Homeschool Plans 2015-2016

Dear Reader,

The “homeschool plans for the upcoming year” post is almost mandatory, isn’t it? To make my own life easier, I am going to copy and paste below what I send into our town for each child and then add in notes in bold to give you  a little more detail. My kids will be in 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th grades in the fall.

Keep reading . . .

Nebby

The 5th Grader:

Math: Decimals using Life of Fred Decimals and supplementing with Math-U-See Decimals

What I have been doing is having my kids work through LOF and then do the tests from the MUS test booklet to make sure there are no gaps in their knowledge. Occasionally there are concepts I want to stop and reinforce but for the most part they seem to be learning what they need to from LOF.

Science: The Storybook of Science, Signs and Seasons, I am Joe’s Body, regular nature journaling We really slacked off on nature study this year but I am hoping I can get at least one kid back into it next year! The others all have their own science for next year so I am planning to just do some random things with my youngest. My general science advice is don’t rush into formal science too quickly; enjoy those years when you can just do nature walks and read living books together.

Foreign Language: Swedish using Duolingo (tentative) Very, very tentative. I really don’t know what to do with foreign language with either of my younger ones. They both want to do weird languages when I ask them. This one’s first choice is Eskimo (she has a thing about walruses) but there is no way that is happening. We had been using La Clase Divertida Spanish curriculum but have finished the 3 year video program of that. How do you teach languages if you don’t know them?? My second one tried French with 3 different curricula including Rosetta Stone but none worked for long and I wasn’t able to help her much. Spanish at least I can muddle by through but do I insist they do it because I can manage it?

English: Spelling with Spelling Power, grammar with Easy Grammar Plus and KISS Grammar, weekly copywork and independent reading, narration of other school books; study one Shakespeare play with family We had been given a copy of Easy Grammar Plus and were working through it this past year. We just have the last bit on punctuation left so I think we will do that and then switch back to KISS Grammar. I really like KISS’s approach. I also pledge to be more diligent in preparing for their copywork/dictation so that we are getting specific things from each assignment. Our Shakespeare play for the year will be Macbeth.

History: American history from Polk through 1900 using a variety of living books We read a spine book together and then they each read books on the same period at their own level. Find our past booklists here.

Geography: online map drills, weekly geography lessons combined with current events based on Why Greenland is an Island, Australia is not, and Japan is up for Grabs

This book gives a series of steps one uses to read a news story and study the geography related to it. I am hoping to implement this one a month or so and use it to study different areas of the world that are big in the news. I’ll probably post on how that goes when we try it.

Fine Arts: weekly fiddle lessons and daily practice, art and music studies with family I havent completely decided how to do fine arts this year but I think we will concentrate on folk music for the music bit.

Technology: Computer Programming in Python using Hello World

Bible: daily reading of the Bible I think I will give my youngest two specific assignments using the series The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study which we had been using as a family previously.

The 6th Grader:

Combined Math and Science: Pre-Algebra using Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Physics and Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Biology, supplemented with Math-U-See Pre-Algebra and various living books I just discovered LOF now had Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics. That makes 3 years of pre-algebra. How am I supposed to fit that all in? Sure, I could skip some but we love LOF around here. My solution is to let it be both his math and science for the year so he can spend double the time on it. I am hoping he will get through the Physics volume and at least half the biology volume. See above for how we supplement LOF with MUS. The “various living books” would be science books, not math books.

Foreign Language: German with DuoLingo (tentative) Also very tentative. In addition to the problems mentioned above, this child is pretty bad at hearing things well. He did get speech therapy till he was 5 or 6 and even his English is not always intelligible to his family. How is he to learn another langauge? (Not a rhetorical question; I am open to suggestions.) I am trying to convince him to do a dead one since the speaking part is less important.

English: Spelling with Spelling Power, grammar with Easy Grammar Plus and KISS Grammar, weekly copywork and independent reading, narration of other school books; study one Shakespeare play with family

History: American history from Polk through 1900 using a variety of living books

Geography: online map drills, weekly geography lessons combined with current events based on Why Greenland is an Island, Australia is not, and Japan is up for Grabs

Fine Arts: weekly trumpet lessons and daily practice, art and music studies with family

Bible: daily reading of the Bible

The 9th Grader:

Math: Geometry using Discovering Geometry from Key Curriculum Press I am using something different for this child. LOF doesn’t seem to work well for her. I got this textbook from a friend whose daughter used it in private school. It combines a lot of art with the math so I am hoping it works well for my little  (well, not so little) artist.

