Thursday, June 2, 2016

Curriculum Choices (2016-2017) for 4th, 2nd and Preschool

I can't believe I'm sketching out curriculum plans for next year!  Obviously things could change over the next couple of months, but I'm pretty confident in most of our choices.

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Next year I'll still have two official students, one who thinks she's a student, and one who will likely just climb all over us and make a lot of noise!

Elliott -- 4th Grade
Emory -- 2nd Grade
Eleanor -- Preschool (3/4)
Eloise -- Toddler Tag-Along

Language Arts
  • Logic of English 
    • Foundations - Because Emory does so well with it and I love it!
    • Essentials - Because Elliott asked to do something similar to Emory.  I think he was a wee bit jealous of the games.  I have the first edition (from a review) and I think we are ready for it now, and will focus on the spelling.
  • Cursive instruction (Elliott) though I'm undecided what program I want to use this year
  • Here to Help Learning - I want to at least finish the flight we were working on.  This is primarily for Elliott, though Emory participates occasionally.
  • Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization because it's fabulous and we all three love it!
  • Various poetry and literature selections 
That seems like a lot for one year just for language arts, but I'm thinking I will have Elliott only use HTHL at first, since it is a subscription.  Then when he finishes, transition to LOE Essentials, as it can be done in 8-16 weeks based on one of their scheduling suggestions for focusing on spelling.  Emory's Foundations includes all areas of language arts so he's only doing one "thing" each day and it's all encompassing.  Poetry memorization and literature are family activities.

Geography, government and state history (also specifically required by our state) will be covered in context to the time period being studied.  State history will also be covered informally as we take local field trips to get to know our new area!  I will probably do a full post on this subject to elaborate on some of the reasons behind the choice and the substitutions and supplemental materials I plan to use . . . so expect that coming soon!

  • Math-U-See
You can't fix what isn't broken!  

  • Chemistry - This is Elliott's request . . . mostly because he wants to do the experiments.  Since I haven't found an elementary chemistry curriculum that I believe is "right" for our needs, this will be the first time I ever write a curriculum for us.  It will be based on living books and experiments.  I'll definitely post more on that as it comes about!
  • Exploring Nature with Children - This is a CM thing, but also Emory's preferred area of science, so there's something for everyone on our schedule.  I really like the weekly prompts and extra ideas in this, though I wish it had a student book.  I may create one with, which I'm currently reviewing.

  • Typing - This isn't something we've been consistent with, but with Elliott using the computer more to type stories and such, he needs to start a typing program before developing bad habits
  • Coding- Elliott asked if he could make his own video games, so I pulled out two complimentary resources I'd been given and he has started working through them in his free time.  I'm not making this into an assignment--I just want him to enjoy it!

Emory isn't really interested in these types of activities yet, but he gets basic computer skills in when he occasionally requests to do school on the computer--I usually pull up a phonics or math website to let him review.  

Fine Arts
  • Picture Study - I have some ideas and resources to tie our art appreciation in with our history this year, so we'll be focusing on that angle.  I'll share more when I flesh out our history plans.
  • ARTistic Pursuits - for our creative outlet, and various other resources will be strewn and available at all times
  • Music - I'm thinking we'll focus on patriotic songs this year to go with history; I also have some Maestro Classics for the car and some other resources we might use

  • Bible/Scripture - The boys will continue with AWANA at a new church next year, but I'm just not sure what we're going to do for group time yet.  I'll share more when I decide.
  • There are some other subjects like Health, Physical Education and First Aid/Fire Safety that are required by the state, but are more informal and have always been covered through other subjects, real life application, or outside classes
  • Classes, co-op, sports and other extra-curricular activities are still undecided.  Since we just moved at the "end" of the traditional year, I'll spend some time becoming familiar with what is offered in the area and hopefully we'll find some activities that will work for our family

I did share Eleanor's Preschool Plans too.  Her "plans" are not structured or scheduled, because that's just not my style, particularly for her age.  They are, however, my go-to resources.  They are resources full of ideas, inspiration and encouragement for the type of environment I want for the preschool years.  These books offer me a starting point when my momma brain is fried, but they are simple and engaging and educational and fun, all rolled into one for my sweet little learner!

Have you started planning yet, or are you already finished?

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  1. Lots of great choices here! We are using Foundations B Christ our Messiah for Bible time as a family. It's a multi-age Bible curriculum. Looks fabulous.