You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Curriculum for school year 2010-11

Like most homeschool moms, my summers are spent preparing for the upcoming schoolyear.  This year will be very different for us because:

~Jake graduated high school so no big kid to school this year.
~Shane is 4 so no diapers or baby.
~Shane has outgrown his wheat and corn allergies and Hank's ears and hearing have been declared 100%  so no weekly doctor appointments (Lord willing!).
~And our co-op has gone from meeting twice weekly to twice monthly. This is a huge change and frees up tons of time for me. Also since I just have just younger students, my co-op teaching obligation is less which is nice, too.

So what are we using this year?
Hank, 8 y/o, 3rd grade
~Tapestry of Grace, Year 1 for history, literature, Bible and geography
~ Math Mammoth- We'll finish level 1 which we started half way through last year and then he'll move on to Level 2.

~Prima Latina- We did this once a week in co-op last year, but the kids weren't required to do any of the seat work. Consequently Ella sat and drew pictures all through class. We're doing it again with the seat work. ;) The early grammar years are foundational and I don't want them to move on in Latin without a nice, solid foundation.

~ Astronomy - We love Apologia science. Even I understand and enjoy it and I am *not* a science-y person.

~ Rod and Staff -  for language arts and grammar. I love Rod and Staff for English and grammar. It's a nice, no frills and rigorous grammar program. I also love, love, love to diagram sentences (don't judge, we all have our thing :) ), and R&S offers a healthy dose of diagramming in the upper grammar and dialectic years.
~ All About Spelling -  This is another program we started mid-year this past school year. Hank blazed through Level 1 and began Level 2 but we got busy and I let fall by the wayside. We'll start this year with Level 2 and he'll probably make it to Level 3 before next Spring.

Ella, 6 y/o, 2nd grade
All the same stuff except she's doing Math Mammoth Level 1 for the whole year and All About Spelling Level 1. Math hasn't 'clicked' for Ella so we're happy to take it slow and be sure she has a solid foundation of understanding. She's very bright so we aren't at all concerned that her math progress hasn't matched her reading/art/handwriting/etc progress.

Shane will do crafts and activities with Ella and Hank, and he'll be hanging out during read aloud time.  I will also have him do some of his own crafts and worksheets from different workbooks we already own. He'll probably cut lots of paper and glue it to other paper because he loves scissors and glue a whole lot. Working on those fine motor skills while staying out of trouble is a good thing. :)

You may be wondering why a 3rd grader and a 2nd grader are doing essentially the same work- apart from math and spelling. Am I not requiring enough of Hank or requiring too much of Ella? Valid questions.

They do work out of the same  books, sit and listen to the same lesson, but I require more writing and substantive answers from Hank. So I may ask Ella what happened next in the story, but I'll ask Hank to explain why. Or Ella may need to name three adjectives that describe a cat, but I'll ask Hank to think of more as well as less obvious ones. I will often read a book or two to Ella and Hank about a history topic, and then read more indepth books to just Hank. So Ella will have a surface understanding while Hank and I will talk about additional key facts so he has a deeper understanding of the topic and so on.

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