Friday, July 8, 2011

Curriculum 2011/2012

Curriculum for 2011/2012. 

Before I share...let me share something else first. I've spent a lot of time feeling discouraged lately in regards to Homeschool. By no means do I doubt my job as a Homeschool mother/teacher. I know God has called me to this amazing task. I do struggle with feelings of inadequacy, and the ugly sin of comparing myself to others. 

I had to be very careful as I chose curriculum this year. Last year I purchased things based on a lot of recommendations from others. That's okay. But some things I did not connect with, nor did Josiah (Rod and Staff). As a result, I spent money on things I did not use. Then I spent more money on items to replace what we did not use. My History this year was not what I had originally chosen. After asking a lot of questions to those using it, praying about it, reading reviews, and praying even more, I purchased. When I clicked "purchase", I felt peace. You will find my History choice below. 

I'm extremely excited about this year. For the first time in my Homeschooling journey, I feel like our school is connected to doctrine. As the Lord uses me to shape their minds, I want my teaching to line-up with sound doctrine. It is extremely important.

When I began planning, I wanted to stay away from "busy" work. Classical learning does not mean my children spend all day outside taking care of "the farm" or "the animals". We don't live on a farm. It doesn't mean we run through prairie fields or knit during "free time" (that does sound nice though). For us, it means we study History in chronological order. We study real people, read "real books", appreciate art, classical music, and poetry. More than anything, I want the heart of their education to recognize the Heavenly Father in everything! I want to teach them to think about HIM in everything. This is why I feel Homeschool is the best choice for the education of my children. This is how I train them to leave our home someday, and be confident, God-fearing men and women. I am honored.

2011/2012 curriculum list

Josiah 3rd Grade

*Teaching Textbooks 

*Easy Grammar (my favorite Grammar curriculum! This curriculum starts in 2nd grade)

*Spelling Power

*A Reason For Handwriting

*I have compiled a list from Charlotte Mason/Ambleside. Library will be main source!

Foreign Language
*Prima Latina (Latin)

Ava Beth 1st Grade

*Alpha Omega Horizon's

*First Language Lessons For The Well-Trained Mind

*A Reason For Handwriting

*McGuffey's Eclectic Readers
Ambleside online (I have compiled a list for AB, and I found a great "listmania" on Amazon for her age group. I love listmania on Amazon!)

Group learning (our first year of group learning)

*Apologia Zoology 1 
*Apologia Zoology Notebooking journals

*The Mystery Of History Volume 1 Creation to Resurrection (I also bought the cd with printables)
*History Through The Ages -Creation To Christ (Timeline Figures)

*Geography From A to Z A Picture Glossary
*Around The World In 80 Tales
*Rand McNally Children's Illustrated World Atlas

*Westminster Shorter Catechism for kids (workbook 1)
*The Church History ABCs- Augustine and twenty-five other heroes of Faith
*Leading Little Ones To God (continued from last year)
*The Jesus Story Book Bible (on the iPad)
*Memorization (still looking for system)

*Usborne book of drawing, doodling and coloring
*Usborne 365 Things To Make And Do

Music Appreciation
*Famous Composers   (you can check out the link for a guide. there are some listed that we will not study and some I will be adding. Can't leave out Rutter and Copland! There is also a link to download notebooking pages. My kids love notebooking!)

This is something I am really excited about! I have even thought about studying the lives of those who wrote our hymns. If you have heard the story of Horatio Spafford, you will understand my interest. He wrote It Is Well With My Soul. It is my favorite hymn to sing. A tragic story of a man who lost everything, yet found peace in the Lord.

Ezekiel Pre-K
*I am not doing much.

I believe it is important to allow a four year old to enjoy being four! I did purchase several items from the dollar bins at Target, but I will not push him to read before Kinder. Josiah learned to read before kindergarten. I pushed him harder than I have any other child. I will not do that again, unless he/she shows interest. Pushing Josiah was more about ME than Josiah. The first-born is usually the one to be pushed the hardest. I've had to repent! I know have a first-born perfectionist that struggles in many ways like I do. I created that! I don't want to do that again. Jeremy is also a first-born. Poor Josiah has often received a double dose of pushing. Needless to say, Ezekiel is the total opposite.

When I sit back and really look at this list, I feel a little crazy. Keep in mind, this will not be our everyday load. Science will be twice per week, maybe three. History will be three days per week. Josiah will be doing Math (for the most part) independently on the computer. Spelling will be 15 minutes per day and Art/Music will be twice per week.

This year we will be taking breaks, snack-breaks, recess, and going at a much slower pace. I will NOT be trying to be done by lunch. Those days are gone! We do belong to an AMAZING homeschool group, which means sports and field trips will come into play each week. Ava Beth will continue dance and Josiah will continue Cub Scouts. We are also planning a vacation at Thanksgiving. There are a lot of things to consider as I plan. I get overwhelmed just thinking about it! This weekend I plan on getting away, alone, to reflect and PRAY. That is the most important thing I can do for our Homeschool.

This will be my fifth year (I always count Josiah's pre-k year because I was teaching him to read and write) and I am still clueless, insecure, and often intimidated by the "Homeschool World". I cannot...I will this without my Lord at the center. He must be the driving force behind everything we do or we are missing the point of a Homeschool Education.

Praying for each of you as you prepare for the new school year! We have the most amazing job in the world!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


Allison said...

Looks like the makings for a GREAT year! Thanks for sharing your list, and the process it took to get there. Those look like amazing choices, you're little ones are blessed!

Kate said...

your list sounds very much like mine!! we LOVED first language lessons to death! i bought the cd that goes along with it and the kids STILL Love to listen to that in the car. :)
it's going to be an awesome year!!!

Amanda- Texas Girl born and raised! said...

Thank you Allison. I am TIRED! I am glad I shared because I feel like a load has been lifted. I feel a little more organized. Thank you for taking the time to come and encourage me. That really blesses me!

Kate Tate! I was just looking today at the book and did a lesson with AB. I was wondering if I should have bought the cd for the car. Now I will! I love you!!

Kim said...

Love it all!!!

Amanda- Texas Girl born and raised! said...

Thank you Mama (Kim)! huge sigh of relief!!!! First list I've made in two years without checking with you first. I was nervous!!!!

Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing! Looks like a great year ahead! We will also be using Easy Grammar, A Reason for Handwriting, and Apologia. Would love to hear what you think about Teaching Textbooks.

Wendy said...

Hope y'all have a wonderful year! Looks like a great plan!

amber @ classichousewife said...

Great list! And I love most that you have peace about the things you've chosen. I know what you mean because last year was the first year where I felt TRULY happy with our curriculum, and not because it was all perfect but because it was all coming into place and coming from the RIGHT place, the right intent and desires of my heart, making our school curriculum more connected to doctrine and who God is and how He is connected to all of learning. I still made some changes for this year but we're on the right track and I can feel that. I am happy. I feel like we're honoring God with our homeschool as we are supposed to -- not as WELL as we could because we're still working on some habits and other things, but with our curriculum and focus, yes.
We've had a lot of success with the Charlotte Mason memory system-- have you seen it? Even the 5 year old picked up some verses pretty well. (The one he knows best is Proverbs 30:5) =D Anyway, it may not be a good fit for where you are now, but I recommend checking it out if you haven't seen it yet. Blessings!