Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Our homeschool plans for the next few months

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The holidays have come and gone and the Fleck Academy Homeschool has begun our second semester. I thought it would be fun to share what we're working on for the next few months and how our plans have evolved from the first half of the year.

If you're curious about what our first semester looked like, you can read my post outlining my plans here.

So, what does our homeschool plan look like right now? What will we be focusing on between now and when we take a break in May?

Here's the scoop!

Preschool, Age 5 - my youngest daughter hasn't had much interest in doing any formal lessons lately, which is fine with me because I feel strongly that the most important thing for this age is to play. She continues to love taekwondo and she's advancing through the belt levels for Little Tigers.

We read books together every day and she loves to play games with numbers, like the My Little Pony version of Top Trumps. We listen to learning songs, like Wee Sing Silly Songs and Maestro Classics throughout the day and she also spends quite a bit of time coloring and "writing" letters and making cards for friends and family.

At this point, that seems like a well rounded preK experience to me, so I'm very happy with how Amelia is doing.

Second Grade, Age 8 - my middle daughter is in the second half of her second grade year. Here are the things we are focusing on:
  • History - the Story of the World vol. II, working on reading, narrating, and illustrating what she learns about. We are both really enjoying studying history this way.
  • Math - she's using Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool
  • Spelling, Grammar, Writing -  she's working through lessons in Dorothy Harrer's An English Manual. These lessons are fun and Lucy enjoys doing little drawings to go with the lessons. We also work on sight words almost every day.
  • Reading - We are reading through the Little House on the Prairie series together. She's also been reading on her own. I try to have her get time reading aloud and reading silently to herself each day, plus plenty of time being read to. 
  • Art and Nature Study - she has been enjoying spending some time each day with the book Farm Anatomy (we've been very informal with this, just reading and drawing our way through the book) and now that the weather is a bit warmer, we're looking forward to more time out doors and starting our nature walks up again. 
Lucy is really interested in rocks and minerals, so we're looking forward to the Gem Show in a few weeks, to getting a gemstone kit to work with, and to reading through our new book, National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. 

Fourth Grade, Age 10 - my son is also working on a variety of subjects at the moment
  • Math - he finished Teaching Textbooks and right now we're using Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool for Math (mainly for financial reasons, we liked TT, but this is FREE and a good fit for him, too)
  • Reading -  Max does quite a bit of reading on his own and for school, and like his mother, usually has more than one chapter book going. Right now he's reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the 39 Clues series, and he loves these Treehouse books.
  • History - The Story of the World IV, which is one of his favorite subjects. We use the workbook to go with this series and it is really adding another fun layer to his studies.
  • Art and Nature Study - Max has Art Club every week and he's also working his way through Nature Anatomy. As with Lucy, we're being really informal with these wonderful books: just reading and drawing as inspiration strikes. 
I've also been having Max read The Boys Body Book and we discuss any questions he might have about it.

Max has been keeping a journal this year and it is one of my favorite things! He is using the Time Capsule Journal and I imagine this is going to be a treasure for him in the years to come.

He's also still really into Minecraft, so I'd like to get him into one of the Minecraft academy type of courses, but it hasn't worked with out budget / schedule so far. It's certainly on my radar for him though and I also think Lucy would love it, as well.

Ninth Grade - We're doing more textbook and computer based learning for this grade than we ever have before. So far, the majority of it seems to be working, but I do find my mama brain a bit worried that it isn't as enjoyable for her as it could be.
  • Biology - we're using a second-hand textbook and workbook and doing some labs ... and honestly not really enjoying it. But, she's persisting and will finish, or at least get as far as we can the next few months. However, I will be looking for another option for future science studies. This was not the way to go for this student (or for her mama/teacher). 
  • pre-Algebra I - she's using Easy Peasy for Math, which she is a little behind grade level on, but we aren't stressing about it. We've got time and we're on our own schedule, no worries! She's got this!
  • Spanish 1 - she's using Easy Peasy All in One High School and DuoLingo, a phone app. 
  • Art, Nature Study, Culinary Arts, etc. - she's an assistant at Art Club and Jillian does a lot of crafting, drawing and sketching and sewing. 
I've given her a copy of Food Anatomy to work through, reading and drawing as inspiration strikes. She is still feeling like the culinary industry is where her future lies, she cooks every day, so she is especially enjoying this book. The drawings are wonderful, which has a lot of appeal, too. It's a great way to learn!

Speaking of culinary adventures and Jillian, I actually found a second hand culinary math book a while back (I think it is a textbook from a cooking school) and I purchased it and put it in her school cubby. I thought she might like to see how math is applied to cooking.

So, those are the plans for the next few months.

As the kids are finishing up books and subjects, I'm not really adding in a replacement or going on to the next level, with the exception of math: we're always going forward with math.

Instead, I want us to start having a lighter schedule and some more free time and space for them to pursue more of their interests and for us to get outdoors and have more hands on nature study.

I also look forward to gently winding down the year and my vision is that we will do a unit study together to sort of wrap this semester, and the bulk of the school year, up in a wonderful family learning kind of way.

That's the daydream, anyway.

In fact, I've already decided we're going to be starting a family unit study together of The Hobbit, which I'm really looking forward to. I think it will be a nice way to finish out the semester before we take a break during the month of May.

You might remember that we are year round homeschoolers, so we will have a Summer Session of lessons later this year, too. I'm still planning that out, as it will partly depend on what we finish up between now and our May break, but when I know what we're doing I will share those plans here, too.

In the meantime, the books, materials, and ideas in this post are how I how to guide our homeschool for the next few months.

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