Monday, June 01, 2015

Looking Forward to First Grade (2015/2016 School Year)

Wow.  I can't believe that.  Wasn't I just pregnant with her?  How is she already in "real school?"

Life Skills:  with a new little brother or sister coming in the Fall, Lord-willing born at home, she will be getting a very detailed course in Infant Development, Home Management, Surviving Without Mom, Independent Foraging/Cooking, and Self-Entertainment.  :)  Honestly for the first few months, this may be the bulk of her education, lol.  At least Liam will be enrolled in a local 2-day preK program.  But assuming we get past the sleep deprivation and correct whatever tongue tie issues this child has (I'm just assuming it will have them, considering all the grandkids on one side have it and all but one on the other side have too.)... here is our slightly more academic home education plan for 2015/2016.

Math:  Saxon 2, with workbooks like Littlest Pet Shop Math Practice and Grade 1-2 Everything for Early Learners for extra practice.  I actually find the "Everything for Early Learners" series to be really good as far as workbooks go!  We are using it through the summer to reinforce and practice too.

Language Arts:
- Spelling: All About Spelling 2
- Grammar: First Language Lessons, level 2 (This book has both levels in one book which is very economical and good for crowded shelves)
 - Handwriting:  Cursive First, Prescripts (Classical Conversations)
- Writing:  Bible Heroes from Institute of Excellence in Writing, and a daily journal.  Each day she'll have a prompt and write & illustrate her answer in this book (My Picture Story Book by millerpadsandpaper).  I think we'll use our well-loved Q & A a Day for Kids questions as her prompts.
- Literature:  First Favorites Guides Volumes 1 & 2 and More Favorites by Veritas Press.  I'm not really sure we "need" these since we tend to talk about books as she reads them and she gets plenty of reading comprehension practice that way, but since I know my time and brain power will be seriously curtailed by "Baby Blue"'s arrival early in the school year, I think this will be helpful, as anyone who is helping me (Daddy, grandmas, friends) could use this.  I also got them second hand at a good price, which helps. :)  I'm hopeful that this book - Reading Roadmaps- will help me handle literature from here on out to a good ways.  We will be reading tons of good quality kids books (thank you local library) as well as readers from Christian Light Publishers:  I Wonder and Helping Hands.  They are beautifully illustrated, well-written readers that are both edifying and interesting.

History:  Ancient History-- finally buying the full Classical Conversations Acts & Facts Cards set!! Woohoo!! Bede's History of Me is a fun little book we'll be trying too.  (Ebook available from Veritas Press) I have accumulated many coloring books that tie into Egyptian, Roman, etc. Ancient History, from Miracle Hill (local thrift shop w books for 50 cents), friends whose homeschooled kids have graduated, and yard sales.  We will be going through Story of the World Volume 1.  I actually have the Activity Book for it too so that will be fun. :)

Geography: CC

Science: maybe Nutrition 101: Choose Life from Growing Healthy Homes.  I hope to use this on a rotating schedule throughout all our homeschooling years!  It combines Nutrition and Anatomy in a comprehensive, Biblically-sound curriculum adapted to both older and younger students.  I'm just not sure I'll be able to handle it next year... we will see.

Fine Arts:
- Music- Suzuki violin? Suzuki piano? lessons. We are exploring options but she will for sure have SOME kind of instrument lessons. (Summer participation in 2nd Presbyterian's Musical CAT Kids, May-Aug).
- Visual Art- ArtPac 1 by Art with a Purpose, also CC
- Ballet

PE- ballet!!

Bible:  Truth & Grace Memory Book #1 and an intro to Hebrew with Purple Pomegranate's kids CDs Yeladim for Y'shua and You Gotta Jump, as well as their book Walk with Y'Shua through the Jewish Year.

Foreign Langage:
- Spanish:  I'm seriously considering this 3-DVD series, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids, which is immersive in its approach, and from all accounts is quite popular with kiddos.  I watched a few clips and was so relieved that the kids all have GOOD accents!  However, the $25/DVD price tag is quite steep... I may wait another year until they start being sold used...

Liam will be in a K3 class at a local church school two mornings a week (along with his bestest buddy Levi), mainly to give him a chance to obey a non-parent and learn to function in a group, and to give me the chance to get two full mornings of school in with Sis, I do hope to have plenty of learning opportunities available for him, especially while I'm working with Eowyn more formally than ever before.  I was so impressed with the book The Homegrown Preschooler especially as a former preschool teacher myself-- it is so reassuring, empowering and non-stressful, not to mention pedagogically sound and downright beautiful to look at.  Imagine my joy when I found out that the authors have now published a full curriculum, entitled A Year of Playing Skillfully.  It is just as well-laid out, beautiful and doable as their book!  While the book makes it very clear that you don't need a formal curriculum, with a new baby coming I am in favor of anything that minimizes need of brain-power for me. :)  I plan to use this both this year and the next for our little preschooler.  As he desires to I will also start some phonics/reading with him too-- he's already pretending to sound things out, recognizing letters and wanting to do everything Big Sis does, so I think he may be ready.
- Dance... he really really wants to try it.

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