Friday, April 9, 2010

School, school, school...

I have started thinking about next year's school recently.  I *love* Sonlight, and have no plans to stop using it at this point, but I am thinking about doing something different next year for one reason:  I want to combine Aaron and Ethan so that they are doing the same Bible, history, geography, science, and art/music each year.  They will each still have their own age appropriate math and language arts.  This will greatly cut down on my hands-on instruction time and allow me to homeschool all four children a bit better when they are all old enough for that.  So far, Aaron has completed the first three "core" curriculum packages from Sonlight, and if I move him on to the next one for next year, Ethan would not get much out of it and I think would be frustrated much of the time.  I think it would be better to do a Sonlight K option with Ethan next year and do something totally different with Aaron, then combine them for their 1st and 3rd grade years with the next core package from Sonlight.  This opens up so many options for Aaron, and I am getting so excited about the possibilities as I think about it!  I have always been interested in Galloping the Globe.  This is a geography program that covers all 7 continents in 36 lessons.  It has Bible, science, history, art activities, cooking, and literature along with the geography for each country, so alone it covers quite a bit.  I also have wanted to try Bible Study Guide for All Ages.  Doing this would also allow me to focus more on art, music, and foreign language with Aaron for a year.  I think it could kind of be a good year to do all those things that look great but that I don't have time to add to my Sonlight core right now. 

Anyway, since the sky's the limit here, I'm curious to gather ideas from all the other home schoolers that I know to put a great 2nd grade year together for Aaron.  What things do you think I should look into?  What have you loved doing with your 2nd grader (or close to that age)? 

Oh, and I need ideas for his reading for next year.  He can read at a much more advanced level than he can handle topic wise.  I am at a loss as to what to do for him.  I don't really want a "reading" book full of selections that have been written by B-rate authors to fit a character quality or theme to make a well-rounded reader. I'd much rather have something critically acclaimed or classically relevant or spiritually significant.  Ideas?


Marie said...

Sounds like so much fun! That's a good idea about using the same curriculum for both boys. Easier on you and they will probably enjoy it more.

I really like Sonlight too and I get a little sad that I'm not homeschooling when I look through the catalog. I did order a bunch of books from the K program.

Unfortunately, Caleb is still totally uninterested in learning and when we got the first book in the mail today he started using it as a fan and then gave it to me and said "Please don't read this to me." Is that sad or what? I really hope Ana will like to be read. If not, I'm shipping both of them off to you and Joanna, cause I'm obviously doing something wrong.

Meagan said...

I so agree with the combining of curriculums. I plan to do the same thing with the girls when they get there.... In fact in a lot of ways we already do that, I just don't actually document Zoe's stuff.

I really want to do the programs like you were saying based on the geography. I am not sure how well it will work for us though cause we are probably going to try the Florida virtual school at least at first, and if it works stay with it....(it is the only way I can keep her with vision services other than actually sending her to school) Maybe I will plan on doing those programs as Summer enrichment stuff, cause it would be nice extra activities.

Joanna said...

You're so funny Marie!

Lawanda said...

I definitely think combining them will be sooo much easier for ya! :)

I cant think of anything I used right now. Possibly cuz I got up early. Doing that always throws me off ;) hehe

Joanna said...

I use Susan Wise-Bauer's Writing With Ease books for Ella and Sarah. Every weeks they listen to a passage from a classic children's book, and give a narration on it, then copy a sentence from it, the write the same sentence dictated to them then listen to a different passage from the same book and do a narration on that. That's four days of work, not one day. Anyway, our plan for a reading list is to gather as many books from the narrations as we can. Susan Wise-Bauer is well-known for her love of classic (not brainless) literature. Some of the books she recommends are out of print. I'll make a short list of books she recommends from the level 2 book:

Aesop's fables
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Doctor Dolittle
Misty of Chincoteague
Ginger Pye
The Jungle Book
Pippi Longstocking
Nurse Matilda
The 101 Dalmations
Pilgrim's Progress

That's through week 12; one of the weeks she did poetry.

This makes me really want to smack myself in the head for forgetting to let you look at my school stuff when you were here. DARN IT!!

Luke said...

Has Aaron gone through Sonlight's Advanced Readers yet? That could be a good option.

And, yes, combining students under a single Core is the way to go. This does sound like the year to do something a little different so you can bring them together again next year.

Don't forget Sonlight Advisors are here to help talk you through various options and ideas:


Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

I have nothing of significance to add.

Just wanted to say that I appreciate reading along as veteran homescool mothers post about curriculum, logistics, and the like.

So, thank you.