care to join me?
I have spent so many hours the last couple of weeks thinking about our curriculum for next year, and how we are going to do things, when we are going to start and take breaks...and just all those other things. I have filled half of a composition notebook with nothing but ideas and different choices.
Yesterday I felt as if I finally had a really good and doable list. Then as I was laying in bed waiting to doze off it struck me that *I* really like those materials, but do they really fit the kids' learning styles? Have similar materials that I keep picking out time and time again really been successful? The answer was: No. What has worked - worksheets, close-ended projects, work that doesn't require long, drawn out discussions by moi. And, limited read-alouds (there went my dream academy of us all curled up together reading book after book).
Then this morning as I was perusing some of my haunts I came across a link for Home School Learning Network. What caught my eye first was unit studies because I plan on using a number this coming year, but then I started reading my way through the 'structured' plans. And while I wouldn't put them up in the spectacular bracket, it really got me thinking that for this coming year I would like to have a little more 'help' in the planning.
Since we have begun I have been all about planning just about everything myself, except for math. And, I'm kind of tired here at the end of this year. Next year Mary will be in 3rd grade, Katie in 1st, Emily has already started asking for things and she will join us more in the middle of the year, and Robbie turns two in October and he is already pretty curious and headstrong at just shy of 18months. My priorities for the year are for Mary, writing; and for Katie, reading.
I was looking at the HLN plans for 1st and 3rd, with a little tweaking and rearranging I can have the schedule so that Mary and Katie are studying similar topics in history and science, sometimes sharing the same unit study and sometimes two different levels. But, I also feel a little bit like I'm selling out my ideals and settling for a school at home. It isn't like I have to use everything there - I can use what I want and leave the rest behind. Me not being in total control - it is a little scary and a little freeing.
What I have as of bedtime tonight:
foreign language - Prima Latina (Mary's request to add it in, again)
Math - Horizon's Math 3rd Grade
Phonics - OPGTR (last half of the book)
Grammar - Simply Grammar & online grammar worksheets
Handwriting - Cursive
Literature - Ambleside Online Reading List - Year 2/3
HLN's: spelling, history/geography, science and art programs and unit studies
Nature walks & journal
**Mary's writing will definitely be getting a workout. There is a big jump in the expected amount of writing on projects from 2nd to 3rd grade. I will also be employing writing prompts and journal writing.
Horizon Math 1st grade
Handwriting Worksheets & copywork
Older Dick & Jane-type basal readers
HLN's: spelling, language arts, history/geography, science and art
Ambleside Online - Year 1 Reading list for literature
Nature walks & journal
Soccer?? (we'll see how this season goes)
This seems doable for us, especially if I can gel my ideas for working around a toddler & preschooler better. I just need to get over the guilt of not doing it all.