Saturday, March 29, 2008

Angelicum Academy. The Decision.

I'm sure many of you have seen my curriculum and schedules. Well, things are ever changing at our little Classical Academy! After much prayer, I decided that I will be doing kindergarten with Isabella and first grade for Marco using the lesson plans and material from Angelicum Academy.

Angelicum Academy is a Catholic, classical, homeschooling program based on the Great Books Academy. I have looked at this program for the past year and never made any decisions. But after revisiting time and time again, I've decided to try it out for a year. My reasons? I'd be using much of the same curriculum anyways! This program is very similar to The Well Trained Mind and has a heavy focus on literature and the Good Books (which I love). The only downfall I saw that I really don't like is the history. They follow a chronological approach, but only cycle through history twice. I really like the 3 cycle approach because it gives me an opportunity to go through it again and again as all the kids get older and start sharing subjects. But I think this is easy to overcome by simply implementing my own history.

First Grade (Marco).
  • History: Story of the World 1
  • Language Arts: English from the Roots Up; Shurley English Grammar 1; Sing, Spell, Read and Write Level 1
  • Math: Saxon Math 2
  • Literature: Great Selections such as Aesop, Just So Stories, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Water Babies
  • Religion: Faith and Life along with many other supplemental reading
  • Art: Draw, Write, Now
  • Cartography: Map Essentials by National Geographic
  • Foreign Language: Prima Latina
  • Philosophy: Elfie
Art, cartography, foreign language, and philosophy are elective materials and not part of their core curriculum.

Kindergarten (Isabella).
This has been a difficult decision as Isabella would be considered preschool age this upcoming year. Starting her in kindergarten would mean skipping her preschool year. I've decided to go this route after analyzing all the things she is doing. Although her handwriting is not at all good, she is advancing faster than I thought. She also has placed into Saxon 1 and is well into reading beginner Bob books. My thoughts are to start her in kindergarten and just take it at her pace. For all other reasons, she'll still be called a preschooler.

  • History: Dinosaurs, Starting Point Science
  • Language Arts: Sing, Spell, Read and Write
  • Math: Saxon 1
  • Religion: Everyday Graces, Bible
  • Literature: Fairy Tales, Uncle Remus, Wind in the Willows, and many more.
  • Art: Draw, Write, Now
  • Foreign Language: Prima Latina
  • Philosophy: Elfie
I'm planning on sitting the kids together for history, literature, foreign language, art, science (not part of their curriculum, so we'll be doing on our own), and language arts (SSRW only).

The only thing left to do now is get all the lesson plans for Marco (I already purchased kindergarten). I won't be enrolling the kids in the program as of yet, since I feel that I don't need the testing and record keeping. That will come as they get closer to middle school, I think.

So there it is!! Another change in plans, but not so dramatic. We're still following the classical model. One thing we will continue in doing also, is nature studies. That will be more of a fun, relaxed thing; more like a supplement and not ever graded. But that will be a post for another day!


Good Remedy said...

I have enjoyed reading your reviews and will look at Angelicum Academy again. Hope you have a great trip!

Amber said...

I've enjoyed reading your reviews as well, and I'm sorry for not commenting sooner. I started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago, but I always find it hard to make a comment when I've never commented on that blog before.

I did a similiar thing with my daughter when she was your daughter's age. I broke her kindegarten year into K4 and K5, and did the K4 year when should would have otherwise been doing preschool. We did Math-U-See's Primer, finished Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and a little bit of copywork every day. Her handwriting wasn't particularly good either, but with just a little practice (3-5 word sentences, usually) it improved quite a lot of the course of the year. We also did a lot of reading outloud of course, but I did some of it with narration to get her started with that idea.

Anyways, I hope you're having a great time at Disney World!

E said...

I am also a Catholic homeschooling mommy and just happened to find your blog. We are following along with Angelicum...and plan to move more into their program each year. We already have some other materials we really love (like Singapore Math), so we are doing our own thing for a couple of the subjects.'re doing all of the electives? We're just doing art and drum lessons this year, as well as my son's other extracurriculars (vary by season) and Boy Scouts. I figured I would phase in Latin, philosophy and possibly cartography (if he has an interest) starting in 2nd grade.

My oldest is starting first grade in the fall, so if you continue with Angelicum our boys may get to know one another in the future. I hope to take advantage of the discussion groups at some point. They don't start until 3rd grade, so we have considered enrolling at that point. We're not enrolling with them officially now, but we haven't decided when we will. I can't justify the expense for help with grading and record-keeping, as I can manage those easily on my own.

Anyway, just wanted to (sort of) introduce myself and let you know I'll be following your blog!


Liz said...

Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad to "meet" another Angelicum user. This past year went well with it, but I did drop all electives for my 1st grader for a few months in order to strengthen his reading skills. But we are going back to them again! We decided not to do philosophy, but have been doing cartography, Latin (we do this with our co-op), and art. It has worked out well.

I'm not sure if we'll enroll next year because of the cost, but will probably keep up with their curriculum (outside of history) and re-enroll in 3rd grade. We are currently enrolled and I haven't used their grading services at all, so it is an unnecessary expense.

Thanks for stopping by again!


E said...

I just realized the post I found was from last year around this time. It's great to read your comment about how the year went for your family! That's so helpful! Your co-op sounds lovely, too.

I really love The Well-Trained Mind. Read it and fell in love with it while at university (an Evangelical university at that). Before converting to Catholicism. I feel comfortable navigating any Catholic biases, so we're using Story of the World and will probably continue to do so, deviating from Angelicum's plan. We're doing our own thing in several subjects, so I'm okay with that...even if I'd rather have some perfect plan all set up for me, I agree with the notion that we need to find (and do) what is right for our family.

We were thinking about enrolling in 3rd, but before then we can't justify the expense. I'm sure we'll know more once we come to that point.

Thanks for your comment back. So helpful! I know many other homeschoolers, but only one is Catholic. I'll definitely be following your blog...and hopefully paying better attention to dates in the future!


Cheers to Being Back!

It's been quite some time since I updated this little part of the blogosphere.  New adventures, new trials, and new seasons in life.  I&...