It *must* be summer – I’ve been too busy to blog! (Ha.) The curtain is closing on the summer of 2012 (well, not in terms of the weather, but at least in terms of my planning for a new school year). We have a few exciting things coming up – Chris’ 33rd birthday is today; next week the kids and I are taking a trip to the ATL to see my brother, sister-in-law, and their boys; and the first Saturday of August is The Big Latch-On (for me and Abigail and hundreds of other nurslings around the country). And then… the first full week of August… we’re planning to start our school year.
Our county schools go back on Wednesday of that week, and while I have no obligation to start on their timeline, I know that I have a proclivity to take lots of extra days off when the kids get squirrelly in November. And February. And whenever else lack-of-inspiration strikes. I also have two kids who are currently meandering through the new schoolroom space on a daily basis, asking/whining, “Can we do school YET?” So we’re going to carpe the heck out of that diem, and start while the starting is good.
Here’s my game plan for the 2012-2013 school year:
Abigail: 10 months- 20 months old
The schoolroom currently holds her baby swing and a wire bead maze, the base of which doubles as storage for toys she likes. I’ll rotate these out as needed throughout the year. Her “curriculum” revolves around nursing, napping, crawling around the room, and simple songs and board books – typical baby stuff.
I’m hoping to begin a playgroup for infants through Primary-aged kids (*ahem*just like my family!*ahem*) through our homeschool group in the fall. I still miss our playgroup in NKy; it was always especially nice to let our babies be around other babies! If I can get it off the ground, hopefully it will become another activity we can plan on weekly. I don’t believe it’s necessary for a baby to have anything (class/playgroup/etc) to attend, but it is certainly nice for mamas!
Susannah: 3½- 4½ years old, Prekindergarten(3)
We have loved everything about the Parents’ Day Out program at Settle Memorial UMC since Susannah started in January. We’re going to continue letting her attend; in August she’ll begin going Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00-12:30. While she’s there, she does lots of painting, clay, dramatic play, blocks, crafts, outside play, and other usual offerings in a preschool-type setting. She absolutely adores the teachers and other kids (although her dearest friend L. is going to move “up” to the church’s official Preschool in the fall, and I’m hoping Susannah won’t be too upset over not seeing her buddy every day). She’s quite an extrovert, so we’ve found that having lots of opportunities to be with a big group of kids really “charges her batteries”.
In the afternoons MWF, she’ll be free to jump into Jonas’ lessons in Art, Music, and Science (more about these in a minute).
I’m trying to structure our Tuesdays and Thursdays as a “best of both worlds” scenario – Jonas needs to retain some of the routine he will follow MWF, but we can’t be as intensive with Susannah along for the ride. (She would get bored, and if you know my little firecracker you know that boredom is deadly where S is concerned!) I’ve got a couple of PreK3 workbooks for her, because I have a hunch she’s going to want to “do school” just like Jonas does; I’ve also got a bin of manipulatives and games tucked away that will only be for school time so she can stay close with us – and hopefully stay out of trouble – while doing her own thing.
Jonas: 6½ – 7½ years old, 2nd grade
The plan for Jonas this year is to try to accomplish much of our bookwork and lessons together on MWF mornings, while Susannah is busy at PDO. We’ll do independent work, and activities that lend themselves well to working-on-multiple-levels-with-little-sisters, when she’s home with us in the afternoons and on Tuesdays/Thursdays.
Math: A Beka Arithmetic 2
Science: A Beka “Enjoying God’s World” 2
Music: “Meet the Orchestra” (Veritas Press), introductions to Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, & Debussy, and hopefully attending a youth performance at the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra
Art: making our own art appreciation curriculum by viewing art books and Internet resources and then trying our hand at artwork in a similar style as the Masters
Physical Education: Karate lessons 1 hr 3x weekly, Homeschool Gym 2hrs 1x weekly
Language Arts – Handwriting: Zaner-Bloser Cursive
Language Arts – English: Shurley English 2 (may drop this if I feel the writing exercises in TOG are enough)
Language Arts – Phonics: A Beka Handbook for Reading
Language Arts – Literature (and spelling/vocab); History; Geography; Bible: Tapestry of Grace, Year 1
I’m probably the MOST excited about beginning Tapestry this year. It presents history chronologically, so this year we’ll cover Creation through the Fall of Rome. It’s an integrative curriculum, so while we are studying historical events we’ll be doing our literature readings about the same time & place. We’ll do writing exercises in the same vein, and –this is the part Jonas is super excited about!– we’ve got projects and arts activities galore to complete. In fact, in future Year cycles of Tapestry, I could even sync up our Art and Music studies so that we look at artists from the time periods we are working on.
I do have a routine/schedule mapped out, but it will likely need to be tweaked as we go the first few weeks. Once we settle into something that feels like it’s working, I’ll be happy to share it here.
I’m off to finish dinner for the birthday guy, and enjoy the last few days of our summer.