Next Year: The Brain Dump

EG will be 10 and officially a fifth grader for the 2010-2011 school year. It's hard to believe that if she had gone to the local public school, 2010-2011 would be her last year before middle school. It's even harder to believe that it would be the only year she and FB would be in the same school building. He'll be five and officially a kindergartener. One of the benefits of homeschooling that was not originally in my list of advantages is the great sibling relationships that have developed and continue to strengthen.

So, next year. Let's cover FB first, because he's easier, relatively speaking. A lot of his depends on what progress he makes in reading between now and August. Since I cannot predict but can hope, I'm making plans based on his writing skills. Yes, I have a boy that writes well and prefers it above all else.

Language Arts: We'll continue using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, whether he realizes it or not (I can read it the night before and teach on the magnets or white board), as well as whatever level he's at in Handwriting Without Tears. I suspect he'll use the first grade book, as he's halfway through the kindergarten book now, and the HWT materials don't take a full school year to cover, as it is. We'll stick with copywork after he finishes the first grade book. I'll probably also start him on Writing With Ease Level 1 at the beginning of the year. At the appropriate point, whatever that may be, I'll start All About Spelling Level 1 with him.

Mathematics: The plan is to use Right Start B and also Miquon. He's done some in the Orange book so we'll see if he finishes it and moves on to Red during kindergarten or not. If not, no biggie, but I probably will include Red in an order from Rainbow Resource or Timberdoodle.

Read-Alouds: The tentative plan is to have two different read-aloud lists and times. One for literature - picture books and such - and one for nonfiction - science, math, history, geography, and so forth. I'd really like to use that latter time to introduce him to some American "mythology" since he won't officially cover American history until third grade.

Gravy: I have the CD-ROM of Visual Perceptual Skill Building Book One, and if I don't have him do those activities before next year, I will in the autumn. I also have a list of various science kits I'd like to do with him. Finally, we're going to do some basic art skills at the same time that EG does art skills - probably using ideas from Preschool Art and How To Teach Art to Children. We'll also continue with memory work. Because FB loves the Music for Little Mozarts curriculum that they use at Master's Academy for his class, I am really tempted to buy the piano curriculum and start teaching him to play myself, using it. It come with plush toys and I want to capitalize on his love of it... but I don't want to make him hate it. Decisions, decisions. He will still go to Master's Academy and I may enroll him in the class for five year old at homeschool band, but the latter depends on when it's offered in relation to when EG's band class is. He's plenty active on his own, but I want him to do gymnastics through the county program.

So that's the tentative plan for FB. I have most of the stuff needed, except the workbooks, science kits, and Right Start B.

EG has, of course, more subjects and needs more in-depth materials. The loose plans...

Language Arts: Finishing up All About Spelling Level 6 (assuming it is released this spring), and then...? Dropping spelling is a possibility; Megawords is another possibility. We're going to continue using MCT, which will cover grammar, vocabulary, poetry, and the curriculum aspect of writing. She'll also continue with memorizing poetry, and lots of cross-curricular writing, a la WTM. She'll either be finishing up Town and then proceeding to Voyage, or just doing Voyage. We shall see.

Mathematics: She'll start the year with Life of Fred Advanced Algebra. After that...? Ideally, I'd like for her to do some work in the Key to Geometry books, for some more basic geometry before tackling proofs and the like. I really want to save Geometry for sixth grade. So, primary curriculum after Advanced Algebra is finished? No idea. My sense of symmetry would love it if she could do Life of Fred Trigonometry without first doing Geometry. I also love the looks of the Art of Problem Solving materials... so perhaps she'll do Number Theory, Counting & Probability, or both before starting Advanced Algebra. So many choices!

Latin: I think we're going to go with Latin Prep 1 here. Since she'll have finished Lively Latin Book One as well as other Latin study, we're going to do it sans workbooks.

History: Back to the ancients! We're going to do this go-round of world history in just three years, and spend eighth grade doing United States history. The plan is to hit high school with the four year WTM-style rotation history/literature study, so I want that eighth grade year of American history first. I took History: The Definitive Visual Guide and split it up nicely for three years of study. It's basically the beginning of recorded history through 1000 C.E.

Science: Oh, science, how I love and loath thee. One day a week, I'm going to have EG read through Science Matters, watching relevant lectures from The Joy of Science in the evenings and on weekends, et cetera. The idea is to finish the lectures by the end of the school year, so if she's a few weeks behind, it's not a big deal. I also plan to have her work through the PLATO middle school science courses for both life science and earth & space science. I want to do an in-depth study of prehistory, evolution, & genetics with her, and this summer, I'm going to take a week and do a little "camp" for 4-6 kids on the human body. Somewhere in all of this, I also want to start a history of science course with her. I have no idea how this all going to unfold. Stay tuned. She wants to accelerate her science - which she is fully capable of doing - so this is all in service of that coupled with my desire for her to have a general science overview and a sense of how science fits into history. I find it highly ironic that it's science giving me fits. I took five science courses in four years in high school, went to Georgia Tech, et cetera. Go figure.

Fine Arts: EG will continue with piano lessons and playing trumpet in the homeschool band. She'll also continue attending Master's Academy. She has one forty-five minute period set aside each week for music appreciation. I think we'll go with the WTM recommendations for music. I plan to be more deliberate with her study of visual arts - there's a time set aside each week for art skills, as well as one set aside each week for art appreciation. I plan to have her go through the big DK Art book over the entirety of logic stage. We're going to concentrate on drawing next year as far as skills, using the WTM recommendations. Ideally, I will finally get it together for her to go to dance and theatre performances locally.

Physical Education: I'd like for her to be able to continue to swim one to three times a week. I don't know how well it will always work, but it's something for which to strive. Mainly, I don't see enrolling her in the stroke clinic class again, since it makes us far too dependent on the Y's schedule. When it's not rainy or cold, bicycling is a good option that can be done without traveling from home. I'd really like to find a nice yoga workout or similar that she could do periodically. We're also going to work on several of the Girl Scout badges that concern exercise and health.


Daisy said...

Looks like a great start to a new year. I was a little freaked out about Lydia starting fifth grade. Now I'm really freaked out about 6th. LOL.

I have a good idea of the direction we are going in but I make a promise to myself not to think about it until AFTER taxes. UUGH taxes.

Anyway, you are doing modern history this year aren't you? Don't know if you've heard of this book set in the Vietnam War but your daughter might enjoy it. Lydia did, anyway (I admit I didn't preread it though). http://www.amazon.com/Cracker-Best-Vietnam-Cynthia-Kadohata/dp/1416906371

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