This week's theme at Homeschool Memoirs is Homeschool Agendas. Since I haven't entirely figured that out yet for myself, I thought joining in and writing it all down might help me get my thoughts together.
We are on day 33 of our 2008-09 school year. And so far everything has gone smoothly. I planned the first 20 days out and now i am going week by week with some monthly and yearly planning too. I have yet to find a curriculum I love in it's entirety. I like some parts of a lot of different things. And it seems I tend to come back to me for most things we do. My kids are young, it's easy to do. I am sure as they grow I will turn more towards a premade curriculum, but for now this is what is working. We have a school day from 8:30 to 11:00. All actvities must be approved. Basically they have free choice from the playroom/classroom minus one shelf that has the cars and more toy-like activites. All the other kits, puzzles, art, practical life, etc is available. My oldest has a checklist of what he is to do that day on the dry erase board, once that is done (in any order) he can choose what to do off the shelves. Same for my 5 yr old- except no checklist, we cover the basics I set out and then he chooses. But here is the basic rundown for the year:
So for my oldest son, 7 yrs old, in 2nd grade:
Math: he is finishing up his Subduing Subtraction book from Mastering Mathematics; doing a lot with Montessori-inspired math manipulatives made by me. Reading higher number and getting ready for multiplication. I plan on starting multiplication when he is done with the subtraction book. We will still be using a lot of Montessori-inspired activities and manipulatives, aswell as his Multiplication book from Mastering Mathematics.
Language: He is doing Easy Grammar, supposed to be daily but usually just 2x a week. He is also working through Explode the Code 7. 2x a week. He is doing weekly spelling lists of about 10 words, organized by a phonogram. He is working though HWT Cursive, 2x a week and a self directed 15 min writing session of his choice the other days. He has one read a loud of my choice a day. Any other language is free choice from the language shelf (which isn;t quite finshed) but will contain a lot of word study materials: homophones, antonym, synonym, plurals, abbreviations, compound words, prefix and suffixes, alphabetizing, syllabication, etc...
Science and Social Studies: These 2 subjects are done in units with the whole family doing the same things- just more indepth for the older. Usually we don't do both subjects at once. We will study government, ancient cultures, the history of the earth, volcanoes, animals, and some others that I can't think of at the time and I don't have my planner here with me right now. I also have basic sceince equiptment on our shelves: microscope, telescope, magnets, electric kits, classification work for everyday use. He is also required to do georgraphy work 2-3 times a week. If I have nothing in particular planned then he chooses from the shelf. Our geography shelf is still a work in progress too. My plan for him this year is to cover N.America geographically. Countries and US States as well as other marks of interest.
Art: This year I have chosen 5-6 artists to study. So far we've done Kandinksky- which went wonderfully! We will also study various musicians from the classical composers to the Beatles. Art supplies are always available and we will be covering some different aspects of art composition this year in addition to free art. Music is an area in which we are seriously lacking- I really want them to learn an intrument but so far that isn't working too well.
Now for my 5 yr old, in K:
Math: We are covering the Kindergarten basics. Money, measuring, time, calendar, beginning addition and subtraction. The goal being to get him counting to 1000 and thoroughly understanding numbers and thier meanings and well into the mastery of additon during the year. He's got a couple books, which he chooses from. We do mostly hands on, manipulative based work, and a lot of Montessori inspired work too.
Language: He is working through the HWT printing book, he can form all uppercase and most lowercase. So our goals are to get the letters neater and on the lines. He has a weekly spelling list of 5 words, mostly CVC words right now and I will increase them as I see fit. He also is working though explode the code 2 1/2 and 3 sporadically. He really enjoys his work from the Language Shelf which he does daily during his free choice school time. His portion of the language shelf consist of words/picture matching- CVC, blends with short vowel and phonograms- word/item boxes, simple syllibication and alphabetizing. He also does one required read aloud to me a day.
Science, Social Studies and Art will be the same as above, since those studies aren't seperated by grade. Overall his year will be simple, more child-led, where if he doesn't want to do my chosen activity he can counteroffer a new one. If he's having an off day he can read to himself or do other approved acivities.
For Cohen, age 3:
I have no real plan for him, other than to spend more time working with him in general, covering things of his interest and mine: counting, letter sounds, basic preschool stuff. I try and get him focused on a few things per day. Pouring, sorting, coloring, lapbooks, being read to and "reading". But he is there with us for all our studies so he absorbs what he sees.