My girls have had a couple of snow days as well. They've played in the snow and have just about eat me out of house and home. Now I know people stock up on food during winter storms because when you're stuck inside, you have nothing to do BUT eat!
Yesterday, I planned out my school year for 2014-2015, put together a weekly plan sheet, and purchased some curriculum.
We are going to full year school and our first day is July 7. I did my best to give us seven 5-week blocks (one block having 6 weeks to get the required 36 weeks), with a minimum of 1 week vacation between each block. In addition, we will have a week off at Thanksgiving, 3 weeks off at Christmas, and two weeks off for Easter. We will also take the entire month of June this year. I had 16 weeks to play with for vacation, so I tried to sprinkle them in as well as have a longer "summer" break than just a week or two. I like the way it came out. I'm looking forward to spreading out the year in order to have lots of breaks for recharging our sanity. I will also add field trips to our calendar as they come up. If we happen to take a field trip on a weekend day, I will deduct a day from the school year to keep it at 180 days. =)
Here's a look at our school year:
In my new plan sheets, I have three tables. One for each girl and one for their "together" subjects. I was back and forth on what I wanted to them to do together, but I finally settled on them doing Science, Social Studies, History, and Health together.
I will use one sheet each week for the 36 weeks we're in school. Here is a look at my plan sheet:
We will zoom through the Health and Social Studies. I am hoping to cover 3 levels of both between now and the end of the next school year. Social Studies is so easy in early elementary, that I know they can do it. We will be using new programs for those two, so we are starting at the beginning and working quickly to Teagan's level. They are more like "busy" work, but I am hoping it will induce more independent study. The books are something they can do on their own with little to no help (or even help each other on).
Social Studies covers where they live, jobs, families, communities, etc. It has project ideas before each Unit.
Health will cover the things I hope they are already aware of, but using a workbook will help it sink in. It's full of topics about safety, healthy food choices, organ systems, hygiene, senses, strangers, emotions, and so on. I will be using K, 1, 2, and 3 and combining where I can and for who I can. All the books go into a little more depth than the previous, so I think we will be able to come up with a personally put together program.
The science curriculum I chose is pricey, so I am glad I decided to do the the girls together. I like the way it is set up and that it comes with most of the materials. I also like that it uses readers (many of them being Usborne books!). The program comes with a DVD where "Professor Justin" does all the weekly experiments for you and then you can do it yourself with the supplies provided in the kit. I have read RAVE reviews on the whole set. We are starting with "A" because "B" covers different areas of science. We will just start there and work up. I really didn't want them to miss something fun in "A" by skipping it. We are using BJU Science this year, and I am just not happy with it. It's sort of dry. I want to us to get our hands dirty this time! And I want it all planned out for us!
History isn't required of elementary school students, so I am starting with the first set in the program Core Knowledge History and Geography. It will be our first time using an actual history program, and I don't want them to miss anything. We will pick up he pace if need be. The program comes with lots of fun readers, which is becoming a favorite way for them to learn.
I really do like Singapore Math for the girls. They've really done well with it. But, I am interested in taking a different approach. I get so nervous when teaching Teagan her math, and often times I feel like I confuse her. I am going with Math U See this time. It's interactive, uses manipulatives, is mastery based, is self paced, and includes DVD lessons with lots ways to practice. I have read great reviews on it, and really, it's not that expensive.
Reading is where a big chunk of curriculum money went. I chose A Beka Book for Neely which is a complete language arts program. Not much of it is consumable, so it will be passed to Libby. I have heard that A Beka Book is known for their reading program, so I am excited to use it with Neely.
I chose Sonlight Reading and Language Arts for Teagan. We are using Reading Street now, but it's too much like public school for me which is the very reason I bought it in the first place. The reading just isn't fun when you have to do lots of unnecessary work with each story. Sonlight makes reading fun, and for 3rd grade, they have a specific set of readers/chapter books that the student will read for the year. I am excited to start using it. Teagan loves to read and they focus on building an even deeper love of reading in children.
The girls will both use Writing Strands for writing, just different levels. I happened to come across it in my search for something fun and practical. It builds on itself. I chose to start with level 2 for Teagan. I'm sure she needs something higher, but just in case, I'd like to see the level 2. They are inexpensive and non-consumable. If it all goes well, I'll need it for Neely.
Math: Math U See Beta
Writing: Writing Strands 2
Reading: Sonlight Reading with Language Arts 3rd Grade
Keyboarding: Typing Instructor for Kids
Math: Math U See Alpha
Writing: Writing Strands 1
Reading: A Beka Book Language Arts Kit for 1st Grade
Social Studies: Core Social Studies Interactive Workbook with Projects 1, 2, & 3
Science: Sonlight Science Kit A (Biology, Botany, and Physics)
History: Core Knowledge History and Geography 1
Health: Horizon's Health Combination of K, 1, 2, & 3