Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Homeschool plans and planning

We primarily use Ambleside Online for our homeschooling. AO is a Charlotte Mason-based plan. Here is what I am planning for this school year (August 2008 through May 2009).

I will use the AO Year 5 (1800 to 1920 up to WWI) recommendations for my 12-year-old seventh grader for:

History and History Tales
Natural History
Tales and Literature
and Free-time Reading

and AO Year 3 (1400 to 1600) for my 10-year-old fifth grader for the same subjects.

In addition, I will add in the TruthQuest commentary for History, using Age of Revolution II (US/Europe, 1800-1865) and the first part of Age of Revolution III (US/Europe, 1865-2000) for AO Year 5 and Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration (1400-1600) for AO Year 3.

I have come up with my own poetry rotation from AO's suggestions and the girls will study the same poets. This year we will study Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Emily Dickinson.

For Language Arts I will use:

KISS Grammar, the Third Grade Workbook. We worked through the Second Grade Workbook last year.

For studied dictation, we will use (for the first time!) Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason, Book 1 and Book 2.

The girls will also be expected to give oral narrations, write some narrations and do copywork.

The Bible Study Guide for All Ages will be what we use for our Bible Studies. We are in the second volume and will go into the third volume sometime during the year.

We will have what I call our fine arts rotation, which includes studying a composer and his or her music, an artist and his or her artwork, a play from Shakespeare and a life from Plutarch (Our Young Folks' Plutarch) for each term (there are three terms per school year). We will learn a hymn a month and I hope to incorporate awareness of and attention to a habit a month, also.

I hope to use a plan I developed for Nature Study out of the Handbook of Nature Study, which is different from what AO recommends. (That is, the order of study is different. AO also recommends the Handbook of Nature Study.)

Math: We will stick with Developmental Mathematics, with some enrichment thrown in (DIME Blocks, for one and Hands-On Equations for another).

For Foreign Language, we will use Rosetta Stone for Spanish and The Latin Road to English Grammar for Latin for the older daughter.

They will continue with violin and some piano.

Okay, that is what is planned. We'll see what really happens!

For example: we have had the same Plutarch's life for, oh, a year now! (Cringe...) We have it scheduled for once-a-week. We don't get much done at each weekly time period (there is so much to review and the language is so dense). We skip weeks.

Another example: I have had The Latin Road to English Grammar for two years now and hoped to start it last year with my older girl.

A third example: we almost always get behind in our history and literature readings. I am hoping that won't be such a big factor this year.

The last three years we have had some major interruptions to school and I am hoping that we do not have them this year.

Also, I really need to look after my own needs of exercise, good food and some personal time so that I don't use school time for other things (including reading the posts on the AO yahoo groups and blogging!)

To Do:

Plan the year, incorporating the TruthQuest readings.

Make a loose daily/weekly schedule.

Look at last year's math and the placement tests and order the math booklets.

Begin Latin so that I am ahead of my daughter.

Double check that I have the books we need.

Print the KISS Grammar Third Grade Workbook.

Print out the poetry selections from the AO website.

We begin on August 25th!

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