Friday, July 31, 2009

Our homeschool curriculum plans for 2009/2010 school year


Most homeschool mamas are gearing up for the new school year right about now, but not me. No, I'm one of those "year rounders" and our school year started a month ago on the 6th of July. Of course, we didn't even manage a full 10 days worth of school in the last 4 weeks, but school has been happening. Anyway, this what we are doing this year:

Now, that is rather an over simplification, as not everything we are doing is from Sonlight, but by far most of it. It's not new for us either; we've been using Sonlight as the basis of our homeschool for over 7 years now. We love it, and I really can't imagine not doing something from Sonlight every year. (No, I am not a Sonlight affiliate, although I have thought about it.)

Anyway, here are some specifics of what we are doing this year.

My 7th grader will be doing:
  • Sonlight Core 5 - a geographical study of the Eastern Hemisphere with a cultural and missionary focus
  • Sonlight Language Arts 5 in a Bravewriter way with a focus on doing more revisions this year.
  • Apologia Physical Science (we're using the full course CD-rom for this instead of the book)
  • Math finishing Singapore Primary Mathematics 6B (no later than mid-August), starting Life of Fred Beginning Algebra, maybe starting VideoText Algebra too.
  • Bible, he is reading through the Bible from cover to cover for the first time this year. He started in January, and is behind now, so just getting caught up is his focus. He is doing the Core 5 assignment Bible memory verses too.
  • Current Events, he'll be reading from Student Daily News when it starts up again in mid-August.
  • He may start some other things later, such as Winston Grammar Basic, Spanish (can't get Rosetta Stone or Tell Me More to work right now), Art (probably Draw Squad), and Music (continuing the alto recorder and possibly starting piano).
My 5th grader will be doing:
  • Sonlight Core 5 with her brother
  • Sonlight Language Arts 5 in a Bravewriter way too (but not so much revision for her).
  • Sonlight Science 5 - a focus on human anatomy and physiology, with some geology and survival skills.
  • All About Spelling. She'll finish level 2 this week and start level 3. I expect her to get into level 4 this year, and possibly even level 5.
  • Math Singapore Primary Mathematics 4B, maybe Life of Fred Fractions, Singapore 5A, and possibly (depending on how much trouble she has) starting 5B before the end of the year.
  • Bible, the Core 5 assigned Bible reading plus a mix of Bible memorization from her Sunday School class, what Core 5 assigns, and what I assign as fits in with what she needs or is studying.
  • Current Events, she'll be reading from Student Daily News when it starts up again in mid-August.
  • She may start some other things later, such as Spanish (see above), Art (probably Draw Squad), and Music (continuing with the sopranino recorder and definitely starting piano).
My 1st grader will be doing:
  • Officially he is doing Sonlight Core K, which is an Introduction to World Cultures, but I am taking it apart and putting it back together to better match up with Core 5. For example, I read the two Dolphin books from Core K to go along with Core 5's Pacific Island study (I know they take place in Florida, but ocean adventures seem appropriate for the Pacific Island study). However, in addition to Core K he is listening attentively to Core 5's books too. He is loving Ship, Sailors, and the Sea and greatly enjoyed Seabird. He even asks to listen in on Torches of Joy instead of playing, although I wonder at how much of the depth of it he is getting. So, all that to say he is, so far, doing Core 5 light and Core K.
  • Right Brain Phonics Program by Dianne Craft. This child, while not officially tested and diagnosed, is almost assuredly dyslexic. Through Home School Legal Defensive Association's Struggling Learner coordinator program, I was able to speak with Dianne Craft for over an hour with some email contact after that. She actually tried to direct me to other programs and products for this kid, but time and again I said we had either tried that or due to our distance from services (3+ hour drive each way), we came to the conclusion together that her phonics program is the logical next step to try with him. It certainly is the right price, considering that many (most?) other programs specific for dyslexic children are hundreds or even thousands of dollars. We'll be starting it Monday.
  • Handwriting Without Tears K (he's about 1/2 of the way through it already).
  • Developing the Early Learner book 3 and then book 4. He did book 1 and 2 last year.
  • Sonlight Science K - a wonderful visually appealing overview of a many science topics.
  • Math - Miquon Math book orange
  • Bible. Right now we are finishing The Family Time Bible. My initial plan was to go back and do 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible again with him, but he has really jumped in his listening comprehension and attention span. I'll do the Core K Bible instead, the Egermeier's Bible Story Book, and start 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible with the younger 2 kids. He learns memory verses from Sunday School.
  • He will join the above two for Art and will do other crafty things without them as well.
My preschooler will be doing:
  • Core K. Officially he is just "tagging along" with Core K, but he is happily listening to almost every word. Only I Heard Good News Today seems to be boring for him.
  • No Language Arts for this kid. He would love me to teach him how to read, and I think he would do okay with it, but I need to get my 1st grader reading first.
  • Surprisingly he is not that interested in much of Science K. He liked the Frogs and Tadpoles book last week, but that was the only part of Science K he joined us for.
  • No formal Math for this kid either. We're working his counting and real-life addition and subtraction, รก la Ruth Beechick's The Three R's.
  • Bible, The Family Time Bible and when that is finished in a month or so we'll use 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible. He learns memory verses from Sunday School.
  • I've been meaning to start activities that will help strengthen his fine motor skills, such as playing with dough. He doesn't enjoy drawing or coloring at all, and has trouble using silverware to eat too. Writing this out was a good reminder to me that I need to get busy with this with him daily or at least a few times a week.
My nursery-schooler will be doing:
  • Bible, The Family Time Bible and when that is finished in a month or so we'll use 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible. She is very verbal and repeats very well (we call her "Echo" for a reason), so I'm thinking of starting her on a monthly memory verse too.
  • She knows all the color names, or at least she can say the words, but doesn't know her colors. Learning to put the right names with the right colors is one goal I have for her for the first half of this school year. Her fine motor skills are well in hand, as attested from the nice scribblings she does daily, including the ones with a Sharpie marker on the hall bathroom toilet this last week . She'll join my preschooler in play-dough and other fine motor play, however, because it would be just too hard to keep her from it and it surely won't harm her.
Hey, this list has even impressed me! It really looks and sounds like a busy year, but I am so excited and know it will be so fun. I expect that we might not finish everything I've listed here, because we also have plans to do Missoula Theater, a play with our homeschool group (I'm directing, ACK!), Math Counts competition, 4H, and much more too. With all that I am adding in I am fine with Core 5 and Core K taking us up to 1.5 years.