After December Comes 2011.

And, of course, 2011 means that after 2010-2011 is over, there will be 2011-2012. How'd that happen, again?

When it comes to next year and my two students, there's one for whom it's easy to list what we'll be doing. Then there's my darling EG.

Thank goodness for Michael Clay Thompson's language arts. We'll be using the entirety of the level four package - grammar, poetics, vocabulary, and composition. We'll also be continuing to use All About Spelling through the planned seventh level (no, we haven't started the sixth level; that will happen after Christmas, hopefully).

Everything else? Is vague.

Literature… I am taking a serious look at Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings, possibly done through the onlineg3 class. That would cover September, October, November, December, and January, leaving me with a month at the beginning of our school year, as well as the remainder of the school year after January. I need to look at what we're going to do in history through the end of this school year, and restructure that literature accordingly. Then, I'll have a better sense of what other works I want her to read next year.

Mathematics… EG loves Fred, so I won't take her from her beloved Life of Fred for Geometry, even though I think the idea of putting "algebra" in a proof for any algebraic property is bunk. I've looked through the text, though, and anticipate it taking only 108 days, leaving plenty of room in the schedule for her to work through the proofs and end of chapter problems, if not the entire book, from Art of Problem Solving's Introduction to Geometry. All of that said, if next year is like every other year with math, she'll accomplish more than I suspect possible at the outset, so I'd better buy up Life of Fred Trigonometry. (I half-think she'll start Geometry before the end of 2010/2011.)

Social Sciences… I have to reconfigure my expectations for this year. Once I make sure she can finish the middle ages and the Renaissance, then I can begin to move forward. Tentatively, though, I'm looking at Ellen McHenry's Excavating English, as well as her Mapping the World with Art. I also have plans to pull together an economics study, and United States government, plus a world history course focused through the lens of food. All of this is for sixth and seventh grade (and possibly part of the remainder of fifth grade, to be honest), so here's another area where things are totally up in the air.

Science… I'm seriously considering having her tackle chemistry next year, as opposed to biology. Why? For starters, this year, we've spent and will spend a lot of time on biological topics. PLATO Life Science, yes, but also a human body study, a prehistoric life study, and a focused study of evolution and genetics. I love biology, but I do not want to burn her out on biology! Chemistry also fits more neatly into my Hogwarts school plans. We'll probably supplement science in other areas, thanks to Hogwarts, but I can find a chemistry program designed for homeschooling so much more easily. I'm actually seriously considering Spectrum Chemistry, even though I've sworn for years that I wouldn't buy any science materials from an obviously sectarian or creationist company. As far as I can tell, though, from all my reading and investigating, there's nothing in it to which I would object. It seems to be a 32 week course, with only three days of work expected in a week. Since we do core subjects four days a week, that gives us the flexibility to add enrichment (Caveman Chemistry, anyone?) as well as the other Hogwarts sciences (astronomy and herbology/botany).

German… I am considering enrolling the kids in a German Saturday school. I'm also making doe eyes at a friend who knows German to teach the kids. We may do both. Who knows? Not me!

Fine Arts, Skills… EG will continue with trumpet instruction and participation in band. She will audition for the "Advanced Band" and may apply to join Beginning Jazz (admission based on qualifying for Advanced). I think she'd like to continue piano lessons, even though my requirement of two years piano instruction will be met at that time. If she doesn't do any formal drawing instruction this year, it will definitely be on the list for next year. I'm going to outsource it, though, either by getting my mother to do it (with Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) or by paying for outside instruction.

Fine Arts, Appreciation… Performances will continue to be important. I'd like her to attend two ballet performances, at least one musical performance in addition to the band concerts, and one to three theatre performances. I really would like to take her to an opera if there's an accessible one being performed nearby. She'll continue working through The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music History for, well, music history and world music appreciation, and Art for art history. I hope to renew our membership to the art museum, as well.

Logic… Unless something drastically changes, EG will be using The Snake and The Fox. I anticipate it taking one-half to two-thirds of the year. I also have Nonsense about fallacies, and a list of possibilities saved on amazon, to round out the year. Thanks to onlineg3, she'll have done both Critical Thinking 1 & Critical Thinking 2 this year, which should be a good basis for all of this. I also have some books on mathematical logic by Suppes, though I have no answer key for either. I think that's the point where I outsource, right?

Computers & Technology… I want EG to take some of the free classes and workshops offered at the Apple store. Ideally, I'd like her to take Art of Problem Solving's introduction to Python in seventh grade, so our main goals for sixth grade are to improve typing speed and to get comfortable with basic software usage.

I really want to have everything finalized by March, which means I will have a busy two or three months ahead of me. Why March? We're going to Greenville! (I'm so excited. Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise, Jim Weiss, Michael Clay Thompson, Ed Zaccaro, plus Tim Hawkins. Yay!)


Smrt Mama said...

I'd be interested to see how Ellen McHenry's course stacks up against the History of the English Language and History of American English courses I've taken. I was thinking of trying to adjust those to a younger age level, but if McHenry's is decent, I could save myself the trouble.

Do me a favor and write your Hogwarts stuff down in great detail. Since we're doing bio next year and Captain Science doesn't turn 11 until halfway through the year, I'm considering Hogwarts-schooling for the next school year.

I kind of expect you to put EG into my digital literacy and/or blogging class next year, you know.

Gretchen said...

I'm glad EG is a year ahead of Ari, or these posts of yours would freak me out even more ;). I have Mapping the World With Art on my list for next year, too (and maybe Excavating English the following year). And maybe Duke TIP's King Arthur thing if Growing Up Heroic is reasonably successful this year.

MelW said...

I can hook you up with the opera :)

Gretchen said...

Oh! Also, did you hear that MCT's next project is supposed to be some literature studies? guides to go along with particular books, I think. I'm hoping he hurries up with those, so I can start using them with Ari next year.

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