Our Homeschool Plans 2012-2013: Individual Subjects

Dear Reader,

I don’t usually post very specifically on what we are doing, but homeschool plans for the year seems to be the thing to do as September nears so  I thought I too would share some of our plans.

I have four kids who will be in grades 7, 6, 3 and 2. They start the day by doing their individual work, but then we do the bulk of our studies together. This post is just about the work they do individually. Part 2 will cover what we do together.

Each child has math. We are using a combination of Math-U-See and Life of Fred. I think at some point I should do a whole post on Life of Fred. I get  a lot of questions about it these days. We love it is the short story, but I could say more about how we use it and its strengths and weaknesses. We don’t do every problem in Math-U-See. If they are getting a concept, I let them skip a lot. We also don’t use the DVDs. Never have.

They also do foreign languages. The older two picked their languages. The 12-year-old is doing New Testament Greek using Open Texture’s curriculum which we have been very happy with. His interest was really in the classics, but I couldn’t find a good classical Greek curriculum for this age.

My second is doing French. We just switched to Rosetta Stone for that after trying two other curricula. Neither one ended up being very interesting long-term. So far so good with Rosetta Stone. If you decide to break down and buy it as I did, get it from the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. It is cheapest there.

The little two are doing Spanish using La Clase Divertida. This is a video based curriculum. My older two also used it when they were younger so we already had most of what we needed.

Everybody does some copywork or dictation. We use using Brave Writer’s materials, the Arrowand the Wand, for this. They give pre-selected passages with tips on what to highlight for the kids. I picked issues that used books my kids have already read. One thing I haven’t liked in the past is copywork books that use random passages from different sources we haven’t read with little context. This takes two days for each child. On the first I go over their passage with them and point out bits that might be tricky. On the second, they review the passage on their own, and then when they are ready they either copy it or I dictate to them. The oldest two do dictation. The third copies. The youngest is doing what they call French dictation in which she has a paper with some of the words left out of the passage and as I read it to her, she fills in only the missing words.

The younger two will also begin learning cursive this year. We use Handwriting without Tears for that.

We are not currently doing spelling but may add it in again as the year goes along. In the past we have used Sequential Spelling and Spelling Power.

As we get back into history, I also plan to require the older two to read certain books relating to our history study on their own and to narrate to me. The younger two read with me a couple of times a week.

I am trying something new with the older two in the realm of writing. I plan to once or twice a month do an exercise based on the classical progymnasmata system. Basically, we read a fable or narrative passage, they narrate it, they outline it or otherwise write the briefest summary of it, and then they write a new expanded version based on their short summary which adds to or changes it somehow. For example, they may make the story from a  different character’s perspective, or they may add dialogue where there was none. There is a lot of curricula for this, but for now I am trying to see if I can manage it on my own.

Lastly, my 10-year-old is learning piano with Simply Music.

Next time, I will cover the subjects we do together.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for this. Very interesting. I can’t wait to read your post about ‘Life of Fred’. We’ve been homeschooling for only 6 months and so my 7 year old has only done maybe 5 books (from the start) and had a good level of Maths from school already. So I have no idea whether it’s improving his Maths or not and we’re only using LofF. It’s too early to tell. I’ll really only know how well it works in a year from now and when I start my never-been-to-school daughter when she’s older 🙂


  2. Thanks for the feedback. My post on LOF will be out tomorrow. I woudl love to hera your feedback later on how it worked with your daughter.


  3. […] mentioned in my post on our homeschool plans that we have been using Life of Fred math and that I tend to get a lot of questions about it. So I […]


  4. […] In my own homeschool this year, I find that we are covering around nine subjects a day apart from the work my children do independently like their math and foreign language. It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But many of these […]


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