Still very limited internet. And no telephone at all. The Verizon guy is supposed to arrive any time now. Bummer; I was enjoying the quiet;-). I've been busy, both outside and inside. It's that planning time of year again. For those of us who relish the idea of creating our own curricula, this is a glorious time of year, characterized by all night binges with the library website open and hours at the playground with catalogs on our laps. I'm thrilled with the shape that the coming year is taking. Colleen, Marisa, and I have been fairly bubbling over with ideas and we've made them as practical as possible. I'd like to offer you a rough idea should you care to wander with us at Serendipity.
We're going to focus on American History this year. Literature-based plans for three different age levels (Primary, Elementary and Junior High) will share reading suggestions and craft ideas. The older children will use IEW's US History-Based Writing lessons Volume 1. Everybody will share in quality literature and will narrate and make Books of Centuries. The reading list for the first couple of months will be on the lefthand sidebar in the next few days.
Weekly installments will take us over several time periods.
September and October: Colonial America and the American Revolution
November: The Louisiana Purchase and the Explorations of Lewis and Clark
December will be devoted to welcoming the Babe in the manger (and a new baby in our house)
January and February: Pioneers
March: Native Americans
April: Spring term--Devoted to intensive nature study (also known as "Easter and Bluebell Break) and a Shakespeare block
May, June, and July: The Civil War
August is a scheduled break.
But that's just the beginning...
G is for Geography will begin again, this time studying the states in the order they entered the union, focusing more on map work, and tying the States' quarters into our studies.
A fine arts block will use M is for Melody as a spine and introduce some Montessori three part cards and the Music Masters CDs, along with Mike Venezia's biographies. In addition to Music Study, we'll use picture books, the Venezia biographies and M is for Masterpiece to study great art and artists and art terminology.
Poetry will have pride of place this year. Using R is for Rhyme as a spine, we'll learn terms and try our hand at writing poetry, while studying the great works of the masters. We'll use the Poetry for Young People series as we go.
We're going to focus on Charlotte Mason-style Nature Study in one big block a week, along with intensive seasonal study. The Handbook of Nature Study will be our spine along with Keeping a Nature Journal, Nature Drawing and Animals Alive!.
Our older children will use the syllabus for Laura Berquist's Natural History course.
Once a week, a focused science block will use literature to teach through a variety of topics. We'll have those books in virtual baskets on the lefthand sidebar at Serendipity over the next few days. These studies will be lowkey, with some reading and notebook pages and maybe a hands-on activity or two.
Truly, I plan to adapt all these plans for most children from K-12. I need to keep us all on pretty much the same page.
Gnomes and Gnumbers will continue, with some new organization. We're going to break lessons down into smaller segments and integrate manipulatives, drawing, original stories and living math books.
The Alphabet Path is nearing its end. Truly, if it weren't for computer difficulties, we'd be there already. All three of us are planning to meander down the trail again next year with our little ones picking and choosing from the plethora of good books.
~~~~We interrupt this post to go greet the Verizon repairman.Whew! She says she can fix it all today. Christian doubts it. We'll see...~~~
I've done some fiddling on iCalendar (Katherine offered me a late night tutorial since it's a Mac thing and I can't ever be on the Mac when Michael is around to help me figure out how it works.). Here's how the week will look:
~~~The computer was hit by lightning. No internet on that machine until we see if it can be repaired. Oh bother. How often does this have to happen? I asked her how to protect my computer. She suggested moving. Apparently, this neighborhood gets hit with alarming frequency and when it strikes, it strikes with ferocity. No pictures on Serendipity for awhile.~~~