When I first considered homeschooling, one of the things that I found invaluable, was seeing the plans of other homeschoolers. Even now, especially when considering a change, I still search Pinterest to get a look at how other families are planning out their years. I need to see the practical application of ideas. I need to see what it looks like in action. At our house, we are about two months into our school year and so far, so good. So, here is a little look into our plans for this year.
This is our first year using products from Simply Charlotte Mason. I will soon be posting some reviews of these, but, for this post, I will simply outline our plans. First I will outline the subjects that we do together and then each student’s individual work. I have divided our year into three terms, each twelve weeks long.
Scripture Memory Work – Verse Pack 1, found on the Simply Charlotte Mason website for free.
Bible, History, and Geography – Simply Charlotte Mason’s Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome, is an outline for Bible, history, and geography. It uses Visits to Europe, and The Story of the Romans. There are also several living books that are needed for the history lessons and recommended for the geography lessons. They can be purchased or found at the library. I found most of them, used, on Amazon. The great news is that the list is already made, so I don’t have to research books for hours. A list of the books needed for history can be found here. We are also putting together a family Book of Centuries for the younger two, while my oldest is putting together his own.
Spanish – Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and François Volume 1. We are having fun with this one!
Poetry– We are using Enjoy the Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson to study the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, but any book, or even the internet, could be used. We are using this book Term 1. Term 2 we will replace poetry with a Shakespeare play study, and Term 3 we will be reading the works of various poets from poetry books that we own, as well as ones from the library. Here is a little instruction on poetry study. This year our Shakespeare play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Literature – These are the books that we will enjoy together as read aloud books. I am hoping to use mostly audio books from our library or through Audible. I usually read our read aloud books but this year I chose audio books for two reasons. The first is help with a busy schedule. Sometimes, it is helpful to have a subject, or two, that can be done on the go. The other reason we are trying audio books is to help with our expression in reading. What better way to learn than from the professionals. We are using books from Group List 1. Since I have a mix of grades, (2nd, 6th, and 8th) I am selecting a mix of books from both the 1st-4th grade list and the 5th – 8th grade list. We are currently enjoying Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George is up next. This one we may read instead of using the audio book.
Picture Study – Term 1 we are studying Botticelli. Term 2 will be Michelangelo and Term 3 will be Da Vinci. We are using the Picture Study Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason but it can be done using books from the library and the internet. Here is a little info on how to do a picture study.
Music Study – Term 1 we are studying Bach, Term 2 Chopin, and Term 3 Beethoven. We are using Music Study with the Masters from Simply Charlotte Mason but again, music study could be completed using the internet and library. A little about music study can be found here.
Nature Study – We do nature study once a week. You can see my post about our nature study here.
Personal Development – This was such a simple addition to our school week and I love it. It is more of a focus, to me, than a subject. The “class” time is very small for this subject since it is more about building habits. The habits we are developing this year are; Term 1 personal initiative, Term 2 perfect execution, and Term 3 manners. We are using the Laying Down the Rails set from Simply Charlotte Mason. I will definitely be reviewing this one soon. One of my faves!
Handicrafts – We have a small co-op that meets twice a month that is fulfilling our handicraft need. My oldest is also taking an online comic book writing class through Landry Academy.
Here is how these subjects are scheduled throughout of week. Since we have co-op on Friday some weeks, our schedule leaves Friday mostly open. The weeks that we don’t have co-op, we either use it for field trips, library time, or to catch-up. Since our Matthew-Acts & Ancient Rome book plans for five days a week, we usually double up on the Bible lessons to complete it in 4 days. This is our basic schedule, we do change things up many days. Most of these lessons are fairly short, so our day is not as long as it may appear.
