Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Next Year School Plans. (Repeat from 2001 - 2002 school year)

This year, even worse than last year, the annual - "choosing curriculum" has snuck up on us.  Though I can't say that this has been a great school year, pretty much anything other than core subjects has fallen to the wayside in an effort to keep on top of chores, sickness, and stress.

But, it is something I think about quite often, so I'm not exactly caught off guard.

We basically school year around, taking breaks when we need to, and a longer break at Christmas.  This allows us to skip or skim over review materials, so we really do move along faster than it sometimes seems to me that we are doing.

Story is a self teacher - I can give her a book or a topic, and if she is interested (easy to get her interested) she'll take off.  An informal approach has been working well with her this year.  I dare say that she has learned far more than I think she has or that I could put down on paper.  Her primary interest has been writing and English.

So our plan with her ... keep using Far Above Rubies and Polished Cornerstones to teach Bible and Character and Memory work.  For Science, I found two free "online academy" places.   http://www.khanacademy.org/    and    http://www.hippocampus.org/   ...  she is currently quite capable at finding errors in differing world views, often faster than I can, so I'm not overly worried about her stumbling on something we don't believe.   She also is quick to ask questions of her dad and grandparents if I don't know an answer.   She is currently using Rod and Staff English, and everything she needs is already purchased.  Other than that, we'll continue our study of the 50 states of America and for Core History we are using the book "All Through the Ages".  http://www.nothingnewpress.com/atta.shtml

**** 2016 Note - This is the year Story threw her entire school plan out of the window to pursue a writing career.  She would soon publish her first book entitled, "Sew, It's a Quest".   She didn't give up entirely on school, but her efforts were sporatically dedicated.  She graduated May 2016.****

Song is as much a spoon fed learner as Story is a self learner.  Often, Story and Song are using the same curriculum along with their friend Iris, so we can all work on the same thing.  (or at least that is the PLAN - I've really lost track of that since last November).

Much of what she is doing, is the same as Story, Polished Cornerstones and All Through the Ages.   She needed something more for Math - and today I was blessed with an offer to get her math curriculum for her ... WOW.  So she'll be able to have the Switched On Schoolhouse Alg. 1.  She needs the immediate feedback and "hand holding" that this will offer her and the ability that I will have to keep an eye on her while she works.   I am not totally sure what we want to do with Science.  I would like the get the next Apologia Science book for her ... but I do know we'll be starting the Fish?  book mid summer.  So I might not need the Mammals or the Birds until the following Spring anyway.  They are geared more for younger students, but since she is mildly dyslexic, she seems to learn more from the easier texts.   We do a lot of researching and extra reading in Science - and animals are her hot spot, so I'm gearing her up for Biology and Chemistry as she gets older - but probably not for another 2 years.  Right now, she is "leveling up" and concentrating on filling in holes and rough spots.  I suspect that in another year or so, she will find her wings and she'll fly through her High School requirements.

*** 2011 was not a great year, but the less time I had to hold Song's hand, the better she did on her own.  By the end of 2012, she had found her feet and started a determined march through her high school years.  She graduated May 2016.*****

My son is my little scholar.  He LOVES learning.  But I don't want to burn  him out.  So we'll finish using the Cubbie books for Bible, we didn't get far this year with as much as we have all been sick.  I'll be using the Rod and Staff Phonics books (already in my supplies - so no new purchase) and may go ahead and put the the small investment into the workbooks that go with the books - around $40 for all 9 books ... though I think I've got several via ebay purchases in the past.  I've still got to look.  We'll just read books on Science and History topics for now.  Math, well?   - I had a kind offer to help get second hand books (of all kinds) for first and second grades this morning. So, since Joel is rather ahead of the curve for 1st grade math and not quite ready for second grade math ... I'll just use what comes our way.  And maybe there will be plenty to share with my family.   It looks like God will be providing all that we need for Scholar - God never fails to give what we need.

*****  Scholar continues to amaze us!  He's starting 6th grade this year!  ****

Sunshine will be my loose cannon.  I'm looking at having a 2 year old under foot.  Too busy to keep in a play pen, and too restless to sit at a table.  She is a non-stop explorer.  I am hoping to get the school room a little more open and sorted so that she can play with supervision.  But I may need help to get a good working plan, because what I have now is not working at all.

****** Sunshine actually did pretty well, she loved "participating" with the others and learned so much*****

So, that is the "Plan" for now.   Please keep us in your prayers as I try to sort out a schedule and "floor plan" that will allow us to school with the maximum efficiency.  We really need a VERY good year this year.   Also, for me to stay focused and to be able to get enough sleep to function better.

****  Actually, this turned into a pretty bad year.  BUT we've overcome and doing pretty good now, I think.   .....  Perhaps you will be inspired to keep going even with the cards seem stacked against you.  *******
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