09 10

2017-2018 Curriculum

I am nearly finished with the process of updating this page for the 2017-2018 school year. We are continuing to blend curriculum already purchased following The Well-Trained Mind recommendations with recommendations from Ambleside Online. Hero(10) is doing 6th grade/AO Year 4-5, Dragon(7) is doing 2nd grade/AO Year 1-2 and Peanut(4.5) is easing into with kindergarten/AO Y0.

This is what we're using, as of September 2017 (bullet updates for 2017-2018 in progress):



Scripture:
  • Hero and Dragon are reading the Old Testament chronologically.  We got a KJV chronological edition at Barnes and Nobel (which is fantastic), and they each have their own bookmark in it where we read together.
  • Peanut is just finishing up her first trip through the Book of Mormon; likely when we finish the Book of Mormon, I'll help her read the Four Gospels
  • We read daily as a family from the Book of Mormon.
  • During school, we read narrative passages from the standard works in chronological order. Hero reads and then narrates the stories. For the younger kids, I read and they narrate, then we draw a quick illustration on the page.
  • We use a scripture box for verse memorization: all three kids have their own that they are working on. 
My goal with all this is to instill a love of the scriptures early, and to help my kids be first-language fluent in what I fondly refer to as "scripture speak." The boys also have MP3 players with scripture available to listen to in the evenings, on schedules entirely of their own making.

Posts about Scripture.
Posts on Narration.



Phonics:
  • Peanut is using the READ Notebook from Crafty Classroom, which we received through a Homeschool Review Crew. I was skeptical when we first got it, but now I love it. More importantly, Peanut loves it, and is learning well and happily.
For a review of the programs the boys used, look here.
Posts on Phonics.



Math:
  • We are using MEP as our primary math course, with supplements for Dragon from Miquon. Peanut has not really started math yet, and I haven't decided which one I will start her in.
  • Hero has begun to do KenKen puzzles regularly, and I anticipate that he will begin doing MindBenders in a few months as well, in preparation for logic studies.
Posts on Math.



Nature Study and Science:
  • Nature Study remains our primary science course, especially for the younger kids, and includes hands-on experiences in botany, animal and plant life cycles, astronomy, geology. The kids also consistently want to know how this that and the other work, so we get consistent additional topics in finding answers to the various questions. 
  • Hero will also continue with Madam How and Lady Why (there's resources and helps) and The Storybook of Science (Extras here). 
  • Because the AO Picture Study recommendations work out to one about every other week, we will be drawing local frogs in the off weeks. 
  • Dragon is working on the Burgess Bird Book. He will also continue with passages from Secrets of the Woods.
  • We have the first issue of the Millennial Instructor, focusing on bees. Volume two, focusing on rocks, should be out in winter 2017.
Posts on Nature.
Posts about Science.



The Riches:


Ambleside Online suggests learning hymns and folk songs as part of the curriculum, as well as listening to classical music by a single composer. We will be doing a mix of hymns they suggest and some of my favorites -all from our Church's hymnal. We do this primarily informally: I created playlists for our hymns and folksongs, and works from Brahms, and we listen to them a couple times a week. I encourage the kids to sing along for the ones with words. The hymns we also do around the piano once or twice a week. This year, I am hoping that Hero and I can learn to do some of the folksongs on our string instruments. I love these additions to our day. We're following the Ambleside Schedule for picture study this year, which will include both looking at pictures, and also making some recreations of famous works by the masters. Our artists will be Mary Cassatt, Giotto di Bondone, and James McNeill Whistler. I've gathered a number of resources from various Ambleside sources and some blogs.

Our schedule for hymns and folk songs.
Posts about hymns and folk songs.



Language Arts:
  • Hero is continuing Rod and Staff grammar. Thus far, there have not been any doctrinal conflicts: the work that focuses on the Bible tends to focus on the text itself, rather than any denominational interpretation of the text. 
  • Hero and Dragon will use All About Spelling
  • Hero will be doing dictations, possibly studied dictations with this list of passages, and continuing to work on cursive.
  • Dragon and Peanut will be doing copywork, taken from our various books, scripture, and poems.
  • Hero and Dragon continue to work on small amounts of Japanese copywork. I have offered a reward to them for learning hiragana and katakana. When that is finished, we will begin to work on 1st grade kanji.
Posts on Spelling.
Posts on Dictation.



History:
  • Hero is doing a sizable section on church history, then moving into Story of the World 4, following this schedule, as well as reading several biographies.
  • Dragon is working with a mix of Story of the World 1 and Our Island Story. 
  • Both boys are continuing to work through the the Doctor Aviation course on aviation history and mechanics.
Posts on History.


Geography:

Literature:
We have a consistent family read-aloud that all the kids enjoy. Titles the kids have enjoyed recently include:
Adam of the Road
Peter Pan
In the Reign of Terror
Wulf the Saxon
Pinocchio
In addition to our family read-alouds, we have a number of literature picks from Ambleside Online.
  • Hero will be reading Robinson Crusoe and Plutarch with me; Kidnapped, Age of Fable, and a few short works independently. 
  • Dragon's literature will be read to him still, and he'll listen to Aesop, Fairy Tales, Just So Stories, and Parables from Nature
  • We do a poem a day for each of the kids: Peanut gets Nursery Rhymes, Dragon is doing A Child's Book of Poems, and Hero is reading selections from William Wordsworth then Kipling. 
  • All the kids will participate in some Shakespeare readings from A Winter's Tale followed by Richard III.
Posts about Read-Alouds.
Posts about Poetry



Japanese:
We use the drills from Introduction to Modern Japanese as practice dialogs for the kids: it's my old college text, but we get out the stuffed animals, and take turns acting out the simple drills. We, of course, take it substantially slower than my classes did! We take several weeks to cover what they did in a few days. But it seems to be working very well, and, even better, Hero really likes it when we get out stuffed animals to practice dialogs. Even though the little kids are not required to participate, they often will join us, and it gets very silly - but it's working. We also use Reading Japanese to help Hero (and sometimes Dragon wants in) to learn to read and write. This is a favorite activity because I usually get out my fancy Japanese brush pens. We also do our "calendar time" in Japanese - right now we're practicing the date, a song, and we have a counting/adding activity, and a clock. Hero and I both use Memrise for vocabulary flashcards, and have been doing so long enough that I am convinced that it is a big key to the success I've been having in improving my skills in this language - and the better I get, the better I am able to help my kids with their learning. For listening, I have some podcasts that I will sometimes play as background noise in the afternoons. We also have a couple of playlists of Japanese cartoons and toddler music that the kids enjoy. It is remarkable what you can learn from endless repetitions of simple songs!

Posts about Japanese.



Latin:
  • The boys are using Latina Christiana.
Posts about Latin



Art:
  • We will do some drawing and optional painting from our field guides as part of Nature Study.
  • I plan to do a few lessons from Art Achieve
  • I will also be encouraging the kids to draw and paint in their free time.


Posts about Arts N Crafts.



Posts on Classical Education.
Posts labeled Charlotte Mason
Posts on planning school.
Posts on LDS lesson plans.
Posts labeled Preschool
Posts labeled Kindergarten
Posts labeled Grammar Stage (elementary school)
Posts labeled Logic Stage (middle school)

And that's what we're learning!

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