Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #2 - Agendas


This week’s theme is about sharing your 2008-09
homeschool agendas and plans. You’ve been preparing your plans for sometime and
you’re ready to go. Or you’re still in the planning-stage and need some
inspiration or tips on what to use. Because many use different curriculum and
methods there is always something new to be gleaned from other homeschoolers.
It’s always fun and interesting to see what other’s are using and the WWWWH as Robin
Sampson suggests
. So this week I hope you will share what you’re
doing this year for your homeschool agenda. Share the different curriculum
you’re using. You can also include what age/grade you’re using it for, how long
you’ve been using it, and why you like it.

Please share a Bible verse that has encouraged you
or inspired you during this planning-process, and how.

Ok, I briefly posted on this topic a few weeks ago here , but now that our year has actually gotten started I will update everyone on our plans.

The following subjects I am combining for both of the boys:

History/Geography: We are going through Volume 1 of The Mystery of History together, doing 2 lessons a week. We are keeping a history notebook which includes a timeline for each boy. We are having a lot of fun doing these together. We will also be including some map work in our lessons.

Bible: We are using BJU Bible Truths 2 together for our daily Bible lessons. We are also going to be memorizing the catechism at the beginning of the teacher's manual. Though we have a curriculum for Bible, Bible is sprinkled throughout all of our subjects as we desire to have a God-centered homeschool.

Science: For science this year we are making our own units incorporating living books, experiments, internet, dvd's, notebooking and lapbooking. The boys have chosen to study the following subject areas:
  • Geology (a brief overview of volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.)
  • Weather
  • Insects
  • Electricity
  • Space and Our Solar System

This is the first time I have ever attempted to put together my own studies, so it has been a bit intimidating, but I am trying to let our learning in this area follow a natural progression, taking my lead from the interests of the boys, and not take the feel of a structured curriculum.

Art, music, and PE : We are incorporating these areas into our lessons as opportunities arise. We will be doing a variety of arts and crafts throughout the year that I am still researching and planning. I am looking for materials to use for music instruction and we will be learning some keyboarding.

For Isaiah (7 yrs) :

Language Arts: Our main goal this year for Isaiah is for him to learn to read and gain confidence in this area. We have taken things very slow up to this point, as he is showing signs that this is a troubling area for him. He is going through Abeka Phonics and Reading K and after trying about 5 different curriculums in this area, he is showing progress with this one.

For grammar we are using Grammar and Punctuation 1 and Language Fundamentals 1.

He will also be using a journal to practice using what he learns and as an evaluation tool to check his progress.

Math : Isaiah is halfway through his BJU Math 1 curriculum and will start and hopefully complete BJU Math 2 by fall next year.

Penmanship : For handwriting practice I am making my own worksheets using StartWrite 5.0. We use italic printing style. I have decided not to teach my boys cursive unless they desire to learn it later on their own. I want our focus to be on neat, legible handwriting, not the style in which they write.

For Drew (8 yrs) :

Language Arts: For Phonics and reading we are combining several resources. We are using certain materials from Abeka to review blends and special sounds throughout the year. We are also using Read and Understand: Stories and Activities Grade 2 and it's companion MORE Stories to Read and Understand from Evan-Moor publishers.

For spelling we are adapting Abeka materials for now, but I have my eye on purchasing an Evan-Moor title called Building Spelling Skills: Daily Practice Grade 2.

For grammar and writing we are using Grammar and Punctuation 2 and Language Fundamentals 2from Evan-Moor publishers. Drew is going to be doing more writing this year as we have yet to do any formally. He will be learning about the writing process from start to finish. We are going to be using a mish mash of materials to learn these skills. He also will be keeping a journal.

Math : Drew is halfway through BJU Math 2 and will hopefully complete BJU Math 3 by fall next year.

Penmanship : Just like for Isaiah, for handwriting practice I am making my own worksheets using StartWrite 5.0. Again, I want our focus to be on neat, legible handwriting, not the style in which they write. For Drew he is not doing as many formal handwriting exercises as I am trying to instill the importance of always writing neatly. And all of his formal writing assignments will receive a penmanship grade as well.

If I had to choose one Bible verse that really speaks to me and the needs of my family when planning for our new year it would have to be

Psalm 20:4 (NIV)

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

I know my plans are nothing without HIS divine blessing and provision. I hope you have a blessed year!


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