A Post A Day: {2011/12: Curly, Larry, Mo }

I have a plan.

Now that is monumental.

To some readers, this post is boring. So please feel free to skip unless you, like me, swoon over other HS Mama’s *plans for next year-type* posts.

I have labored over the next school year enough I think. I have tons of work yet to do, but I think we have a good plan in place in terms of curriculum and spines for each subject.

Now, I need to just sit and create our year-long plan. I will use the same system as last year with some tweaking individually here and there, particularly in math. But I am thrilled to say thanks to an above-mentioned HS Mama and her sharing on a math group I’m on, I definitely have a plan. One that I can actually implement for our 3 older boys.

I will start with the questions I get all.the.time. I can say without a doubt that I did NOT get asked this next question when my kids were in PS. I’m not sure why people feel the need (or think it appropriate) to ask this of those who homeschool. But here goes.

Will you homeschool your children all the way through high school?

Answer: I do not know. (Incidentally, if one’s child is in PS, I think the answer would be the same to a similar question that is never asked: Will you always send your children to this public school district?

What about prom and attending football games? (recently asked at our neighborhood pool)

Answer: Well, actually, we DO attend high school football games with our children. We are not phobic of public schools; the Prez and I are both products of a local public high school. IF our children (or any # of them) desire to attend a public high school, we are hopeful they would be able to go to our alma mater. And they would probably attend football games I’m guessing. 🙂

As for Prom, it is way over-rated if you ask me. I attended two with the Prez, and these are not my fondest memories. If our children DON’T have to attend a prom, I won’t be sad. The kids do however get big laughs from seeing our prom photos in our bedroom. Think shiny material (what was it called Mom?) and matching bowties. 🙂 I’ll leave it at that.

What about socialization?

Answer: Hmmm. Well, I think we are doing OK. I have some who are out-going, some who are shy, some who are more natural at being around other children their age, and some who are just as happy playing quietly with one other person rather than in a large group, and everything in-between. The thing is that our children are not lacking in interactions with other same-age children. Larry and Mo just got back from church camp, and the Prez worked as a counselor. I asked him if they stood out as *homeschoolers*. He just looked at me like I had asked the strangest question. Of course they didn’t stand out!

As for next year, we have quite a few bases covered: taekwondo for all 4 boys 2 days a week on T/Th for one hour each; 4H for the three olders officially but the homeschool group has activities for the younger crowd as well, even a potluck meal before the actual meeting; dance for DD once a week with other little girls; a possible American Heritage Girl group for DD (undecided); Boy Scouts for Curly and probably Larry next year (Mo in another year); Sunday morning church and Sunday night choir and Bible Drill at church for Larry and Mo (and choir and play time for younger two) and Youth Bible study for Curly; Science Center classes monthly Sept.–Nov. and Mar.–May; JA BizTown for Larry and Mo; Community Bible Study Class on Fridays with age/graded classes for all of us; participating in a local HS group for for a science fair, history fair, field trips, etc.

PHEW! I’m tired just thinking of it all. So … I think we have socialization covered. This also does not include tennis camps/lessons we may do this fall on Friday mornings if we can fit it in for 2 of them, and any other things that may come along. 🙂

And there is one more.

How do you do it all? I could never do it; you must be SuperMom.

Answer: No, I’m not SuperMom. Only God. With Him leading all the way. Seriously, when I don’t follow His lead by spending time in His word and seeking Him first … things always go awry. But oh my, when I do follow His lead, the days can be spectacular. Sure, my kids bicker and even *gasp* backtalk. Sure, we have a lot of time together, but we are a family after all and spending time together is natural. I also have a great husband, who is very supportive and also works hard while he is away during the day and after he comes home at night.

Enough with the questions and the extra-curricular.

The Plan: Curly, 12, 7th grade

He loves to read and build amazing models with LEGO bricks. He would do this all day if he had the choice. He hopes to actually be paid by LEGO someday to build models, and I’m certain he would be a great candidate for the job of Lego Designer. In the meantime, he loves to write as well. This next year, I am going to take it up a notch or three in the language department. It is time.

