Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Next Year

We are four weeks away from the end of our homeschool year. Our last day will be June 12th. The next week is C3 at our church, the Catholic answer to vacation bible school. After that, we will have our summer break until we get back from Jamaica in August. Homeschool will start again August 18th.

Yes, I'm a planner. I love to plan. I love to revise plans. I love to organize. I think it is just part of my DNA. Beth loves to plan even more than I do and I never taught her. It just comes naturally to both of us.

I am already planning next year's curriculum. I'm excited to have a longer school day. We'll see how Mia feels about it! But she will officially be in kindergarten and I will need to start accounting for my time. Technically, I don't need to chart attendance until she is age 7, when education is compulsory in Colorado. But I will start next year.

We will be adding some new things to our reading, math and handwriting curriculum:

Dictation and copy work.

Five in a Row: literature based learning across subjects, but we will have to call it Four in a Row as Friday will be the Options program for Mia.

Character First: character building curriculum

Suzanne Tate's Nature Series books and activities: science

We will continue to do gymnastics, swimming, and park days for exercise. Mia will also have P.E. on Fridays at Options.

To get ready for next year I am reading an amazing book on classical home education called the Well Trained Mind. There is so much good information!

I especially like the following quote about socialization: Children need friends. Children do not need to be surrounded by large groups of peers who inevitably follow the strongest personality in the crowd. Amen. (I added the Amen.)

This book goes back to to the classical way children were taught in the past divided into three levels by grade:

K-4 : Memorization and accumulation of facts. This goes completely against what is thought to be important now. Quote
from the book: The immature mind is more suited to absorption than argument.

5-8 : Logical thinking, using the accumulation of data. Children are much better equipped to think logically when
they've accumulated large sums of data!

9-12: Expressive use of all this logic and accumulated facts.

This seems reasonable, right? I saw this in my own classroom. There were children who couldn't divide numbers because they hadn't memorized their multiplication facts, children who had poor reading comprehension because they just didn't have the vocabulary stores.

Once I'm finished with the book I'll make a decision as to which way to go. With Common Core, the nation is turning away from all this. Will I? I'm not sure but I can say it has to be a pretty engaging read for me to be up at 12:30 AM writing this post!

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