Saturday, August 13, 2011


I admit I am not a very good planner. At least I don't do a whole lot of written, detailed plans until I have to. I don't usually plan out an entire school year week by week. I don't even use a lesson plan book or planner. I guess I rely on my memory and a lot of luck to keep things running smoothly.

This week has been a busy week while we get ready for the next school year. I know... we don't really start or end school because we just keep learning and "doing school" all year long. But we will be starting co-op in a few weeks and we have some outside of the house type classes that my kids are going to be starting soon.  I have had to research, plan and go to meetings for each of these things. My kids are getting excited about making changes to the schedule and doing some new things.

Starting in September the kids will be starting piano lessons. For the last few months I have had the kids spend 15 min practicing piano each day. They have been working through the Teaching Little Fingers to play book as well as a five finger movie theme book. Henry is very good at the Harry Potter song and plays it every time he has access to a piano. So if we stop by your house for what ever reason and Henry sees your piano he will ask to play Hedwig's Theme. I guess I should be happy it isn't the Darth Vader music he used to play all the time. We will see how lessons go with each of the kids.

I have also signed them up for a science class. It is an anatomy class for the boys and a genetics class for Sophie. It is done by the same people that we have done science classes with before so I already know the kids will love these.

At co-op the kids will be doing Art once a month, a Lego class (My kids will LOVE this one!), and all the normal singing, sharing and game playing, as well as a new Geography class we are starting. It is more of a world cultures class. We plan to highlight one country every week and have one of the children prepare a little presentation about that country including any food, culture, customs and language from that country. It should be fun. I am in charge of the book club for the 6-12 year olds. It is a somewhat difficult class to pick books for since there are kids who are still newer readers and the older ones in the group are needing to be challenged. So I just picked some books from the middle of that age range and I am hoping for the best. The Lemonade War is my pick for September's meeting. The Saturdays is for October, Where the Mountain meets the Moon for November and Nim's Island is for December.  I hope these are challenging and interesting enough for the older kids without being too difficult for the younger ones in the group.

I still wish I could find some sort of gymnastics or swimming class for the kids but I think for now we are booked up pretty tight. I don't know how we are going to fit in all these outside things in while still getting the usual school work done.

 As for the usual.....

History will be Story of the World again. We are starting over with Ancients and my kids are SOO excited to get to mummify a chicken this year. I picked up a little cornish hen a week or so ago for us to use for this project and the kids keep asking when we are going to start it. We are going to just work our way through the book and read through as many of the suggested readings as we can. This week we have been reading about Adam and Eve and the Creation of the world in our scriptures and also story books in preparation to starting chapter one on Monday.

Math will be Singapore Math. My kids were tired of Math Mammoth and were eager to go back to Signapore. Henry is going to be starting 1B, Ian will be in 3A, and Sophie is already half way through 5A. She needs review of Multiplication tables because they aren't quick in her head and it is hard to make the connections between numbers without having those down.

Science - We made it through about 7 of the lessons in the Apologia Zoology book. I think when we finish the section on birds we will switch to Anatomy and then go back and do bats and insects in the spring.

Language Arts - I really like Writing with Ease and will continue to use it with all the kids. I have rushed Sophie through the 2nd and now the 3rd and will start the 4th workbook in the series. We haven't done all the lessons in the workbooks. I have skipped around making sure she is comfortable doing the reading and writing before pushing on. So far it has been pretty easy so I hope the 4th one will challenge her a little more.
Ian is going to start workbook 2 on Monday. We will be working slowly through the book with him. He is doing well but I don't feel like we need to push him at all. He is right where he should be.
Henry is still plugging away at Explode the Code. He is finishing up the 3 1/2 book. I don't know how much more he is going to do. We may switch him to Writing with Ease 1 and drop Explode the Code.  I haven't decided yet. He isn't quite as proficient in his reading yet but things could change quickly. They did for Ian and now Ian is reading really well.

They all read aloud to me each day from a book of their choosing or their McGuffy Reader and then Narrate what they have read. They also daily work on memorization of scriptures and poetry.

Artist/Musician - I am going to really make an effort to do our artist and musician each month. In September we will study the artwork of Audubon (since science is all about birds I thought this would be a good way to incorporate the two) while we listen to Vivaldi. We are starting with people we have already studied. It has been awhile though so the review will be good for us and I know the boys didn't pay all that much attention first time.

Latin - Plugging away the Getting Started with Latin. We may need to switch to something else because I never seem to remember to do this. But would something different suddenly make me fit it in? We will see. I really need to set a more defined schedule to make sure Latin makes it into the mix.

P.E. - I am required by law to teach P.E. but haven't ever done anything more than take walks, ride bikes and play some basketball in the driveway. I guess swimming once or twice a week at the YMCA counts. Maybe I need to think about this one some more.

Anyway.. these are the plans for the near future. We will see how well it all fits in. I know we don't cover nearly as many subjects as others seem to. We don't do any formal grammar or spelling but I hope those things will come along as we write more. I just don't know how to fit it all in without burning my kids and me out. So for now we do what we can do and the rest will just have to find its way.


Desiree said...

This sounds a lot like me. I'm not good at planning, and when I do it just gets washed over with who knows what. I'm trying to be better though. Wish we had some kind of co-op, might have to look into that. I love how you do things, mostly because it's a lot like I do them. Good work!

Malissa said...

Well, you've got the year planned out! We're still working on our plan.