I have learned over the course of our homeschooling adventure to be prepared… to plan… but to hold to those plans loosely. I do not know what this coming year holds. I hope that it is not full of surprises. I hope that my kids stay healthy and my husband’s business continues to thrive. I hope that we have another year of healing and steadfastness.
In that hope, I’ve planned a few things for my younger girls for this coming school year. I’ll share in future posts about our middle and high school plans. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I have a highschooler.
Each year, I ask my kids to write down for me what they want to learn about. I try to hold space in our days to honor their curious minds. So… our year is not fully planned. I’m not sure exactly what direction we will take, but I do have a the spine items in place… the core that holds it together and allows for greater learning.
For Math, we have used Math U See for years. I met Steve Demme (the creator of the program) when my oldest was heading into first grade and was really impressed with his approach to teaching math. It has worked really well for my elementary and middle school kids.
My 2nd grader will be using Beta and my 4th grader will be using Gamma. We like the predictability of Math U See. Each week is formatted the same way with an introduction to the material, lesson practice and systematic review. This is a mastery program. It teaches mastery of a skill (like single digit addition or subtraction) before moving onto the next thing.
For Language Arts, we will be using The Good and The Beautiful. We discovered this great (FREE) curriculum last year. It has a been a great things for my girls. Because of the delight directed approach that we take in learning, we tend to rabbit trail off on various subjects. It is nice to have something steady to have consitency in the day to day. The Good and The Beautiful is laid out in daily lessons that incorporate grammar, reading, writing, geography, and artist study.
You can download Levels 1-5 of The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts as Free PDFs via their website. In our experience with it, the levels do not line up with grade levels. There is a placement test you can use as an assessment tool to determine the best option for your student.
My oldest who was in sixth grade last year felt a lot of success with The Good and The Beautiful. When we had our end of the year testing, she saw a big jump in her language arts results. She said to me, “I guess I shouldn’t get too upset from now on when we do dictation.”
I attended the NCHE Thrive conference at the beginning of the summer. One of the speakers was Andrew Pudewa, founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. My oldest had expressed to me his desire to learn more about being a good writer. He wants to dive deeper into the elements of solid writing. After talking with the folks at the IEW booth, we decided that Level A would be a good option for my younger kids and Level C would be a good option for my 9th grader. I have to confess. I never… I mean never… thought I would use IEW. I can share more on that later, but after hearing Mr. Pudewa speak and learning more about his philosophy of education, I am excited to give this a try. I am not fully sure how it will go with these elementary girls of mine. It may end up that we use it primarily with the older two. I’ll keep you posted. I know you are on the edge of your seat.
I am not a super science-y mom. It tends do fall on the back burner in the life of our school. However. My girls love it and have been asking for more science. We use Schoolhouse Teachers for a number of things in our homeschool. It is a fantastic program. You can read more about my thoughts on it HERE.
Last year, I used the “Exploring God’s World in 4th Grade Science” with all three of my girls. We will use the 5th grade option this year for all three (they are in 2nd, 4th, & 7th grade).
FYI. Schoolhouse Teachers has a great BOGO deal right now. Use the code SHARK when you check out.
So… that’s as far as I’ve gotten with planning for the year. We have the spine in place… the ribs will come later. The girls will also take piano lessons and participate in Enrichment Classes through our local homeschool association.
Do you have elementary age kids? What are your plans for the upcoming school year?