Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Planning for Next Year

I've been thinking about next year's curriculum quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. I thought I'd write it all down so I can remember my thought processes. I also try to find as many things used as I can, so I give myself plenty of time to do that.

Note: Robert will be in 7th grade next year. Ruthie will be in 6th.

History - As much as I have loved using Tapestry of Grace for the end of our school year, I've decided that I just can't justify the cost. Our money is just not going as far as it used to. (I'm pretty sure this is a common problem everywhere.) I'm going to have to cut expenses somewhere and TOG just does not fit into the budget. So, I'm now looking at Sonlight Core 6. I love the book choices of Sonlight and we already own most of the books for this particular core. My only hesitation is the speed at which Sonlight moves. We'd be covering the Ancients all the way through the Reformation in one year. Wow! I would probably slow it down, spending at least 1.5 years covering this core.

Grammar - We started Rod and Staff English 5 a few months ago and we'll continue with that. We only do grammar a few days a week, so we probably won't finish it until February. We'll then start R&S English 6. I have tried other things for grammar, but I just love how R&S is set up. I also know it's very rigorous, so I'm comfortable using it below grade level.

Math - This is a tough one. I have really liked CLE, but my kids' grades on tests and quizzes this year have been very low. I feel that they really need more one-on-one instruction. And, while I am very good at math, I'm not so good at explaining it. So, I am probably going to switch to Bob Jones. I like their teacher manuals a lot and it's what I need. Since Robert is behind in math, I'll be able to put both of them in Grade 6 math and teach them together (which will also save money). The following year, Robert should be able to move into pre-algebra. Ruth can either do Grade 7 or pre-algebra, depending on how strong I feel she is in the concepts.

Science - Robert will be moving into more serious science. I have enjoyed using Bob Jones science this year, and he really likes the look of Life Science. However, it's very teacher-intensive. So, if we can afford to do the DVD (or their new online) classes, we will go that direction. Otherwise, he'll do Apologia General Science. I honestly think he would enjoy either one, so I'm comfortable with those choices. Ruth may do BJU Science 6. I'm not sure about that.

Literature - Well, Sonlight has plenty of reading, so that's covered. I'm going to try to involve the kids in some casual discussions of the books using Sparknotes, and possibly some Total Language Plus guides. I'm also looking at how logic-stage literature is covered in The Well-Trained Mind.

Writing - We're going to continue with IEW. I'm going to use the IEW Ancient History-Based writing lessons. We'll also do written narrations and notebooking.

Bible - We're going to do something wild and crazy here and just read the Bible for our curriculum next year. :) I might try to find a one year Bible for them to use, but I'm not sure. Since we're studying the ancients, it makes sense to start with the Old Testament, so that is what we'll do.

Composer and Artist study - We'll continue with the Ambleside Online rotation.

Art - A friend and I are going to do Meet the Masters together. We'll get together once a month or so and do art projects. (Actually, this may impact our artist study, too. I'll have to take a closer look at it before deciding about that.)

Music - The kids will continue with private lesson instruction and homeschool orchestra.

I think that's it. I'm happy with how it's shaping up. I think it's going to be a good year.


momtime said...

I'm doing brainstorming for next year too! I'm still a new homeschooler so I don't have it all together like you do yet. Thanks for sharing what you are doing. It's an encouragement to me.

Contessa Kris said...

Thanks so much for stopping by mt blog this week. Always nice to meet new people. I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll if that is okay, so I can see when you post again.

It sounds like you're planning for next year. Everything sounds a bit like what I'm looking at doing with my kids. We're seriously look at Sonlight this year. My dd is going into the 5th grade. My only worry is that the books look a little thick in topic. Not that she needs to read about fairies all the time, but I'm hoping that it will all hold her interest. For part of our english, I ordered Wordly wise. My teen used that years ago and we loved it. The little one asked me today, 'how long until school starts?' and I was shocked to discover it's less than 8 weeks away. We've been off school for almost 6 weeks. Where did the time go?!