Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thinking About Summer and Next Year

Maybe it is because we are working through these math and spelling workbooks in an attempt to ace the CAT after doing very little academic work since November but I'm thinking this structured learning thing can be a very good thing! For one thing my 10 year old has a serious inferiority complex when it comes to math so he actually likes it when I sit down and teach him stuff! And he has been frustrated with not knowing how to spell well, so he is pretty darn cheerful about doing his spelling every morning too. Of course right now that's all I'm requiring of him other than some Latin two or three times a week and piano practice (which is does mostly voluntarily though he goes through slumps at that too.).

Anyway this has thrown me into a frenzy of thumbing through catalogs and looking at websites for different curricula. I am planning, planning, planning with great glee!

I'm thinking our summer 'school' will be focused on remediating bad handwriting habits. And Will hasn't been writing much and he's been grumbling at how bad and slow his handwriting is. It is because he does it so little! So I've decided folks have to just sit and do some writing. I force this one the three young ones, but Will and Hannah are slipperier! And Will hasn't had much formal religion which I am finding is NOT a good thing. I have discovered that even teens who love God and are devout need a steady source of knowledge and inspiration and this year that hasn't happened so much. So I'd like each of the teens to read at least one book this summer based in the Catholic faith. Also, I think I'll revive that computer game that drills math facts and we'll try to do that for 10 minutes several times a week for a while to get kids some facility on those babies!

And I just got my Classical Academic Press catalog and the Greek Code Cracker looks like fun. We started learning the Greek alphabet last summer and the kids enjoyed it. Then we started to get into heavier duty stuff going in Hey Andrew 2 (B and S) and 3 (J and me) and we got bogged down and then kind of stopped. But the CAP book looks like loads of fun and it is very clever in the way it gets the kids reading Greek. So I think we might do a bit of that too, over the summer. Also CAP sells a fun Latin vocabulary poster that has all the vocabulary words learned in Primer A. There is sort of a Where's Waldo picture with all the vocab. words somehow pictured on it with a list of all the words on the side of the poster. I'm thinking of getting that and the Latin Bingo 2 Go game. Both S and B love playing bingo and this would be a great review of vocabulary as well.

Next year here's what it looks like so far:

12th grade for Will:
Religion - don't know yet, maybe Kolbe's Intro to the Bible or maybe just a reading plan +CLC
Ancient Lit/History - co-op class I'll be teaching
Music Theory - online AP course taught at PAHomeschoolers (looks hard!)
Latin - Mrs. Smedberg's Latin class
Various music lessons
He needs to get a part time job, as well

9th Grade for Josh:
Religion - same as Will - still deciding
Ancient Lit/History - same as Will
Latin - same as Will
Math - Saxon Algebra II
English - Learn to Write the Novel Way
Science - Earth Science - How the Earth Works-TTC lecture series, Earth Science Demystified, fieldtrips/labs
Music - ????
Art - ????
P.E. - tennis, ?????

5th Grade for Sean:
I just went ahead and ordered from CHC. I like their selection of curriculum for the most part. They are simple and no busy work. Yet there is a lot of hands on stuff you can choose to do if you like.

Religion: Faith and Life and Hands on Exploring the Mass
Math: Saxon 5/4
English: My Catholic Speller, Language of God, Handwriting, Stories of the Saints (this also includes writing)
History: The Sea to Shining Sea lesson plans are included in CHC's stuff. I own the textbook and TM. So I might just read this aloud a couple times a week and follow up with crafts/fieldtrips, movies. I'll also read aloud classical stuff like FMOR, The Aeneid for Boys and Girls, The Bronze Bow, The Young Person's Josephus.
Science: I didn't get the CHC science stuff; still hoping for the co-op
Music: piano lessons
Art: maybe he'll be in an art class or maybe we'll just wing it with what we've got. He keeps saying he wants to learn to draw.
PE: tennis, gymnastics

3rd Grade for Becky (also CHC):
Religion - Faith and Life + read alouds, a CHC rosary project
Math - either Shiller or go back to MCP C math, maybe a mix.
Latin - listen in on Sean's lessons
English - My Catholic Speller, Language of God, Handwriting program
Reading - I need to get in the habit of consistently working on reading skills for her. She'll be going to VT starting this summer.
Writing - Writing with Ease - this is by Susan Wise Bauer and is the sweetest, simplest program that provides copy work and narration a la CM. Very nicely done. I might alternate this with the CHC stuff
History- listen in on Sean's stuff and participate as she wants. She's also in a real American Girl mode and I'm planning to get her the Addy and Josephina books for her birthday.
Music: violin lessons if she still wants them
Art: same as Sean
P.E: same as Sean

As I noted above, the kids might be doing an art class next year and/or we might do a once a month Christian Art Heritage program with our TORCH group.

Also hopefully there will be a co-op where the younger two will do science and poetry/public speaking. This is up in the air at this point.

It looks like so much when I write it out, but really it is just a little bit of the 4 R's (Religion, 'Rithmetic, Writing and Reading plus lots of Mom and Dad read alouds sprinkled with optional projects, classes, etc


Karen E. said...

Oooh, I love planning. We don't always stick with it, but I love it. And love the feeling of finding that something we planned is also something we end up loving.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Zane-Bloser has a handwriting book for kids over 12. They like it because it isn't infantile. If you go to the IHM conference, you can pick them up there. I'm using it for David right now. Theo used it also.