Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fall 2008 Homeschool Overview

We are now officially done with the Waldorf Preschool Curriculum that we've been using since we started "homeschooling" a year & a half ago. It was a great way to get a feel for things, and at a preschool level I LOVE the waldorf philosophy because it's focused on delayed academics, and mostly art & nature! BUT while I may pull elements of waldorf (like the art & nature suggestions) throughout, I can't reconcile the overall waldorf philosophy with Christianity (though I know others do, but I can't. And the girls are, as always, full of interests so we're going to continue with a laid back approach, using their interests as our guide, for the most part.

Bible: We've enjoyed the Read and Learn Bible immensely and might re-visit it, but the timing is working well to switch to some more character trait based Bible study for this fall. Our new Sabbath School is using My Bible First for the Sabbath School lessons so that will allow us to continue to learn the Bible chronologically, while focusing on character traits in our Circle Time/Morning devotions. While I was packing for our move I found my set of Ladder of Life books, including the teacher's guide, from when I was a kid. Of course mine look NOTHING like the ones on the website (imagine that, they've changed the cover & such in the past 25-30 years LOL) but I assume the content is the same. Mine are already colored, but I want to see how into it the girls get, using mine. If they express an interest in having their own books to color, we'll get them their own sets next time we visit my parents. I'm also going to start a "copywork" binder for each of them. I need to look at the teacher's guide abit more. I THINK there's a Bible text in the teacher's guide to go along with each story, if that's the case, we'll use those texts for our copy work. And the girls will keep all their copywork in their binders. I think it will be fun for them to see how their handwriting improves over time, and while they won't know what their writing enough to memorize the texts by copying them out now, it is a good habit to get into. We'll also use Circle time to work on memorizing the MBF memory verses for Sabbath school each week since the teacher at this Sabbath School actually asks the kids to memorize the memory verse (woo-hoo!!) but it will be a challenge for awhile since the Primary MBF memory verses are much longer than the Kindergarten Gracelink ones were. I've e-mailed a company (listed on the MBF site) about ordering a CD w/ the memoryverses set to music, so if we get that, we can work on learning the memory verse when we're in the car too, and I think setting it to music will help the girls learn it more quickly.

Science: Earlier this summer A expressed an interest in learning about the solar system, so for the next couple months we'll be studying one planet each week. For the last, I don't know how long, I've been checking Currclick each week and downloading their free product of the week (as well as downloading & collecting any other free online homeschool resources I can find) regardless of when/if I'll ever use them. So when A said she wanted to learn about the solar system I already had a pre-school level solar system unit study in my files. Since the solar system was A's choice, as we near the end of this unit study, I'll give L the option of choosing the next topic we study.

History: The girls have an interest in American History (thanks to Papa's encouraging them to learn the presidents in order, as the President Dollar Coins come out (so they can say the presidents in order through John Quincy Adams at this point). And they also enjoy the books we have on "what life was like in the olden days". And thanks to living in a historic part of the country, we've been to various "old fashion" "field trips" that they find interesting. BUT it's all bits and pieces that are hard to put into perspective w/o a comprehension of the chronology of it all. So, when Ann mentioned a FREE American History curriculum in her own curriculum planning for this year. I had to check it out LOL. This curriculum is designed for grades 2-6, so will require much adaptation, but it at least gives me some book suggestions and such. And I've been thrilled to see that the VAST MAJORITY of the resources used in this curriculum (at least for the first few months) are available from our local library. Some of the books are used repeatedly all year, so those books I'll get from the library initially, but if we like them, I'll probably buy them to not have to keep returning them & checking them back out. But it still should be a wonderfully inexpensive introduction to American History and get the girls the basic chronology of it all from a brief intro (or, if we used the curriculum as laid out, a very extensive intro, but this is an area that I feel they'd burn out on, so we'll do a brief intro and expand it if they show additional interest) to the Native Americans before the Europeans came over, and moving forward from there. This is where the fact that I haven't made it to the library yet is holding us up though LOL. So this week we will focus on going to the library TOMORROW (barring sickness, we WILL go tomorrow LOL) and getting a library card so that I can then reserve the books we need for the first few weeks, and hopefully get them by later this week or at the very least next Monday to start right in next week. Also this week, I'll talk over with them abit of what we'll be learning and we'll set up a timeline. I need to get out the measuring tape. I'm either going to set the timeline up down our upstairs hallway or around 2 walls of our schoolroom, whichever space seems to work better. I'm thinking I'll take a piece of yarn and string it up and then mark every 100 years and then we'll hang pieces of paper from the yarn to indicate the various things we learn about (columbus, etc). Once I see how much space we really have for each 100 year period, I might just do the timeline from the birth of Christ on, and then at a later time we can add a second piece of yarn above it to represent the first 2000 years of the earth's history.

So, to start us out, here are the resources we will at least get from the library and decide which work best for our needs (I'll continue adding to this list, and adding reviews of the products as we use them) throughout this school year):

Week 1 - 3
North American Indians by Marie & Douglas Gorsline
History Pockets - Native Americans
Draw Write Now Book 3
Wee Sing America
Children's Treasury of Virtues by William J Bennett

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Christina.Kimberly said...
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