I definitely believe in waiting on the structures of the language. Let them write and gain confidence. Help them edit and self-correct. Now though it is time to get down to the nitty-gritty. His language load will NOT be light this year, so we’ll start with that. Truthfully, his load will not be light in any subject, but he is ready to be challenged more. I told him to not expect to finish before lunch as he did most days this year. 🙂

Language:

Rod and Staff English 7 (R&S does not have an official website; sold by Mennonites)

Story Starters (once-a-week creative writing assignment)

Spelling Power (finish Level I/ Level J)

Word Roots CD-Rom (Latin; once a week)

The Write Stuff Adventure (once-a-week writing assignment)

Copywork using this product which I made into a book with the help of Fed*EX*Kinko’s (yes copywork b/c his cursive is NOT GOOD and he can do it neatly when he really puts forth the effort)

Math:

Math:

Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Biology and here

Math on the Level (Thrice Weekly Lessons with Mom/Dad+5-A-Days Daily)

Saxon 1st Edition Math 76 (a neighbor just gave it to us! much of it he will skip b/c he knows it, but it will be a good review to start the year off and see where we need to go in MOTL)

Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra (we already own v. 1; just not sure he’ll use it this year).

Science:

Apologia’s General Science 2nd Edition

Galen and the Gateway to Medicine (assigned reading)

A Piece of the Mountain: The Story of Blaise Pascal (assigned reading)

History:

Simply Charlotte Mason Module 4: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation & the Epistles*

Famous Men of the Middle Ages*

Famous Men of the Renaissance & Reformation*

Around the World in 100 Years*

The Discovery of New Worlds* (kindle book)

*These books will all be read-alouds we’ll do together.

The Shining Company

The White Stag

William Greenfell: Fisher of Men

The Deerslayer (available free on kindle but we have paperback)

The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights (kindle book)

The Prince and the Pauper (kindle book)

Treasure Island (kindle book)

The ones above are just the ones I’ve assigned. He is free to read more at his leisure, and I know he will. 🙂

Bible/Character Development:

The Book of Acts (in CBS)

Memorization of a whole chapter (not sure which one yet)

Boyhood and Beyond (discuss with Daddy)

ETC:

The Fallacy Detective

4H

Taekwondo

Boy Scouts (he just got his 2nd Class Rank!)

Field trips

Work Days with Daddy (hopefully every 3rd month alternating with other older brothers)

Volunteering (not sure what yet, but hopefully more of it and more often).

The Plan: Larry, 11, 5th grade

He is reading now, though he still lacks confidence. He is going to take off one day sooner than later. He loves to be active and is quite the funny guy too! He wants to work as a fisherman on a boat or take over Daddy’s business someday or maybe go back to China and work for an American Company! Yes, he has dreams too!

Language:

Primary Language Lessons

Spelling Power Level A/B (finish Level A)

Handwriting by George Vol. 1

???Critical Thinking CD-Rom???

Copywork in English and Chinese characters using this product which I made into a book with the help of Fed*EX*Kinko’s

Math:

Teaching Textbooks 4 (finish this)

Math on the Level (Thrice Weekly Lessons with Mom/Dad+5-A-Days Daily)

Science:

Christian Liberty Press God’s Wonderful Work (he can read this himself with me close by and I found it for $2! at a used sale)

Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader Book 1 (to read on his own and/or aloud with me)

Galileo and the Leaning Tower Experiment (assigned reading)

Along Came Galileo (read-aloud with Mommy)

Giants of Science: Leonardo da Vinci (read-aloud with Mommy)

History:

Simply Charlotte Mason Module 4: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation & the Epistles*

Famous Men of the Middle Ages*

Famous Men of the Renaissance & Reformation*

Around the World in 100 Years*

The Discovery of New Worlds* (kindle book)

*These books will all be read-alouds we’ll do together.

The Making of a Knight

Leif the Lucky

Who Was … ? Book Series (we are reading the Walt Disney one now together; he can read these now!)

The ones above are just the ones I’ve assigned. He is free to read more at his leisure from the library. 🙂 I need to order him some more Chinese leisure books/classics and/or keep trying to find used ones (so wish we could have gotten out more in China with him and so does he). Lesson learned!

Bible/Character Development:

The Book of Acts (in CBS)

Memorization of a whole chapter (not sure which one yet)

Young Peacemaker  Activity Booklets (discuss with Daddy)

ETC:

4H

Taekwondo

Junior Achievement’s BizTown Class (taught by a friend at a local church!)

Science Center Homeschool Classes

Boy Scouts (possibly start this year)

Work Days with Daddy (hopefully every 3rd month alternating with other older brothers

Field trips

The Plan: Mo, 9 in July, 4th grade

He is a voracious reader. He is still the Critter Whisperer, and will pick up ANYTHING. Scary I know. He would rather be knee deep in the creek looking for animals than anywhere else in the world. He also is planning to be a Navy Seal one day or be an Animal Scientist of some kind. Neither of these would surprise me a bit!

