This fall’s curriculum is going very well!
The only adjustment I’ve had to make so far was for Raven’s writing curriculum. Our schedule is VERY busy. Here, let me explain.
Things we do outside of the house:
- Monday: martial arts (including me!) from 12-1
- Tuesday: Parent-taught science coop from 9:30 – 11:30; Orion choir from 3-4
- Wednesday: martial arts 12-1, park day 3-4:30-ish
- Thursday: Orion band from 11-12
- Friday: every other week, home school video game club from 3:30-5:30
Subjects we are studying:
- Joint History: We are reading about 2 chapters of Joy Hakim’s History of US, together, on the sofa. This is a 10 book series, and I hope to finish it in 2 years! This is supplemented with appropriate selections from Chester Comix, and occasionally other books or videos. We generally have the map of the US, a World History Atlas, or a blow-up globe with us (the dog is TERRIFIED of the globe). Oh, and I sometimes pull up Google earth on my iPad, too!
- History (additional): he is finishing up the Little History of the World. Next, he will probably do a unit study on the presidents.
- English: we are finishing up the writing and vocab components we didn’t finish from last year’s curriculum (level 3 – very rigorous). If/when we finish that, we will do some combination of the next level of grammar and vocab from the same publisher, a teen writing curriculum, or a game-based fiction writing curriculum.
- Math: we have just started book 2 of the Singapore New Syllabus. Orion has been doing very well with this. He looks up the answer after finishing a problem, and if he gets it wrong, he keeps working at it until he gets it right. I am very happy with this!
- Science: Orion is reading through the second half of the high school ap/intro college bio textbook we started 2 years ago, and doing the end-of-chapter problems. He will be taking a dissection class starting February.
- English: We are now using Language Smarts from the Critical Thinking Co. It’s a great fit because it is more like logic work based on language. The last thing we tried was Spectrum Writing workbook, which was a total failure. Before that we tried having him write to pen pals. Yeah, like pulling teeth. He is willing to do this one (so far, 2 weeks in), and I know he’s learning something. He is also reading for fun, finally! Mostly Garfield books, and some Stink books. Dad also continues to read to him at bedtime – this month its books in the Time Warp Trio series.
- Math: We were lucky enough to get chosen to review a chapter from an upcoming math series. Raven LOVED the textbook, which is comic book style. He resisted the exercises at first, but was able to see for himself that doing the easier problems first helps him to do the harder problem. This was a major breakthrough for him! Now that we’ve completed the chapter, we are back to what we were doing over the summer. We are reading Murderous Maths books, and doing problems from Zaccarro’s Primary Challenge Math. When we first started this combo, he would only do the level 1 and 2 problems in the Challenge Math book, but now he’s doing level 3 and ‘Einstein level’ problems, mostly in his head, with only the occasional hint from me. We may continue on to the next level of Challenge Math, or we might try out Problemoids – in fact, the owner of a math website is trying to get us a free copy of that to evaluate as well!
- Science: in the coop, we are using Real Science Odyssey Chemistry. Raven seems to think its ok, and I only have to teach every third week. He’s also reading a lot about the planets, which is still his biggest area of interest.
This schedule is exhausting for me, but the boys really like getting out of the house so much. The academics may be slightly on the light side, but my philosophy is to meet them where they are. I don’t want so much work that they get panicky or scream and cry or learn to hate school. I try to come up something they are interested in with just enough challenge, and a format that works for us all.
Year three of homeschooling feels good (most of the time!!)