Friday, July 19, 2013

Curriculum Plans - 2013-2014

This year is very much just a roll-forward of last year, but for the sake of having an ending/starting point, we line up with the reporting the state requires, and call July the start of our new school year.

So, I thought I'd do a quick run-down of what our school plans are for this year.  As always, reviewing plays a big, unpredictable, part in our planning, so I intentionally plan the "bare minimum" and expect review products to fill in (the first time we reviewed, I planned a full schedule, and was frustrated when we didn't have time for 90% of it, so this works better for me LOL).

Bible - always my number one priority.  We actually have 2 Bible times, but this refers to our morning Bible. At the moment we are reviewing a curriculum that I will post about in a couple weeks. After the review period is over we will wrap up the quick Fruit-of-the-Spirit lapbook that I pulled out of my archives when E & J began joining us for school, then we'll move into the curriculum I'm excited about for this next school year (and if we like it, going forward)! Bible Road Trip I love that this uses the BIBLE as the textbook! I love that plenty of discussion is expected. And I love that it's designed for multiple ages.  Little Bit is still very young for this, but most of the time she'll be playing quietly in the room and will be picking up on things even if she's not actively participating.

Circle Time - this is for Little Bit (and E &J when they join us) we will be continuing with the waldorf preschool curriculum that I used with the twins at this age. Our current unit is on weather/season/frogs, every 6 weeks (roughly) there's a new unit. Circle time includes songs and poems, the Bible story to coordinate with Little Bit and J's lesson at church that week, a book from the book basket, that follows the theme of the current unit. This year we are also doing a bead calendar. Starting in January we took a long piece of yarn and pony beads. Each month we choose a color of bead to represent that month, and add a bead for each day, it's fun to see the year unfold this way and a good introduction to calendars for littles. Since our current unit is about weather, we also have a "weather vine" (green ribbon on the wall) and each day that we do circle time, we decide what kind of weather that day is, and put the appropriate colored leaf on the vine. We'll probably continue this into the new unit(s) as long as the children are enjoying it.

Outdoor Time - this varies. Most days it's just getting the kids' wiggles out for at least a few minutes. When the Waldorf curriculum includes something outside, that happens during this time too. When the weather is amazing, outdoor time becomes much longer

US History - our hope is to finish US History this year (post Civil War to modern).  We are currently reviewing a curriculum that MiniMe likes and Sassy doesn't, once the review period is over we'll re-evaluate whether we continue with it, or go back to Truthquest.

Math - Life of Fred ALL THE WAY!!! Sassy LOVES LOVES LOVES it! MiniMe isn't quite as fanatical about it, and isn't moving as quickly, but she does it willingly whenever I ask. It's definitely the perfect fit for them.  I'm also looking into finding a good iPod app or something to help them increase their speed for multiplication tables.

Art - Waldorf is heavy on art, so for the most part, art this year will be from Little Bit's curriculum. Even though it's "preschool", it's things like water color painting and such that the older girls still enjoy. And at this point, they "follow the assignment" whereas Little bit pretty much covers the whole page with water/paint no matter what she's "supposed" to be drawing LOL. We do have a couple more See the Light videos that the girls are anxious to do, so we'll slip those in on a few rainy afternoons or somesuch as well.

Science - For now I'm going to rely on the nature studies in the Waldorf curriculum (and review products) for this.

Music - Piano and Violin lessons are our main music curriclum. We are slowly working through the composer lapbook we reviewed last spring, as time allows.

Language Arts - I stick with my overall method of reading lots of books being the best way to learn language arts. Both girls have chosen to continue using at least the handwriting portion of PreScripts. MiniMe is also asking me to teach her grammar and punctuation. For the moment, I've just been going over her writing assignments from other subjects with her, showing her where the punctuation and capitalization should be. I'm on the hunt for something to use more intentionally, we shall see . . .

And that's a brief overview of our curriculum plans for this year :)


Lakeshia said...

This sounds great! What time do you guys get started in the morning, do you have breaks, and an ending point? I just started my idea of a schedule, and since I have a 5,3,2, and 8 month old it is a little scattered :)

Sweetpeas said...

Hi Lakeshia. We roughly start at 9:00, the outside time is our main break. On days that the neighbor boys join us we also have a morning snack, and the little ones get "breaks" while I do stuff with the big girls. I try to alternate things. So . . .
Bible (for the big girls)
then Circle Time (mainly for the littles, sometimes the big girls join us, sometimes the do math or something)
Then outside time (mainly unstructured for everyone)
Depending how long they're outside, we might read history after that, or we might do a snack, then read history. History is "semi-structured" for the littles. They are usually in the room coloring while I read.
Next is art (structured-ish for all, but if it's painting, even if there's an "assignment" if they want to paint something else, that's fine)
Then it's math time. One of the big girls helps E with his LoF, the other big girls works on her own LoF my assumption had been that Little Bit and J would just play outside or whatever, but they want to "do math" too, so I've been getting out cuisinare (sp?) rods or other manipulatives to work with them, that's only because they asked though, I'd expected that to be an unstructured time for them.