It is that time of year again for us where we are wrapping up our school year and getting ready to start fresh in January. This is the 3rd year now that we have scheduled our school year January to December verses the traditional way. It really seems to work best for our family since we school all year. This year we have decided, instead of planning vacation days a little bit here or there; we are taking the ENTIRE week off. Even though I plan everything out to begin with, it is rare for us to actually follow it exactly. I felt very overwhelmed this year when we had only sporadic days off because I felt like we were never getting caught up on anything. This time around, we scheduled in 16 vacation weeks over the course of the year. I first looked at major holidays and made sure we had a full week off for the main ones and 2 weeks for Christmas. Then, we are taking a week off for everyone’s birthday. (Come on who doesn’t want a full birthday week right?) For all remaining weeks we looked at the calendar and made sure we went no longer than 4 weeks of school before having time off . I put A LOT of extra “items” onto my own plate, so I am looking forward to those breaks as much as Caleb is. Maybe I won’t burn myself out this year 😉 So onto our curriculum choices for 2016:
Caleb – 6th Grade
We have always struggled on what grade Caleb is in since we first took him out of public school in 3rd grade (See this post if you would like to know why we pulled him). We decided this year to go off what grade he is in English.
Math – Math-U-See Epsilon (finish) and begin Zeta
We have used this program for a little over a year now and LOVE it. The DVD’s offer short lessons and teach in way that my hands-on, visual guy completely understands. You can work as fast or as slow as you need to. In the student workbook, there is 6 worksheets for each lesson. The first 3 work on just the current topic and the last 3 is a systematic review. Caleb is usually able to get by with doing 3 worksheets and then is ready for his test. I do love that we have the option for extra review if it is needed.
English – Abeka – 6th grade (finish) Begin 7th grade
We switched over to Abeka last September and its was a really hard change for Caleb. Abeka is an intense, very in-depth program at least for him it has been. Once we got through those first few weeks of trying to find our groove, it’s been great. The lessons plans lay EVERYTHING out for you. In just the few months we’ve been using it, my husband even has noticed a huge improvement in how Caleb reads and writes. In the 6th grade program, Caleb will be working on grammar, spelling, vocabulary, poetry, penmanship, and literature. We are looking forward to seeing him continue to grow.
Science – Africa Unit (finish) and begin Asia Unit
This is a unit study that I put together. The plan originally started with wanting to learn about all of the continents. I broke down each continent into different categories or lessons. We will be learning about natural landmarks and the science behind them, biomes of that region, zoology, botany, and of course culture. I have books, art projects, videos, activities and experiments planned out for each lesson. Please see my link for a more detailed schedule of Africa. I will add Asia’s Unit Study when I get around to finishing it =)
Social Studies – American History
This is another unit study I have been putting together. Not quite finished with it yet but will update when I’m done. We have started with Vikings and early explorers and are just moving chronologically through American history.
Xander – Kindergarten
Math – Math-U-See Primer (Finish) and begin Alpha
I don’t do “school” everyday with Xander but he really loves math. That is the one subject he is always asking to do. The primer program offers an introduction to all areas of math. We are half way thru and he is able to recognize and write his numbers, read numbers up to 1,000, identify different shapes and has just been introduced to adding. Unlike Caleb, I make sure that Xander and I go through all 6 worksheets for each lesson before moving ahead. Just because this is his first exposure to Math, I don’t want to rush it. The Alpha program will take him further into adding.
English – Abeka – K5
Since I fell in love with this program with Caleb, I wanted to make sure we started off right with the little guys. It is a typical kindergarten program that will work on reading, writing, and phonics. I just love that the lesson plans are all laid out for me and there is minimum prep work.
Bible – AWANA
Our church offers an Awana program for kids 3k-5th grade. Both Xander and Wesley attend this and it gives them exposure to God’s Word and memorizing bible verses.
Science/Social Studies –
I have put together units for both Xander and Wesley to work thru and I will update them on the blog once I officially write them out nicer 😉 but here is a general idea of what we are covering:
- Intro to Calendar
- Awareness to Seasonal Changes
- Begin Clock Study: o’clock, half, quarter
- Intro to Past, Present and Future
- Personal Timeline
- Study of Land, Water, Air
- Lakes, Islands, Peninsulas, Gulfs, Straights
- Naming Continents, States, Oceans
- Cultural Study
- Weather Classification
- Intro to Invertebrate
- Botany: Naming Leaves and their shapes
We will be following a Montessori style teaching for each of those topics.
Wesley – 3K
I do have Abeka’s 4K curriculum on hand but Wes isn’t interested in sitting for it yet, which is completely fine. He joins in with Xander and I for song and story time, science/social study projects, and ANYTHING to do with art. I try once or twice a week to have him sit for 5 minutes to go thru his alphabet or numbers.He loves to be moving and doing his own thing, so I do not want to push him until he is ready. With all that we do with Caleb and Xander, he is exposed to A LOT. He is only 3, after all, so I say let him PLAY =)
Well, folks that is it in a nutshell. We have 3 very busy bears over here and I am looking forward to starting 2016 with a bang! =)