Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More on this fall's homeschooling (Part 3)


I already mentioned briefly what we're doing: Ponytails is finishing off Key to Geometry and Key to Decimals, and then will be starting Key to Algebra, and probably doing practice Gauss competition tests at the grade 8 level. She's planning on doing most of her math with Mr. Fixit again this year.

Crayons will be finishing Math Mammoth Light Blue Grade 3, because we got into it late in the year, and then we'll download Grade 4. I've been very interested to see where/how the Miquon Math she'd always used fit in to this newer curriculum; where we can go fast because we've already covered a topic, and where we have to slow down for math potholes. Not surprisingly (if you know Miquon), she has a very good sense of place value; she has a good understanding of how numbers work, and she's probably a bit ahead in multiplication, since Miquon starts that early. She's great at money math, not so good at telling time, but we'll keep working on that.

We'll be doing a weekly joint math time--I'm still working out the details on that. Some of what we'll be doing will be coming out of Critical Thinking's Math Detective book (the gr 5-6 level), since we have it on hand; but I don't want to do exactly the same format every time...the goal is to get a bigger sense of mathematics, to learn about the really interesting parts of it, not just "what you get in school." (If you've never checked out the Living Math website, there's lots of inspiration there.)


Otherwise known as Home Economics or Family Studies...but it's more than that. We are going to read through The Hidden Art of Homemaking (maybe just parts of some chapters), and supplement that with Marmee's Sugar N Spice Studies (nice around the holidays), a book on teatimes, a book on making basket gifts for people, and other books on crafts and creativity. We'll also read Louisa May Alcott's novel Jack and Jill, since a lot of that book is about "brightening the corner where you are" and finding the beauty around you.


A catch-all category. Whatever Happened to Justice? could fit in here, but I'm counting that under history this year. We'll be reading Plutarch's Lives (probably just Ponytails the first term), some of Charlotte Mason's book Ourselves, and Noel Streatfeild's book The Fearless Treasure. (We've never used that last one yet, so it will be an experiment.)


We'll probably follow the Ambleside rotation for picture studies and composer studies, except that I want to include Tom Thomson in this year's studies...it's a good year to do this since at least one museum within reach will be hosting a Thomson exhibit.

Art instruction: this is pretty much open. Crayons, although she loves to craft, is going through a spell of thinking that she can't draw, so it's not something I'm going to push right now. Ponytails has her own artistic interests she's working on. We will incorporate narration drawings and other activities into the year's work and leave it at that. (I was pretty happy, though, to find tins of watercolour pencils and charcoal pencils at Dollarama this weekend for $1.25 each.)


We'll be following the lessons in Our Roman Roots, probably three times a week.


I had planned to have Ponytails start one of the Mission Monde levels, and work something out myself for Crayons. When I got started working on Crayons' curriculum, I realized that we could probably do at least the first half of the year together, and then maybe get MM for Ponytails after Christmas. I looked at the Ontario ministry guidelines for grade 4 and grade 8 French, and they're really not that complicated...no offense to anyone who might be offended by that, I just mean that, for a ministry of education outline, it's pretty simple and clear what's supposed to be taught, and we can cover that with our own books. Our theme is going to be Les Insectes, based on a Canadian activity book (from a used book sale) called Les Insectes (surprise). We'll learn bugs along with verbs.

I think that's it for now...

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