Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting Started on Planning the School Year

It's that exciting time of year when I can start lesson planning for the upcoming school year! This is something I really enjoy doing, and look forward to each summer.  I love looking through the new books and figuring out the best approach and what I'd like to add or tweak.  Scheduling it all is becoming more challenging though.  And I am not the kind of person that has to live by the timetable - I do like it to be flexible and open to changes as needed, but I think I may need to be more flexible and creative than ever this year.  We have the schoolwork that will be our foundation, the things that I know we need to do.  On top of that we will have things we'll be reviewing for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, and it's hard to predict what those things will be, when we'll get them, and how much time they'll require.  We've already found, in our first year with the Crew, that there are some things we like so much that we want to continue with them for the rest of the year, or maybe use it in place of something we already had. What an adventure!

It will probably take several drafts before I have a schedule and routine that I think will work throughout the year and still allow for all the unknown factors.  I start out by getting a good look at everything we plan on working through, and estimating how much we'll have to do in each course per week, on average, in order to finish by the end of May or so.  Here is what I know as of this week:

Spencer - Grade 12
English - Bob Jones Writing & Grammar 11 (yeah, I know it's grade 11, but I chose it because it focuses on writing essays, which has been a weak point here) 
Consumer Math - Switched on Schoolhouse
Classical Astronomy - Fourth Day Press
Auto Upkeep 

  • Each of those are full credit courses. It's a light schedule, but that really is all he needs to graduate.  He will probably do a semester of gym class, which is about a quarter credit.  He will do Drivers Ed, which will be worth a credit.  For the cost of it and the (boring) classroom hours, yeah - I give school credit for that.  I don't know what else we might add - maybe an art credit if he finds something he is interested in.
Landon - Grade 8
English (Grammar, Writing, Literature, etc) - AO Lifepacs
Writing supplement - Write with WORLD

Algebra 1 - Pearson MyMathLab
Classical Astronomy - Fourth Day Press
American History - Notgrass America the Beautiful
Latin - Visual Latin

  • Algebra 1 and Classical Astronomy will be for high school credit.  Landon will also be doing a semester of gym class.  I'm not sure if there will be anything else we'll add over the long haul.
Kennady - Grade 6
English (Grammar, Writing, Literature, etc) - AO Lifepacs
Writing supplement - Write with WORLD
Math - Math Mammoth and Life of Fred
Classical Astronomy - Fourth Day Press
American History - Notgrass America the Beautiful
Latin - Visual Latin
Bible - God's Great Covenant
Art - Artistic Pursuits
  • Kennady has the most to cover! She will not be doing as much in the astronomy course as the boys, and we will take a very relaxed approach to the art course as well.  It won't bother us in the least if that takes two years to work through.  She also does gym class.  
Fourth Day Press, Write with WORLD, MyMathLab, Visual Latin, Math Mammoth, and God's Great Covenant are all products that we have reviewed and have become part of our regular lineup!  (I've linked to my review in case you'd like to find out more and what we like about them. I should note that we reviewed Celestial Almanack which was a Fourth Day Press product, but that isn't the same product we'll be using for astronomy.) Kennady and I are also reviewing Lightning Literature right now and we really like that.  I think it will become part of our foundation curriculum starting next year, when Kennady is in Grade 7.  I'm still thinking on that.

I have a long way to go in working out how we'll fit everything into a typical schoolday or school week, and even how to schedule the computer time! Both boys will have math that they are doing on the computer so scheduling will be a must.

How closely do you follow your schedule? And how much do you try to fit into your schoolday?  Add to the comments and let me know!

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Lora @ my blessed life said...

Way to go with the early planning! I've got all of our books together now and am ready to start making all of our plans, too.

Patsy Miz Bee Brekke said...

Boy are you on the ball!

My kids loved the Life of Fred books. Problem is, my oldest dd hates math and just read the stories to find out what would happen to Fred. LOL!

We have switched to another program that is actually wooing her heart, but we will always have a soft spot for LOF. ;-)

oooh! Love the Auto Upkeep book! I'll have to look into that one.

Thanks for the motivation! ;-)

Christina A. said...

I am thinking about getting Visual Latin for self-education purposes. I just do not feel confident teaching a subject when I have had no prior exposure myself.

Stefanie said...

Ha, I'm getting ready to write a similar post.

I did wind up ordering the Life of Fred books (fractions and decimals) and can't wait to get them. I think they'll go wonderfully with our MUS.

I'm so torn with Bible though. We have several things that we love and I'm not sure what to use. lol A good problem to have though.

And bite your tongue for using Kennady and 7th grade in the same sentence.

Kym Thorpe said...

So far, my daughter loves LOF - I just hope it continues! I'll be using Math Mammoth and other things alongside to make sure she is getting it.

Christina - Visual Latin is easy and lots of fun, perfect for those who don't have a background in it!

Stef - I'm the same way with Bible, we've got too many things to choose from. and yeah... I'm so not ready to consider Kennady and 7th grade together. LOL

Pebblekeeper ~ Angie said...

Sounds like a good lineup! We love all of those products! Thanks for sharing!

Erika said...

Being part of the Crew has brought some great curriculum into our house! A year ago, I would have had no idea what you were talking about! :) Sounds like you'll have a great year.

Modest Mama said...

You have motivated me to get on the ball with my older kids. I have been focusing mostly on Pre-K because I really need her to be busy-busy or else she drives me bananas!!!

I have noticed the older boys lack interest and motivation in their schoolwork. Maybe if I planned more in advance I could schedule in more interesting things. We are joining a book group and a science co-op. Hopefully those will help lighten the load and not hinder progress.

Shanna said...

I've got all our curriculum planned out and now I just have to order it. However, our back-to-school date is in just two weeks. Eek! :)

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