Sunday, July 31, 2011

First Week! and 2011-12 Curriculum

Not Back to School Blog Hop Hip Homeschool Hop Button
The day has almost arrived and there is a buzz of excitement in the air as we prepare for our first official day of home education of both children tomorrow . . . Kindergarten and First Grade, hoo-ray!

Thankfully, I got the organization bug recently so I have been plowing through my school room, getting rid of old papers and other treasures that no one treasures or even remembers anymore. We need more shelves, baby! I re-vamped the room in May and truly cannot believe how trashed and overstuffed it has gotten over the summer months. This is what it looked like before we started "living" in it.

It is pretty much the same now, furniture-wise, but I have added several organizational elements which I will show you later.

The subjects we will cover this year are reading, language arts, math, science, geography, history, Latin, Spanish, fine arts, typing, computer skills and health.

I'm a total control freak and didn't want to buy a cookie-cutter curriculum, so I have put one together myself, with the guidance of the Classical Conversations focus for this year (cycle 3). The following is a list of books we will use for first grade. The kindergarten curriculum is the same, minus First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. Charlie is ready for Saxon 1, so we are going to skip Saxon K for him. His math skills are beyond Miriam's at this point and I don't want to stifle him. His language arts book is Language and Thinking for Young Children by Ruth Beechick.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann (Simon and Schuster)
Bob Books series, Collections 1-3 by Bobby Lynn Maslen (Scholastic)
Language Arts:
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise (Peace Hill Press)
Horizons Penmanship One Manuscript by Mary Ellen Quint (Alpha Omega Publications)
Spelling Workout A by Phillip K. Trocki (Modern Curriculum Press)
Saxon Math 1 by Nancy Larson (Saxon Publishers)
My Body Book by Patricia Carratello (Teacher Created Resources)
Lyrical Life Science Volume 3 – The Human Body by Dorry Eldon (Lyrical Learning)
Janice Van Cleave’s 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre and Incredible Experiments by Janice VanCleave (Jossey-Bass)
A Child’s Geography Volume 1 by Ann Voscamp (Bramley Books)
The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
The Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
The Story of the World Activity Book 3: Early Modern Times, edited by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
The Story of the World Activity Book 4: The Modern Age, edited by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press)
Foreign Language:
Song School Latin by Amy Rehn (Classical Academic Press)
Instant Immersion Spanish Level 1 software (Topics Entertainment)
Fine Arts:
Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes (Tarcher/Penguin)
Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga (Bright Ring Publishing)
Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! by Robert Levine (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)
BBC Schools Dance Mat Typing
Various age-appropriate computer games
Bible: Bible Study Fellowship, I Can Read God's Word by Phil A. Smouse, Devotions for the Children's Hour by Kenneth N. Taylor, Children's Illustrated Bible and Awana

Additionally, we are using the Classical Conversations Foundations program, along with the Classical Conversations Foundations Curriculum Guide for Grades K4-6, Third Edition by Leigh A. Bortins (Classical Conversations, Inc.), to enhance our home school lessons. Subjects include Math, Science, English Grammar, History, Geography, Latin, Bible and Fine Arts.

We will do Reading, Math, Penmanship, Bible and our Classical Conversations memory work every day and will use a loop schedule for the other subjects, planning to hit each additional subject one to two times a week. Here is the little contraption I made so we won't forget which subject to study next:

We are really looking forward to a lot of learning and fun this year! And I use the word year literally. We will have a year-round schedule, with four weeks on, one week off, plus extra weeks off for the big holiday seasons. Oh, and don't tell anyone, but Glenn already has us playing hooky one day this week to go to an amusement park . . . we'll make up the day on Saturday. You've gotta love the flexibility!

Okay then, here we go . . .