This is a big year. I will be teach 2 kids for the first time. I’m excited but also a little concerned that I might over commit myself. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, especially when it comes to school. I’ve been doing a lot of planning and researching these past few months and I have to keep reminding my self to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Noah will be starting Kindergarten this fall and he really doesn’t need that much work. Kindergarten should be a time of learning through play. This past year I tried to incorporate more outdoor learning time and I think that will be the best environment for Noah to learn (Jude too).
Jude will be starting 3rd grade so he will have to do the most work but I’m still trying to keep things simple for him. I’ve found that pushing him too hard makes him shut down and learning becomes a chore. My main goal has a home educator is to encourage a love of learning. So I try to create an environment that allows my children to explore the world around them and learn at their own pace.
So here’s our plan:
We will do a few subjects together each day or several times a week.
Both boys will be doing Classical Conversations Foundations this year. We are a part of a community where we will attend a group session once a week to be introduced to the new week’s memory work, conduct science experiments and have a hands-on art time. Classical Conversations is the bulk of our curriculum for the year(history, science, geography, timeline, Latin, math, grammar, art). If you aren’t familiar with the classical model you can learn more here.
Each morning we will go over our calendar, the weather, our Bible verse, the pledge of allegiance, a poem and probably an Aesop’s fable. (we will take the poem and fable from Jude’s English book) This part of our take should only be about 5-10 minutes long.
This year I hope to do more reading aloud to the boys. They will work on their listening skills and we will try reading longer more complex books. This will probably be the biggest challenge for me. We may do more reading at night before bed when Abel isn’t a constant distraction.
(Top Row: Our Nature Box, Pencil box with color pencils and paint brushes, watercolor guide. Bottom Row: Audubon Field Guide Southeastern States, Trees of North America, Birds of North America, Nature Anatomy)
We will be following the Charlotte Mason ideas of narration, dictation, nature journal, art, etc. The boys create art and a narration that corresponds with something we’ve recently learned. Each boy will have a 3-ring binder, they will add their art/narrations to their binder throughout the year. I’m slowly collecting some great books for the boys to use in their nature studies and other interests so we can create fun journal pages, you can check out my homeschool wishlist on Amazon to see the types of books we’ll be using. Noah’s journal will be fairly simple. Probably very heavily image based. He loves to draw and paint so we’ll focus on illustrating things we’ve learned with a small amount of narration.
Math – Math Made Easy Kindergarten Workbook Math Mammoth doesn’t offer a kindergarten math curriculum but they do recommend a few affordable and comprehensive workbooks available through amazon. Math Made Easy is a simple workbook that introduces all of the basics he needs to know for first grade.
Reading – Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons I’m excited to try this method. Noah is so close to reading I think once we really sit down and work on it he’ll get the hang of it in no time. I considered All About Reading but again it was $$$ and very time consuming. With 4 boys I need simple. I will also add in some easy readers that I either purchase or check out from the library. We go to the library every other week.
Phonics – Explode the Code Jude loved these workbooks and I think Noah will as well. He likes doing little workbooks and Explode the Code is simple and a great way to practice reading and writing.
Writing – Kumon: My Book of Alphabet Games – I bought this book on clearance at Target but it’s a great simple way to work on our letter recognition, upper case, lower case and writing.
Jude 3rd grade
Math – Math Mammoth This year we are trying something new. The past 2 years I’ve been using Math-U-See, I like the program but the Gamma level [multiplication] moved so quickly. Jude got a little frustrated with the level of work near the end of the year, granted he is a little ahead in math I just thought we should try a different approach. Plus Math-U-See is kind of $$$. I bought the complete set of Math Mammoth on CD (grades 1-7) so I can use it for all 4 boys and print the workbooks as needed. It’s super affordable too.
Handwriting – A Reason for Handwriting Cursive Jude struggles with handwriting so we will continue to have handwriting in our studies until he feel more comfortable. We started introducing cursive at the end of last year and he was really excited about it. I’ve heard it can be a good option for kids that struggle with penmanship.
Phonics – Explode the Code 6 This will be our 3rd year using Explode the Code. It’s a fun workbook that helps drill in phonics. Jude really enjoys doing the workbook and he can always use a little extra reading practice.
English – English Lessons Through Literature Again a new curriculum for us. Last year we used First Language Lessons which I still love but I’m excited to try ELTL. It uses great works of literature to teach grammar, spelling, reading, poetry, writing and more.
So that’s it. Once we get into a daily routine I’ll share what our typical days look like. We probably won’t do all subjects everyday and I’m not the type of person that can function with a detailed plan but we have an outline and are open to whatever the day throws our way. I like the flexibility that homeschool affords and we will take advantage of it as much as possible.
However, I did purchase a printable homeschool planner for the first time. Trying to remember what both kids need to get done is a little more challenging than just keeping up with Jude’s work. I bought this cute Charlotte Mason inspired planner from Vintage Kids Modern World.
We also reorganized our homeschool room and while I’m still getting everything in order I do hope to do a homeschool room tour soon. It’s not terribly exciting but I know I always like to see how other homeschool mom’s organize their materials and where they homeschool.