Tuesday, May 31, 2011

School planning, part 1

I have been slowly working on our school plans for ages now, squeezing in a little here and there. It's quite a project because I felt like I needed to do a lot more customizing this year. Before I've stuck closely to the Well Trained Mind plans, adjusting just a little bit here and there. Well trained, but laid back, is what I would call it.
This year, though, several things are different. We have a "new" student. Jack is officially starting kindergarten. And Double Trouble (that's Christian and Luke) will be 4 and 2. If I learned anything this past year, it's that these two seriously affect our homeschool, whether they're official students or not:)
I also re-evaluated our goals. Along with a strong academic foundation, I'm planning to focus on character and some practical skills this year. Levi has thrown me for a loop with this whole 9 year old thing. I'm suddenly realizing how very fast he is growing up and how little time I really have with any of them.
One more difference for this year is that I was less happy with Story of the World. I have loved this series for history - it's been a perfect fit for us. But this year as I started reading through the book, I just felt like it was too focused on the negatives of modern history. Of course, to be fair, there are a lot of wars to cover in a short amount of time. But with a kindergartner, 3rd grader, and 4th grader all doing history together, I really wanted to focus on the good things and good people of the last two centuries. So we will read some of the stories from Story of the World, vol 4, but I've drawn up a scope and sequence of my own for this year. And we will be reading A LOT of good books. It also gives me a chance to focus more on the civil war and local history - something I'm excited about.
After all this background info, I think I'll share the actual curriculum (word used loosely, of course) we're using tomorrow.

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