Friday, September 2, 2011

2011-2012 School Year at a glance...

We are getting ready to start school in T-minus 4 days and counting!

Our school year will continue with most of the curriculum laid out in A Well-Trained Mind.This academic year I have Little Man in 2nd grade, Littlest Man in 1st grade (young at just-six, but so ready to be where he is!) and Little Miss Pink in preschool. I feel like I will need an extra arm, an extra brain, and 4 more hours of sleep per night to tackle the challenge of schooling three. But I know that, if I access it as I should, God has more than enough grace to cover my weaknesses!

Here is our school year at a glance as it looks on paper today:

For Littlest Man (1st Grade)
Saxon Math 1
Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, finishing this as it is a LONG book with 200+ lessons
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, volume 1
The Complete Writer, volume 1 for Little Man when we finish Ordinary Parents phonics/reading
Zaner-Bloser 1 handwriting
Spelling Workout A 
McGuffey's Eclectic Reader for once a week read aloud

For Little Man (2nd Grade)
Saxon Math 2
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, volume 2
The Complete Writer, volume 2
Zaner-Bloser 2C handwriting, which introduces cursive mid-year
Spelling Workout B
McGuffey's Eclectic Reader for once a week read aloud

For Both Boys
Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, volume 2, Middle Ages
Blackline Maps from Knowledge Quest
Apologia Astronomy
Apologia Worldview Who Is God?
How to Use-Child Sized masterpieces for Art Appreciation
And I'm hoping to use this book for art, as well: Drawing With Children

For Little Miss Pink
I'm using this fabulous curriculum for preschool, Letter of the Week. I bought it as an e-book/PDF file set from an amazing homeschool mom blogger, Confessions of a Homeschooler. It is a bit labor intensive (putzy!), but I think she will love it.  The price is right and it covers everything and more I think my little girl needs to learn. She turned three in May, so we will likely stretch the curriculum out over 2 years, supplementing as necessary and desired.

Here is our schedule at a glance, or at least as it should be in an ideal, Excel spreadsheet world, linked here.

So there you have it! We start our new year on Tuesday. Any and all prayers would be appreciated for a grace-filled, patient, kind, loving, learning-filled school year!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

2010-2011 School Year Review

Well, with our previous year of craziness, I can't exactly say that we have "finished" the school year. We still have 2 weeks of History to finish up at the start of this year. But I'm sticking a fork in '10-11 and calling it done.

We follow a classical education model as laid out in A Well-Trained Mind. The classical model, to me, makes the most sense and offers such a deep and wide wealth of knowledge. Each school year focuses on a historical time period and all of history is broken up into 4 sections. The four sections are repeated three times in the student's primary/secondary education, therefore solidifying the concepts as he progresses through grammar, rhetoric and logic phases of learning. Most of the literature is gleaned from the historical time period (e.g. The Odyssey during the Ancients, Beowulf during Middle Ages, etc.).

Here is what we did last year:

Saxon Math 1 for Little Man.
Kumon Numbers, Counting, and Misc. Math for Littlest Man

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind for Little Man's Grammar/Copywork
Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading for Littlest Man

Spelling Workout A for Little Man 

Zaner-Bloser Handwriting for both boys

Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 1: Ancient History
Science: Animal Studies using this resource, Human Body studies using this book, and a little bit of Plant Studies using this one. We picked several topics out of each book and did further reading from the library and projects, too.

Music: Classical Music studies with these fabulous CDs.

Art: Lots of miscellaneous projects from various sources, including some great Usborne books.

We also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this history resource--The Usborne Internet-Linked History of the World. The boys cart this behemoth of a book all over the house and it has been taped together at least twice. They love it and it is fantastic.

So there you have it! Our year in a nutshell. All in all, we loved everything we used. I am continuing with almost everything this coming year.