Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Task at Hand.

We are in full planning mode around here now. The special shoes my kids need are ordered for the Fall (Extra Wide...all three kids), and each day this week we are expecting deliveries for the different materials we need for this upcoming year.

We're homeschooling this year. Oh my. I've blogged a lot about this in the past, but this is the first year that it is absolutely real, the year we actually are keeping a child home and out of school. Despite homeschooling being a mainstream and super legit thing to do, writing it down in words seems like a heroic act, with some people feeling very bothered by the idea. With homeschooling's  proven track record, and our dedication to all of our children's education and formation, I'm not interested in debating our decisions, but I do like sharing what we're doing, and hearing what others are doing, too. We are following in the footsteps of many families, and some are just like us--starting their first year!!! :-) .

Here's what our Fall semester lineup looks like! And, thankfully, each of these programs has been tried and tested by at least one family close enough to me that I can bug them endlessly on the how the program works, and it's effectiveness.

Math: Rightstart B. We got through Rightstart A last year, and I was blown away at the way math was taught. Concepts are actually understood, not memorized.This program is daunting because it is different from the way math is taught in America (it is based on Japanese math, and uses an abacus, groupings of 10, etc.).

Science Nancy Larson Science 1. I am SO excited about this program. It is primary science, but not watered down and not so basic that the child doesn't learn anything. It's hands-on, uses a rich vocabulary, experiments, and observations. I am guessing this will be a favorite subject

Language Arts: Institute for Excellence in Writing. We wanted rigorous and coherent language arts program that left no gaps, and taught students to be excellent readers, comprehenders, and spellers. We are several lessons into this already, and I am impressed and hopeful that a great reader will emerge!

History/Social Studies/Relgion/Geography: Connecting with History. This program is the same for K-12, only the reading lists change each year. The concept is Classical in approach, with repeating time periods throughout a child's education. It is living-books based, and I am hopeful, even though the material is overwhelming for a first time mom!

Throw in some Seton handwriting and Maps workbook, a few sports, piano lessons, art projects planned in the content area (because what good is learning if you can't connect it to other learning?), and we have our Kindergarten year.

The planning is nearly complete, we're almost ready to start. It feels a little rigorous, especially for a six year old, but maybe I'll be wrong, or maybe we'll adjust. Just starting out, I like the idea of being a bit accelerated, which will give us more wiggle room if we want to dive more deeply into an interesting subject, need a break, or focus more deeply on celebrating the liturgical seasons.

How is everyone else's planning going? Homeschooling curriculum all set? School schools getting broken in at home? It's a lot to plan for regardless of if your child is going away for school, or being taught at home.

Here we go, here we go, here we go!!!!


Sarah said...

Hooray! We are celebrating with you! We are set to start on Monday and I am so incredibly excited!! I love the materials you have selected.

Erin said...

I thought we were going to start this last Monday, but I had to push it back a week. My eager kindergartener and my rouge math teacher couldn't wait for OCD Mommy to get all her games put together, and worksheets printed, and planner filled with two weeks of lessons all reviewed and prepared for. Therefore, they've been going at it past bedtime each night. It's okay, they're happy, she's learning and she just sleeps in so B and I have some alone time in the morning. This is why we do this right? The flexibility?

What about PJ? What are your plans for him this year? I think he's not quite as high maintenance as other three's I know well. I will be trying to teach my wild little monster some pre-k stuff. Crossing my fingers.

Mallory said...

I think with one more week of swimming left, we will start with a BANG when it's all over. I am tempted to get some of those early lessons over with, but I want to start and stick to the routine.

PJ is tricky. I have a few Pre-K workbooks for him, and went and got him his own special notebook and folder, but he is not receptive. When I ask him questions about his workbooks, he completely shuts down. I have more or less dropped trying to teach him that way at this point--he just doesn't want to, and there is no point to push him.

He is the kind of boy, though, who loves books and carries them around all day asking for stories. I've made a point to have high quality children's lit, and educational books at his hand level to bring me to read to him. This will be how he learns for the time being, and I'm happy with it. He is such a cuddle bug, that he will be sitting at the table with us for most of L.A. and Math anyway, and I'm guessing he'll not only pick up on a few things, but if I try to be nonchalant about it, when he wants a turn at "school" then I'll be ready.

Diana Anderson said...

Good for you, Mallory! Looking forward to watching you pave the way for us!
God bless,

Mallory said...

We are now in our second week and going strong! It is a tall order, but I feel so blessed to be home with my children to teach and guide them. I know there will be struggles along the way, but our schedule is working itself out for now!