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Monday, August 13, 2018

Preparing for the 2018-2019 School Year!

We like to do a special Family Home Evening lesson before the first day of school. It's a great one to remind children the importance of learning as well as some good character traits. See the lesson we use at this website - We Can Learn at School. That lesson also contains my favorite goal sheet, which we have the children do during the FHE lesson or on the first day of school. Also, we always do Father's blessings (And a teacher blessing!) the night before school starts.

History, Geography:

As you know, we have used Family School every year since we started homeschooling. It is written so all the children can learn together, but they complete work on their own level for every lesson too. Originally there were going to be six complete years of six topics. A while ago they decided to change that. That threw a wrench in our school plans, but I accepted it and began planning. We have been promised that the sixth year of history and geography available to use this school year. Which I am desperately hoping is true, because completing those two topics in the curriculum we started is logical. Why start all over with something else?

The rest... well we're out of luck. And that's been pretty difficult for us to swallow. Switching curriculum is a whole new mess and doesn't feel right.

So I'm frustrated, unorganized, and dreading this school year. I can't even begin to explain how left behind we feel because of this. We're not the only family who has used this curriculum from the beginning and is in the same situation. It's just so disheartening, and we feel a little forgotten.

Anyway, there are only five geography lessons up for us to start learning about the last continent (Africa.) There are already 10 history lessons, but we won't have supplemental material like worksheets, flashcards, timeline cards, printed lessons available to buy for who knows how long.

That said, I still love Family School and am excited to finish these last two courses, and hope there are more of the other courses to use soon in the future. I am working on a project to make their lessons more open and go, which will help reach more families.

Art, Science, Music:

Family School science courses work through middle school, but they really need supplementation if used for high school. We're going to use their first science course for J, E, and N - zoology. We'll supplement with two science units from The Good and The Beautiful to see how we like them - Arthropods, and Kingdoms and Classifications. This is a lot more than we'll be able to use in one year though! (TGTB just announced a Marine Biology course that would be fun to add in later too!)

We'll be doing art together as a family. I've come up with a rough draft for my own lessons for a handful of artists. We'll be learning about them Charlotte Mason style and using and various lessons from the National Gallery of Art. We're also going to use Nature Notebooks.

For music, we may pick a few units from Family School or just start over and spread 5 courses over 6 years, but I'm also considering using these Shades of Sound Coloring Books and possibly SQUILT music lessons.

See, I can't figure out what feels right for these topics. Nothing is the same as Family School! I really need that sixth course before we start over again with the first ones next year! I don't want to skip art and music this year.

10th Grade:

M is in high school! She has picked a few courses she'd like to focus on and is still deciding on some for later in the year. To start, she's doing ASL from Lifeprint. She picked a graphic design course from BYUis. But they took that one off the website a month ago, so she's going to do an art class and hope the other comes back! Her physical therapy for scoliosis counts as P.E., but she's expressed interest in taking a dance class.

Math: Saxon Algebra 2

Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful High School 1 Honors course. This is brand new to us and the high school level eliminates the issues I had with the younger levels. So we're going to try it out. We'll still use IEW writing methods with this, but I like that this high school course will work with IEW concepts we already know. In fact, all my kids place very high on TGTB placement tests because of what we know from IEW.

Grammar: Included in The Good and the Beautiful, but since we only have two books of Fix It! left, we want to complete them. Plus, M has some major grammar skills and could be an excellent editor if she chose to.

Science: She's going to do a Family School high school course - Biology.

8th Grade:

J is going to do the same Language Arts as M. Even though he's two years younger, this is his strong subject and he can easily do the work. It will be nice having two kids on the same thing so they can discuss their reading and assignments. So, The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts High School 1 Honors course, I hope we work well together!

Math: He's doing Saxon 8/7. It's a pre-algebra course. He did Algebra 1/2 last year, and he passed it, but he was not confident in it. So he chose to complete the other pre-algebra course instead of doing the same book again or moving on. I think that was a very wise choice, he'll have a great understanding of math before he moves on.

Grammar: Same as M. We like it so much we want to finish Fix It! If it becomes overwhelming, we'll set it aside. But it's so fun I don't see that happening.

J is going to do a career placement test early in the year to help him see what his strengths are and encourage him to pick what he likes to do. Then we'll pick an elective or two for him to work through. He will be doing P.E. as we always do, bike rides, hikes, basketball, walking, etc. We've encouraged him to get into sports, but it's not really his thing. He'd rather be outside exploring (which is excellent!)

5th Grade:

E has only been homeschooled, and she's now in 5th! Wow.

Math: She's doing Saxon 6/5 this year.

Language Arts: IEW writing, Fix It! Grammar 2, All About Spelling 6 (she'll begin 7 too), and copywork in Family School and Spelling for penmanship practice.

E will be doing Family School literature from the first course. After we read Little House in the Big Woods, we'll probably pick another curriculum to read through Farmer Boy. Since just the two little girls will be doing this, maybe we'll go through the whole series eventually.

2nd Grade:

N is thrilled to be in 2nd grade, but you'll soon see that's not a specific label!

Math: She has a dozen or so lessons left in Saxon Math 2, and she'll also start and finish Saxon Math 3 this year.

Language Arts: She's a little over halfway through with All About Reading 4. She'll finish All About Spelling 2 this year, and probably 3 too. She'll do Writing With Ease level 2, and English for the Thoughtful Child 2. She has copywork for penmanship in spelling, English for the Thoughtful Child, writing, and Family School, but she'll also use Pentime 2 to practice good letter formation.

N will do Family School literature with E. It's going to be a change, but I hope it will be fun to do this with just two children.

Whew. Keep checking back in to find out how our school year is going!

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