip notes, pictures, certificates they've earned, lists of books they've read, etc.

We've chosen Sonlight for the most part this schoolyear.  So far, it has been a perfect fit except that the kids ask for me to continue reading the read-alouds, and so we get a little ahead of ourselves. Seriously. ;-)  I wish we'd started with Sonlight when Ethan was beginning.  I read somewhere that any homeschooling mom ought to give herself a three-year learning curve.  Three years to really see what method you enjoy as an educating mom. Three years to see what your children respond to and how they learn best. 

I wish I'd heard that advice a few years ago because maybe I would've relaxed more these past few years.  This is my fourth year homeschooling, my third official year that I've had to send in paperwork to the county.  But I feel like I've struck gold with Sonlight.  We read a lot, and the lessons are perfect and easily adaptable when we want to plug in a field trip or when we want to stop everything and do a unit study on dolphins or when we have a co-op class day.  It's been amazing!  Perfect for us.

We do all the Bible, history, and read alouds together.  All of them, for now.

With Ethan, third grade:
Sonlight, Core B Intro to World History Part 1 w/ level appropriate readers which he's going through more quickly than I expected. Yay!
Explode the Code 4,5,6
Wordly Wise B
Handwriting without Tears- Cursive
Sequential Spelling- we're going through this a little slower than suggested.
Teaching Textbooks 4 with Saxon drill sheets- Audio memory facts
Apologia- Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
His Semester 1 project subject is dinosaurs.  He has to read a book about his subjects, do a book report, speech and presentation which must include a visual aid.
Drawing with children weekly lessons
Piano lessons
Karate class- advanced brown.  He'll test for black in the spring of 2012.

With Daniel, first grade:
Sonlight Core B Intro to World History Part 1 w/ level appropriate readers
Explode the Code 1,2,3
Wordly Wise A
Handwriting without Tears- Printing Power
Teaching Textbooks 3 with Saxon drill sheets-- Audio memory facts
Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
His Semester 1 project is eagles.  He must read a book on his subject and complete a first grader's book report and do a presentation with a poster.
Drawing with children weekly lessons.
Piano lessons
Karate class- advanced red.  He'll test for his brown belt in December.

With Hannah...we'll call her K4:
Sonlight Core P3/4 (which is really just a lot of great stories, games, and recommended activities to encourage learning and better yet, a love for learning)
100 Easy Lessons for reading
Handwriting without tears- Get ready for School
Ready, Set, Go for the Code.
Singapore Earlybird kindergarten math
Drawing with children weekly lessons
She tries to do piano lessons with me.

With littlest learner:
Sonlight Core P3/4...see comments above
She sits in on Hannah's reading lesson time and imitates everything Hannah does.  I'm hoping something will stick.  She likes coloring, stickers, lots of playtime, and lots of time with me.She likes to be in on any of the science experiments or art projects the boys are doing, too.

So there you have it.  That's what we're doing at home.  I'm very pleased with what we've chosen for this school year.  So good.  We also participate in twice weekly karate class, in a weekly storytime for the girls, and in a monthly co-op class with the subject of fine arts this year.  The kids are preparing for a massive talent show in the spring.  They're doing a skit, some songs, and my boys want to put together a karate demo.  Hannah will probably want to do whatever the older girls are doing, and Grace...I don't know about her.  We shall see.  She'll probably crawl into someone's lap and hope they don't ask her to do anything!  I was very much like that...

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