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I think this is our lineup for the year. I have honestly changed my mind a few times over the last several weeks and bounced back and forth a little on this decision, but I think I've figured out loosely what I want to "do" this year! These are the subjects that my 5th and 3rd graders will be doing together . . .
A History of Science - Beautiful Feet Books
When I first saw this course, I knew I wanted to try it. It just looked delectable! When we started Early American History last year, I found myself on the website looking at it, and Elliott said "I want to do that one!" The boys love science. Their favorite book from history last year was the Benjamin Franklin biography. I'm really excited for this course. I just had to wait until Emory was old enough for it. It is written for 3rd-7th grade, with a suggested pace of 3 lessons/week for middle schoolers, but a slower pace for younger students. We're going to loop it with the geography, so it might take us longer than a year and I'm okay with that. It's a pretty heavy course and I'd rather go slow and enjoy it, then feel we have to cram it all in by some arbitrary deadline. We will get a lot of history through the biographical approach, while still studying the scientific principles of many scientists. It appears to cover a wide variety of topics, giving us a general overview year (or more) for science. History and science, all rolled into pretty living books? Yes, please!
Geography through Literature - Beautiful Feet Books
I've been wanting to try this one for awhile too! We already own a couple of the Holling C. Holling books and they are great, but I haven't been able to use them to their full potential. I think the boys will love the mapping, so I ordered them both a set of maps. This is a robust course if completely fleshed out, and could easily be expanded into a history/science/geography literature study if you wanted. It very much reminds me of Five in a Row, in that sense.
Five in a Row - Mixed Volumes
We will continue to intersperse FIAR as desired. These books are just lovely for all ages! I almost want to weep for the parent who thinks their child is too old for picture books (or the child that thinks this of themselves) because surely we are never too old to appreciate a well-written and beautifully illustrated book! I'll probably also use some of the other books that we aren't specifically rowing for the basis of some of our literature/language arts studies as well, especially Beyond for Elliott.
We are using A History of Science for science, but because it uses the biographical approach and includes so much history, I don't want to overload the kids at this age with another full history curriculum. I feel like the better option is to start with some "overview" living books and see where that takes us. I bought this book, A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich, to use as a spine. I found good reviews and felt like it was the best choice for our needs. If we find specific interest in a topic, I have plenty of resources (Great Empires, ARTistic Pursuits, various reference books, etc) to expand, and of course we'll add living books and documentaries.
Elliott will also be keeping a Book of Centuries for all subjects, and this will help with the cohesiveness of study.
Small Adventures Journal: A Little Field guide for Big Discoveries in Nature
I bought both boys one of these journals, because we do a lot of impromptu nature study through our outdoor time, but I struggle with intentional studies. The journals have some interesting prompts to help us get started, but they can do it fairly independently without much guidance from me, before we move on to more traditional nature journals as we get better at it. Since some of the activities will need to be recorded in a separate book, they'll use these in conjunction with their regular nature journals.
I have more to share - more literature, fine arts and other enrichment studies, as well as the boys' 3rd and 5th grade curriculum choices, but I have already written about Eleanor's Pre-K Plans.
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