Monday, August 13, 2012

School Plans for the '12-'13 Year

It's that time of year where I'm staring down the barrel of another homeschooling year (we're starting today!!). And because new school books make me all starry-eyed I'd thought I'd share what we'll be up to this year.  The planning part is always a lot of fun for me, mainly because I love the research of what is out there, but also because I get to purchase books and await their arrivals in little brown boxes.  It is kind of my own little Christmas morning. ;o)
This year I will have a kindergartener, a first grader, a third grader, and a fifth grader.  I would be lying if I said that there wasn't a bit of trepidation on my part to have my two boys, back-to-back, the older one still just barely sounding words out and absolutely no interest in "doing school" the younger one while excited (at least right now . . .) about the prospect of schoolwork likes to live his days footloose and fancy-free, chasing insects and ground squirrels in the back yard.  I'm so hoping (praying/begging) by the end of the year I'll have two more solid little readers.  But at this point it seems like A LOT.  I can't really fathom four learners.  I envision some crazy first few weeks as we find a new rhythm. 
But onto the books!
For Emmett's kindergarten year we'll be working our way through this:

(a simple phonics program with fun games)
(an add on with all the games printed up on heavy cardstock and ready for use)
(a simple little art book to expand his drawing skills beyond all things vehicular) ;o)

(He'll tag along with the girls' science curriculum, but he won't have a workbook for that, and probably end up doing some things along with Jackson too.)
For Jackson we're going back to My Father's World First Grade.  I already have it, and in my previous experience with it I liked the phonics in it as well as the Bible notebook he will get to work on.  He will also be doing Singapore Math, books 1A/1B and tagging along with the girls's science as well.
For Isabella and Marissa:
Our main history text will continue to be The Mystery of History (volume 3).  I'm really excited to be spending the year learning about the Reformation and Renaissance.  We're really going to be camping out in the 1455-1707 era for the entire school year.  The girls will continue to put together History Notebooks (which for the most part involves summarizing the reading of that day and illustrating it, but also any mapwork or applicable printables I find online).
We're going to do another Apologia science, this year it will be a bit of zoology in--
While the girls will work through the notebook that goes with the text, the boys will make their own science notebook (a binder with plastic slipcovers) for any pictures/etc. that we do.  I'm thinking the birds/insects will be RIGHT up their alley.  And since Josh IS a science teacher they also get the added benefit of going to his classroom here and there for his impromptu sessions on chemical reactions, electrocuting themselves with the Vandegraph machine, as well as vocbulary enrichment. (I'm sure you all have five year olds who tell you, "I'm stealing your thermal energy!!"). ;o)
Did I ever tell you about the time Josh brought home liquid nitrogen??  We froze bananas and tennis balls and then dropped them on the ground and they shattered!  It was pretty cool!
They'll also each be doing Singapore Math and Easy Grammar workbooks at the appropriate grade level for each.
Something new we're trying this year is this writing curriculum--
For Isabella:

For Marissa:
It's something put out by Susan Wise Bauer of "Well-Trained Mind" fame (at least among homeschoolers). ;o)  So, I'm curious to see if we will like it of not.  I like the fact it is all inclusive, as far as the reading selections, worksheets, etc.  And Marissa's is set up for a lot of independent work--added bonus. 
Marissa will keep working through these vocabulary books (she adores them and keeps the old copies to refer to for some big words when she needs them). ;o)  She does this in place of spelling.
And Isabella's spelling book is this--

Just your plain-jane workbook styled spelling, but it worked well for us last year (and didn't burn us out like one we had used before) so we're sticking with it.
And last but not least, they're own personal Bible studies on the book of James--
I'm excited for them to begin these studies (there's a whole bunch of them!) by Kay Arthur--I love her inductive Bible study method for adults and can't wait to get the girls digging into their own Bibles.  Moving away from our Lincoln church left big gaps--they have wonderful kids' programs there--and it is still something that makes me so sad.  I'm hoping this study will help.
That's the run-down of our books!  I'm hoping I still feel as excited about them next week as I do right now. ;o)  I'm also hoping to be better about Friday being some sort of organized nature study, and for that I have this for inspiration--
It has monthly ideas for nature study as well as just some simple ideas of what to put in a nature journal, like a "nature surprise sheet."  That's just a running list of surprises you come across outdoors--things you don't see every day.  So simple, but I never thought of that. Right now I have rosy-hued visions of us traipsing through fields and ditches with our field guides and nature journals in tow, sitting down to draw with colored pencils . . . But a fresh new year always does that to me.  ;o)


Anna said...

YAY! I always love hearing what great studies you have planned for your home classroom~ how inspiring. Praying it all goes well for you, Deary. . .hope you're stocked up on some highly caffeinated drinks! :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful plan for your homeschooling. It is always a blessing to see a younger woman fulfilling her calling in an God honoring way. The time you are investing now in your children's lives will be worth all the sacrifice. God's grace and blessings on your 2012-13 school year. Carolyn

Kathryn said...

Wow! Great job pulling all this together!! Looks like a great year and you know I will be praying for you. It can be overwhelming.....*so* grateful to know THE SOURCE of wisdom. We are doing the same Bible Study--I will learn right along with my guys, I'm sure!!