Language:

Intermediate Language Lessons

Spelling Power Level D/E (finish Level D)

Word Roots CD-Rom (Latin)

Handwriting by George Vol. 2 (one a week)

GrammarLand (read-aloud to Li’l Miss and Li’l Dude)

A to Z Crawly Critters Cursive (once a week)

Copywork using this product which I made into a book with the help of Fed*EX*Kinko’s (yes copywork b/c his cursive is NOT GOOD and he can do it neatly when he really puts forth the effort)

*This is just a photo of our classic reading books (some of them). Mo uses these the most, though depending on content he reads alone or we read it together. I love to sort books by color!*

Math:

Teaching Textbooks 4 (finish this)

Math on the Level (Thrice Weekly Lessons with Mom/Dad+5-A-Days Daily)

Science:

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany

Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader 4

The Shark Lady (assigned reading)

Giant of Faith and Science: Johannes Kepler (assigned reading)

History:

Simply Charlotte Mason Module 4: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation & the Epistles*

Famous Men of the Middle Ages*

Famous Men of the Renaissance & Reformation*

Around the World in 100 Years*

The Discovery of New Worlds* (kindle book)

*These books will all be read-alouds we’ll do together.

The World of Columbus and Sons

Adam of the Road (read-aloud with Mommy)

The Vikings (assigned reading)

Adventurer of Faith and Courage: Christopher Columbus (assigned reading)

The ones above are just the ones I’ve assigned. He is free to read more at his leisure, and I know he will. 🙂

Bible/Character Development:

The Book of Acts (in CBS)

Memorization of a whole chapter (not sure which one yet)

Various Arthur Scott Bailey and Thomas Burgess books (kindle books)

Young Peacemaker  Activity Booklets (discuss with Daddy)

ETC:

4H

Taekwondo

Junior Achievement’s BizTown Class (taught by a friend at a local church!)

Science Center Homeschool Classes

Work Days with Daddy (hopefully every 3rd month alternating with other older brothers)

Field trips

***In addition to the above, we will study more art and music composition together. Ideally, I’d like for some to take some music lessons but it is just not in the budget right now. I have been working with a couple of them on playing the trumpet (I used to play it and still can though rusty). I can certainly teach them to read music which I believe is invaluable (we shall see). 🙂

We will be using The Usborne Book of Art Ideas this book again for art this year. We will using The Usborne Book of Famous Paintings (gotta love the Scholastic Warehouse Sale!) to study artists and the Getting to Know Famous … Series of books to study artists and composers.

We are going to try and tackle Tennessee History on a more purposeful level. We will continue our trek around the state visiting the state parks on camping trips and nearby attractions where available, but I’d like to use a couple of resources and this website to flesh out our studies.

I have three who love to do workbook pages here and there, and two who do not LOL. For one of those 2, the workbook pages a couple of times a week are not optional. He is my English Language Learner and is required to at least try. 🙂 The directions are very simple and it is a good way for him to exercise what he knows. He completely finished the 1st Grade one last year, and I have picked up Grades 2 and 3 for him to use.

I do tear out certain pages if they show misspelled words that need to be corrected or if they would not be helpful in my mind, but for the most part I just let them do these when they want. It is not uncommon to find LM and LD at their little table working in their workbooks! I buy these kind very cheaply at Sammy’s Club for $6.95 each.

I think all in all we have a lot to cover and though it sounds daunting, all of our older boys do love to read. Also, most of their work is independent, but we spend about 30-45 minutes together after breakfast doing group time. This includes Bible study, prayer, pledge of allegiance, art/music/geography/Chinese (once a week; on certain days; haven’t figured that out yet), and history read-alouds.

I will be getting more specific this year about assigning certain time blocks for me to work with each one on math, any other subject where they are struggling/just need help that day, and to read aloud/have them read aloud to me.

That is enough for now! I’m exhausted! I will do a separate post to cover Li’l Dude and Li’l Miss’s school plans for this next year. I am still fleshing it out, but mostly have the basic plans in place and a vision!

7 thoughts on “A Post A Day: {2011/12: Curly, Larry, Mo }

  1. There is a great book called Managers of Their Homes that really helps set the schedule tone. She goes a bit overboard, if you ask me but, still helpful…)

    Sounds like you’ve got a great start!

    I’m actually doing the same thing today… finishing up my list of what I need to order. We need to get started on some of it soon so that we have flexibility during the transition to India. 🙂

  2. I have used Famous Men of Greece and Rome and loved them! I’m sure the Middle Ages book is just as good. Also liked Around The World is 100 Years, and The Shining Company. Jean Fritz and Rosemary Sutcliffe are great authors-. You are going to have a great year! diane

    • Barbra, I LOVE the planning too (not that anyone could tell that right?!). :))) As for grade reporting and finishing up,not.so.much. 🙂

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