search
top

Our Next School Year: The Plan

This past weekend was our local Homeschool Expo; I wrapped up the majority of my shopping for the upcoming school year while I was there! I still have a few miscellaneous books that I need to buy off of Amazon, but we are otherwise set for the year. I am pretty pleased with the way everything has come together, although there was a few moments there when I was planning and researching that my head was seriously hurting. 😛

We are doing year-round homeschooling, so although we have  taken a couple of short breaks this summer, we have not had an extended one that would clearly mark when we “go back to school.” I am going to consider the beginning of September as our new year, since Haden is two weeks away from being finished with this year’s Math, although he won’t finish his Language Arts until around October. But whatever.

So here it is! A summary of everything we will be using this year. 🙂

Language Arts & Math

We will still be using Time4Learning, because we love it so much! I really feel like it is the best fit for Haden (& me!), especially because he is a pre-reader, and the online lessons are a great way to introduce new concepts to him without me having to walk him through everything. Then, using the Teacher’s Guide for each unit, I plan activities to enforce the things he has been learning and to make sure that he isn’t confused about anything.  We use the recommended books list for each unit, and we have especially been enjoying some of the living math books.

Plus, I’ll be using the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book: Problem Solving A to Z that I bought last year, since we never got around to really using it.

Literature

I’m moving AWAY from so much classical literature this year. This past year I used a book list of classical literature for his grade level and many of the ones we read, we just didn’t like all that much.We are going to continue pulling books from our Time4Learning lists, as well as other lists. Probably some of the ones I have pinned on Pintrest.

We did enjoy our Mr. Popper’s Penguins Literature Unit from Confessions of a Homeschooler, so I am planning to work in her units on Little House in the Big Woods, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Stuart Little.

Handwriting

We are picking up where co-op left off and doing Handwriting Without Tears at home this year. I actually sat in on their workshop at the Expo this past weekend (the only one I actually attended!), and listening to them talk more about the method behind the curriculum really solidified my choice for me. Their curriculum goes up through 5th grade and I highly doubt I will be using anything else. Along with the 1st Grade Teacher’s Guide & the My Printing Book, we will be using the Rock, Tap and Learn CD & the Slate Chalkboard during lessons. I also bought a big stack of their double lined paper for Haden to use on anything else that he does, so that he won’t have different paper line sizes confusing him and making writing harder.

If I had known that I might score freebies, I totally would have went to more workshops. 😛 I got some Pencils for Little Hands and a sample pack of FLIP crayons. Haden really loves the little pencils, they seem much easier to write with and hold.

Geography/History

I’m pretty excited about starting this one – Road Trip USA! Road Trip USA is a U.S. Geography/History notebooking curriculum, that uses National Geographic’s United States Atlas for Young Explorers as it’s core resource. The curriculum is broken down by state and includes state facts and history, famous people, fun projects that tie in, and cooking projects. I’ll keep you posted on this one! I really wanted to give it a try because it looked fun and it is very affordable, but I do expect to have to do some tweaking to it. I’m just hoping that it will be minimal. I plan to do this over a 2-year period. I bought a new wall map, a magnetic USA puzzle, Color and Learn: Colonial America & Wee Sing America to go along with it.

Science

I pieced together our science this year after deciding that we wanted to focus on Nature Study, Astronomy, and Plants/Gardening.

The Handbook of Nature Study Blog has a bunch of great curriculum and if you sign up for updates, you will get tons of ideas and freebie notebooking pages. We will be working through her Outdoor Challenges, using the Handbook of Nature Study, by Anne Botsford Comstock and a bunch of Peterson First Guides.

Along with utilizing internet resources, especially Pintrest, we will be using these books in Science …

Gardening with Children

The Kids of the Night Sky: Official Book on Skywatching

National Geographic: 13 Planets

We will also be doing more Animal Classification this year as a tie in with our Road Trip U.S.A. Each state has animal cards that will be classified and sorted onto our “Animal Wall.”

Physical Education

Even though we are breaking from our yoga at the moment, I suspect that we will be doing it off and on throughout the next year. I really don’t worry too much about my kids getting enough exercise, because they are so active anyways! I have started doing workout videos most mornings and the kids have been happy to join in with me, so we will continue to keep doing that. So far it seems to go a long way towards making me feel better, even if I can’t make it through a whole workout! Skinny does not = fit. Just so you know.

Also, I printed out these P.E. cards from Confessions of a Homeschooler, which seem like an easy way to throw in extra exercise.

Art/Cooking

Draw Write Now: Book One (On the Farm – Kids and Critters – Storybook Characters) – Haden really wants to be able to draw things, but gets frustrated that his pictures don’t turn out as he would like them. The Draw Write Now books break down how to draw things in such an easy and simple way! I’ll be learning how to draw chickens and whatnot with him. 😉 If he enjoys working through this book, I’ll likely continue buying more. There are 8 total in the series.

The Usborne Art Coloring Book – This book is full of pictures based on famous works of art that Haden can color. I thought this seems like an easy way to dip our toes into art appreciation without doing serious studies on it, because he just seems to young for it.

We will be doing cooking projects of some sort once a weekish. Some weeks I will be using Road Trip U.S.A. for this, but on the weeks that we don’t have one from our Geography, I will probably rely on finding something on Pintrest.

