Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not Back-to-School Blog Hop 2011 - Curriculum Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It's time for the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter!  And this week is Curriculum Week. I've talked about our curriculum choices some already, but for the fun of joining the blog hop, we'll revisit the topic.

We have 8 yr old twin girls, Sassy & MiniMe, and a 2 yr old whirlwind (of the female variety), Little Bit.

Here's what we're doing:

Bible:  The older girls each have personal Bible time first thing in the morning. One of the big girls or I also reads a Bible story to Little Bit during our morning "Quiet Times". We begin our "school time" by reading through the Bible together, chronologically. I've discovered that the You Version app for my Android phone, not only has a chronological reading plan, but will "read it" to us, so I can just set it up and it reads it to us. Saves my voice :) After we listen to the day's reading, Sassy & MiniMe each choose something from the day's reading to make a notebooking page for. They can choose to write the verse, draw a picture illustrating the verse, or both.

History: We're using this as a guide. We used it 3 years ago, just as a guide to read alouds and fun craft projects. This year we're using some of the more in depth read alouds (but still skipping the "workbooks" and "textbooks" that are recommended, as well as having the girls read some of the books themselves. Still loving the crafts and other hands-on things.  Since we live in such a history-rich area (Pennsylvania) we're hoping to include quite a few field trips as well. 

Science:  This will be abit of a hodgepodge.  This summer Sassy asked if we could learn about "bugs" this year, so we're starting with that. I'm using bits and pieces of some ebooks I already had. We'll be making a lapbook of all the types of insect we look at, but rather than using a pre-made one, I'm just looking at ebooks I already have, and free lapbooks online to pull one or two mini-books for each type of bug we learn about. Right now we're learning about ants. After reading some general information about ants, and the book Are You an Ant?, now they are working on their minibook for ants. I found one that has a page for each of several kinds of ants. I'm having them look up each kind of ant in our "bug book" and fill in the information. I'll figure out the specifics of other bugs as we get to them. Once we finish "bugs", MiniMe has asked to learn about trees and edible plants. And if we get through ALL of those and have time left, this year, we'll go back to my original plan for science/nature, which was to use the Character Sketches series.

Spanish: We have a calendar with a word or phrase each day and we review that word and the words we've already learned.

Health: We began using Vintage Remedies for Girls last year and then put it on hold to review a different health program. As we have time this year, I'd like to continue with Vintage Remedies, perhaps once a week.

Art:  We get art in our history curriculum (it includes Draw Write Now plus lots of craft projects), and also the drawing for Bible. But if we have time (another one we'll probably do once a week), I'd like to use this to give them some "art appreciation" type art.

PE:  For the most part, we get this by playing outside and such, but we have started using Brain Gym each morning (at least when I remember) to do a few simple exercises to help us all focus better on our academics.

In addition to all that, I'm on the TOS Crew again this year, to review products, so our "curriculum" will vary throughout the year depending on what we're reviewing. Right now, we're waiting (anxiously LOL), to receive Nature Nuts Game, so that will be some additional science/nature stuff.

I also just received Before Five in a Row to review with Little Bit. She's on the young side of it, but I think we'll have fun reading stories together and doing fun activities, including some "PE" that I think the big girls will enjoy too.

So I think that's it. I'm a firm believer that math and language arts are best learned through other things, rather than drilling, so unless we review language arts or math drill type programs, we won't be doing formal "curriculum" for those items (oh, except we do still have our subscription to Wordy Qwerty from last year's review, so as they have time the girls will continue to play with that).


Cara said...

I love your science plans. Thanks for the Brain Gym shout-out, I hadn't heard of it before and will now spend way too much researching it. :) Happy NOT Back to School!

Theresa said...

Stopping by from the blog hop!

Sounds like a great year!! My girls have their own Bibles as well. We used Apologia for science this summer and that got them looking stuff up! love it!

Best wishes for a fabulous year!