Monday, August 3, 2015

School Plan 2015-2016

A veteran homeschooling mom reminded me homeschool is from birth. On our homeschool title, I used to put the kids who have not started preschool to be in "preparation" because I am against "school work" for the littles, as if we can finish the race better if we start them "young". However, her wise words "you ARE homeschooling, no matter intentionally or not" reminded me that I do believe that school is not about books, practice and the academics. Education is MUCH broader than those. Thus, here my littlest has "opened her window", as my children would say. =) Thank you, L. Your advice always helps and encourages me!!

And thus, to all you parents out there "waiting" for your kids to go to "school", you are HOMESCHOOLING! =)


And with that, we remember too, that homeschooling does not end. We took a summer break, but it did not mean we stopped educating our children. It made no sense to say that. There was continual reading, talking, learning, admonishing all through the days we did not do "school".


Yet, for the sake of giving ourselves an idea of a "rest", which is important in our lives, we took a "break" from the normal way of doing "school", and we are returning to a new year! =)


Here is our plan this year.


THIRD AND FIFTH GRADE



This is our 6th year using My Father's World as our curriculum and I am still loving it. The kids actually told me they, too, felt it is a curriculum they enjoy. We are going into Roman History, Middle Ages, Medieval times!!


"Rome to the Reformation follows Creation to the Greeks in our chronological history-based study for students in 2nd - 8th grade. Travel back to the time of the Romans and learn how they set the stage by their Pax Romana for the central event of all history—the birth of Jesus. Follow the development of the church and study the Middle Ages, culminating with the Renaissance and Reformation. "
Many are very curious how I teach multiple kids together. I am grateful for MFW, as they go by family cycle and you can teach multi-age kids at the same time.

This is a rough guide of how I go about school

1. We do bible together (for RtR). While the older ones do bible memory with each other or some copy work, I will do bible memory with the 1st grader.
2. The older ones do age-appropriate Math and Language Arts practices (I might have to coach them individually, if needed). At this time, Lil Sis may do her calendar work.
3. While the older ones do Math and LA, I will go through Language Arts with Lil Sis. And also read the bible story with her, if needed.
4. While Lil Sis does her bible notebook (when there is), I will do Spelling, English from the Roots up, or other history stuff with the older ones.
5. We might then do art together (or we might do that in the afternoon)
6. Then we will do Mandarin, taking turns in teaching and practicing.
7. If there are time in the morning, we will do Science together. If not, we conduct science experiments in the afternoon after quiet time.

Science

We will be learning about the human body and astronomy from these books.
I am super excited about this year's science because I had never in my life learnt about the human body in detail.

Math


Big Bro will finish up Singapore Math 4B and go into 5A (and possibly 5B) this year.

Big Sis will start Singapore Math 3A and possibly 3B.

Language Arts

We have used Rod and Staff and felt it a good fit for us; therefore, we will continue with it this year.














Big Sis is using English 3 and Big Bro using English 5.


Spelling













Both kids will use Spelling Power this year. We used it for Big Bro last year and we liked it.


English from the Roots Up













English from the Roots Up

We learnt the Greek root words last year and this year we go on to Latin root words. I will probably not let them do the notebook pages this year and just stick to the index cards. However, I might use Quizlet to let them test on their words as we go along. A mom from the group made some great tests to use too!

Foreign Language (Mother Tongue)













They will continue with Kang Hsuan (康軒) for Mandarin.


Art













We will use some of God and the History of Art (as suggested by the curriculum) 















and also some from Draw and Write from History (Greece and Rome)


We are still research on Music but Big Sis will continue with her piano lesson.


FIRST GRADE

For our first grader, we will use Learning God's Story for the 3rd time! This covers all the language arts and phonics parts. I am looking forward to see how her bible notebook will be different! =)














However, she will do Science with her older siblings and instead of Complete Book of Math, I decided I will let her use Singapore Math 1A instead, so that we can transition easier into Singapore Math 1B in the latter half of the year, if possible. In addition, she will do art with her siblings as well. I figure it will reduce some logistic issues.













She will also do calendar pages from here and here















And she will finally begin her foreign language/Mother Tongue!! =)

She will learn her bopomofo from this book

I have put up some interesting links for the bible notebook here when I planned for Big Sis' 1st grade work.


Pinterest Board for Rome to Reformation

Pinterest Board for 1st Grade

Organization
Our schoolroom has been the same for three years. I think it showed it is working well for us. =)
The differences are:
-We took out the safety gate. Well...Baby Sis could open the gate on her own, why add the trouble for the adults.
-I took out the curtains for the appliance shelf.

And here's how the side bookshelf looks like now.
TOP: Binders
2nd: Craft boxes, paints, our VERY important, well-used and reliable electric sharpener
3rd: writing materials, cuisenaire rods, pattern blocks, etc.
4th: Books for this year
5th: Boxes to hold extra stationery and craft materials
6th: Laminating machine, Baby Sis' activity box, computer, construction papers etc

Side - Big Bro's box and file folder game box.

Under my table, there is a box that I file all the student sheets, worksheets, bible memory sheets by weeks. This system had worked for 2 years and I expect it to work again this year.



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