Sunday, April 05, 2009

Curriculum Planning

I have seriously debated in the last year or so how much structure to have in my children’s education.  I love the idea of unschooling, but have trouble pulling it off because I think (at least with my kids) it requires some energy by the parent to facilitate the children pursuing their interests as well as keeping records as the kids get older.  After a lot of thinking and praying and talking to the kids over the course of this year, I have come to the conclusion that we need some kind of general curriculum.  In addition, Ga’hoole Girl is starting high school next year and wants to go to college, so we need to make sure that her education meets the requirements of the colleges in which she is most interested in applying.

I have also decided (with input from Mr. Math Tutor and the kids) to change up our schedule some.  We have generally been pretty fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants when in comes to yearly scheduling.  Overall, this has been working OK since we’ve done 3-4 days of work each week so I didn’t have them taking off many full weeks.  Over the last several months, though, the kids have been more independent and doing a full five days of work each week.  So, I’m going to have us take a week off the beginning of May then work until the end of June when we will take of six weeks for vacation.  We will restart in August and plan to work for 4 or 5 weeks at a time with a week off through the year.

I have spent the last month or so researching my options for curriculum.  I know that I want to stick with Sonlight for our Core, specifically American History.  Beyond that, I am rather flexible.  I think I’ve come to some final decisions and am ready to purchase curriculum next month.  Here’s what I’m planning:

Social Science (History/Geography)

Ga’hoole Girl – Sonlight Core 100 pretty much independently for American History

Wild Man – Sonlight Core 3+4 for American History.  The kids will be studying roughly the same time period although they won’t be working together.

Language Arts

Ga’hoole Girl – American Literature with Sonlight Core 100, Writing with Sonlight Core 100, Grammar with Daily Grams Junior High/High School, Wordly Wise 3000 Book 8, Analogies 1

Wild Man – Finish Explode the Code series, Grammar Ace, All About Spelling, Reading with Sonlight readers, Getty-Dubay Italics handwriting, no formal writing program


Ga’hoole Girl – Sonlight Core 100 Bible program

Wild Man – Starting Strong from Core 3+4 (first third of the book), Bible Quest: Promises Fulfilled, other units as I find them and as we need them.


Ga’hoole Girl – Singapore Science Biology with Castle Heights Biology lab

Wild Man – Crime Scene Investigations followed by other unit studies as I find them.

Math – both kids will continue ALEKS math

Foreign Language

Ga’hoole Girl – PowerSpeak Latin

Wild Man – PowerSpeak Spanish

Physical Education – both kids do daily physical activity as well as weekly dance classes.

Study Skills – Ga’hoole Girl will use Learning on Purpose, a study skills book, during August then take a monthly practice ACT or SAT to get ready for high school standardized tests.

Music – Both children will continue music lessons.

This isn’t set in stone, by any stretch of the imagination!  I think, though, that this will give us a start.  I can’t order yet because I need to go through our books to see which Core 3+4 books we might need to order (we did both Core 3 and 4 several years ago, so I hope to only need to order the Instructor’s Guide and workbooks).

So, what do you think?  Any other great curriculum ideas for me?



Luke said...

Lots of Sonlight... looks great to me [smile].

May this lead to the best year yet of homeschooling in your home!


Catherine said...

Yes, but you might be a smidge biased, Luke ;-)

Actually, Wild Man has now requested that we do the Crime Scene Investigation unit for the end of this year and put off Astronomy until next year. I'm considering.