Sunday, May 17, 2009

Planning for Second Grade, Kindergarten, Preschool.

Homeschool convention time is fast approaching and I'm trying to get geared up to make the most of it. This weekend I have been working on looking at what I have used this past year, what I had planned to use for the upcoming year, and reviewed anything that sparked my interest. So far, I have several things cemented as definite. But it seems like I've been changing my opinion on other things and wanting to add some new things as well.

I've been debating whether or not to enroll with Angelicum Academy once more and I'm leaning more to skipping it. I love their Good Books program for the elementary level as well as the Great Books program for the upper grades. But it seems like we are digressing from some of their recommendations and adding others. It just doesn't make sense to enroll when I'm not planning on using their grading services or all of their lesson plans.

What I am sure of, however, is that I keep coming back to my good old companion and guide...The Well Trained Mind. So far, I have not been let down by the WTM's recommendations and love the way that they cycle through the subjects. I have read the book over and over and it is definitely the way I want to teach my children.

So my choices for the upcoming year are still along the lines of what I thought they would be. I made a chart of what I'm looking into that I plan to take along with me to both the convention I am attending this weekend (the book fair part only), and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference in early June. The IHM conference is where I'm planning to really sit down and plan out the new year, since I will be away from any distractions.

*SSRW = Sing, Spell, Read & Write
*SOTW = Story of the World
*MCP = Modern Curriculum Press

Marco 2nd Grade
MathSaxon 3MCP Math B & Calculadders
PhonicsSSRWVaried Readers
English GrammarSeton English, Rod and Staff English 2 or First Language LessonsNone
SpellingSpelling Work OutNone
WritingWriting With Ease (Finish 1 and continue with 2)Narrations and copy work through history, science, etc.
HandwritingZaner Bloser Book 2M & 2CNone
HistoryHistory Odyssey or SOTW with Activity GuideLibrary Books, Discovery Streaming Videos, and Add a Century Timeline
Geography/CartographyMap Essentials & Galloping the Globe or otherInclude Saint Studies
ReligionFaith & LifeBaltimore Catechism & Faith Formation Classes
Foreign LanguagePrima Latina, English from the Roots, SpanishLatin at Co-op, Discovery Streaming Videos
ReadingGood Books from AngelicumLibrary Books for fun
ScienceReal Science 4 Kids Chemistry Pre-Level 1Science Lab at Co-op
Art & MusicPiano Lessons, Bell Choir, Art ClassesBell Choir & Art at Co-op

As you can see, I'm doing lots of supplementing through our awesome co-op! This takes a big load off of my schedule since the teaching is done by someone else.

It's overwhelming to see so many subjects, but as many veteran homeschoolers know, many subjects take less than 20 minutes (mostly language arts!). I'm excited to start looking through books and putting a schedule down on paper. Since we homeschool year round, our transition from 1st grade to 2nd grade will most likely occur in the summer. This is especially so because of the new baby arriving mid-August.

For Isabella, things are easier to plan because she will be sitting in for some of Marco's lessons and having free play time for when she is done with her own work. It's funny that since I've been through this stage before, I feel more confident in scheduling her work.

Isabella Kindergarten Grade
MathComplete Saxon Math 1, continue with 2MCP Math A
PhonicsFinish SSRW 1, continue with 2Readers
English GrammarFirst Language Lessons?None
SpellingSpelling Work Out in 2nd semesterNone
HandwritingZaner Bloser, repeat K or 1?None
HistoryHistory Odyssey or SOTW with MarcoLibrary Books and Discovery Streaming
Geography/CartographyMap Essentials & Galloping the Globe or other with MarcoNone
ReligionSit in with MarcoFaith Formation Class, Baltimore Catechism
Foreign LanguageSpanishDiscovery Streaming Video
ReadingGood Books from AngelicumLibrary Books for fun
ScienceReal Science 4 Kids Chemistry Pre-Level 1Science Lab at Co-op
Art & MusicMusic at Co-op, Crafts at HomeNone

This only leaves Anthony. He will be a true preschooler this fall, with his 4th birthday coming in September. Although I should know hands-down with what to do with Anthony, I am totally undecided. He is definitely will be a young 4 year old in the maturity level, so I want to make sure to choose a program that will be gentle. He likes to sit in with the big kids for read alouds (even the bigger books!), religion, and crafts.

This year we did Before Five in a Row and it was a big hit with him! But I don't want to continue with it because I want something that will already be mapped out for me. I don't mind adding extras, but I want the core of what he is going to be doing to already be laid out. Colors, numbers, alphabet & sound recognition...these are the basics I want to focus on. Just a typical preschool program.

Preschool Contenders:
Little Hands to Heaven (from Heart of Dakota)
Handwriting Without Tears Preschool
Letter of the Week Preschool Program
OR Make my own program with workbooks, crafts, and activities.

A positive is that preschool at co-op will give Anthony a lot of the playtime with friends that he needs, as well as structured learning time.

Perhaps after I visit the book fair this upcoming weekend, I'll come with a whole new set of ideas! I'm hoping that these lists will help narrow down my search, however, and I can go and browse each curriculum before committing to one.


Karla said...

A nice guide for a preschool program is Little Saints. Catholic HEritage Curriculum has it.

Liz said...

I have actually looked into Little Saints about a year ago and found that the planning involved for me, wasn't worth the amount of time spent doing the actual activity. I do love that it is Catholic, however!! For me...I guess it just didn't click for me then!

Thanks for the suggestion though! I'll probably be checking it out again and seeing if this time around maybe it will look a little more doable (since Anthony is older).

Liz in NC

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz,
Thanks for posting your schedule. It helps to see what others are doing. I was wondering about some of your abbreviations...could you let me know what those are?
Thanks and God Bless,
Robyn from GA

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