Mornings: Scripture Memory Work, Bible (2 lessons), Spanish, Poetry (Term 2 this will be Shakespeare)
Afternoons: Hymn Study, Literature
Mornings: Scripture Memory Work, Geography and History, Spanish
Afternoons: Picture Study, Literature
Mornings: Scripture Memory Work, History, Spanish
Afternoons: Literature, Music Study
Mornings: Scripture Memory Work, History, Spanish
Afternoons: Hymn Study, Nature Study, Literature
Whenever the day allows: Scripture Memory Work, Personal Development
Math – Math-U-See Beta
Language Arts – She will be finishing McGuffey’s New First Eclectic Reader and then McGuffey’s New Second Eclectic Reader, Copywork for Young Ones, Lessons in Manners for Copywork, Explode the Code 4, Explode the Code 5, and oral narrations. I originally did not plan to use Explode the Code again this year but my daughter likes it and asked for it. So, I figured extra practice would not hurt.
Science – living books on zoology, geology, and plants. Currently, we are reading through The Burgess Seashore Book for Children. We will be doing some projects with these books and completing various types of narrations and illustrations.
Her schedule for independent work is usually the same each day except she only does science Monday and Wednesday. The rest is daily.
Math – Math-U-See Epsilon
Language Arts – Extra spelling practice is our focus this year. We use Spelling Wisdom Book 1 for dictation exercises. We use the spelling lists from Sequential Spelling 1 but do a prepared test. Sequential Spelling typically involves a blind test but I have him look over the list (in the same manner that he does a prepared dictation in Spelling Wisdom.) For reading we are using McGuffey’s New Third Eclectic Reader, as well as books assigned for history reading, and keeping a “Book of Mottoes.”
Science – Living books on zoology, geology, and plants, although currently he is reading Batman Science, The Real-World Science Behind Batman’s Gear because he was interested. He has also been reading through The Burgess Seashore Book for Children and later will be reading Great Minds of Science, Carl Linnaeus Father of Classification. The Carl Linnaeus book ends with some great activity ideas for plants. A rock study is also in the line up for this winter. We will use a rock science kit from Geo Mysteries and Usborne Spotter’s Guides Rocks and Minerals to kick off the rock study. Various narrations, illustrations, and experiments will be used as well. In the spring he will be reading Galen and the Gateway to Medicine. We have done a study on the human body in the past but will do a brief review with this book.
Typing – We use this free website.
Math, spelling, reading, and dictation are done Monday through Thursday. Sometimes a math lesson is done on Friday if needed. Science is done Monday and Wednesday, while typing is Tuesday and Thursday. Guitar practice is everyday but usually before and after school.
Math – A few years ago we took a step back in math to fill in some gaps. I have been very happy with this decision. This year he is completing Math-U-See Zeta, which will put him in Pre-Algebra in the 9th grade, Algebra 1 in 10th, Geometry in 11th, and Algebra 2 in 12th.
Language Arts – He uses Spelling Wisdom Book 3 for dictation. For grammar we are using Analytical Grammar. My plan was only Season One this year but it is looking like he may be able to complete Season Two as well. For reading he is doing a study of the book of Romans using Foundations in Romans. He is also, “discovering and organizing what the Bible teaches about the ten important doctrines,” during our family Bible lessons using Discovering Doctrine. He has assigned reading from history too. Currently, he is reading The Bronze Bow. What is great is the Matthew – Acts & Ancient Rome book plans out when he works on Foundations in Romans and when he reads from other books, like The Bronze Bow. Yay! Occasionally, we use McGuffey’s New Fourth Eclectic Reader for reading. Mostly for the articulation lessons and practice in reading aloud. We only do this when there is a break in his other reading assignments.
Science – He will be taking Intro to Marine Biology during the spring semester. This is an online class through Landry Academy.
Handicrafts- This semester he is taking Comic Book 1 through Landry Academy. He is learning how to write a black and white comic book.
Typing – We are using this free website.
He does math Monday through Thursday, and Friday as needed. Dictation is done Monday and Wednesday while reading and grammar are Monday through Thursday. Comic Book 1 is Tuesday and typing is Thursday.
I put it all down on a wonderful weekly checklist that I found on this blog for free. I made one for each student, for each term. We don’t always stick to it exactly but everyone likes having an idea of how each day will go.
Well, that is our plan. We are pretty happy with it so far. I will let you know how it all worked out this spring. Until then, God bless!