Saturday, September 12, 2009

Education Plan for the Year

School Year Plan:

We only took two full weeks off this summer, so some things we have a jump-start with and other things we are just finishing up from last year. My two oldest are in high school this year and it seems so quiet with only three at home.

N is attending El Camino High School at Ventura College again this year. He has his usual classes and is also participating in Leadership and Crew. This semester he has Japanese at the college. Mrs. Stout is his teacher---who we dearly love. She is the perfect match for N. I believe No-Nonsense is her middle name. N is again volunteering at Project Secure which makes me one proud mama.

A-M is attending Foothill Foothill incorporates technology into all of the classes offered and is ranked in the top 3% of high schools in the nation. Teachers work together so students have assignments that cross all curricula. A-M loves it. Ask her sometime about her PE teacher!

At home we have a full year planned. I am combining all three younger children in History and Grammar.

This year we are trying History Odyssey--Ancients for the first time. It is a schedule that incorporates the classical method of studying history. I have used many different resources to teach history throughout the years. All have had good points, but none have incorporated all the resources that I wanted to include in our studies. And I have to say History Odyssey is the same story. I spent my afternoon at the library added all my resources into the first six weeks of the lesson plan. I am also adding an unit on archeaology before we start. We will finsih that week long unit with some of these kits. I have a ton of resources for teaching this period of history (enough to start my own library). Unfortunately, these resources are in Saint Louis. Maybe that is a good thing because I can go crazy with history.

For Grammar we are currently using Shurley English 4. We are currently on Week 9. I do not usually use the writing lessons in Shurley English because they are dry, boring, and do not cover enough different forms of writing to meet any kind of standards, so we can complete one week of Shurley English in 4 days. At this pace, we will finish this level in the first semester of this school year. At that point I will move E onto Rod and Staff 5 or 6. E-R and E-I will continue on to Shurley English 5. Shurley English is a program that teaches parts of speeches and grammar rules through review, review, and more review. I have used Shurley English with all of my children at some point in their education. Five years after using Shurley, my oldest is still able to recite that preposition jingle.

We will be using Write Source again this year for writing. E-R and I-E will be using level 5 and E will be using level 7. They all really enjoy their Write-Source books if not always their Write-Source assignments(ex specially that revising!).

Spelling is as always Sequential Spelling. Level 2 for E and A-M. Level 1 for E-R and I-E. SS teaches patterns for spelling and not a list of words that appear random. I have seen a real difference in the understanding of spelling with this program.

E is using Painless Vocabulary this year. All three at home will use Word Roots. Word Roots teaches the Greek and Latin roots found in English words therefore allowing students to decipher the meaning of larger words they may not come across in everyday reading. Mostly we are using it because it will help us meet a CA standard. I have used Vocabulary Vines in the past, but Word Roots seems much more simple. Also, Word Roots has a computer program which I thought would be a nice reward for my kids occasionally.

We have quite a few books to read for literature this year. E started off the year with The Golden Goblet so he could dip his toes into the ancient culture of Egypt. I also picked this book out for him, because I remember it fondly from when we covered Ancient History with N and A-M. It is a mystery that teaches not just the historyand culture of Egypt but also about how to grow as a person. E-R and I-E started out the year with The Mouse and The Motorcycle. So far, they both really love the story. They feel that I am a lot like Ralph's mom--I worry too much.

Language Arts will be rounded out with handwriting and typing. E is completing a quick review of cursive--he really needs to practice his penmanship. E-R and I-E will be continuing their study of cursive writing.

E is studying physics this year with the Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop. Thames and Kosmos science kits use quality components which I appreciate. There is nothing worse then trying to make an experiment work when the equipment being used is falling apart. The physics kit has the student build a machine and then experiments are performed with that machine. It is an excellent concept for studying physics. I have added reading and research to the kit using the Kingfisher and Usborne Science Encyclopedias. The Usborne Science Encyclopedia is Internet-linked. Ninety percent of the links I have visited are unbelievably informative AND fun! E has enjoyed science so far this year. His latest project was a sailcar. E hopes to finish early so he can move on to this kit---

E-R and I-E are starting out the year studying Earth Science. I am loosely using Science Works. I am not really happy with it and am needing to supplement a lot. I am looking forward to the last part of this semester when we will move on to insects using Home Science Adventures. I loved that kit when I used it with all three of my older kids. The models in that kit alone are worth the price. The second semester we will be studying Astronomy using Great Science Adventures: World of Space.

E begged to study French this year using Calvert's French Program. It will hopefully give him a jumpstart with language when he starts high school, and he just finds it fun at this point! Bonjour!

E-R and I-E will continue learning Spanish vocabulary by moving on to Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone is one of the components of A-M's Spanish class at Foothill, so E-R and I-E are very excited to share some of their work with big sister.

Teaching Textbooks 7 is E's math for the first half of the year. He works on it for an hour a day and will most likely finish it about mid-year. From there he will move on to Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra.

E-R and I-E are about 3/4s of the way through Singapore Primary Mathematics Level 3. In about 6 weeks, they should be done and will move on to Level 4.

Our Art program is Discoveries in Art from Calvert. Again this is an outstanding program that I have used before with my older kids. We ordered the new version on DVD and haven't received it yet, but I am looking forward to exploring this with yet another group of kids.

Of course, we have other misc. workbooks that I use to supplement with throughout the year. I will fit in a short unit on American government, review geography, ect. Also, plans change. This is our plan for now and I will update this as plans do change. I also aim on posting weekly what we accomplished. I don't always know how I am going to fit everything into my days of teaching, but I look forward to this school year and am happy to enjoy these days of my life educating my children.


  1. Wow. I am reminded of why I never home schooled. I would not have been satisfied with anything less than the effort and quality of your teaching, and wasn't willing to do that much work!


  2. Thanks Mira. I know that you work just as hard at your job!


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