Welcome to my version of the 3rd annual Not Back-to-School hop. It started here at m3b, but the torch was passed to Heart of the Matter last year and that tradition continues this year as well. Find this week’s linky here: http://heartofthematteronline.com/2011/07/nbtsbh-2011-week-1/
Once upon a time, I used to blog a bit about homeschool. Now people are kinda surprised to find out that our family educates at home. Not sure why – maybe it’s the stereotype of the denim-jumper-wearing, ultra-religious, gaggle of closely spaced children that I do not fit. But really? Homeschoolers are allllllll types.
I get asked all the time why we chose to homeschool.
I guess, in the whole scheme of things, it’s kind of a non-issue for us. It’s simply not something I choose to out-source. Some people use daycare, some don’t, some nurse their babies, some don’t, some send their kids away for school, some don’t. *shrug* This works for us. I don’t believe everyone should do it. I won’t evangelize the benefits, and there’re many days I look at that yellow school bus longingly and wonder what I’d do with all that extra free time. It’s a lot of work. We love it anyway.
Sooo, this post is supposed to be curricula. But um, here’s a confession. I haven’t bought a single thing for my boys for this school year. Not a book, not a pencil… nothing, nada, zip. Yet.
But, I guess in theory, I kinda have mapped out what we’ll do. I’m not really a planner kind-of-a-girl, so, this may change.
6th Grade Curriculum
math: Singapore Primary Math. Stickin’ with what’s worked since kindergarten. 6a and 6b, CWP 5 considering supplementing with fun puzzles, games, maybe some Life of Fred, etc.
reading: This kid is a voracious reader. I have more trouble keeping up with him. I used to pre-read everything. I can’t keep up anymore. Various library and home-library investments throughout the year. He just finished the Hunger Games series today. We are considering buying the older boys Kindles this year to save on book costs and so they don’t fight over the new books.
writing: Aw, man. Shoot me. We own IEW, Writing Tales, and I’m considering Bravewriter. I think we attempted IEW too early. He couldn’t write because the kid couldn’t spell. He was frustrated at trying to get ideas on paper before he knew the mechanics, so maybe this is our year for a real successful writing curriculum? No idea. But the kid fills notebooks with his stories about Warrior Cats. The spelling is atrocious, the grammar isn’t too bad, and the mechanics are all over the place. Still, he’s writing. And I bought him a dictionary last spring.
spelling: Poor kid, inherited my natural spelling abilities. Which is to say, none. He will continue with Spelling Wisdom from the Charlotte Mason-esque philosophy and published by Simply Charlotte Mason. Copy work, dictation, memorization. Voilà.
grammar: Stickin’ with what works and what we know – Growing with Grammar. Perfect dose.
history / geography: The Story of the World. We’re on our second go around with this 4-year curriculum; this year will be medieval stuff. We do a lot of supplementing with period-based fiction, movies, plays, biographies about artists, scientists, and the who’s-who among the medieval A-list. We like the maps and activities in the SotW Activity book, and tend to get derailed with bunny trails in history. By far our most fun subject.
science: This is the first year Iowa law requires to report science. Prior, we’ve done experiments, raised butterflies, made things explode or light up or grow – or otherwise, just played with science. This year I need a legit “curriculum” to report, so we’ll probably do Real Science-4-Kids because *I* like their stuff. We were going to attempt this last year, but got derailed by other interesting stuff. I try to match science biographies with history, so this year will be Galileo, da Vinci, and the medieval greats.
memorization: A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme. Hands down one of the best investments I’ve ever made for homeschooling. We use this book daily; the boys memorize one and move on. They memorize a handful of poems each year, some of my choosing, some of theirs. This is one of my favorite parts of our days. Fond, fond memories already.
health: This year I’m going to attempt to teach health, reproduction and sex ed. Hold me.
art/music: Out-sourced music lessons and art classes at the museum.
4th / 5th Grade Curriculum
See above for: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, geography, science, memorization, health, art and music. Isn’t that convenient?
Math:Singapore Primary Math 4b, 5a and CWP 3.
1st Grade Curriculum
I have a non-traditional learner for my youngest student.
math: Horizons Math K-2 and 1-1. Horizons is colorful and interesting and keeps this wiggly boy’s attention.
reading: Read alouds with his older brothers during history, as well as books from Five in a Row, Sonlight, Ambleside and Veritas Press’s first grade reading lists. He’s asked to have me read aloud Harry Potter to him, as well. Read alouds are the thing he will sit still for. He will remain put and content for as long as someone is reading to him.
science, history, geography: he participates in all activities, experiments, read alouds, map-building, etc. Although they aren’t official subjects for him, he gains quite a bit simply by proximity and listening in. He has an affinity for coloring maps and tends to like scientist stories. I will miss the days when he is too big to crawl in my lap and sit and look and pictures and listen in on stories.
Sooo, um… I think that’s it. I know I’m missing something. Or a lot of somethings.
We are pretty laid back. They need a little motivation to kick-start, but once they get going, they are pretty self-directed. Even my wiggly, distracted, 5-minute-attention-span kid gets into it once he forgets it’s “school”. I try to keep things light and interesting so they have lots of time for Legos and playing outside as much as possible.
Please visit The Heart of the Matter to see other homeschooler’s plans. Thanks for stopping by.