Planning for the new school year!!! I am excited to say that I have the planning part done. Now I just have to get supplies together, copies made and decide whether we will use the table or the school room this year.
We do have a room dedicated to "school" and office stuff. The big PC sits in there and the large white board. Plus my book shelf of curriculum and books and the supply closet with it's great shelves of goodies. Over the summer we have been doing a lot of our work in the living room. We don't have an AC in the school room, so it can get a little warm in there. Doing school work in the living room seems to work really well. The boys like to build forts with the couch cushions and blankets and do their schoolwork inside. I know for sure we won't start our year in there, but perhaps when I get tired of the mess in the living room I will migrate us back to the school room. Well see I guess. :)
I have had my "curriculum" choices lined up for a few months now, I knew what we were going to do. Most of it is stuff we have been doing for the past year or more now. If it's not broke, don't fix it...right? But we did change a few things this year. And of course I have added as I planned!
Remember the workbox system I put together last year? All those little tags, the cutting, Velcro sticking...I almost decided to pack it all away. You probably remember my posts about putting it all together and getting it all set up. I thought about not using it this year. But honestly I can't tell you why, I just started thinking, do I want to mess with that? Honestly, the answer is yes. It can get a little tedious at times - refilling charts and folders and such. But really it is worth the time it takes. Which really isn't long, although it seems long to me. The boys did well with it and really I think they enjoyed being able to see what comes next and how much we have to do, etc. So I decided that I would keep the system this year. Although I did change it up just a bit. I have a "Mom" crate this year as well. The boys each have their own crate - with their file folders labeled with each subject. I put them in order according to the day in their schedule book. This is where all of their books, papers, notebooks, etc. are kept. My crate is set up the same, except it holds all the subjects that we do together and my teacher's manuals. This will help me keep organized better I think. My book shelf can get a little crazy at times. I keep all the upcoming stuff on the shelf, so it's easier to keep the current stuff right there in my crate.
I just noticed the Lite beer sports bottle on the table. Funny! Just so you know (cuz I know some of you are wondering) - it's water!
Here you can see me working with my lesson plan book and my schedule cards. Setting up the first weeks work in the schedule books.
Here is my crate. Everything neatly filed - awaiting the first day of school!
Here is Red's crate and schedule book - all ready to go!
And here is Bug's book and crate - nice and neat!
So what are we studying this year you ask...well let me pass that along! :)
Bug - 8 years old
Math: Teaching Textbooks 3 (we've been slowly working our way through Saxon 5/4 and while he is doing really well he seems to enjoy the computer math even more. We actually decided to skip Saxon Math 3 because it was so much that he had already mastered and after two years of Saxon Math we needed a new format. Therefore, I figured he should start with level 3 TT because that way it gives him a chance to better master those times tables before he moves forward! We started using it back in July and he (of course) loved it being on the computer and breezed through the first lessons with no problems at all.
Language Arts: Hot Fudge Mondays - this is new this year, we've tried all sorts of grammar stuff and nothing really suits us. I heard about this from another HS mom and thought, hmmm, I should try that out. It looks great and I look forward to using it. I am going to use Easy Grammar 3 to accompany this just to help build on those skills. We will also continue daily grams (3-4 grade); and explode the code 4. He will finish up building spelling skills and move to the next book. We are going to continue word study with a little more depth this year - I plan to encourage him to find words in the dictionary and to also write sentences with them. He will also be learning to use dictionary.com. For Reading he will start the level three Pathway readers and accompanying workbooks. I also have a learn to read grade 3 book that uses the well know stories and fables with various learning opportunities. I plan to incorporate that in at least once a week. We will continue journaling and also keep a reading notebook. I hope these will encourage more writing from him, as he is not real keen on writing.
Computer: He will be working on the time4learning website and also dance mat typing again this year.
Subjects we do together
Bible is a family affair - we will continue our study of the new testament using Stick Figuring Through the Bible as well as working on Advancement for Royal Ambassadors. I plan to add in a hymn study this year as well, we will be starting with "To God Be The Glory".
History/Geography - we will continue our Texas History study using Texas History in the Light of the Cross. We will be studying the geography of Texas this year.
Science - We are starting Apologia's Zoology 1 Flying Creatures of the 5th day. I am excited, it looks so cool! We will also continue nature study and reading the Christian Liberty Nature Reader book 2.
Literature is also family time, we will be reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh. Later books include The Trumpet of The Swan; 5 Little Peppers and How They Grew; Mr. Popper's Penguins and Pinocchio.
Poetry - this is new for us. I will admit, I am not a huge fan of poetry. Which is funny because I did UIL prose and poetry reading when I was in Jr. High. I loved it. Shel Silverstein was a favorite of mine. And honestly I still enjoy reading his stuff. But most poetry just alludes me! :) But I am going to try! I found a book of poetry by Robert Frost for young children. I figured that was probably a good place to start! I hope to encourage Bug to pick his own poem and recite it this semester as well.
Picture Study - we did a little of this last year...very little, just a couple of artists, but I hope to incorporate more this year. We are going to start with John James Audubon. We shall see how it goes! :)
Art this year will be a continuation of the Draw Write Now series. We have one more in lesson in book 1 and then we will move on to book 2.
Music Study - I plan to begin introducing the boys formally to various composers. I don't know who I will begin with yet...I guess it depends on who I find! :)
Red -6 years old
Math - We started Saxon Math 1 back in January, so we will be completing that this year. We will also be memorizing addition facts...oh joy, what fun!!!
Language Arts: Red will continue his trek through Saxon Phonics one. He will also begin Building spelling skills 1 this fall. He will be working in explode the code 2 as well as working on sight words, word study, dictionary skills, journaling and various other reading skills. Red begins in the level one Pathway readers and workbooks this year as well.
Computer: He will be working on the time4learning website and he will also begin dance mat typing this year.
So I think that is it, whew...I have been working on this post for days. Glad it is finally complete!