". . . 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)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Seventh Grade

For my fellow homeschoolers, here's what Evan and I have planned for seventh grade.

Bible/Catechism - The next couple of months will be spent preparing for Confirmation! Evan recently completed all his required sermon reports (yay!) and is now studying for his Confirmation test. This weekend he is going on an overnight retreat with his class. Confirmation here coincides with the celebration of Reformation. Evan also turns 13 on October 29 (wowzers), so we are planning a combined birthday/Confirmation party for the end of October. After Confirmation I would like to start a home Bible study that we can do together--maybe a book of the Bible using one of CPH's People's Bible Commentary series.

Grammar - Rules of the Game. I know this series has been around forever and is a staple for homeschoolers. I had never looked at it before. I like the inductive method it employs, prompting the student to look for patterns and then figure out the rule from the pattern. The first book looks to be quite a bit of review of what we have already studied, but I decided to start with it anyway and just go rapidly through the stuff we know until we get to the stuff that's new. There are three books in all.

Handwriting - Evan still prints unless I make him do otherwise. He can copy cursive and make it look nice, but he doesn't use it naturally. I am hoping this year to have him make the transition to using cursive in more of his written work. We are still working our way through last year's handwriting curriculum, 44 U.S. Presidents, Zaner-Bloser style.

Vocabulary - We didn't like Memoria Press's Roots of English. The chapters seemed to drag on, the pages were too busy, and the amount of information overwhelming. This year we are switching to Vocabulary from Classical Roots. So far, so good.

Math - Finishing up Teaching Textbooks 6, moving on to Teaching Textbooks 7. I love this curriculum as it is computer based and requires almost nothing from me. Evan likes it, is doing well, and it is self-grading.

History - Given the events of last year (house purchase, move, death of my mom) we did not complete everything we set out to do, including Volume 4 of A Child's History of the World. But I've decided we can revisit that time period (20th century) within the scope of U.S. history, so this year we are going to do a rapid run through American history using this series from Angela O'Dell. The series is a conversational in tone and makes for easy reading. My goal is not to get too deep in the weeds but just to have Evan get an over-arching sense of the big picture of American history and a command of the major dates. He is reading on his own and constructing a timeline as he does so. Next year we'll do the same thing for world history. Then in high school we can do some more in depth study of the how's and wherefore's of it all.

Geography - A neglected area in our homeschool so far. We're going to start with the basics in Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography. After that, I'm not sure. Stay tuned!

Computers - We are still working our way through KidCoder. Hope to finish by Christmas and go on to the game design book.

Science - This year we are going to use the series by John Hudson Tiner, starting with Exploring Planet Earth. 

Reading - In addition to readalouds and novels, we're going to use a school reader, published by Macmillan, that I picked up somewhere along the way. I am not sure of the exact grade level but judge it to be junior high content. It has poetry, fiction and non-fiction from a variety of sources plus a number of language-oriented lessons on things like dictionary usage, figurative language, logic, and the like.

My plan of incorporating some sort of art instruction last year was a big bust. We will try again this year, beginning with some lessons from the classic, Drawing with Children.

In addition to the above, Evan will have P.E., piano, organ, and French (Evan's first year) taught by Dad. We're going to keep this kid busy this year!

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