Our Resources (Aug. 2015)

Okayokayokay… I want to say that I’ve learned my lesson and I’m going to diligently follow my children instead of being dragged kicking and screaming into doing more.  I’m going to need to figure out how to accommodate BigGuy’s current drive into academia and Girly’s not-so-firm ideas about what she wants to do (which is fine–I just don’t want to impose on her just because BigGuy is doing academics :/ )

I’m also entering into what has traditionally been the worst time of year for my PTSD.  And usually, the 2 weeks before and 1 week after Halloween are the highlight of it.  Last year was my first year post-“recovery” so-to-speak.  But July was a particularly bad month with some never-before-seen bad things that concern me.  So I’m absolutely off-loading more than I ever have.  If BigGuy truly wants to go to this science/math school, stuff needs to seriously start getting real.  I can’t let my issues derail that if we have alternatives.  We do.  But I also need to honor Girly’s needs to the best of our ability.  Our “ability” is enhanced this year by a grandparent contribution.

My personal priorities for BigGuy are to get him out of his head and less self-centered.  We need to work on him seeing himself in the larger world and how his actions and words affect others–how to manage those, how to share his ideas, etc.  It affects a LOT.

My personal priorities for Girly are to help her self-esteem.  This is going to happen in a lot of back-handed ways… helping her develop a routine for keeping her room clean, having more parent dates, and committing to being more engaged with her when we’re interacting instead of it being something I’m half-listening to.  I’ve been doing better with comforting her, too.  I’m particularly proud of how I’ve been handling times that she is upset with me.

As for the rest… this is the plan.  But hey, y’all know how I am with that stuff so stay tuned.

For both of them:

Social Studies:  We return to Tapestry of Grace but we’re going to dive into Year 2.  BigGuy will be part of a virtual co-op that meets once/week and I feel like this is going to drive things actually getting done.   I will work on some of the crafts and stories with Girly

Character Education:  This is going to be a lot of w

August 2015 – Girly – entering 1st grade

Language Arts:  We are still working through various levels of Bob Books.  We ditched Explode the Code.  She intermittently cracks open Critical Thinking Company’s Language Smarts – level B.  I’m planning to return to “Language Lessons for Little Ones – Volume 3” by Queen Homeschool Publishing and alternating between the two.  The latter is such a richly diverse study of so many things related to language that opens the mind; and the former is building thinking skills.  I need to figure out some resources for sight words and vowel combinations.  Not worried about it.  And I’m not going to get formal on the planning.  I’m going to have the resources at-hand and pull them out round-robin (or swap if she doesn’t like one or the other).

Math:  At the moment, she’s been working through Critical Thinking Company’s Mathematical Reasoning – level A and it’s going well.  It’s a little slow for her, but well.  We also started working on Life of Fred – Apples.  She enjoys it.  Telling time and calendar skills need to become a priority for Mama’s sanity.

Science:  I don’t want to say “nothing” again because I clearly have another science-y kid on my hands and I will feel horribly guilty.  A good friend is teaching a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) course this coming year and offered me up the curriculum she built for it.  I’m thinking that, at minimum, that gives me stuff to do.  And best-case, I can use it as a model to tailor to Girly’s desires.  Birds are on the list and I broke down and bought the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Science Investigator’s Kit for Homeschoolers.  I’m LESS than thrilled about the cost but hoping it feeds Girly’s entering-second-year-of-desire for learning about birds.

Fine Arts:  There is a LOT of drawing and doodling going on.  I’m going to see if I can manage to break out the Artistic Pursuits book that we have and work through that.   She’s got a renewed desire for piano, so we may start that sooner rather than later.

Physical Education:  Did we mention soccer? So, yeah–soccer.  And she’s hot for swim lessons and basketball so I will be looking for those.

August 2015 – BigGuy – entering 6th grade

Math:   So, the accredited online school for Pre-algebra was a hit.  He rushed to finish it so he could do Algebra I starting this fall and we will do that.  I don’t imagine he’ll whip through it quite as fast as he whipped through Pre-Algebra so I’m hoping this will take up the full year.

Science:   He’s just finishing a 3-week all-day (every day) camp to learn about astrophysics and astronomy.  I’m stunned at 1) the level of academics this camp was; and 2) that he rose to the level of academics this camp was.  He’s decided he’d like to do astronomy and the online school offers it as a half-year elective for high school credit.  Between camp and the semester course, I think he should do well at Science Olympiad this year.  I’m not yet thinking about science for the spring semester.  SLOWWWW DOWWWNNNNN…

Language Arts:   Oooooohhhhh people.  This is where all the time and money is going for BigGuy this year.  No joke.  His beloved academy is a HEAVY writing school and BigGuy has had pretty close to ZERO writing instruction.  Getting him through his research paper for camp was an eye opener–both in terms of how little he knows, but how well he managed. I’m going to be using Critical Thinking Company resources to help him identify inferences and develop more fluency in word roots. He’s signed up to take IEW’s Student Writing Intensive – level B through a local co-op for the entire year.  Participation is through barter, so if it doesn’t work out–I’m not out any money.  But BigGuy wants to write books and is headed down a path that will require writing.  I think he might enjoy this.  He will also do Tapestry of Grace – Year 2 literature with the virtual co-op (also full-year) and then he is also signed up for 7th grade language arts (Lightening Literature) and Philosophy for Kids with Athena’s Advanced Academy for the fall semester.  We HOPE to be working on the research process in the spring.

Social Studies/History:   I’d love to finally do  “What Counts as History?” from Tolerance.org’s Classroom Resources page but I have no clue when that will get done. We will have homework for the virtual co-op’s Tapestry of Grace‘s Year 2 curricula.  I’m strongly considering a World Cultures course through the online school, but I’m not sure about that yet.  It looks like everything I would want him to learn about world cultures and then some.  There is a local co-op that does a government class and it’s pay-as-you-go (literally like $2/class) so we’ll see how that goes.

Fine Arts:  BigGuy was invited back to boys choir this year.  I’m leaving it at that unless he requests more.

Physical Education:   Meditating has to happen.  So does swimming.  And more regular showering.  We’ll also do the local pay-as-you-go co-op for some phys. ed and see how that goes.

Technology:  AGAIN we have fallen off the wagon with  Avko’s Individualized Typing to learn touch-typing.  But he is working through some lessons I found online for Google SketchUp and we need to expand on that.  I’m holding off until later (possibly spring) because I’m concerned about the fall workload.

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