Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Plans for 2008-2009

I know,I promised I would not post another book list. This is not really a book list, rather an outline of our studies for next year, so I really didn't break my promise :) Today I sat down and really spent some time looking through all of the books I have been considering. I am still struggling with a few decisions, but here is what I think I have settled on.

2nd grader

Christian Studies: Old Testament
Children's Bible Reader (she will read these aloud to me or her little sisters)
Days of Creation Art
various children's lives of the saints books
Let the Little Children Come to Me

Math on the Level - we will be using this as our guide this year, and I plan to continue with Ray's as needed.

English Studies
Yesterday's Classics - First and Second Readers
Explode the Code - book 4
SWR - still debating
The Sentence Family - for fun
Copywork - poems for poetry book

Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Egypt

4th grader

Christian Studies
Golden Children's Bible
Memoria Press Christian Studies I
Forty Saints

Math on the Level - and Singapore if needed

Lively Latin

English Studies
Writing Tales or Classical Writing - still struggling with this one
The Sentence Family

Colonization to the American Revolution - Time Travelers series

Both will be doing:

Geography - North and South America - probably just using maps, living books and encyclopedia

Among the .. series
nature journal

Atelier Art, and CM artist study

piano lessons, and our CM composer study

If I stick with these decisions, then I will not have to do any more purchasing for next year, other than the occasional living book I might add in, and few books to cover our geography lessons. I am still working on a schedule for the year, so when I get my lesson plans worked out, I will post those also. At that point I will be creating my teacher's planner for this year, and will post the sections as I create them for this year.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What would I do?

Someone asked a great question on a homeschool forum the other day. What would you do if you had three years to prepare to homeschool? Would you start buying curriculum, would you start buying supplies? Would you begin making schedules and lesson plans? After thinking about it, I know exactly what I would do. I would read. I would read about different teaching methods and educational philosphies. And I would pray. I would pray for God to show me what was right for my kids. I will admit that I did not really know if I wanted to homeschool when my kids were toddlers. When the time for that decision came, I was a young mom, with a 4 year old and a 2 year old. I am a homeschool graduate myself, having been homeschooled from 3rd grade through high school. I LOVED being homeschooled, and can honestly say I have never regretted it, or felt as if I missed out on anything. I also know first hand the sacrifice required. I look back and see how many things my mother missed out on, how many other activities she could have been doing, how many talents she could have explored. So as my oldest approached school age, I began to really wonder, was I up to it? I find myself still asking that question, especially as I begin to think about a new school year, and new challenges. Looking back, there are so many things I wish I had known, so many books I wish I had read. So here is my list of books I think are most helpful as one begins to consider homeschooling. If I had a year to prepare, I would spend it reading these books and praying.

The Well Trained Mind - This book was the one that gave me the confidence to begin, a path to follow, from preschool to highschool. While we have strayed from that path, I still consider it an invaluable resource for any homeschooler.

Education Is - a free E-book - a short collection of Charlotte Mason's writings and commentary
on what education truly is - an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. This little book is invaluable for any parent, even if you are not planning to homeschool.

A Charlotte Mason Education - This easy to read book gives an overview of CM, broken down by subject. It is a very practical guide for how to implement the principles of beauty in education professed by Charlotte Mason.

Dumbing Us Down - an insightful look at the current educational system, why it is failing, and what it is doing to the future generations of America. Fair Warning: you may not be able to ever consider sending your kids to public school after reading this book!

Educating the WholeHearted Child - This one I have added to my summer reading. A wonderful book about educating your child, from instilling habits and choosing curriculum to planning lessons and determining learning styles in your children.

The Lost Tools of Learning - an essay by Dorothy Sayers on the need for a return to classical education

Multum non Multa - an essay by Andrew Campbell, author of The Latin Centered Curriculum. It is a brief look at the principle of "much, not many", and for me was a balance to the Well Trained Mind, which can become a daunting curriculum to follow if you feel you "have to do it all." For that matter, any article in the Memoria Press magazine is worth reading :)

So there is my list - and I promise not to post another book list the next time I post :)