We’re halfway through the quarter break, and I’ve begun mapping out the rest of the year. How it’s looking thus far:
Math: We’re continuing with the excellent discovery-based Miquon, finishing the Level 1 book and moving on to Level 2. I’ve also chosen the excellent (and free!) MEP program as our supplement. MEP is a research-based program developed in the United Kingdom. It runs from their version of Kindergarten (the Reception Year) through the end of secondary school (the O/A-levels), so if it clicks, I plan to use it as our core program once we complete Miquon. Patrick brought home a box of educational materials from storage, so I have a bunch of math games that I can pull out twice a week to help retention.
Language Arts: After tearful negotiation on all sides, formal spelling instruction has been scrapped. Instead we have an uptick in copywork and other writing, some vocabulary work rolled into Reading and History, and all requests for spelling/definition assistance get referred to a dictionary. It’s made for a calmer mood around here. I’m buying one of these reference charts to help him along. I do get it. Much like his constant mistakes in addition, I think the spelling work bored the hell out of him. He’s reading fourth through seventh grade material, depending on what interests him, so learning to spell “beach” correctly was not a large concern on his part. For grammar, we’re continuing with Growing With Grammar, supplemented by exercises based on the superior (and also free) KISS Grammar. This is so I can move us back to KISS exclusively next year. The third grade books are MUCH better organized than the second grade book.
Reading: We’ll continue to use graphic materials to engage him in comprehension and analysis work, copywork, and I’ll introduce vocabulary building from the harder materials. We’ve read a TON of mythology so far this year, at this point we’re ready to branch out into historical fiction and non-fiction. I’m using the program put together by Classical House of Learning Literature as a rough study guide and book list, with other activities mixed in.
Writing: Continuing with Jot It Down, but shortening the project process to two weeks at most.
History: Much like CHoLL, I’m using History Odyssey as a rough guide. HO is more prescriptive about the reading lists and activities, but I like they way they organize units, and it’s not terribly difficult to mimic much of what they do in each unit: vocabulary, mapwork, comprehension work, timelines, and a craft. I don’t want to buy anything else to pull that off. The pace of our history work determines all of the reading, so once I set the unit schedule, I start looking at books for both history work and lit work.
Science: We’re plugging away at Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. No complaints aside from wishing I had more time to do activities. Ideally, I’d like to do a lesson a week, with us doing an activity that reinforces the lesson in our second session. I’m hoping to organize that this weekend.
Art: Lots of reference books, making drawing part of our regular schoolwork, and art time once a week.
Spanish: On Tuesdays, we’re working with Duolingo, To see if it’s of interest, if not, we’ll keep playing with things till we find something he likes. I play Spanish music when I can, we’re checking out picture books in Spanish, and I’ve ordered a Spanish dictionary from Usborne.
PE: Morning walks, midday runs. Soccer season starts in two weeks, swimming is once a week, and we try to go for a hike and a bike ride once a week each. He loves swimming, and is almost ready for the pre-competitive level at his swim school. When he’s ready, I’ll let him try out for the local club team.
Music: Several other homeschoolers referred me to Hoffman Academy. We’re taking out the keyboard and learning together, the boys and I.
Plenty of stuff lying about when he’s ready, playing and storytime and field trips and art in the interim.