(I had a post all written up last night about the curricula we’re going to use and WordPress kindly enough did not auto save it for me. So when I went to save it it disappeared. I cried a little.)
I’m already learning Latin without having to crack open a book. Why can’t they just add an ‘s’ onto the end of a word to denote a plural? And why isn’t it curriculi like cacti? I’ll find out soon enough since Latin is one of the subjects we’ll be taking up this coming school year. I’m still in the planning stages but here is what I’m planning on teaching and the curricula we’re planning on using.
History, geography, language arts, literature, art: All of these will be covered with Tapestry of Grace. I can’t rave enough about this program. TOG is a classical Christian program that teaches from creation to the present day in four years. You can then repeat the material for four more years in the middle school ages and four more years in the high school ages. The cool thing is that with each cycle you get deeper and deeper into the material. Another cool thing is that there are so many options with TOG and you can choose to use as much or as little as you want. In the upper levels TOG also covers philosophy and government. All encompassing.
Latin: It’s always easier for people to learn languages when they’re younger. This coming year both Reagan and I will start Latin with Memoria Press’ Prima Latina. It is described as a gentle introduction to Latin. AND it also includes review of English grammar (the parts of speech) so Prima Latina will also cover grammar!
French: We’ve worked for two years on memorizing vocabulary and social phrases. I’m either going to create my own program that will focus on learning more vocabulary, social phrases and French culture. If I go with a curriculum it will be Memoria Press’ First Start French and work that over two years. I may take their scope and sequence and pick and choose the things I want to teach.
Bible: We’re getting back to the basics this coming year. I think I’m going to order Memoria Press’ Christian Studies. It basically helps your child learn the stories of the Bible more in depth. And while learning the stories we’ll be able to cover Christian character as well. I guess I could just do this myself without a curriculum, but I think their teacher manual has guiding questions and ideas to study further. Reagan also does AWANA where she memorizes verses each week. I’m going to have her write these out in cursive and this will be part of her handwriting work.
Science: My desire is to just buy a book of experiments and do a couple of those a week. Then if there’s something we need or want to cover more deeply we can take time to do that. Reagan loves science. Her first day of science ever we did an experiment with water and food coloring to learn about primary and secondary colors. The science that we’ve been doing lately has been more reading and book work and less experiments. I fully admit this is my fault, but that’s why I want to get away from workbook curriculum. HOWEVER, I was doing some research and came across Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany. Reagan loves flowers and plants and to be able to devote a year to learning more about them would be awesome for her. I just have to do more research to figure out if there are enough hands-on things to do with this curriculum.
Spelling, Phonics: We used All About Spelling this year and worked through Levels 1-4. It was a great review for phonics and spelling rules. Different curricula teach spelling in different ways. Some teach a graduated type of spelling (all, hall, install); some teach sight words. All About Spelling uses phonograms (letter and letter combo sounds) and actual spelling rules at the same time. Once you know the rules and know the most common rule breakers there aren’t many words that you can’t spell. It also uses methods that teach to all three main learning styles (visual, audio and kinesthetic). So this year we’re going to work through Levels 5 and 6. If we finish these before the year is over we’ll just do continuous review.
Math: Here is where I’m deviating far from the norm. I’m contemplating not teaching a formal curriculum at all. I’d like to focus on teaching Reagan cooking and sewing while incorporating math into the learning. I call it experiential learning. There will be plenty of time in a couple of years to pick up anything she might miss. We will continue to memorize and review her addition, subtraction and multiplication tables.
PE: We’re going to continue with dance classes, gym classes, swimming lessons, etc. Du would like to create some kind of PE work to do with her. I’m leaving that up to him.
Music: I’m going to wait several years before we start having Reagan learn an instrument, UNLESS she begins to show a strong interest in one earlier. I’d say with all we’ve got going on above we’re going to be busy enough.
Looking back at everything above it looks like a lot. But it’s not a bad schedule. We’re only adding Latin, but we’ll be taking away the stress of workbook material in math, science and Bible. This year a normal day can take anywhere from four to six hours, including lunch and break time. Since I’m going to be including cooking and sewing this coming year schooling will happen all throughout the day. And this is one of the great things about homeschooling: making the school fit your lifestyle.
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the curricula we’ve used in the past or are thinking about using. My next post will be about the dilemmas and questions most people face when thinking about homeschooling, so please send me your questions about that. I’d love to give my opinion, as limited as it may be.