Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers invited bloggers to post their curriculum plan for 2010-2011 today. This post is also linked to the Not Back to School Blog Hop and the Back to Homeschooling Hop. Since I love planning you would think this is an easy thing to do. It is, and it isn’t. We are dividing our year into two semesters: June 2010 – November 2010, and January 2011 – May 2011. Notice that we homeschool year round, so while we may do less on a particular day, we have more days to get everything done. The only big break we have planned is when I have baby #6 at the end of November, other breaks will just happen when we need them.
Semester 1 is our History and Basics Semester. That means we will complete all 4 of our large history unit studies for my 4th grader before December. We incorporate literature, geography, history, and government into these units. Makayla also writes a story or paper for each unit. The units are:
- The California Gold Rush – See my booklist and the free printable mini-unit I created. We finished this unit already and it was a ton of fun.
- The American Civil War – See my booklist, and my daughter’s lapbook. We just finished this unit last week and my children all enjoyed it.
- World War I – We started Monday on this unit. I expect it will take a full month of reading and work. See my booklist.
- World War II – This unit is one I really am looking forward to as it is one I really enjoyed learning about when I was younger. I will post a booklist when we get to it, but it will include lots of read alouds and a lapbook.
My 4th grader’s other curriculum for semester 1 includes:
- Gospel studies – We read scriptures, memorize verses, and learn hymns.
- Math U See Beta and Gamma – She’s got 8 weeks left in Beta before starting Gamma around Oct. 1st.
- All About Spelling – Currently in level 2, moving to level 3 when completed. See my review.
- Institute for Excellence in Writing – Technically, Makayla does not have a writing curriculum. I have the teacher’s course, Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, from IEW and am creating lessons for her based on that course.
- Reading and read alouds – She’s a voracious reader, the only problem here is keeping her well supplied with books. We also read aloud a lot.
That’s it. Notice what didn’t make the list: art, science, composers, health.
My two Kindergarteners (Joseph and Emma) join in for gospel studies and read alouds. They also have:
- Math U See Primer – This is fun and gentle, we’re in no hurry here.
- Rocket Phonics – Tons of fun, we’re enjoying this. Read my review.
- Letter of the Week – This material gives them a good review of what they know with a dose of fun. They both think of it more as play than work.
- Peterson Directed Handwriting – We’re learning the word cues as we practice our letters. Most of this is done with air writing, though Joseph and Emma do put pencil to paper for a few minutes as well.
- A Unit Study – This is not planned out, we choose as we go. We really enjoy the Download N’ Go units (and my 9yo likes teaching her siblings with them), and we also enjoy lapbooks.
Are you starting to notice how relaxed I am on Kindergarten? I really do not think the kids need to ‘start learning addition’. Nor do I worry that they need to ‘hurry up and learn to read’. It will happen at their own pace. I put in a little work on the skills they need for these basics for a few minutes most days, but our big goal is to nourish their love of learning while we wait for the basic skills to develop.
Semester 2 for my Kindergarteners will be much the same, though their unit studies will more often be what big sister is doing as she heads into her science semester. What can I say? Science is interesting!
Semester 2 for my 4th grader is science central. She will again be doing unit studies, though the goal is to have her begin with Apologia’s Elementary Creation with Anatomy and Physiology to double as health and science. Then each month we will simply re-evaluate if she wants to keep learning about the human body or if she wants to choose one of the other Apologia Elementary books for the next month. We own the rest of Apologia’s Elementary series: Botany, Astronomy, Zoology 1(flying creatures), Zoology 2(swimming creatures), and Zoology 3(land animals). I won’t know what we’re studying until we get there, but considering Makayla reads the Apologia textbooks in her free time, I know she’s going to enjoy it. (We used part of the Zoology 3 book last year, read my review here.)
Makayla will continue her gospel studies, Math U See, All About Spelling, and IEW second semester. To that she will add:
- Composer studies – We’ll use A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers and just pick up where we left off. This will probably begin over break in December as it is super easy to do. Read my review(scroll down).
- Artistic Pursuits – We will grab out our two Artistic Pursuits books and do a lesson a week. I love that these incorporate studying artists, art history, and doing our own art. Until second semester the kids have access to these books and all our art materials, but I have no plans to lead ‘official lessons’. I have a review of one AP book here.
The other big curriculum we will do this year is called God’s Curriculum. We are a part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew for the second year in a row, which means we receive products from vendors to use and review. The products arrive on God’s timing, and He’s the one directing which products we will end up reviewing. All I have to do is fit them in when they come, and if that means dropping my plans to do so, that’s what we’ll do.
What about you? Have you made curriculum plans yet? Are any of our picks on your list for the year?