Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Year 2010-2011

I'm sitting in my dining/class room at 1:25 AM because I just can't sleep.  It often takes me a while to wind down at night but tonight seems to be taking longer than usual so I thought I'd use this time to update.

We officially began school this week.  Though we are usually always doing school-type stuff, this week we began actual studies, like normal homeschoolers.  We are stepping back into things very slowly and are only doing a portion of our intended yearly studies.  Next week we will add in another subject or two and the week after we will hopefully begin all our planned subjects for this year.

That said, our subjects this year include, but are not limited to:

Reading great books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Winnie the Pooh (the fully written text of the story), Understood Betsy, The Whipping Boy and many others.  These books will be read together for our Literature studies. We will also do subject studies, study guides and lapbooks on different things dealing with each book, such as a study on Chocolate for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and learning about Winnie the Bear when we read about Winnie the Pooh.  These will be fun extentions to use throughout the year.

Reading skills also include completing a phonics review, working through our Skills books, playing various reading games on the computer and getting out there, reading every book we can manage on each child's grade level.  My daughter is right on track in reading but my son is behind in his reading and this years goal is to have them both reading thoroughly and with little help by the end of the year.

History finds us using the Story of the World Volume 1, along with the wonderful activity guide provided to us by an extraordinary lady from The Homeschool Lounge, the Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, and many other interesting history related books to go along with our SOTW curriculum.  We will also be using activity guides and History Pockets: Ancient Civilations to further our study, along with lapbooking and/or notebooking on each subject portion furthering our study even more.  History is gonna be a good thing this year!!

History also incorparates geography by discussing things that happen in different places throughout the world and providing map skills for those places.  We will work on these skills in depth as we go through our curriculum for the year.

For Spelling we will be working through the Dolch Lists and also using our Instant Spelling Words for Writing workbooks.  I will be including spelling words for each subject learned as well as writing exercises to encourage word recognition and spelling.

Grammar is from Scott Foresman.  We began this last year and we will finish what we started and move on through the next levels for this year too.  The kids really enjoy this Grammar curriculum.

We will also be using Scott Foresman for Math, along with the IXL website, to build our math skills.  The beginning of the year brings a quick assessment on previous learned skills to see what they really know and move from there, building upon that knowledge.

We will be working the Book of Virtues unit study this year too.  You can find this unit study at Shiver Academy.  We will do the various activities included in the study and expand on the sections that apply to us the most.  We will also read more of the Book of Virtues than is required by the unit study.

We will continue our daily devotionals with Keys for Kids online.  We will use the daily verse as copy work and do provided activities to encourage our relationship with God.  We will also pray daily for whatever is on our hearts at the time.

At some point this year we will cover various Health topics, using both our Health curriculums and various information from other areas, online and in print.

We will be doing a study on Manners using Manners Made Easy.  I am waiting on this book to arrive and will divulge more on this at a later date. 

Science this year is Apologia's Botany course.  We will begin this next week, provided I remember to pick up the necessary items I keep forgetting!  For now, we've been discussing the Fall weather, going by the pond to see nature up close and at it's best, discussing various habitats and various animals that are now out and about getting ready for Winter.  We're also supplementing by watching nature shows to learn even more about animals and plants in their natural environments.  At this point though we are ready to move on to the solid stuff and Botany will be a wonderful experience for us.

Handwriting is built through various writing activities throughout our curriculum, including daily copywork for most studies, as well as writing out words, definitions and various things in lapbook, notebooks and elsewhere.  This leads to writing which will also be provided through various activities throughout the curriculum, such as book reviews, letters, creative stories and much more.

For Home Skills, we will be working on perfecting new skills: cleaning, dishes, learning to do the laundry properly, cooking and much more.  Household skills are important for all children to learn so they can take care of themselves once they are grown.  Also, we will be learning how to use routines and schedules to better stay on track.  Even though the kids have used these things for years, this year will bring the instruction to why we do the things we do.

Our language studies this year will include Sign Language and French.  These will be added in later on once the main subjects are underway.

Per request of my artistic daughter I will be including Art to our curriculum this year, though I am still in search of an appropriate, yet afforadable curriculum.  For now we will do Arts and Crafts based upon activities that go along with our educational studies, as well as Holidays and times of the year. 

Looking at the list, it seems we have a LOT to do but I know it's going to go by so very fast, especially since we homeschool year round, pretty much daily, even on holidays.  We will take off school as needed but at this time there are no real planned breaks other than Christmas and birthdays, which will also be filled with fun activities. 

I think this year should bring forth a lot of learning and fun experiences for us and I am as excited about it all as my children are!   I truly LOVE homeschooling!!


  1. Sounds like you have a wonderful year planned.
    I wouldn't mind doing a study on chocolate myself :)

  2. What a great year you have planned, Dana! I agree with Michelle....a study on chocolate sounds WONDERFUL! lol



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