Friday, May 25, 2012

Our Daily Schedule

I told you all yesterday that I would share how I planned to accomplish everything in our plans. Before I get into that, I want to stress to everyone that I make many plans, but they are all changeable. If it's not working, doesn't feel right or if we are forcing ourselves to do something, we find another way. I don't want to force my kids through something if it's not right. There are so many resources out there that we can find something to fit for our family and I encourage you to do the same. One of the best pieces of advice I got my first year of homeschooling was not to be worried if something isn't working out. Homeschooling is a way of life, not just a part of our life. We don't need to follow a set curriculum in order for our children to learn. Oh, how freeing this was for me to hear.

On with my (tentative) plan:

Daily as a family:
Scripture memory
Hymn Study
Foreign Language

Daily as individuals with mom:
Copywork/ Dictation

Monday                               Tuesday                           
History/Geography                History/Geogrophy            
Artist study*                         Grammar                                
Music study*                                                                

Wednesday                       Thursday
Science                               Science
Artist study*
 Music study*

* Artist and Music study alternates by month. In August we will do an artist study and in September we will switch to music study. We will alternate between the two for the rest of the year.

There you have it, our daily schedule. As you can see, not everything happens every day. The subjects we do daily are not all that involved and take just a short time to finish. So, even though it looks like a lot to accomplish, it's really very simple.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plans for our next school year.

This year went great, but I was still left looking for more. We got all of the basics, but I wanted to really get into some other subjects, like music and art, with my kids. Not just the fun crafty type things(not that they are bad, we really enjoy them), but art appreciation. I had watched the "All Day Charlotte Mason Seminar" at a friends house and caught the Charlotte Mason bug.

Charlotte Mason really appealed to me for a variety of reasons. Her idea that education is three pronged: Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life. By "education is an atmosphere", Charlotte meant that a child absorbs a lot of information from his/her environment. This means that it's up to the parents to provide an environment in which they are comfortable with what their child is learning. The second part of a Charlotte Mason education deals with discipline, specifically the discipline of good habits of character. This appealed to me because I believe that we start homeschooling our children at birth. Not, the workbooks and tests type of homeschooling, just general learning. We teach our children many good habits by the time they reach "school age." Hopefully, they have been good habits. The third part of Charlotte's idea is that education is a life. This idea applies to the academic part of life. We should give children living thoughts, and ideas, not just dry facts out of a textbook. This alone really spoke to my soul. My goal in homeschooling has nothing to do with my children being able to regurgitate facts and dates. I want to inspire them to have a love of learning that they can carry through their whole life. I believe that following the Charlotte Mason style will help me achieve this goal.

So, without further ado, here are my plans for next year. I will have a child in 3rd and 1st that will be together for most things, and I will have my two younger children together. They will be 4 years and 2 years old.

For my older two
Math: Singapore Math 3A&B for my 3rd grader and1A&B for my 1st grader

Science: We will finish Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

Nature Study: We will work through these challenges together.

Reading: 3rd grader will be reading through the Magic Tree House books. He likes a timer, so he will do 15-20 minutes of reading a day. More if he wants to continue. 1st grader will work through Hooked on Phonics Grade 1.

Copywork/Penmanship: 3rd grader will be doing guided dictation with his copywork until he is more confidant with his cursive. 1st grader will continue working through The Joy of Handwriting.

English/Grammar: I know Charlotte didn't start formal grammar until the children were in about 5th grade. I found a wonderful resource to go along with Grammarland. You can view this book online, download it, or purchase the book on amazon. I happened to stumble across this blog. She has made up worksheets to go along with each chapter of Grammarland. Since we are using more notebooking in our homeschool, I thought this would work perfectly. I will not have my 1st grader work through the worksheets, he will just listen to the story and do some oral narration for me. My 3rd grader will work through the worksheets though. I will help him with the writing until he gets better.

Spelling: This will just be for my 3rd grader. He is really wanting to work on his spelling, so we will add this in along with his copywork. (I will post about this specifically on it's own to explain how I plan to do this.

Typing: We will work through Dance Mat Typing and continue with keybr. 
             (I found these ideas at  FiveJ's)

Foreign Language: We will work through American Sign Language as a family.

Art: Each child has a sketch book that they can draw, paint, etc. whatever they would like. Occasionally, I will pull out Drawing With Children by Mona Brooks and teach a few things out of there.

Handicrafts/Life skills: I have this list printed and placed in my lesson plan book. I use it as a reference and just pick one for my kids to work on. Right now, my oldest, is working on loom knitting and "regular" knitting.

History/Geography: Road Trip USA from ConfessionsofaHomeschooler. At the end of each state lesson, we will go through the workbook from Highlights Which Way USA.

Bible: We will read through the Bible in the year and do a daily devotional from Keys 4 Kids

Scripture Memory: We do this as a family also, and use Simply Charlotte Mason's method.

Literature: Again I have a list printed and placed in my lesson plan book to reference. We just pick a book off the list and read it. Either I will read it during the day or my husband will read to them from the book at bedtime.

Poetry: I just read select poems as part of our daily reading time.

Artist/Picture study: The World's Greatest Artists Unit Study

Music Study: I plan on following this plan starting with the Orchestra. I found The Story of the Orchestra at our local library sale for $1!

Hymn Study: We will practice one hymn a month by listening and singing it each day.

Shakespeare: I will read A Midsummer Night's Dream from Tales from Shakespeare. If I feel they are ready for it, if not, we will just skip this.

For my younger two

I will work through Animal Play with both of them together, adjusting as necessary.

Wow! That looks like a lot all typed out like that. My next blog post will be my daily schedule for how I plan to accomplish all of this.