Saturday, August 13, 2011

State of the Homeschool Address :: Year 3

With such a busy summer this year, school prep was squeezed in when i could.  After some work this week (thanks Mom, for enduring hours of "Felt World" play with Cookie over the cell phone!), i am happy to report that we have a plan. 

Not that i am certain of how our daily routines are going to go, but we at least have a scope and sequence!!  How we are going to fit it in, well....that is to be determined.

2011 - 2012 Subjects (aka Appeasing the State of Washington Re: Their "11 Required Subjects" ):

Math, Grammar, Writing, Spelling, Reading, Chemistry, History, Latin, Art/Art History, Music, Irish Dancing, Swimming, and Religious Ed.

Okay, okay, that's not eleven.  So there's two more thrown in for good measure. :)

The lowdown:

Math - we will be finishing up Saxon 3 from last year.  We made it all the way through to Lsn 117 before i went off on my tangent on loosening up the homeschool scheduled scene around here.  Especially because really, how do you make it relevant to an 8 year old that they need to master Pre-Algebra theories now, because someday they will need them.  Truthfully, the Saxon 5/4 book is scaring me.  Not wanting to put pressure on my wee Cookie, i want her to play with the new skills she's just acquired through multipication tables and such.  Since she is a year ahead anyway, i am going to present math more as a puzzle now.  I really like the Saxon program, but we need to approach it more as a puzzle/game than a "lesson of the day".  That way, hopefully it will be more like the approach to good lit...introduce the little brains to bits of the bigger ideas now and later they will be comfortable with the process when more may be required.  And once we are finished with the text, we'll be delving into living math texts like Math on the Menu, where students help figure out the costs of starting and maintaining a restaurant business, and Checkbook Math, and starting our own little math curriculum here with our finances--maybe grocery math at first.  Toward next spring, we'll start easing our way into Saxon 5/4--maybe after our annual testing.

Grammar - we'll be continuing with Jessie Wise's First Language Lessons for the third grade this year.  We like the scripted lessons that we can both read together--little bits of learning at a time--with sweet poems for Cookie to memorise sprinkled inbetween.  And this year we start diagramming sentences; something i am sorry to say was not a part of my elementary curriculum.  We'll both be learning something new this year.

Writing - now that Cookie enjoys writing, we're going to hit the dictation hard and heavy.  Writing With Ease is another book by the Wise family--Jessie's daughter Susan Wise Bauer.  In it, she reinforces grammar basics through classic literature.

Spelling - we are taking some time off of Spell to Read and Write and going back to Spelling Workout.  Spell to Read and Write is a good program, however we are getting bored with it because even their "fun" exercises are hard work for us.  So, since Cookie likes crosswords and cursive now, she wanted to try Spelling Workout again.

Reading - we're still working through our Shakespeare and Canterbury Tales; King Arthur and all that. 

Chemistry - Cookie can't wait to get started on Chemistry.  She loves learning these magic tricks. :)
During the year we'll also get into some geology...we found a great rock hound curriculum that goes into chemical make up of rocks. 

History - We're still working our way through the Middle Ages.  Around March 2012, we'll enter into the Early Modern Times (1600 - 1850's).

Latin - we are starting with Prima Latina this year.  Cookie's really excited about this.  It will be interesting to see how it helps her with English and when we learn another language later down the road.

Art/Art History - we will continue reading about our favourite artists; books like Chasing Vermeer and such.  We have been toying with chalks and oil pastels.  We'll need to do more drawing this year.  Our goals are also to visit the art museums two times and attend three children's theatre productions:  Frog and Toad, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and Robin Hood. 

Music - with all the Irish dancing, Cookie is learning timing.  The piano we've kinda falling off of, but i figure we can listen to classical music in the car to and from classes. :)

Irish Dancing -  this summer, Cookie solidified her standing as Novice in her softshoe dances.  She started dancing in hardshoe numbers too.  She'll have classes twice a week again, hoping to get ready to compete in another feis or two in October.

Swimming - we'll be starting again soon.

Religious Ed - the last two years were grueling, completing over 200 lessons written by our deacon at our church.  Cookie aced the test for First Communion.  Now, the deacon would like the kids to come back to live out their faith.  It sounds like we'll be doing more hands on project to give to the community this year.  Should be great!

We officially start in a couple weeks.  We are going to finish up a few loose ends on vacation (constellations--because where we'll be we can actually see them.)  :)  Wish us luck! :)

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Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!