Wednesday, May 16, 2012

L is for "Looking Ahead"




One week from today, we will be on Summer Break! Yippee!!! And, of course, I am already Looking Ahead to next year. That's because our "next year" will be starting earlier than normal. We have decided to go to school 6 days a week and begin on July 23rd. That's what the little kids will be doing anyway. Dawson has chosen to continue his schooling on the public school schedule. This makes sense because he likes to be out of school at the same time as his friends for maximum hang-out time.

Our start date will be upon us quickly because I have four trips scheduled in the months of June and July, and my sister will be having a baby around that time. I will be getting home from one of those trips two days before we start school. So, Looking Ahead and being prepared is a necessity!

And, remember. We will be bringing Eli home starting next year, which will bring a whole new component to our schooling.

Schedule. I mentioned that we would be doing school 6 days a week and starting on July 23rd. This is all so that we can take some significant breaks during the school year and end at the beginning of May. We will have a week off in September, a week of in October, and will take off from the Monday before Thanksgiving until the Monday after the new year. We will then take two weeks off in March for Spring Break. During these long breaks, Dawson will continue doing his daily independent work and will be assigned large projects that don't need direct supervision.

Science Saturdays. Our 6th day of school will be on Saturdays. Daddy has decided to teach the little kids Science on those days. He loves science and so do they. I can adequately teach science, and will with our regular curriculum. But, they like to dig deep and do extra projects. So, I've gathered some helpful materials and they are going to have some fun. I know they will enjoy it because Daddy is so passionate about it.

Dawson's Curriculum. Dawson will be taking the following classes and using the following Curriculum:
  • Social Studies: 1st Semester - Current Events, 2nd Semester - U.S. Government
    • Current Events: 
      • Election Unit Study from Amanda Bennett's Download-n-Go series
      • 8:30 a.m. each day watch Today show and discuss
      • Each Monday morning: "Current Events Coffee Time" where we read the Sunday Tulsa World newspaper and Newsweek Magazine and discuss news stories
      • Are you a Liberal, Conservative or Confused (Uncle Eric series) and Bluestocking Guide: Political Philosophies 
      • C-Span Classroom (cspanclassroom.org)
    • U.S. Government:
      • Government Unit Study from Amanda Bennett's Download-n-Go series
      • Whatever Happened to Justice (Uncle Eric series) and Bluestocking Guide: Justice
      • Continue with 8:30 a.m. Today show viewing and discussion session
      • Continue with "Current Events Coffee Time" with emphasis on government actions
      • C-Span Classroom (cspanclassroom.org)
  •   Science: Chemistry
    • Ellen McHenry's The Elements
    • Ellen McHenry's Carbon Chemistry
    • The Periodic Table of Videos (periodicvideos.com) 
    • Notebooking pages of elements
    • The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray
    • LEGO Chemical Reactions
  • Math: Geometry
    • Life of Fred Geometry
  • English: Literature, Grammar and Writing
    • Grammar: GrammarKey Punctuation
    • Writing: NaNoWriMo Young Writer's Program and IEW U.S. History Supplement Volume 1 
    • Read novels as determined by me
  • Critical Thinking
    • Mind Benders Book 5
  • Elective ~ We are still searching for a fun elective to do

Eli and Brynne's Curriculum. Eli and Brynne will primarily be using the following Curriculum. However, we love to do Unit Studies and will do many of them throughout the year based on books we want to read, movies coming out, and community events and field trips. (And I just so happen to be doing a 5 Days series on how to do this. You can go here to read all about it.)

  • Bible: Grapevine Studies: Stick Figuring Through the Bible
  • Main Curriculum: Five in a Row (history, science, math, art)
  • Grammar: Easy Grammar
  • Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears Cursive
  • Spelling: All About Spelling Volume 1
  • Math: Math Enhancement Programme and Living Math
  • Additional Science: Science Saturdays with Daddy
  • Additional Social Studies: U.S. Geography and State Studies throughout the year (because they love to learn about it)

Set-up. I am also thinking about our set-up for next year. Dawson does most of his schoolwork on the couch or upstairs in his room or Nerd Cave. With needing to command both Eli and Brynne's attention on some subjects, I am looking to make a few minor changes in our home office for their use. We will be getting a business-style white board for instruction. We have also talked about getting another couple of iPads for their use. I will have their daily supplies in a caddie on our "middle desk". And then I want to put some type of filing system on my desk to hold their books. I need to work on this over the summer. Five in a Row and read-a-louds will definitely still be on the couch, though.

How about you? Do you have everything all planned out for next year already? I am excited for next year!! (but ready for a small break.)


We are almost half-way through Blogging Through the Alphabet. This has been such a fun series. It's one of my favorite Linkys to read each week. You should go check it out!





6 comments:

  1. We love Amanda's Government and Elections units. I did want to mention to you that they aren't Download N Go units though (one week long). They are the Unit Study Adventures (4 weeks long). I just mention that in case it makes a difference in your planning!

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  2. I really appreciate you sharing what you're doing next year with your kids. I also have a rising 10th grader (and then three younger) and it is hard to find blogs of homeschoolers who have high schoolers. Your plans for them sound great! I'm just barely getting started on plans for next year. I'd be interested to find out more about what kinds of assessments you use for Dawson. I'm suddenly feeling the pressure of having to create a transcript with grades but we don't use formal grades until high school. Math and Science are easy as they are more objective, but I'm still struggling with how to assess for History and Language Arts (particularly lit. and writing). I'd love for you to discuss this sometime. Thanks!

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    1. I will plan to do a "Taking Grades" post in the next several weeks. But, briefly, I do keep grades for Dawson to prepare a grade card that can be transferred to a transcript. You are right, I give actual point grades on maths, grammar, actual question-answer assignments. In history, science, reading, etc., I just assign points. For instance, each day when we have our read-a-loud time, I give him a grade of 15/15. If he has a notebooking page for history, I give him 15/15 if it's done correctly. On most of these abstract assignments, I just give him points and if he actually does it he gets full credit. I input all grades on Engrade, a free online service. So, that way, I have a full record of everything AND grades, albiet abstract at times. Hope that helps for now.

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  3. Thanks for sharing these plans. I haven't gotten as far as you in the planning. We still have several more weeks of school left and school for next year won't start until September (we live in the northeast).

    I too was planning on doing government/civics with some of the same resources - I'll look at the unit studies you mentioned. We are also doing Chemistry next year and have already purchased Ellen McHenry's "The Elements" and Theo Gray's book. We have watched the periodic table videos before and we love them. I hadn't known about the MIT Lego stuff, but I am excited about that.

    I am looking forward to seeing how your planning progresses. I'll be using some of your ideas for American History, so I thank you for that, too!

    Thanks,
    Sarah

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  4. Oops. I meant to mention that I was thinking of doing architecture as an elective. I saw a homeschool architecture website (homeschoolarchitecture.com) that looks interesting. After you sign up, the teacher sends you an assignment each week (or whatever time frame you choose), then you send a picture of your finish product. The teacher will send feedback and I think you can even do it for a grade if you choose. It looks really interesting. Anyway, I don't know if that is something that would interest Dawson, but I throw it out there as an idea.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

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  5. I really like what you have scheduled for current events and government.
    Blessings
    Diane

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We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!