Saturday, June 13, 2009

Curriculum Resources 2009-2010


It's time for my annual post that lays out all the homeschool resources we'll be using in the coming year. I'll have a FIFTH and FIRST grader and FOUR YEAR OLD (yes, I did yell out those grades -- I cannot believe my babies are getting big!). I write this all out in case someone stumbles across the blog who is curious to know what we're using, as well as a record for me. I also use this as my "to do" list so that I can remember what I've entered into Homeschool Tracker.

History (B & L) - Tapestry of Grace Year 1 (this is my affiliate link)
Literature (B & L) - Tapestry of Grace Year 1
Bible (B & L) - Tapestry of Grace Year 1
Geography (B & L) - Tapestry of Grace Year 1
Art Appreciation (B & L) - Tapestry of Grace Year 1
I have one boy reading Upper Grammar books and one boy using Lower Grammar books. Much of Ben's work will be done on his own, with weekly accountability meetings with me and then a weekly test ( I wrote about how we decided to do this and what it involves here)

Ben (10):
Grammar - Growing with Grammar 5, editing workbooks
Writing - Institute for Excellence in Writing Ancient History based themed writing lessons.
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 3000 Book 5.
Math - Singapore Math 4B & Intensive Practice workbooks; moving on as mastery occurs
Latin - Lively Latin Big Book 1 (We've been using this for 1 1/2 years -- I don't know if we'll *ever* finish this.)
Critical Thinking - Building Thinking Skills, Reading Detective, Revenge of the Riddle Spiders (something we had this year, but I didn't remember to use it).
Science - Sonlight Science 4

Luke (6-7):
Phonics - All About Spelling, Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
Grammar: I am going to hold off on grammar for the first part of the year; Luke really needs to spend time getting reading down, so that is where our energies will be spent. After that, we can consider First Language Lessons.
Writing/Handwriting: Reason for Handwriting & copywork
Math: Singapore Math 1A
Critical Thinking: I cannot remember what I have for Luke....but I have something in my stash.
Science - Sonlight Science 1

Levi (3-4):
I have a variety of workbooks for him. He is the best colorer in the world (my world at least), and he loves to cut paper, too. He wants to do his own science experiments ("Mom, I wan to do a science esperiment with a rubber band and a string. Can we do this now?"), so I know he'll enjoy sitting in with us when we do both Luke's projects.

Comments: I have received the new SL sciences and love the look of them. It has been a *long time* since we've used SL for science and I'm happy to be able to rely completely on their schedule and well selected books this year. My thoughts on science have evolved over the past four years (Ben's grammar year rotation), and I am at peace with the fact that the experiments for Luke do not coordinate with readings. Rather, I'm pleased that he is going to be exposed to a variety of topics and materials and am looking forward to the joy of the discovery of God's world with both boys.

Back to Blogging

One of the reasons I blog is because I have purchased an unknown number of cute journals or notebooks in which I had intended to use as a journal of our homeschool journey -- and just life in general -- but never did. The idea of snuggling under a blanket and writing about our homeschool journey is ideal -- and just doesn't fit into my life right now. Blogging is faster and I don't get writer's cramp (carpel tunnel syndrome, perhaps, bt not writer's cramp).

This year I did a horrible job of documenting our school year. It was far too hard to remember what we'd done each week. And, in all honesty, I didn't get done all I'd wanted to do for each child, and didn't want that glaring reality staring me in the face each week. There I said it. I feel better.

So now it is summer time and time to prepare for the coming school year. I want to get back into the habit of journaling about our journey. Mostly for me. But if someone happens upon a post that helps them to think, "I'm not the only one!" or "Wow, I can do this way better than this chick!" then that will be a good thing.

We've been on summer break since May 29th. The first week we had guests, and this week we've been getting adjusted to a less scheduled life. The boys do have educational goals for the summer. Ben is going to practice math, with math worksheets and Key to Fractions for review. Luke is going to work on reading. This week we went through our All About Spelling words from Level 1, which he completed a while ago. I thought this would be a gentle re-introduction to reading. I also plan on using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading to help us move along. I'm pleased to see that Luke is still remembering the silent -e rule! Yea!

We have also been insanely busy with baseball this week, and I feel like today was the first day I've been able to come up for air. Although Ben had practice, it wasn't until the end of the day. We actually sat down together at the dining room table and ate an entire meal together that was cooked here at home. It was won.der.ful. No hotdogs or fries were allowed.

What I'll Do On My Summer Vacation

What does summer mean to this homeschooling mom?

  • Playing with my kids more. During the day. When we would normally be studying.
  • Catch up and stay current in my read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. I'm about 3 and a half weeks behind. oops.
  • Working on home improvement projects. I have two cans of paint staring me down.
  • Giving away our piano. Now that Ben is done with piano lessons (which he's had for the past two and a half years), I'm ready to get rid of the piano. If piano lessons are part of the littler boys' musical education, we'll get a keyboard that does not need tuning.
  • Clean the school room. Our used curriculum sale is next week. I have a lot of things to unload and then I'll use the money to buy next year's resources. Cha-Ching!
  • Catching up on read alouds with the kids. There are books that I want to read to Luke and that I know Ben would enjoy again.
  • Investigate strategies to encourage continued independent learning and organization. For all of us.
  • Read a couple just-for-fun books. I discovered that I can make lists of books at our library's website, and I've started one for me, since I never remember what I want to read once I enter the facility.
  • Hike 5 fire towers with the kids this summer. And other outdoor stuff.
  • See our friends. Lots.
  • Make sure Ben practices math this summer. And Latin vocabulary weekly.
  • Progress through our reading program with Luke. Make sure I have plenty of chocolate chips and/or M & Ms for motivation.
  • Watch Teaching Writing: Structure and Style and decide if we'll use this next year.
  • Sneak in learning and discovery. Especially out of doors. And maybe rainy day art projects. Goodness, we've had enough rainy days already and this was our first week of vacation.