Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plans for the 2011-2012 school year

If you're a homeschooling family, 'tis the season for planning. Or rather, finalizing the plans that you started back in March when the planning bug usually hits. Or is that just me?

Anyway, Little Man will officially be a kindergartener this year and Z-Man will be in fifth grade. Which means he'll be in junior high next year. How is that possible?!

Here are our plans, more or less:
(Click on any of the pictures or links for more information.)

Subjects we'll do all together:

This is technically not a school subject. I tell my kids that it's way more important than school.
As a family, we're currently reading through the kid's Bible story book illustrated by Tomie DePaola.

It's a good one to read at night because the pictures aren't scary.
Z-Man and Mark have been getting up early to work through one of the Kay Arthur Bible study books for kids.
We'll also continue our Bible memory using the Seeds Family Worship CDs. Love those! And we'll hopefully continue to learn some great old hymns.

We plan to use some really fun books that I found at the convention this year:
Forces and Motion, which explores physics with fun experiments like figuring the speed of various wind-up toys,

and The Earth: Its Structure and Changes

I'm also planning a rather lengthy study of the human body with TONS of hands-on projects using primarily these three books:

My Body - Trace your kid and paste on all their body systems!

Considering God's Creation - which is just a wonderful natural science program all by itself, and

Reader's Digest How The Body Works - this book is just staggering. There are so many cool projects and experiments that you could easily work on it for a full year.

We'll be continuing with TruthQuest History, which made history my absolute favorite part of the day last year. We read so many great books! Z-Man will be in the second American history book which goes from the Constitution through the Civil War. There are some new products available this year on the TruthQuest site: a series of notebooking pages, lapbook pages, maps and timelines that correspond exactly with the guides. The end product should be a nice book of our history studies for the year. Little Man will be encouraged to listen in!

We'll try to work through Evan-Moor's How to Teach Art to Children

and also Drawing With Children.

We'll continue with our artist studies, focusing on two artists per semester.

We'll continue our composer studies, focusing one two to three composers per semester. We listen to their work, listen to shows on Classics for Kids, and read a biography like the series by Mike Venezia or Opal Wheeler.

Separate Subjects:

Z-Man will continue to work independently through Saxon 65. Little Man will do "living math" from our FIAR studies and real life problems that we make up for him.

Language Arts
Little Man would like to continue to learn to read. He seems to progress in spurts. We use a plethora of things to help him, including letter magnets, Bob books, Starfall, Leapfrog videos and more. He will also start Explode the Code this year.

Z-Man will work on the book, All Things Fun and Fascinating, from the Institute for Excelling in Writing.

Little Man will have his own special time to read all the great FIAR books! I am SO glad that I get to go through them all again! What a wonderful program. Z-Man has such fond memories of all these books that I probably should have included this in the "subjects we'll do together" section of this post. I'm sure he'll want to sit in on it.

So there you have it! I think it's going to be a great year!

If you're like me and you love seeing what others are doing, hop over to the "Not Back to School" Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter! The button doesn't seem to bring you to the right place, so click the words instead.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why does summer go so fast?

Oh my! The summer is flying by! Please forgive my extended absence from this blog. The weather has been lovely and we've been out having fun.

Some of the things we've been up to:


Picnics and water gun fights

Enjoying the fruits of summer


Meeting new friends

I'll certainly try to get back here a little more frequently in the next few weeks! I hope you are all enjoying your summer as much as we are!