Well if I’ve learned one thing talking to other homeschoolers it’s that I’m going to have my great plan, and it will take approximately 2-4wks before I am modifying it. I’m hoping the changes will be minor though because as much as I’ve loved researching and picking out curriculum it’s expensive! Of course that could just be my taste 🙂
I’ve decided to go with a Classic style, using The Well-Trained Mind as my guide. We used the OPGTR by the same authors to teach Brooklyn to read and it worked pretty well. Language arts is going to be a fairly big chunk of what we do. Grammar is important in the classical education and I bought the book First Language Lessons to use for that. It is nice and scripted, which will be good once we’re past nouns and verbs because I really don’t remember much of the terminology. Included in that is some memorization and copywork. I’ll likely add some copywork from our reading after she finishes her handwriting packet. Her penmanship needs just a little work so I pulled out the D’Nealian packets we never used from Kindergarten last year to give her some practice, though we should fly through those pretty quickly. After that copywork will serve 2 purposes: to continue working on her penmanship, and also to teach her to write by example from good writers. The theme for this years reading is suppose to be fairy tales and myths! I am planning to alternate ancient stories and myths to go along with our history with more recent fiction chapter books like Charlotte’s Web and James and the Giant Peach. Narrations will also be pulled from those. Narrations are asking her to dictate a couple lines from what we’ve just read, to make sure she’s listening and understanding. And to finish up LA will be a spelling program called All About Spelling. It’s not just a spelling list- there are tiles to play with and flashcards with spelling rules. Huh? Spelling rules?! This one we will be learning together, lol. I had no idea there was any reason WHY a word was spelled a particular way other than that’s how I’d read it somewhere before. Now I find out there’s a reason for choosing c vs. k vs. ck! That would have been helpful a loooong time ago.
Next up is math. I chose to go with Singapore Math because it focuses on real understanding, not just memorizing facts. Though you still have to do that too. Some people go with just the basic workbook, but I figured I could use all the help I can get so got the home educators guide (it has suggestions for how to teach since it looks a bit different from the way I learned, and plenty of games to play), the textbook (which is the pretty color book with examples to follow for the discussion part of the lesson) and the workbook (yep, find the answer, show your work). This program tends to be a bit advanced, so I shouldn’t be surprised Brooklyn tested into the 1-A level. I think it will be a bit easy to start since she has had some math, but I’d rather figure out how it works on review work than jump in over our heads and risk skipping an important concept.
History was probably the easiest choice. Story of the World. It seems to be one of those tried and true programs that everyone loves, so might as well give it a whirl. Study of history is also very important to the classical education, and is presented in chronological 4 year rotations (along with Science). We will be starting out with the Ancient Times, which is pretty much beginning of time to the fall of Rome. And yes, this book was written with the first grader in mind. Along with the text is an activity guide that lists extra books to get from the library and lots of hands-on projects. Mummified chicken anyone? Okay, so I may be skipping that one. And of course since I can’t leave well enough alone we’re going to modify the timeline a bit by reading the whole text (and doing narrations) first, and then do 2-3 week intensives from the AG. Especially looking forward to trying some of the recipes!
Last we have Science and Geography. For awhile I was pretty sure I was just going to write this myself. How hard could it be? After all I had my basic outline- ecosystems and animals in the fall and winter, and plants in the spring. Woo-hoo garden! Um, yeah. Started trying to pull together the details… not so easy. Kinda hard to find things to do with animals other than observation, and we don’t have any camels or sea turtles near by. But I found someone who had already done it. Phew. So I ordered Elemental Science last night. I still want to find a decent globe, but I wouldn’t want the UPS guy to forget where we live, so I’ll save that for later.
Do we sound busy enough? Really? Because that’s not all. It’s all I am going to teach, but it by no means makes a complete education. More on that later though. The sun is calling.