Tot School

Since Addison has been getting more involved in school, I decided to put together a little bit for her this year. Nothing extravagant, and mostly just to entertain and distract her. She has really enjoyed keeping her Yoga notebook, so when I recently stumbled upon these printouts for toddlers on the 1+1+1=1 blog, I thought making her a Tot Time Notebook would be fun! So I did. 😛

 

 

I’m also adding Do-a-Dot pages, which are so easy to find for free on the net. Addison loves do-a-dot pages. And FYI, you can save money and skip spending $12 on a pack of 6 Do-a-Dot markers and buy Bingo Markers at the Dollar Tree instead. At the expo I bought I Can Paste! and some new lacing cards for her, so I think her workboxes are pretty well set with things to occupy her when she needs it.

 

So what are your plans for this year? I always love reading about what other people are doing!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Crystal's About Page

Subscribe to my RSS Feed or via email on the homepage for more blogging awesomeness!

11 Responses to “Our Next School Year: The Plan”

  1. christina says:

    kid1 is going into 2nd grade. the list for him:

    –we’re continuing “math mammoth” and the “life of fred” elementary series for math;
    –“building foundations of scientific understanding” (with lots of books from the library) for science;
    –“a little history of the world” (with more books from the library) for history;
    –“first language lessons of the well trained mind: level 2” for grammar, and i’m introducing dictation this year;
    –continuing copywork from whatever books we’re reading at the moment for handwriting (i’m delaying introduction of cursive until 3rd grade);
    –“spelling workout: level b” for spelling (we’ve done most of level b this year, but we went through it too fast and he wasn’t retaining it, so we’re repeating it at a slower pace this year);
    –“drawing with children” for art (i bought it for last year, but couldn’t shoehorn it into our schedule… try, try again!);
    –continuing piano lessons for music;
    –lots, and lots, and LOTS of reading aloud. 😀

    kid2 is going into kindergarten. the list for him:
    –“ordinary parents guide to teaching reading” (i had good results with kid1 with it, so i see no reason to change unless kid2 gives me one) and BOB Books;
    –“get ready for the code”, “get set for the code”, and “go for the code” to reinforce phonics and get into writing;
    –“the verbal math lesson: level 1” (i don’t want to overwhelm him with writing, so i’m steering away from lots of worksheets for the time being);
    –art, science, and history will be tag-along with kid2.

    i’m still trying to get a handle on our homeschooling space, and i’m going to try my hand at lesson-planning online cuz the excel spreadsheet i used this year just didn’t cut it. hopefully, i’ll be ready to go by labor day! 🙂

    • Crystal Bowden says:

      Awesome! I am really thinking I would like to try Life of Fred out! I considered getting it this year…

      Have you used A Little History of the World already? I plan to use it as well eventually, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  2. Sharla says:

    It’s always neat to read other people’s plans and thoughts on what works for them. Seeing your literature unit on Mr. Popper’s Penguins made me want to add a few of those into our year, but I tend to over-plan and I am trying really hard not to do that this year!

    I hope you have a wonderful rest of the year!

    • Crystal Bowden says:

      I know what you mean about over planning! I have all these ideas of things I would really love to be able to do this year, but I am sure only a portion of them will really make it to reality. 😉

  3. Dawn says:

    What a wonderful list of ideas. Have a great year.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. Tristan says:

    It looks like a fun year for your little learners! We’ve had fun with lapbooking in the past and my 1 year old enjoys the Do a Dot markers too.

    I shared my plans for the year on my blog: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/08/curriculum-for-seven-kids-2012-2013.html

    We’ve got seven learners from 6th grade down to the baby, so you’ll find a bit of everything in that post.

    Have a fun year!

  5. This looks great!! We use the cuisinaire rods and book here as well! Happy homeschooling to you!

  6. Colleen says:

    We also use Draw Write Now and the Handbook of Nature Study.
    Also love Erica and Confessions of a Homeschooler’s materials.
    thanks for sharing your neat curriculum plan.
    Colleen a.k.a. Pinterest Mama
    http://pinterest.com/f5th/
    Sunrise Learning Lab
    http://sunriselearninglab.blogspot.com/2012/08/new-school-year-right-around-corner.html

  7. Looks like you’ve got a wonderful plan put together for your kids this year. We looked in to Time4Learning quite a few times- it’s especially great for those days you just can’t have a lot of one-to-one on certain subjects.

  8. Sparklee says:

    Yay! We read Little House in the Big Woods (wow, was that two years ago already?!) and my kids loved it! I was surprised by how much I remembered as we read–great books stick with you, I guess. I loved Stuart Little as a kid! Hmmm…maybe I should add it to our Lit Units this year…

    We like to do the Outdoor Challenges, too. I often forget, so I’m putting my kids in charge of them this year! They’ll never miss a chance to go outside!

    I’ll have to check out RoadTrip USA. We’ve been slowly working our way through Beautiful Feet’s Geography Through Literature Pack. (We were reading Seabird, but we left our maps in TX when my mom was in the hospital. Oops!)

    Sounds like you have a great year ahead of you! Have fun!

  9. Jami says:

    My 2nd grader will be using all of the same stuff you guys are expect for science. We are using Noeo Science again this year. Plus she is starting piano lessons and takes group art classes.(the dad of a fellow homeschool mom is a retired elementary art teacher and will be teaching a group of 16 homeschoolers). My 3 year old is starting school this year with ABC Jesus Loves Me 3x a week plus workboxes.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Our Homeschool Space - Explore. Dream. Discover. | Explore. Dream. Discover. - [...] You can read about this year’s curriculum plans @ my blog, Next Homeschool Year: The Plan. [...]
  2. Year 2012: A Round-up on the Blog - Explore. Dream. Discover. - [...] Our Next School Year: The Plan: My post on this years curriculum plan, which I should probably just write a complete…
  3. 2012-2013 Curriculum 2.0 - Explore. Dream. Discover. - [...] my original post on our curriculum for the year (back in September), I have made a good number of changes, so I…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

top