We start educating our children young! Ha! Who needs preschool? :)
Somehow the thought hit me while I was laying in bed with morning sickness (as sick as could be), that I must start planning out next school year! My plan all along has been to start our 2011 school year on July 1 as this is the first year I have to keep track of hours homeschooling in Missouri. We are required 1000 hours, 600 core and 400 non-core. It sounds like a lot for a 7 year old boy who loves to play outside in the dirt : / So I want enough time to get in all the hours, and also be able to take time off after the baby comes in January.
I was the youngest child in our family, so by the time I reached high school my Mom had been through the whole curriculum switch several times. She started out in A-Beka, and quickly figured out she didn't like that after one year. This was back in the '80's when there was not much curriculum written for home schoolers yet. We did a lot of unit studies when my sister, brother and I were all in school together. By the time they graduated, my Mom had learned a lot about Charlotte Mason and fell in love with her teachings. So I did a lot of copywork, nature studies (but my nature study book is hidden from the world. I'm a TERRIBLE artist!), narration time, etc my last few years of school. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have incredible memories of the time I spent alone with just my Mom.
My Mom and I at my Home School Graduation. We both shed tears on that day. Departing that time in our life was bitter sweet. :)
Fast forward to today, and you have a young home school mama who is quite experienced with the whole home school movement, but still testing the waters when it comes to how I am going to teach my own children. I always assumed I would use the Charlotte Mason approach as well since I loved it so much. What I didn't factor into that decision is:
1. My mom is no longer here to assist me in this (she passed away last July) and all the plans we had of her doing nature studies and art appreciation, etc. etc. to help me are now gone. Also, the knowledge she had of how it was supposed to look greatly helped me. I could keep going on if this was my only obstacle but on to #2. :)
2. I didn't stop to think that my home school might be forced to look a little different based on the fact that I have lots of little ones to teach, something my Mom did not have.
Now for those of you who do Charlotte Mason with lots of children and love it, I am NOT saying it can't be done! I'm just realizing here that I can't do 100% authentic Charlotte Mason with soon to be five children under 8. I need my children to learn a few subjects through *gasp* workbooks. :)
This was a hard decision to make. One day I would feel like throwing up my hands and buying Bob Jones for every subject, and the next day I was pouring over the Simply Charlotte Mason website! But I think I've found a middle ground for our family, one that still resembles some of the way I was taught, and a new way that should prove to be a better fit for our family.
So, after all that rambling explanation, here is my plan!
Mosiah- Going Into Second Grade
Math- Math U See Beta
(he has about 30 pages to finish up of Alpha that we are trying to get done this month, but if not we will finish up Alpha and then move to Beta. We had to totally stop Alpha for a while when it came to subtraction. I *think* it finally is all making sense to him!).
Science- Apologia Astronomy
(we need to finish up the book before we move on) and Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.
Can I make a confession here? I own the elementary Botany book, but I DESPISE botany, always have! I just couldn't bring myself to teach it this coming year! So we are going to wait until the boys are a little bit older, and then tackle it! :) On another note, I just LOVE Apologia Science!
History- A Child's History of the World
by Hillyer. I'm going to be skipping the first three chapters of the book. This was my hardest subject to decide what to do. I honestly have no clue what I'm going to do next year, and I desperately need to sit down and map out a 12 year history plan so I have a better idea of where I'm going in history. Ambleside online suggests this book for second grade and I've had a friend recommend it so I'm going to try it. I will read it out loud and have Mosiah narrate it back to me.
Reading-Christian Light Education
. This is our biggest change, we are switching to CLE for reading and language arts. My son has grown by leaps and bounds in his reading skills, but still has a lot to learn. I'm actually going to have him go through the "Learning To Read
" program to make sure he understands all the phonics concepts, and then hopefully cover the first grade and possibly second grade this school year. I'll be happy if we make it through the first grade, and elated if we make through the second grade reading book! I know he will "catch up" and I'm not terribly concerned, I just need to stay on top of him practicing. Lack of interest and not wanting to apply himself to something that comes a little harder for him is the main problem here. :) I did hear him in the living room reading out loud a "Dan Frontier" reader book yesterday, and let me tell you, my Mama heart did leaps for joy! He was so excited to be reading to himself!
Language Arts-Christian Light first grade language arts.
The beginning books will be really easy for him, but he will learn a lot of new things towards the end. Dare I admit as a blogger that grammar was not my strong point?
Art- (when we get to it) will be the art lifepacs that Rod and Staff sells. They do lots and lots of coloring, drawing, cutting and gluing, so I'm not as stressed about getting official art time in school. But in order to make up our hours this school year we may need to make sure and do this.
Music-we listen to classical music all the time at home, and he already knows the names of several composers. I'd like to study Bach this year using the book "Sebastion Bach: The Boy from Thuringia
" I just need to buy the book still!
Israel will be six in October, and I'm really not sure where to place him in school. I think time will tell. He will sit in with us for History, Science, and Music, just as he did this past year. That is a big reason I went ahead and chose to do those subjects as read alouds so he can be present and learn. Also, Mosiah loves history, and so to switch him to a social studies type approach that the younger grades in CLE use would bore him to tears. Possibly, when he gets older, we will use the CLE history program (when they start covering real history).
Math- Israel is half way through Primer
(Math U See), and loving it. I'm sure at some point in the year we will start Alpha, I'm just not sure when that will be.
Reading- Learning To Read
program from Christian Light Education. The boys will go through this together, but I'm expecting Mosiah to get through it a lot faster.
Carrianna - Three Years Old
She adores workbooks, and does a pretty good job of tracing in her Kumon workbooks.
I think later in the school year, as she is closer to three and a half, I will start her in the Christian Liberty Press Preschool book.
I was able to use it with Israel and, hands down, it is my absolute favorite preschool workbook! We just loved using it, and it is very teacher friendly. I never even used the teacher book that goes with it! I just can't handle preschool programs that require lots of cutting, crafts, glue, gathering materials, baking letters in the oven, etc. :) As fun as it sounds, it just wouldn't happen around here.
Olivia- 1 years old
(she will turn two in December right before the baby is born). I pull out magnetic paper dolls
, board books, etc. for her to play with during school time. I must admit, it is a constant struggle to keep her busy and happy without tearing the house apart. She is at the age where she makes quite a mess! Part of this will be resolved if I purge the house even more than I have. :)
So that is what I have come up with. A mix of workbooks and "living" type books. A blend of both worlds. :)
Here is an excellent blog post
I read about using workbooks with large families. As I've said, I will cling to as much of a Charlotte Mason approach as I can make work for our family, but I appreciated reading her thoughts.
Some books to help you with your school planning are:
Labels: Homeschooling, Motherhood