". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homeschooling Planning

For my homeschooling readers, I thought I would take just a few minutes and share what we are planning to do with Evan for "school" this year.

History - The Story of the World, Volume 2 (Medieval/Renaissance) - We are almost through Volume 1!

Language Arts - Learning Language Arts Through Literature, Level 3 (Yellow) - I have used this book before, for several of the elementary years. I particularly like the Yellow book. It introduces cursive writing as well as some core spelling rules and language concepts. And I like the format: an integrated approach to language arts with assignments broken down into very manageable daily lessons (five per week). It's an excellent basic language arts text that isn't too time-consuming or heavy on the busy work.

Math - We are trying Life of Fred this year. I am intrigued by the story-based approach, one that incorporates all kinds of non-math knowledge. Here, too, I appreciate the lack of busy work. I will, however, supplement with additional drill whenever I perceive a need.

Foreign Language - We have not done any with Evan so far. This year we are going to dip our toes into some Latin study with Power Glide's elementary curriculum. It is a story-based introduction to the language. Can you tell I like stories?

Science - I don't think science at this level is all that necessary. On the other hand, it is fun! We will use Janice Van Cleve's Science Around the Year as a spine and will supplement with many easy reader books already on our shelves (children's encyclopedias, Magic School Bus, Scholastic Question-and-Answer, etc.)

In addition to these core books, we will have our normal catechism study and do a lot of reading, both independent and readaloud. I don't really have a plan for the reading--it will be whatever I feel like pulling off the shelf. I have not done any Laura Ingalls Wilder or E. B. White with Evan yet so those are top of the list. We will also, of course, continue piano lessons, and Evan will be taking a pottery class at the homeschool co-op as well as singing with a community children's choir that I accompany. Finally, we plan to sign up for swimming lessons--we have dropped the ball on that and Evan still does not know how--as well as community youth basketball. We have had trouble in the past with group sports. My HSC does not handle the drama of competition all that well. But he has also matured a great deal this past year. So we are going to give it another try!

Wow. It doesn't seem like a lot, but then again, it does. I am looking forward to our year! There is something special about third grade. So much growing up happens this year. My best memories of elementary school are of third grade and a teacher named Mrs. Snyder. She was so pretty and even then I could tell that she had a unique sense of style. She was young and dressed like none of the other teachers. We loved her clothes and hair and would draw pictures of her all the time. I know Evan loves me more than I loved Mrs. Snyder. :-) I hope I can provide him some of the same great third grade memories she gave me.

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