I love this time of year! Even though not a ton changes for us at “back to school” season, I still look forward to fall and the return to routine. This will be our 8th year of homeschooling (how is that possible?!) and I still feel like every year just keeps getting better. I’m excited to share our homeschool plans for the year with you today.
I try to do as many of our school subjects together as possible. That generally means we do everything except Math and Language Arts together. And most of the takes place during what we call Morning Time.
They are a little silly, but very informative and we’ve really enjoyed what we’ve read so far.
We’re using The Good and the Beautiful History 1 this year. We’re about 5 lessons in and so far we love it. LOVE IT. It’s open and go (perfect for this busy Mama) and so well done. Engaging and interesting and contains plenty of variety to keep us all listening and learning. I have a tendency to tune my own self out when read alouds are boring (please tell me I’m not the only one) and so far that has not happened with this curriculum. How’s that for a glowing recommendation? 🙂
Both kids are using Bravewriter for their Language Arts this year. Ellie is doing Faltering Ownership and Boomerangs. Ethan is doing Jot it Down and The Wand. We’ve been using these programs for a couple of weeks and so far we love them. The are gentle and fun and not at all stress-inducing.
I’m also using the Pre-K book with Elijah. He’s only three, so we just spend a few minutes a day working on letter recognition and sounds. We also read lots of books.
Our read alouds are generally tied to the time period we are studying in history. One thing I really like about The Good and the Beautiful is that it touches on four different historical periods each year. It’s similar to the very common four year history rotation, but rather than focusing on one time period for a full school year (which my kids told me last year got booooring), they are broken up and you spend time in multiple time periods in the same year. For example, Year 1 covers: Ancient History, The Middle Ages/Renaissance, The French and Indian War through the Revolutionary War, and The Victorian Era, The History of Flight and the Cold War Era. In future years we’ll circle back and cover different topics/events in each of the four areas of History.
I like that we’ll have more variety and less opportunity to be bored. This year I’m hoping to read each of these books aloud:
The Golden Goblet (audiobook)
The Cat of Bubastes
Wulf the Saxon
American Twins of the Revolution
Patriots in Petticoats
Nory Ryan’s Song
I am David
The Candy Bomber
Both kids will be using Teaching Textbooks this year.
On Fridays we’re generally ready for a break from the routine. This year we’re implementing something new: Friday Funday! This consists of making a “fancy” breakfast, reading from our vast collection of inspiring/educational picture books (while sitting on the couch instead of in the school room), playing an educational game and watching a documentary. It’s been a low-key way to include seasonal books (for example, last Friday we learned all about the moon and solar eclipses).
I’m helping with a new homeschool co-op in our area. It’s very simple, which is just perfect for us. Just two hours per week: one hour is a hands-on class and the second hour is a group PE class. Low fees, low prep, perfect.
Each Friday we’re also meeting with friends for a Nature Group. We’ll be enjoying time outdoors as well as learning about nature journaling. I can’t wait for this one!
Big kids take piano, Elijah is doing violin (and yes, it’s the cutest thing ever).
I typed up a detailed weekly schedule that shows an “ideal” week. While we will not adhere strictly to this schedule, it allows me to see at a glance a general idea of what needs to be happening each day to stay on track. Having the flexibility to drop everything and go to the zoo or go for a hike is one of the main things we love about homeschooling. If we head out on a field trip for a day, we don’t do two days worth of work the next day. We generally just pick up the schedule on the appropriate day and just keep moving forward, with the exception of History. If we happen to miss a History day, I do try to get in at least a partial lesson the next day.
I’m looking forward to another magical, challenging, messy year of learning together with my kids.