School starts this week in our neck of the woods.
Rather uncharacteristically, I still haven't finished planning our school year. There is so much to learn together that I have trouble picking a starting point and running with it. I can tell you some things that we are doing:
Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (mostly used loosely as a reference)
Sonlight Science 1
Reading - lots of reading - mostly for me, but some for #2, too.
This year, he'll be reading the Old Testament section of The Beginner's Bible and much of The Christian Liberty Nature Reader vol. 1 and some of the readers for Sonlight LA 2 and WinterPromise LA 1.
I'll be reading the Literature, Tales, and Poetry suggested at Ambleside Online, the readings for Sonlight Science (or other books about the same topics, as we have a love/hate relationship with Usborne books.) We'll also do composer and artist study a la Ambleside, and we have our own list of read-alouds that we'd like to work on, too.
History - that's where I'm having trouble. I don't like Ambleside's choices. So, I bought The Story of the World, Vol. 1 - but I just don't know that I want to teach the Ancients before I've taught some basic American history - so I set SOTW aside to start next year. I've looked extensively at My Father's World First Grade (Bible history) and at their Adventures curriculum (American history) - but neither completely fits the bill for our style of education - though Adventures comes really close.
So I decided to write my own - and it has two tracks (Bible and US). We're going to go through The Beginner's Bible one story per week - which will last all year. We'll read the whole story from the Bible, talk about relevant ancient topics (call it Ancients - Light) as they come up, and we'll add Bible characters to our timeline and look up locations on a map (Monday's work, by the way - except for the timeline - that will get stuck together on Friday). On Wednesdays, we'll discuss the American history celebrity of the week, and we'll keep them in chronological order. We'll start with Leif the Lucky and cover Columbus, Pocahontas, Jamestown (place), The Pilgrims, Squanto, Colonial times, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Paul Revere.... Essentially, one person or location per week on up through American history. I'll post more specific books and such as figure out what on earth we are going to do. We'll do map and timeline work for US history, too. I'll pull some from book lists at WinterPromise and Sonlight and the free American history curriculum that I found online.
And that's the craziness that will be school this year.
There is a basic schedule:
Everyday - Bible reading, prayer, and memory verse, poetry, Spanish
Monday - Math - focus on Bible (intro. Story of week, Beginner's bible, copywork, Narration, mapwork, activity)
Tuesday - shortest day - copywork will be weekly memory verse, read literature selection), Composer study.
Wednesday - Math - focus on American history (intro person of week, US history reader and read-aloud to be determined, copywork, narration, mapwork, activity), nature study and gymnastics (outside of the house
Thursday - short day - Math, Aesop, (copywork, narration, read from Aesop), Picture study and art project
Friday - Math - focus on science (nature reader, copywork/narration from SL science readings, experiment,
That looks like a lot for first grade, doesn't it. Keep in mind that nothing takes longer than 10 minutes, and many things take only five. Some require only listening and take place in the van, thanks to my little friend, the iPod.
I'm going to have to quit thinking here for tonight because my computer's about to fall asleep and require a good long recharge. I'll have to come edit this and make it more coherent - maybe - unless I just don't and instead decide to publish what we're up to as we go along. I really want to keep a record of our schooling on the blog for easy reference. We'll see.