Friday, July 20, 2012

Beginning The Whole Enchilada Years: Planning for 2012-13


Welcome to the first of five The Whole Enchilada Years.

"Whaaa?" You say.

Enchiladas suizas



Here's the deal:  finally, all three of my boys "count" this year (in my state, we begin sending letters of intent when the child is 6 years old by Sept. 30th).  Now, I tend to think that my kids have "counted" since, like, birth; but from a strictly legal standpoint, Levi's education now "counts" as he begins his 1st grade year.  I'll be Whole Enchilada schooling for the next five years. 

I'm amazed at how little time that reads.  Just 5 years, and Ben will be graduated.

One of my favorite purchases this spring was Debra Bell's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens.  Her book The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling gave structure to my thoughts and ideas about homeschooling my young son (and his future siblings) when the idea was first mentioned by my husband.  That book pointed me towards resources to consider and educational models to explore.  And she was funny, to boot, which I needed during a long, cold, white New England winter.

On of the big things that her Teen book inspires me to do is flesh out a (working, changeable, non-permanent) 5-year plan for Ben.  Fortunately, he has a dream and a goal for after high school, so we are going to gear the 5-year plan towards that. I am actually looking forward to this discussion with him, and I think it will encourage him to take ownership in his education {he is amazingly responsible for much of his school day, and I am very grateful for that.}

This will be Luke's first year with his own "planner" from which he'll need to work.  He's mentioned wanting to have a time-specified day (an interesting request from a kid who gets side-tracked so easily).  So, after determining his courses, I'll sit with him to plan his schedule.

And Levi.  He'll probably have the best education of the bunch.  I  know he'll learn -- I know he'll forget things. I now know what things I need to in introduce earlier (writing) and what things I'm not going to stress out about (math -- he'll get it).

This coming year will have significantly less out-of-house activities.  And, I think that will be OK, especially during the fall, when we'll be out of the house for soccercrosscountryandfootball, oh my.

My first step is to figure out what subjects I'll be teaching the boys this year and which topics to cover (not to hard to figure out, actually).  We'll still be reviewing products for The Old Schoolhouse magazine through the fall, so I try to schedule in some "review school" time.

So far this is where we are at:

Ben:
  • History, Literature, Geography, Worldview: TOG with a virtual Co-op and monthly History group (for art and music of the time period)
  • Science: Apologia's Physical Science
  • Grammar:  Not sure if I'll continue with Easy Grammar or switch to Fix-It Grammar {from IEW} along with the Blue Book of English Grammar
  • Math:  Continue on with MUS
  • Spanish:  We're going to try our state's virtual charter school for Spanish, and I'll be teaching the little boys some Spanish at home, so we should be good.
  • Writing:  We have some good choices!  We'll either use Writing with World (a review from last year) or IEW.  If we use IEW, we really need to move through it!
  • Spelling:  Ben will be using Spellingcity.com, which we are reviewing right now.
  • I'd like to offer some "electives" to Ben this year.  I have computer programming, informal logic, and some critical thinking materials as well.  I'd like to try to make them not last a whole year, so that we can introduce some variety.
Luke:
  • History/ Literature/ Geography: TOG
  • Science:  Christian Kids Explore Earth Science section.  And, we're going to use  Developoing Critical Thinking Through Science because the science book we're using does not have a lot of experiments, and the boys have been begging me for experiments.
  • Writing: WriteShop Junior Book D.  This has some grammar and I think that if we use this + the Fix-It program, Luke will be good.
  • Spelling:  A combo of SWR words on Spellingcity.com and SWR exercises with me.
  • Math: MUS Gamma
  • Spanish
  • Critical Reasoning books
  • I also need to be listening to Luke read more!
Levi:
  • History/ Literature/ Geography: TOG, probably listening in with Luke's Upper Grammar and some lower grammar readers.
  • Science: with Luke
  • Writing:  I've got WriteShop Junior Book A in my shopping cart, and I'm just trying to decide if I do that or not.
  • Grammar:  I purchased a Critical Thinking Language Smarts Level B book for him.  There's grammar, punctuation, some phonics and some editing in it.  I think it will be a good mix of information.  I might use parts of  First Language Lessons for the 3rd and last time, if I can stand it (I love the book, just not maybe a third time).
  • Spelling/ Phonics: Spell to Write and Read and Spellingcity.com
  • Math:  MUS
  • Spanish
  • Levi also needs to read aloud to me.  
We have a great family devotional set that we started 4 weeks ago.  I haven't blogged about it yet, but it's coming.

I hope to  pull out our Sing the Word CDs and do much more verse memorization this year.  It is an area that I'm embarrassed to admit we've fallen behind in.

I have to admit that I do not plan for each school year in the same way.  Some years I feel like I know exactly which resources we're going to be using before the previous year ends;  other years, I've still been ordering materials in September!  This year, I hope to have most everything purchased by the beginning of the school year, but...ya never know.

Want to see what others are using? Link up and read what others are planning on using at Blessed Beyond a Doubt:

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