Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not Back to School Blog Hop - Curriculum Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This week is the first week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop over at Heart of the Matter. And this week’s theme is curriculum. Which is an interesting topic for us this year . . . Last year was a “planned” year. Between Polished Cornerstones and Prairie Primer, we had our daily “lessons” that had to be done, if not truly DAILY, at least regularly. And now this year, we’re going back to a more “unschooled” approach. Or at least “unplanned” LOL. Lots of factors . . . this is our last year that we don’t have to worry about reporting to the state (PA law requires that we start reporting when the girls are 8, so we will be “official” homeschoolers next July). We have quite abit of travel planned for this fall, including a week in Williamsburg, another trip out to western PA, and a trip to Disney, etc. Also, this is our first year on the TOS Crew I’m really not sure how that would fit in with a planned out year, since we don’t know in advance what we’ll be reviewing or when. So, by not planning out a cohesive year, we can be free to review whatever’s thrown our way when it comes along.

Also, these last 3 weeks of traveling and spending lots of time at museums, has reminded me that we haven’t explored the area closer to home very much. So, I’d also like to keep time open to visit museums and historic sites in our area.

So, the “curriculum plan”, such as it is, is as follows (and because it’s so many little things, it ends up being so much longer than a boxed curriculum, or even a couple different unit studies:

Bible – This is by far our #1 priority subject. If my children don’t learn anything else from me, as their mother & teacher, but grow up with a good relationship with God, I can live with that. A couple months ago A1 asked me if we could study the history of our church (Seventh-day Adventist). So that’s what we’ll be doing for Bible this year. I don’t have a curriculum as such for it. There’s a set of felts that used to be used in Sabbath School, and my parents had a set of them. Another SDA homeschooler mentioned that the book of “lesson helps” that comes with those felts tells the basic stories of church history, so we’ll be using that. I think Little Bit’s at an age where the felts will help to draw her into the stories abit too, even if she doesn’t really understand. We'll also be using the Pathways of the Pioneers CDs to tell the stories of our early church pioneers. I really have no idea how fast we’ll move through this or how long it will take, if it takes all year, great, if it only takes a couple months, that’s fine and then we’ll play things by


Spanish – This past year we had several “electives” that we spread out over the week and Spanish was one of those. We’re using The Easy Spanish curriculum(Junior level) and I think we’ll try to at least spend a few minutes EVERY day (or every day that we “do school” anyway) on Spanish this year.

Nature – The girls love nature, I love that they love nature! I was reminded, recently, while re-reading Raising Your Spirited Child that we need to schedule time outside every day, for so many reasons. So I’m hoping to make that a priority this year, WHAT specifics we study, I’ll let the girls decide, sometimes we may just go for a walk and see what we see, and that’s ok too. . .

Handwriting – This is one of our current TOS Crew review subject. The timing is great. A couple months ago A1 asked to learn “curlicubes” (she INSISTS on calling it that, not cursive), so I started just giving them a letter to practice every couple days. Interestingly, A1 has struggled with it, and I think if it were just her, she’d have decided to stop for awhile, but A2 has blossomed, I love seeing her enjoy writing more and I really think cursive is the key for her, for whatever reason, she’s struggled with printing, and is finding cursive much easier. And then, we were sent a cursive handwriting program to review, so that’s encouraged us to “kick it up a notch” so that we can give it an honest, and comprehensive review at the end of the month. So, handwriting will for sure be a daily topic for the month of August, after that, we shall see . . . it will depend on where we’re at at that point. I for sure want to keep focusing on it until we’ve worked through the whole alphabet, then we’ll see . . . I must admit, as long as they write legibly, I don’t see a whole lot of value in a specific “class” seems like we can practice handwriting while writing things that have other value.

Math – Just today I got notification that we’ll be reviewing Pyramath so once we receive the product, we’ll have math class for a month or so while we try it out, then we’ll probably go back to learning math through life, though people say this is as addictive as Suduko and we all love Suduko so we may be hooked LOL.

Cooking – A2 especially is interested in learning to cook better, so as much as possible (Little Bit’s getting to the point where this should be at least a tad easier) I’d like to expand on that and get both big girls cooking more and learning more about nutrition and kitchen skills in general.

Handwork – we’ll also continue to encourage their knitting, weaving, cross-stitching, and other handwork, if my mom has time later this winter we might move into some beginning sewing machine lessons as well, we shall see. . .

Be sure to hop over to Heart of the Matter to check out what others are using for curriculum this year.


Lori @ The Davidson Den said...

Wow! You've got a lot going on!! I love that you're teaching your girls cooking and handwork. That's something I hope to be able to do for my daughter. I'm just praying to feel a little less overwhelmed and find just a few more spare minutes than I've had in the past! Ha!! Congrats on the TOS Crew. I'd like to do that someday. Not ready right now... Anyway, I hope you have fun doing it!

Sweetpeas said...

Lori, cooking can be taught with very little extra time, just involve her in the daily meal prep. The handwork, they've begged to do, and the things we've done I can usually show them how and then leave them to do it and ask questions once in awhile. Biggest challenge has been keeping it all out of the baby's reach.