Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Schoolyear Start Update

[This is a reprint of MrsDarwin's post on how we started off the 2009-2010 homeschooling year.]

The school year doth approach. Here's some of what we're looking at for this school year (scheduled to start 8/31):

Learning Language Arts Through Literature: The newer editions have workbooks and reading packages and what-have-you, but I like the older series because all you need is the book, paper and pencil. I dictate a passage or set it up as copywork, then we talk about the grammar and spelling rules found in our passage.

Journaling: This year I want my second-grader to start writing a journal entry once a week.

Miquon Math and MCP Workbooks: Last year I had both the girls working on the same level, which is convenient because they're so close together, but I think that this year we may need to break out a bit.

Spelling Power: One book for spelling from start to finish, and you can use it for all the kids! My kind of program. We took the placement test and the second-grader begged for more. (The first-grader won't do formal spelling this year.) We're using the third edition -- I don't know if there's a huge difference between the third and the fourth.

Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, and The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism: The gold standard. We have a first communicant this year, and though I'll be teaching her first communion class at the parish, I've seen the featherweight workbooks they use.

Faith and Life: Again, a gold standard for religion textbooks, and perfect for youngsters to read aloud.

Famous Americans: Left over from my brother's third-grade Calvert books. Just right for
independent reading and just short enough to narrate back in depth. We might make a timeline to go with this and other reading.

French: I've realized that although I think Latin is swell, at the moment the only language I'm set to teach is French. I might work with a friend who passed some of her youth in France to put together a once-a-week language session for our kids.

Italics: I just like the look of the Italics handwriting script. We have the alphabet chart taking up most of the "dining room" wall. (The quotation marks mean that the dining room is really just a corner of the kitchen.)

Drawing with Children: Art, once a week.

Science: We're going to learn about weather and geography, courtesy of the library's great bounty.

Various read-alouds: Right now we're working through By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Princess and the Goblin, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Witch Family (thanks to OH). I haven't planned out what to read next -- inspiration usually strikes before we're done with any particular book (hence the four at a time).

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