Again, time flies. We’ve been really buckling down with school these past few months after the craziness of the summer break and travels. My kids were gone most of July and part of August, so I spent it all planning the next school year. I didn’t change up much in the way of the curricula used, although a few things have been added or removed, as the case may be. I mainly worked on aligning the reading and spelling curricula to the extra work we’re doing with Pynni to address her learning disabilities in those areas. Plus, I dug through all the science curricula I’ve accumulated over the years and aligned all of that so that all the lessons and information and labs line up. I feel like this concentrated approach to the information both with Pynni’s school work and Science will solidify the information in their brains.
With the addition of the Brave Writer collection of curricula to our day, I’ve expanded the copywork the kids do every day and added free writing. Some of the things that we used as supplements during our workbox work has been moved to “on your own time” supplemental work that is aimed at fostering independence and self responsibility in regards to assignments and projects.
With everything that I’ve dealt with in regards to Pynni, I’ve dropped grade levels with my kids as far as my yearly planning is concerned. I have goals set for all of them for the year and with a four year plan for Chi, since he’s that close to graduating.**gulp** But for the sake of all the people who don’t homeschool, or who still care about grade level: Chi is in 8th grade, Pynni is in 5th grade, and Pieces is in 3rd grade.
Language Arts: spelling, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary
- All About Spelling by All About Learning Press: all three kids
- All About Reading by All About Learning Press: Level 2 for both Pynni and Level 3 for Pieces
- Explode the Code by Nancy Hall: Level 4.5 for Pynni and Level 4.5 for Pieces
- Reading Detective by Critical Thinking Co.: Chi (supplemental, independent work)
- Writing with Ease by Susan Wise Bauer: Pynni Level 2 and Pieces Level 1
- Faltering Ownership by Julie Bogart (Bravewriter.com): Chi. This is a writing curriculum
- First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise: all three kids although Chi is on the last level and will be finished with it shortly.
- The Arrow by Julie Bogart (Bravewriter.com): Pieces and Chi (Chi will start this when he finishes First Language Lessons lvl 4). It is a language arts curriculum. Chi will start on the same level as Pieces because a) this is a markedly different curriculum than he is used to for LA; b) the books in the list are good reads for Chi to process independently (Pieces and I will be reading them aloud); and c) Chi will be moving through the curriculum faster that Pieces. It is designed to be a year long, but I can see from working with Pieces that he will take a year and half to two years to complete it.
More information from Bravewriter.com:
“It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context, using copywork and dictation. It is a language arts resource that equips you, the homeschooling parent, to fulfill your best intentions related to:
- Literary elements
- Quality living literature
- Literary analysis
The practices of copywork and dictation teach your children the fundamentals of written communication. These practices naturally facilitate the development of accurate mechanics in the context of quality literature (the best words, in the best style, accurately edited).”
- Vocabulit by Perfection Learning: all three kids
- Recipe For Reading by Connie Russo pub. by Educators Publishing Service: Pynni. This is part of the ongoing extended effort to help Pynni become accurate and fluent in her reading and to be a better speller.
Mathematics and Critical Thinking
- Math U See by Demme Learning: all three kids
- Mathematical Reasoning by Critical Thinking Co.: all three kids; independent supplement
- Building Thinking Skills by Critical Thinking Co.: all three kids
- Kumon Publishing North America, Inc.: My Book of Money: Dollars and Cents: Pynni and Pieces (I’ve tried apps on the ipad, other worksheets, time telling games, and toys but nothing was making quarter hours clear to these two. After finishing the two Kumon time telling books, both the kids can read analog clocks and understand time and time telling better. They’ve completed the first Kumon money book and are more than halfway through the second. Due to a continued confusion with money, I’ve implemented an earn/spend system (with fake money) to help them better count money, keep track of their earnings and budget for what they want to do).
- Balance Benders:Logic and Algebraic Reasoning Puzzles by Critical Thinking Co.: Chi
- Handwriting Without Tears: all three kids with Pynni and Chi learning cursive
- Snatch: a programming language for Chi
- Youth Digital: Mod 1 : an online programming class teaching programming with Java through Modding Minecraft, Chi
- A History of US by Joy Hakim: all three kids
- R.E.A.L Science Odyssey by Pandia Press: all three kids
- Science Detective by Critical Thinking Co.: all three kids
- Young Scientists Club: all three kids. This is a lab mailed to your house once or twice a month.
- Which Way USA? and Top Secret Adventures by Highlights: all three kids (this helps cover basic geography on top of what they learn in their history curriculum)
- Piano Adventures by Faber: all three kids
- Rosetta Stone: Spanish Level 1
- Keyboarding Without Tears by Handwriting Without Tears: Pynni and Pieces
- FINSIHED Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (We’ve been reading through the Harry Potter series. I thought I’d start including our group read-aloud books here, as well.)
- FINISHED The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (We finished the Harry Potter Series and started with the Maze Runner series. The books aren’t nearly the tomes of Harry Potter and makes for fast reading.)
- Savvy by Ingrid Law
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee (This is just with Pieces right now. It’s for The Arrow. We take turns reading out loud. Chi will read this on his own and then he will read the passages used in the curriculum out loud to me. He’s read this book before about 4 years ago.)