Since I spend a lot of time home educating, I fear that the majority of my posts will be about exactly that. Just a warning for you non-schoolers! And since we homeschoolers are always interested in what others are doing, I will list our plans for my two students this year. I may write about specific picks in the future.
My firstborn, who we will call “Dusty,” is 13yo and going into 8th grade. He is brainy, social, a bookworm, and in love with airplanes and anything that might have a screen attached. (One of his great sorrows in life is that his mother takes a dim view of screens.) I should also add that he is very good with chickens.
Systematic Mathematics Algebra 1 – This is our third year using Systematic Mathematics. I highly recommend their programs and will probably be doing a review of them at some point.
The Potter’s School Journey Through Narnia online writing course – This will be our first experience with an online course. Writing is an important subject to me, and Dusty is at an age where some outside accountability will improve his motivation. He is quite excited about the Narnia theme, and I think he will enjoy the live classes.
Daily Grammar Practice 7 – This is also the third year for us with this thorough, 5-min-a-day program.
Caesar’s English 2 – We took two years to go through CE 1, and this will be the second year of level 2. It is a rich, lit-based vocab program using Latin roots.
Rainbow Science and Science Matters – Wanting both an overview of science before high school, and also one more relaxed year, I settled on these two books after a bit of research. Rainbow is a 2-yr Christian program that usually includes a lot of experiments, but we will be skipping those and just using the text. After this we will go through the secular, highly-rated book, Science Matters. My plan then is to spend the rest of the school year on interest-led studies.
Around the World in 180 Days/Book of Marvels/Mapping the World with Art – After many years of history, we are taking the year off and doing geography instead. I couldn’t find a complete program I liked, so I compiled some resources that look good and are well-rated.
Fallacy Detective (Informal Logic) – I am really looking forward to this. I think both of us will enjoy logic.
Ukulele – Dusty dropped piano a year ago and opted to study the ukulele. Right now he is just using free lessons online.
Various art, literature, and poetry – I have an art video from Creating a Masterpiece, as well as Coyote Creek. We plan to do maybe one project a month. This is quite a change from the last few years where he did art daily or weekly, but the projects will be more involved. Lit and poetry selections are still coming together. I will post a list at some point. The arts in general have become an important part of our curriculum. More on that later!
We do not do every subject every day all year. I will go into how we schedule in a future post.
My second student, “Duncan,” is a sweet, creative 7yo who loves sea mammals, farming, and anything his older brother might be into.
Ray’s Primary Arithmetic – After researching and trying many shiny, modern, and popular programs, we have ended up with this old classic. Again, more on this later.
Elson Readers – Classic reprints for “reading class.”
History Stories for Children – Loved this book when I did it with Dusty. Great intro to history for kids.
Let’s Read and Find Out science books – Even I have learned some science from these fun books which you can find at almost any library.
SmithHand – A little-known, developmentally-appropriate handwriting program.
Lots of good read-alouds – Perhaps a list will be forthcoming.
Recorder, knitting, and various art projects – We have a 9-Note recorder book as well as one from Oak Meadow. We learned three notes last year! Last year we also learned two knitting stitches from a combo of books and videos. Maybe we will actually make something in 2nd grade! For arts and crafts, I like the Earthways book and other Waldorf-inspired ideas I have on Pinterest. Duncan also loves Mark Kistler’s drawing lessons just like his brother did.
Extras – Dusty has completed Tractor Safety this summer, and will soon be enrolling in Hunter’s Safety. He has gone through all the levels of swimming instruction at our local pool the past few years, so I hope he can take up TKD with his uncle again for Phys Ed. Both boys will be in the local homeschool choir, and Dusty will also be playing the handbells. Our children also help with cooking and baking, spend lots of time out in nature, occasionally attend theater, sing songs with Dad, watch films, go to church, do chores, and read, read, read. We believe a true education encompasses all of life.
Our first official day is after Labor Day. All the curriculum is in hand; I just need to organize the school room, also known as the dining room.