I have to admit, I love planning for school. Searching through all the options that are available to the kids is very exciting.
This past year has worked pretty well for us. Really, the hardest part of it was getting lessons done with a 2 year old crazy man bouncing around us. And sometimes, I can distract him with some fun game but them Kaia wants to play too and ignores the lesson. So, we’ve all learned a good bit about flexibility this year!
This summer, we do plan to do a little schooling. We will play lots of math games and read living math books so that Kaia can keep up her skills. Kaia is still very resistant to writing, so I’m going to encourage writing of any sort over the summer. And, since we’ve not really done much geography, we will learn a bit about the oceans, continents, cultures and such. I’m going to try to keep it laid back, though. I could use a break, too, ya know!
In the fall, Kaia will technically be in the 3rd grade and we are planning the following:
Language Arts – Michael Clay Thompson level 1 (I’ve read such good things about this! I’m excited to give it a try) This will be our basic curriculum and I don’t think we will need to add much more. We will continue with Sequential Spelling (Kaia has been enjoying this a lot and I think it’s important for her to get some spelling practice since she doesn’t like to write often). I think she will probably finish up HWT Cursive early in the year. Other than that, there will be lots of reading. Kaia reads up a storm, so I may put some books around the house for her to find, but I don’t think I’ll have much in the way of required reading.
Math – I’m thinking that we will continue using Right Start Math (levels D and E), just more loosely. I think it moves to slowly for Kaia. So, we’ll use what we need and make it a richer experience with living math books, experiments, Mythmatical Battles, Math Rider, and such. I may add in a little Mind Benders and Math Analogies occasionally. I’m even thinking of getting this Algebra primer. I think she would really dig something like it.
Science – Kaia said she was interested in studying Anatomy and Electronics next year. So, we plan to do lots of kits and experiments. Toby will take on the electronics since he knows lots about it. But we will probably start with something like this kit and expand from there. For Anatomy, we will use kits from Horrible Science like this one, The Magic School Bus kit, as well as lots of books, dissections and stuff. I may get the REAL Science Biology book to pull ideas from too. (We used their Chemistry book this past year and felt it left a lot out. The labs were generally too simple, but I still liked having the book as a starting point.) We’ll see. (I just found this from Winter’s Promise.… Hmmm… might be something worth looking into.)
History – We’ve been using the History Odyssey curriculum for our Ancient History, but we basically only using it to follow the schedule of who to read about next. This next year, I think we will use the Usborne Internet-linked Encyclopedia of World History as our spine. We ended up referencing it more than our curriculum. We are both very excited to study the Middle Ages next year. We are already planning our trip to the Renaissance Faire in the fall!! We’ll also supplement with lots of living history books and crafts.
Art – We started off this past year using Artistic Pursuits. I really liked it how it connected the history we were studying with a the art, but Kaia didn’t like being told how to create her art. So, we ended up using it less and less often. I’d like to find something to introduce her to famous artists and art techniques, but I’m not sure what we’ll use yet.
Music – Continue Piano lessons
Foreign Language – Kaia wants to study Spanish. I am looking for a local class. I feel like that would be more effective for her than a computer course or something. I don’t remember enough of it to feel like I could be a good teacher.
xtra stuff – Homeschool co-op, nature walks, Aerial gymnastics
For Leif, I’ll have to see where he is at in the fall. We will definitely continue with letters and numbers. lots of hands on play. There are lots of curricula out there for pre-schoolers that look great (like this one from Winter’s Promise and this one from Little Acorn Learning) and I love to have things organized and planned out, but I’m thinking my 2-3 year old just really needs to play and experience the world without too much structure. We’ll see.
Let’s hear what your plans are!