Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thinking ahead... way, way ahead...

First off, after 21 days of snow on the ground, it is FINALLY melting. Finally. Here's to melting snow not coming back. Ever, if I have my way.

And with the melting snow comes thoughts of spring. Like gardening. And Spring Break. And with thoughts of Spring Break comes thoughts of summer. And with thoughts of summer comes thoughts of fall. And with thoughts of fall comes thoughts of curriculum for the 2010/2011 school year.

And schools. I do have to figure out which school M2 is going to be attending next year sometime in the next couple of months. Option 1 is the current school, which is a good school and has the PERFECT calendar for us since we get a one-week break in October (over M1's birthday) and a two-week Spring Break (over M2's birthday). It also is where her current friends are, which does have to be taken into consideration. Option 2 uses a traditional calendar, which is a down side, but it's a larger school with more extracurricular activities and is actually cheaper for us. She's only going into kindergarten, but still... wherever she goes next year really is where I'd like to keep her for a while. Option 2 is a good school, too, by the way. Where would you send your daughter??? I seriously want to know.

Back to curriculum. Since I'm just a little bit OCD and an uber-planner (gardening plans will likely be laid out next week), I went searching for ideas for next year, and I think I've pretty well gotten it figured out already. And I may have ordered most of it after Oz may have indicated that it was acceptable to order books and materials for August in... January.

So here's (roughly) the 2010/2011 curriculum:

HISTORY: Continue with Story of the World Volume II, text and activity book. He's extremely happy with this and so am I.

SCIENCE: Continue with a combination of R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth & Science and E=mc2 Earth Science. Since he can plow through an entire lesson in one sitting without batting an eye, I do need two science curricula. Science is his forte, and he does retain the lessons well, and at this age, the point is to expose him to as much as possible anyway so that he can specialize later.

MATH: Continue with Math-U-See. We'll be starting Beta here in a few weeks but I know we won't finish that by the end of this school year, so we'll review, finish that, and continue on to Gamma next school year. I'm also going to continue supplementing with the occasional page of Singapore work because he enjoys the pictures and more "lively" approach as opposed to the strict black-and-white of Math-U-See.

GRAMMAR: Finish First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mine Volume I and either continue with Volume II or check out Shurley English. Decisions don't have to be firm in this area for quite a while, so I'm not in a rush. Add some Mad Libs books for fun.

WRITING: Continue Handwriting Without Tears and their second-grade curriculum one day a week. I will not be starting cursive in second grade because of his problems with handwriting, but I will start adding some dictation sentences. I'm also going to order Writing Strands because he'll enjoy the activity part of it and the fact that it takes four days to complete.

READING: Continue reading as he has been but encourage him to make a book list to keep up with all he reads during the school year. He loves to read, so this shouldn't be a big issue.

SPELLING: Not sure on this one, actually. We've been using Spelling Workout B (he finished A months ago since I didn't make him do any lesson where he could spell 100% of the words out of the gate), and he's not very fond of some of the parts of it. I need to get hold of some other spelling curricula and see what's out there. Any suggestions?

ART: I found a book called Complete-A-Sketch Vision-Dexterity-Focus which works for people with dexterity problems and ordered that and also ordered Artistic Pursuits Volume I because it will help him review the history we're learning this year in combination with art.

MUSIC: He says he wants to learn piano, so we'll see where that leads. I'm not sure his heart is really into it.

LOGIC: I ordered a fun logic problem book called Logic Safari for him to take a look at. I'll let him work through that at his leisure.

LANGUAGE: He wants to learn French AND Latin next year. He's 7, will be 8. I can't see two languages going over well. Sooo, since language IS a requirement in this state, and I'd really prefer him to learn a living language, French it is. Le Francais Facile Junior has been ordered for that purpose.

MEDIA: Dance Mat Typing will be used on the computer, and I plan to teach him some basic computer skills as well. I mean, he knows some of the basics, but experimenting is not something he's really been able to do on the computer yet, and I want that to change. (Shhhhh... don't tell him, but he's probably going to get his own computer for his birthday in October).

*DEEEEEEP breath*

So it sounds like a lot! Most of it we're already doing, though, so I don't think it'll add a lot of time to our day, and I don't do everything every day.

I'd seriously love input on where you'd send your daughter to school and what you use for spelling. Thanks!


Marla said...

I think I would choose option 1 as it sounds like it has more pros than the other one.

As for spelling, we use Spelling Power, Fourth Edition with DVD and CD-ROM By: Beverly L. Adams-Gordon. It's perfect for 3rd - 12th so you only have to purchase once. Best wishes with everything!

S. said...

I wondered if Spelling Power was any good. I'd seen it around but didn't know a whole lot about it! I'll be checking into that. Also, thanks for the opinion on the schools! It's driving me crazy. Homeschooling is so much easier sometimes!