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I know it's only August, but I am starting to think about getting back into our school schedule in September. I always loved the beginning of a new school year. Actually, I think what I really loved was all the things that went with the beginning of school: new books, new notebooks, new books, new pens and pencils, new books. I find that I feel the same way as an adult whose children do not attend school I feel the same way. But along with the new books and look forward to a schedule. I love the free time of the summer, especially at the beginning, but as the summer wears on I find that the lack of schedule begins to wear as well. Our brains have rested and we need new rigors to help them grow. Before I can begin to formulate what our schedule will look like, I need to know what everyone is going to be working on. With the book order I placed yesterday, I think I have it sorted out. So for those who are interested, here is some of what each child will be studying this year, oldest to youngest. (If you're not a homeschooler or obsessed with curriculum, I can't promise you that this will be my most interesting post.)
M. (17 years old, senior [!] in high school) -- First, let me say, there is NO WAY she can possible be old enough to be finishing high school. Someone must have counted wrong. But even though I am denial, I guess she still has to study something. The biggest change this year will be that she will be taking a college level French class at the University where J. teaches. Along with this, she will be finishing up the VideoText math program, with Trig and pre-calculus being the final sections. A study on constitution and government is on tap using Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass. Everyone in our family will be focusing on American history, my high schoolers being no exception. M. will be reading The Oxford History of the American People (both volumes) by Samuel Eliot Morison. There is also a 20th century American literature class being offered which I am considering having her take, though I am not sure about getting her (and B.) to the class. I may just use their reading list and have her do it on her own. We're still on the fence and I really need her input before we decide. I'm sure there will be more that she will do, but this is a start.
B. (15 years old, sophomore in high school) -- B. will be working on VideoText as well, but finishing Algebra 2 this year. He will also be completing a curriculum called, Starting Points, which is about developing a world view. (It is supposedly a one year course, but we are taking our time through it.) I am pretty sure I will also have him read the Samuel Eliot Morrison American history book and I am leaning toward B. attending the American literature class as well. Science I am waiting to see about. A friend of ours, who is a high school science teacher, has been teaching both M. and B. over the past several years and we haven't had a discussion about this year yet, so I don't know if he will be able to do it or not. One way or another, B. will also be studying chemistry.
A. (12 years old, 7th grade) -- A. is the one for whom I ordered a new book. We are trying something new this year with her because I think she needs to be a bit more challenged. Consequently, she will be using the Omnibus curriculum published by Veritas Press. It is a far more rigorous curriculum than we have used with her so far, but I think she can handle it. The 7th grade year studies ancient civilizations and literature, so she will be reading some pretty advanced stuff. (That's the technical term, you know.) A. will also continue with Rod and Staff English and will begin the pre-algebra section of VideoText math. Whether she will continue to join the younger group for our unit studies will remain to be seen since we don't have any idea how much time her new curriculum is going to take.
The younger group all work individually on math, English and handwriting and we cover everything else in the form of literature based unit studies. So that means for P. (9 years old, 5th grade), TM (7 years old, 2nd grade) and D. (7 years old, 2nd grade) that they will be working on Rod and Staff math and English, the Italic Handwriting series, and for the boys, doing a lot of reading. P. will also be reading George Washington's World and Abraham Lincoln's World both by Genevieve Foster and narrating the chapters back to me. For unit studies, we will continue to work our way around the world as we do geography, using a combination of literature and Cindy Wiggers' book, The Trail Guide to World Geography and Geography through Art by Sharon Jeffus and Jaime Aramini.
And what will K. (4 years old, preschool) be doing? I will be getting out our preschool boxes for him to use and I always have a way he can participate in our unit studies. Plus I picked-up some Rod and Staff preschool work books for him to slowly work through. I love these, by the way. If you have a preschooler, I highly recommend them. They are inexpensive, there is a lot of coloring, cutting, and pasting so the child likes them, and the books cover a lot of learning readiness skills.
And those babies? Anything they can, I'm sure. Especially if it involves climbing the stairs unsupervised.