Someone posted a link to this blog on facebook: www.heartofthematteronline.com/not-back-to-school-blog-hop-2 The idea of celebrating us homeschooling folk is a great idea! I didn't find this in time to get on the list for the first week. This isn't really a blog just about homeschooling, although I'm sure I'll talk about it all the time. I'll probably just be a follower on this one.
So, curriculum. Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I love school-y stuff. Teacher stores make my knees weak. It was entertaining for me to sift through curriculum and decide our direction for the year. With my teaching background, I don't feel the need to have curriculum for every subject. I'm glad it's out there for parents who need more guidance. I'm also glad that I feel comfortable at this point without it because curriculum materials can get expensive. Kind of makes me wish we could get some sort of rebate on our taxes and put that money towards schooling our own children, but that's probably a discussion for another day.
Here's my plan for this coming school year:
Reading/Language Arts: We use a phonics program that includes a listening tape and easy readers. We'll supplement with read alouds, easy readers from the library, and probably do some Letter of the Week (fab preschool FREE curriculum, google it, my friends) for Eli. I have a book list started for read alouds that I'll post if you'd like to take a peek. I also love the 4 Blocks reading program, especially for primary grades.
Math: After much deliberation, I thought we should try Singapore math and this will be the only curriculum we'll actually buy. While I feel totally comfortable with every other subject, I want more direction with math. I think this will be great for our family.
Social Studies: I printed out the Georgia state education standards for social studies for 1st graders to get ideas and direction. I really like the GA ED website, by the way. It's full of helpful ideas and lesson plans. The standards for 1st grade include things like recognizing your city, state, country, basic knowledge of several historical figures, and basic civics knowledge. Since we're new here, I'd also like to explore who our representatives are on the local, state, and federal levels, find out who the governor is, things like that. We'll do this by using the library, making lapbooks (another super fun homeschooling idea...you're burning up google tonight, huh?). I see many trips to the (free) Columbus Museum in our future.
Science: Guided again by the GA ED standards, we'll be learning about nature, and some basic science concepts like magnets and properties of water. Lapbooks are great for science too. I'm sure experiments will abound, as well as trips to nature centers. Again, the newness of our location will probably lend itself to us wanting to learn more about plants, animals, insects, and birds that live here.
**I'll introduce research skills to the kids, and we'll also be using writing across the curriculum.
Physical Education: Reese wants desperately to take a class. First it was ballet, and now she's interested in swimming lessons. We would like to see both Reese and Eli in some kind of martial arts. The homeschool group we are going to check out, Amazing Mondays, incorporates physical activity during their weekly meetings. The kids and I like to walk, bike, and swim.
Health: Basic body knowledge, hygiene, and nutrition of course will be included. The GA ED standards also require information about healthy habits (things like not smoking, not doing drugs, etc).
Music and Art: These are subjects that admittedly I usually forget. I'm going to try not to do that. We do listen to music all the time, but somehow I don't think crap top 40s is really music appreciation material, although I am quite impressed that Reese can sing along to most of my Lady Gaga songs. I'll take that Parent of the Year award now. Heh. Seriously though, I'll be keeping my eyes and ears out for places to go and programs to attend that have to do with art and music. I'd love to take the kids to see a play. Most important to me is exposing the kids to a wide variety of experiences in hopes that they'll find something they enjoy to pursue.
Hmmm...did I get everything? As you can see, we'll be busy this year, and we're not even required to go official until next fall (thank you, December birthday!). I'm very proud of how far we've come already, what we were able to do in the past year in spite of the challenges we had. We're all looking forward to a year full of fun adventures!