schooling this year

August 21, 2011

madison has said several times in recent weeks, how *excited* she is for our school year! i love that – it blesses me and creates excitement and motivation within me.

the other night, we sat together brainstorming and discussing ideas and thoughts for this coming year. she is certainly mature enough to help guide her learning – i make the decisions, for sure, and ultimately have the final say on what needs to be studied – but her input is invaluable.

after all, tapping in to her passions and God-given interests is one of the beautiful gifts of homeschooling. we can dive deep in to a certain subject, learning from a variety of sources, always incorporating artistic and creative elements. this makes learning so fun for both of us!

she is really interested in “famous people” lately – what is their story? particularly in the area of the arts: music, art, acting, etc. so, we are going to do a “famous people” unit study; i’ve identified different areas such as those mentioned above and also including scientist, missionary, athlete, and more. we’ll create a binder for each person; reading about their life, studying their work, learning their story. i love this unit-style learning because the process is so holistic and incorporates many “subjects” at once without the artificial fragmentation so inherent in tradional book work.

i’ve drafted out most of our learning subjects and areas and thought through scheduling and organization. maddie shared that she wants us to be more “organized” this year and i am realizing that my girl really does want a bit more rigidity in our daily schedules – as much as she may protest it during the year! she actually asked that we have our day scheduled in time increments; ie, at 9:00 am we do math, for instance.  i have modified that to look more like time “chunks”; ie, between 9:00am-noon we’ll do Bible, Math, Spelling, Grammar and Science (for example), in that order.

like her, i am eager to lay out a framework for our days … to create some new systems of organization ( i am thinking of having her daily work printed and on a clipboard for her, to continue to cultivate independence in her work).

we will start our year off this year like we’ve done the past 2 years: a week of creativity!! we make “journals” for our various learning subjects … we go to our local donut shop … and we’ll do our first unit study (see below).

our areas of big learning focus this year: Bible (continuing with the same study we did last year, as we both learned SO much); Math (using an online program this year which i am excited about!); Grammar (it’s time to really focus on this); Science (one of her favorite subjects and i found a fabulous looking biology book for this year!); Reading (she will be reading classics during her hour of reading time each afternoon, and do a corresponding workbook for each book that challenges reading comprehension, vocabulary, etc). I am undecided about History – we’ve used Sonlight for 2 years which has been great but i am ready to shift gears.

oh! i found a fabulous poetry book … hundreds of classics … so we’ll read a poem each day and each week, she’ll memorize one. she will also be writing scripture verses daily and doing scripture memorization. she is starting piano lessons, wants to try rock climbing, AND … our homeschool co-op has a FABULOUS “Around the World” study planned. i am so excited!! we will be studying countries of the world; meeting every other week to be taught by a different mama … learning in-depth about the country (language, foods, culture – the sky is the limit). it should be another incredible time of learning with our co-op!

i am sure i will make changes, addendums and adjustments in the next couple weeks before our school year begins … but this is how it’s looking as of today! 🙂


4 Responses to “schooling this year”

  1. Love it Emily! It is so encouraging to see the kids excited about learning!

    I love your planning time, and the things you have come up with!

    Unit studies are wonderful, I wish we had done more of them when Regan was younger!

    As we start High School this year, I am tempted to over-think, over-organize, but I am determined to keep it fun!

    We did poetry last year, Regan read them out loud every day and I think it helped with reading, presentation, and speaking skills.

    Way to go Momma!

  2. How grade is Madison? What Bible Study did you do last year? I love that your getting input from her on what she’d like to learn and incorperating her interestest like in the “famous persons” unit!

    • home2learn Says:

      thanks for stopping by 🙂 madison is going in to the 6th grade … we started homeschooling her 4th grade year. we loved Memoria Press “Christian Studies” Book 1 last year … an incredible workbook-style book that works chronologically through the bible (the first book was old testament, genesis – deuteronomy). a lot of great scripture reading, facts to know, terms, context and questions. we both learned a lot! we’ll be doing Book 2 this year.

  3. Em, I keep meaning to tell you that I still have my History of Modern Art textbook from college–great color replications of a lot of amazing pieces of art and architecture. It’s a little highlighted up, but if you guys ever want to borrow it (even just to flip through), let me know!

    I love how excited Maddie is about school 🙂

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