I have decided we will continue with schooling through the summer. We have been very 'unschoolish' in the past and just started working on academic things in January, so I don't feel now is the time to stop; we're still just getting into the habit.
My sons are 7yo and will be testing next week, after which I want to change our routines/habits with a spring-summer schedule. I'm going to write it out and hopefully some of you will give me feedback. My planning started with me looking at a list I have created of all the subjects I'd love to cover in our homeschooling and picking out what seems to be perfectly suited for warm weather months. In addition we'll continue with them learning to read and some math (which we've been hit or miss on so far).
Our Usual Days
7:00 to 8:30
Morning Cards includes eating breakfast (the things we do every day to get ourselves, our pets and our home ready for a new day)
1. Ten minutes of silent reading to start the day, me included. Ultimately I want an hour of silent reading to be a part of our every morning. I am going to try to start practicing the new habit at 10 minutes while the boys are very new readers, with the hope of increasing it to 20 minutes in the fall when they ‘start second grade’.
2. Language Arts 7 days a week
AAR v 2 and McGruffy's Eclectic Primer
3-A-Day for spelling words (review plus new words)
(1.25 hr/day, ~30 min with each boy plus the spelling words and silent reading)
Spring is for Science:
1. One day a week work on science lessons out of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. (2 hr, 1/wk)
Watch monarch movie at IMAX
Read An Extraordinary Life’ and introduce narrating to the boys (30 min, 2/wk)
Creating a Masterpiece: Lessons in Silk Dying: Rainbow Butterfly (1 hr, 2/wk)
Raise monarch caterpillars
Weekly Bird Focus chosen from our list of 30
‘Burgess Bird Book for Children’ (1 chapter/wk, 20 min)
Sketch bird in nature journal adding important facts (30 min/wk)
Go to NCBG to bird watch
‘An Owl in the House: A Naturalist’s Diary’
‘Adopted by an Owl’
‘The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds’
‘Birds, Nests and Eggs’
reread ‘The Boy Who Drew Birds’ and ‘For the Birds’ (Audubon and Peterson biographies)
(20 min/day to read bird books)
Birding By Ear CD
4. Plenty of time for nature study (plan 4 hr hike each week). Look at ‘Keeping a Nature Journal’ via interlibrary loan.
5. Plenty of time for yard work – make butterfly garden, make carnivorous plant garden, pull invasive weeds, dig vernal pool and use dirt to make bike jumps, make disappearing pond (plan 6 hr/wk)
'Among the Night People' read as bedtime story
Take night walks, listen for night sounds
Find neighborhood nesting barred owls
Catch fire flies
Plan several evenings to stay up late and explore outside.
6. Family Work - 30 minutes every day for cleaning, projects, cooking, etc.
5. Character Study will be focusing on following our routine. We need to make really steady: Morning Cards, Family Work (house work), quiet reading time, boys reading to me
The boys really love using ixl.com which I’m allowing right now to expose them to more first grade math and testing type questions before the test next week. I don’t know if I plan to continue it after this month.
We have Math on the Level which I really like and I’ll pull from RightStart Level A to see if there is anything else in there I want to cover before we sell it.
Plan 10 min, 2/wk for 5-A-Day math problems.
Plan individual math lessons three times a week for each boy, 20 min each lesson.
I also have the first lesson in Living Math Through History ready and it will take a month to cover if we do it daily so in reality it will take most of the summer to complete it. Plan 30 min 2/wk.
Try to get into the habit of playing a game after lunch. Most of our games are math based. Plan 45 min/day.
History: I’d like to read A Child’s History of the World up until early exploration of America, to Chapter 61. (260 pages) This will catch us up in this book to be ready to start with Early American history in the fall.
Plan 15 min/day. *We've already covered much of this history in other ways over the past 1.5 years. The boys now want to learn about American History so I though this would be a good way to do a quick wrap up of the earlier lessons.
Swimming: Plan 3 hours a week, no lessons.
Artist Study: Vincent Van Gogh, continued
Art Exploration: Plan for 1 hr 2/wk for something more structured (creating a masterpiece and Van Gogh style), but the kid can do their own painting during their free time whenever they want.
Spanish: For Spanish we'll be using the Dragonfly Language video flashcard lesson and I'll be teaching them and using a lot the additional topics I'm noted. I'm only planning four lessons for the summer because I think each will take about two weeks but since this is new we'll just see how it goes. I can add more whenever we need it.
1. Dragonfly Lesson 21 – Las emociones
b. Me llamo/se llama
2. Dragonfly Lesson 13 – La Ropa
a. Donde esta?
c. Gracias/de Nada
3. Dragonfly Lesson 3 – Los Numeros
b. Addicion de los numeros menos de diez
4. Dragonfly Lesson 4 - Dragonfly Lesson 2 - Los Colores y las Formas
b. Cual es?
Plan 20 min, 5/wk.
My Own Study:
1. Spanish workbook and literature
2. 'Gentle Measures'
3. Great Courses: The Joy of Thinking
4. Great Courses: The History of Science – From Antiquity to 1700
This all sounds wonderful to me, but when I plotted it out last night to see what it looks like I realize it is entirely too much! I know for things like the yard work, it will be me working and them helping as they want and otherwise playing in the yard. I'm trying to see what else to delete. Maybe save the Building Foundations in Early Science for fall? But I've had the book for about six weeks and I'm really excited to share it with them. I think they'll like it. (We've never 'done science' before, only nature and books of their own interest.) Maybe drop the history until fall? Maybe just know that some weeks we'll only do two hours of yard work/projects, or none? What do you think? I want them to be able to enjoy the outside which is the basis of much of this plan, I really love free time for them but we also *really* need to learn how to follow a routine and not be so indulgent of our many whims and I want to use this summer to accomplish that. But maybe this is asking too much?