Science: Biology using ACE Biology, lab component through Landry Labs Two-Day Intensives, and various supplemental living books She will be doing science with a friend. The friend’s mom picked the curriculum and is planning most of it. I am going to supplement with most of the books my oldest used for biology last year and send her to the Landry Lab two-day intensive he did which he absolutely loved.

Foreign Language: Spanish with Homeschool Spanish Academy online This child wants to continue Spanish — because she perceives it as the easiest language she could do, which it probably is. Because she has  a smattering of it I am planning to check out Homeschool Spanish Academy which pairs the student one-on-one with a teacher in Guatemala for individual online lessons.

English: grammar with Life of Fred Grammar, weekly dictation and writing assignments, introduction to American literature: poets, essayists and short story writers including reading original works from 8 authors (Irving, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Eliot) and answering discussion questions; study one Shakespeare play with family LOF Grammar is four slim books that are meant to be done all four years of high school. We will probably just do them in 9th and 10th grades. I forgot to mention that we use Simply Charlotte Mason’s products for copywork and dictation. The lit component for this child will be a slightly modified version of what her brother did last year (see here).

History: American history from Polk through 1900 using a variety of living books

Geography: online map drills, weekly geography lessons combined with current events based on Why Greenland is an Island, Australia is not, and Japan is up for Grabs

Fine Arts: weekly guitar lessons and daily practice, art history Since this is my artist in the making I am planning to have her do more art history using some books we already own.

Bible: daily reading of the Bible or theological books, Sketches from Church History

In the past I have let them pick their own Bible readings and just encouraged them to do it every day. I am still going to let them pick their own Bible passages to read but 2 days a week I am going to have them pick theological books to read from a basket of them and one day a week the oldest two will read and do the workbook pages from Sketches from Chuch History. In case you’re wondering the theological books will be things like Mere Christianity and Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves.

Business: Maris continues to operate her own business, Creations by Maris, selling handmade items online through Etsy and her blog and at local craft fairs. In the process, she is learning about marketing, taxes, and much more.

The 10th Grader:

Math: Calculus using Life of Fred Calculus and Personal Money Management using Life of Fred Financial Choices

Science: Chemistry using Life of Fred Chemistry, lab component through Landry Labs Two-Day Intensives, and various supplemental living books Did I mention that we love LOF? This child will be using 4 different LOF curricula. I couldn’t resist their chemistry text when I found it. I thin it can be done in one sitting a week so we are adding lots of living books (post on those to come, I am sure) and the Landry 2-day lab intensive.

Foreign Language: Latin 2 using Cambridge Latin Course 2

English: grammar with Life of Fred Grammar, weekly dictation and writing assignments, literature using the Great Courses’ Great American Bestsellers; books to be read: Common Sense, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Maltese Falcon, Good Earth, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catch-22, Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in the Rye; study one Shakespeare play with family The plan for lit is for him to read a book a month, answer a discussion question or two I come up with on it , and then listen to the lecture from the Great Courses CD. The listening we can do in the car on the way to his weekly bagpipe lessons.

History: American history from Polk through 1900 using a variety of living books

Geography: online map drills, weekly geography lessons combined with current events based on Why Greenland is an Island, Australia is not, and Japan is up for Grabs

Fine Arts: weekly bagpipe lessons and daily practice, art and music studies with family Still not sure how we are going to cover art this year, if at all. He is a big country music fan so I am thinking he will do music on his own and read a book on the history of country.

Civics: week-long US Government Camp through iGovern East; US government with Everything American Government and economics with Lessons for the Young Economist

My husband, who is an economist, picked the economics curriculum. We had tried the Uncle Eric series which seems very popular and were very disappointed with it.  He is as I write this at the iGovern camp through Generation Joshua and seems to be having a good time and learning a lot. The US Government book is recommended by Ambleside Online. They even have a reading schedule for it online.

Technology: AP Computer Programming through PA Homeschoolers Online Course (http://www.pahomeschoolers.com/)

Bible: daily reading of the Bible or theological books, Sketches from Church History

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