Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our School Curriculum- 2013-14

After all the wailing and the gnashing of teeth at the NCHE conference in May.... and after the summer rest for my obsessive planning brain... and after extended conversations with friends and the hubby about all things History... and after changing my mind and changing it back again and buying stuff and taking it back and then re-buying it...

I present to you... Our 1st Grade/Pre-K/Toddler Crazy School Curriculum for 2013-14! :)

Seth- 1st Grade

History- Story of the World- Ancients with Activity Guide
Science- Little Otter's Science for the human body, switching off every other week with books on animals using the observation questions from p. 161 of the Well Trained Mind.
Handwriting/Grammar/Narration- Writing with Ease with some Handwriting Without Tears
Grammar- First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind
Math- Math U See
Reading- The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
Unit Studies- Five in a Row- Handbook 2

As you can see, I decided to deviate from just doing FIAR unit studies, and David talked me into starting with Ancients for History. (He made the valid point that we'd have more fun with field trips with American History if I waited until Seth was in 3rd grade.) I hope to do an activity from the activity guide, the comprehension questions, and some of the map work for each chapter.

Little Otter's Science is just going to be a guideline for me for teaching different body parts and systems in a systematic manner. Hah! :) I'll request the books they suggest from the library, but if they don't have those, we'll get other books on the same subject. For our animal weeks, I'll just pick out books on whatever animal interests the boys at the moment.

I am really excited about Writing with Ease. I think it'll be a gentle introduction to grammar and narration. I like that all the copywork comes from great children's literature, and I really love that I don't have to use brain cells to pick out copywork every day. Also, the lessons supposedly go along with First Language Lessons. I won't be doing everything in First Language Lessons, but I want to hit the high points with Seth.

I don't know how FIAR is going to fit in with all this right now. I am planning on "planning" some books to row, but not too many. I want to see how much interest in STOW the big boys show me. It's possible we'll just read SOTW at meal times and not do too much extra if they don't seem really interested. I will also buy SOTW on CD so that David can listen to it in the car, and they can re-listen to it in the evenings during their before bed "books on CD" time at some point.

Ok, Morning Time stuff.... We'll probably do our Community Bible Study reading during breakfast. (Seth is joining the homeschool class there, and he'll actually have homework every day, plus a memory verse every 2 weeks.) After breakfast, we'll do our weather calendar and regular calendar, song for the day/week/whatever, and I'll throw a little picture study and composer study in there occasionally, and then there's poem memorization, etc. Then we'll get into whatever social studies we're doing for the day, be it FIAR or SOTW.

After that we'll have Table Time. Seth will do his math and english with me, and Evan will be working on some workbooks from Rod and Staff, cutting practice (Kumon books), upper and lowercase letters, puzzles, etc. Read aloud books will be during lunch and whenever else I can fit them in. Seth will do his reading lesson with me during afternoon rest time.

I'm really wanting to add in Picture Study and Composer Study this year. Basically, we'll learn a little about an artist, and I'll put up 6 of his pictures on the wall for us to observe for about 8 weeks. I really, really want to figure out how to print out some Google images of pictures by Benjamin West at Kinkos that will be high quality. (Can't find a good book of his works anywhere.) I figured we'd read "Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin" to kick that off. I made a playlist of Bach's works on Spotify, and I plan to use Opal Wheeler's Sebastian Bach book to tie that in. Hopefully adding in this will be painless.

Still have to figure out how to get writing to our Compassion kids, regular creative writing dictation, some learning about the 50 states, etc., in there. But I will. Somehow. :)

I have an active toddler this year that no longer takes a morning nap, and I didn't last year. I expect that Morning Time may drive us all batty for the first 6 months. I expect that I'll be taking a crying toddler to time out over and over again. (He knows what I mean when I say, "Ben, I cannot read to you right now, and if you stand there and hold out a book and cry, I will put you in time out.") I expect that I'll have to lower my expectations quite a bit. We may have to change the times that we do a lot of things. It ought to be interesting. :)

We're on the Virginia schedule. That's a fancy way of saying that we start our school year on Labor Day. :) Bring it!


John/Kristen said...

Thanks for sharing your curriculum choices :) I find it all quite interesting!

Brandy Vencel said...

I have to agree with your husband on saving American history for third grade! :)

Plan looks good, Mama! :)

Perry and Amanda said...

Looks fun