Teaching Kindergarten, 3rd grade, 4th grade
We’ve picked our official start date for school and its only 2 weeks away! We found a great routine after Christmas last year so I’m trying to keep a similar flow to this year’s curriculum plan. I know things may look different after we start; but for now, I have a plan. I received great advice once from a veteran homeschooler: she said the only thing you can count on when planning from year to year is that the routine always changes. This advice has helped me learn to expect that this year’s routine won’t work in 3 years, and that it’s okay that it’s different than the one we found in our 1st year. So this year I’m picking curriculum with that in mind. I’m picking materials that fit the routine at worked well in the spring, knowing we have safe starting point for this year, instead of trying lots of new things. We loved our Sonlight based Morning Time we started last year so we are keeping that. This year the focus will be Ancient History. We are not participating in co-op classes as a family this year, a first for us. But we are adding several online classes for Lynn and I’m teaching one, so there will still be changes to get used to.
Together Subjects aka: Morning Time
History: Ancient History, Core B from Sonlight
I’m excited to dive in and start our first family history year with Ancient History. Lynn did some American History in 2nd grade but this is the first year we will do it as a family. We are already dipped our toes into our Sonlight Curriculum Box and read the first books in the introduction units. I can’t wait to start our main history books, A Child’s History of the World and the Usborne Book of World History. My kids always want me to keep reading after we finish the daily assigned reading so we often get ahead of the schedule. I have a feeling we will be done early so I already collected World History part 2 to be prepared.
Science: Usborne Science Activity Book Volume 1, Sonlight Science C
Previously the older 2 did Sonlight Science B so we won’t be repeating it this year. It was our first introduction to Sonlight and we enjoyed it. We did skip this activity book in it so we will be starting our year with it learning about Magnets, Water, Light and Mirrors. After that I’m unsure where we will go. We may do the Usborne Book of Knowledge and Sonlight C or other unit studies. We will see what I feel like and the kids are interested in. I like having one subject area that I can get creative with and not have a strict whole year plan. Having everything else well planned makes it work.
Bible: Leading Little Ones to God, Missionary Stories with the Millers.
Usually the first thing I stop doing in a curriculum is the Bible portion. We are strong Christians but I firmly believe faith should not be a school subject. I want bible study and faith to be something outside of school, that we include in our family life regardless of our education choices. I look forward to using them as jumping off points for faith discussions and to help our kids understand scripture beyond the stories they learn they hear in Sunday School.
Literature: Sonlight B reading list
Dad teaches most of the literature. He gets the read aloud stack to read throughout the year as bedtime stories. The Sonlight literature list is a great variety. I read the Poetry selections during our Morning time. One of the things I was most overwhelmed by when I first heard about Sonlight was all the reading aloud, I’m glad I get to share the load with my husband on this. He is a much more animated reader anyways!
Fine Arts: I Can Do All Things, Museum Activity Book
We have had this program for a couple years, it came with Lynn’s 2nd grade program and we never used it. It wasn’t a good fit for everyone then, the thought of doing crafts with 2 preschoolers was not a good one. Last year we use an Art Activity book to introduce art appreciation and visual arts. I thought this year we would follow it up with hands-on art lessons. Finally everyone is old enough to not give mom a panic attack when the art supplies come out. I am looking forward to doing these with the kids and taking the time to slow down and enjoy and learn with them. There is plenty of material for us to pick and choose and even use it for more than 1 year.
Just for fun we will doing the Museum Activity book as a fun Friday activity. Learning how museums work is a great addition to Ancient History as we spend so much time in Museums learning about the past.
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 3-4
Most of their language arts are done independently, Cub and Lynn are on the same level for spelling so we do this together. I enjoy the open and go nature of All About Spelling. Its easy for me to adjust the lesson as they prove they have mastered it and there are just enough hands on material to be interesting. Both are reading several years above grade level, but its still important for them to still learn the spelling and phonetic rules so their reading can continue to grow.
Lynn will be doing most of her classes online through Skrafty, an online minecraft-centered co-op. She discovered how much she enjoyed this format last year when she took a writing class. She will also be doing a PE, Art, and Unit studies at a drop-off co-op and Piano lessons with a family friend. The youth drama program she is part of added a homeschool class which she is excited about.
IEW Ancient History Writing (online)
Fix It Grammar Nose Tree (online)
Center for Lit Ready Readers (online)
Math: Mammoth Math, Life of Fred
We customize curriculum the most for Cub to accommodate the unique challenges he has from Autism. Cub’s hand are strong enough to to comfortably write full sentences. We will switch our focus from handwriting to essay writing this year. He is looking forward to his Math U See after switching in the middle last year. He likes the white space in the workbook and easy to follow teaching videos.
Sonlight 4th Grade Readers
Writing Through Ancient History for Narration and copywork
Math U See Gamma
AJ is ready to run when it comes to learning. He is quick to remember information. He proved his knowledge last year so he is moving fast through his math program. I realized he hasn’t read as many picture books since he is the youngest. He has picked up whatever his siblings are reading (Star Wars Encyclopedias and comic books) so I’m excited to share some classics with him this year.
All About Reading Level 1
Handwriting Without Tears (Letters and Numbers for Me)
Mammoth Math 1st Grade
Weekly Picture Book units
Check out how these choices worked out for us in our Mid Year Review