“Man plans, and God laughs” – old Yiddish Proverb
This basically sums up my entire life (including homeschool) If you look at any of my personality types seeking input, planning, and trying to keep everyone happy always ranks in my top five attributes. Is it a coincidence that pride is my biggest downfall? Probably not. I basically like to think I know what is best for everyone and so that should make everyone happy. (See where the God laughing part comes in??) We have always had an eclectic homeschool plan. We do math everyday, science/history are on alternating days, and then we read a ton of books. Along the way, I throw in a few writing lessons and art projects, and we call it good. However, like the planner and improvement seeking person I am, every year we tweak it a bit (this is accompanied by groans from my children) But, since “mother knows best” we push on…
The big change for this year is that we are adding more Charlotte Mason practices into our school day. I have always loved the idea of Charlotte Mason, but was a little overwhelmed by it at the same time. In some ways it is a lot less work than our usual routine (less worksheets!) and in others it is more involved (nature studies, art and music appreciation, foreign languages, handicrafts, etc.) We lucked out and found a CM cooperative that was starting up in our area, so that helped a lot in getting a clearer picture as to what CM entails. So this year we are slowly going to be adding more CM practices into our day and hopefully that will not be a too big of a shock for my routine loving children. **Emma also has been taking college courses over the past year, so CM will be more of a supplement for her, than a curriculum.
Here is a glimpse into what we have planned for the school year:
Ben (grade 4)
Science: Land Animals of the Sixth Day. We have always used this series to do science in the elementary years and it is definitely a favorite. A few years ago, I also wrote out a study guide to sell in my TeacherspayTeachers store, so all of the planning is already done for me.
Math: Teaching Textbooks Grade 4
History: We plan on reading a lot of living history books and then writing about what we learned in our history notebook and timeline chart. **This practice is new for us this year. We usually just pick up a generic history textbook to cover this subject, but….that is somewhat boring. The idea of learning history through great literature, sounds amazing and fun to me. **I am still whittling down our options for books because there are so many.
English: I just love sharing my favorite books with my children. Luckily there are so many wonderful classics out there that meet the criteria for what CM deems “good literature”. So far we have read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Misty of Chincoteaque, and just started Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. I will say that by reading classics back to back, Ben’s ability to pay attention to the story has increased dramatically. I haven’t picked out every book that we will be reading, but here are some that look promising: Number the Stars, more Misty books, more Little House on the Prairie books, and the Chronicles of Narnia. CM also encourages narration instead of questioning when it comes to literature. So by just letting the child discuss what they are reading, this covers so much. Later in the year, I will have Ben start writing down his narrations, but so far it has all been orally presented.
Lego architecture (co-op)
Puzzles and Logic (co-op)
Emma (11th grade)
English Literature I (college)
Teaching Textbook Algebra 2
Theatre Appreciation (college)
U.S. Government (at home)
Free reading (I basically picked out a ton of literature books that Emma has not read yet and we plan on reading them together. Here is my running list: Beowulf, My Antonia, Farenheit 451, Tess of the D’urbervilles, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Separate Peace, Wuthering Heights, Dracula, Count of Monte Cristo, and a selection of short stories.
**Then at our new CM co-op we will be doing nature studies, poetry recitations, Shakespeare, handicrafts, hiking, art appreciation, etc. So basically our homeschool is packed full with goodness. Hopefully my kids will see it in the same light! And if the virus resurges, it will keep us busy at home.
What is your school year looking like?