September is less than a week away, and I am sure ready. We had a very slow and laid back summer. I scaled back our lessons and had just a morning basket, which we only pulled from three times a week. It worked so well for us, it was just enough of stable routine but stillallowed for free time. Now, at the end of August, our plan for the year is finally falling into place and our regular learning routine is calling.
I started to plan this year back in February, piecing together ideas that might spark excitement with my kids.
WILDWOOD - CHARLOTTE MASON LOOP
One huge resource this year is Wildwood Curriculum, which is a modern + secular curriculum based on the original works Charlotte Mason.
I am pulling from Form IA (upper) for both my girls and created a loop schedule for the following subjects: Natural History, Tales, Geography, Picture Study, Mythology, Music Appreciation, Memory, Spanish + Folk Songs.
We will be doing one-two of these each day (four times a week).
LANGUAGE ARTS LOOP
Our Language Arts this year is mainly Brave Writer. I have paired most of our read aloud's to Arrow Guides and will continue to have time for Free Writes (such a favourite in our house). I am planning to introduce Partnership Writing into the second half of our year. The girls are also going to be using Penny Gardner's Italics and Michael Clay Thompson's Grammar. We will be doing only one of these each day (four times a week).
Something new this year is more in the way I schedule our subjects. Since I found out about loop scheduling it has been my go to for implementing our lessons. I can never follow a rigged schedule, too much of life can get in the way and I hate feeling like we are "behind". So schooling year round and just doing what comes next, keeping track with a loop of subjects is perfect for us. But this year I decided to single out a few subjects that we would focus on one at a time in a deeper way. So our afternoon's we will have our Main Lesson Block, each topic will be covered for 1 week to 4 weeks at a time. For many of these topics we will be notebooking, making lapbooks, and using art to narrate and document. Some afternoon there will be outings or documentaries to watch.
Below are the subjects/topics that we have discussed and agreed on for the year (many are not 100% finalized yet):
- Spine: Find the Constellation by H.A. Rey
- Pulling from Sabbath Mood Homeschool's Astronomy: Form 2 + Sixth Grade Astronomy by Earthschooling
* Geology + Physics
* Weather + Climate Change
* Canadian - First People:
* World: Renaissance
* Canadian - European Exploration, New France, Acadia + 7 Year War
* Twelfth Night
* Romeo and Juliet
Our Fridays are our Flex Day. I am also in school currently and I need a day that I concentrate on studying, researching and writing. So our Friday will be our zero lesson day each week. But that doesn't mean they will have no direction that day. One of the biggest things this year (from both girls) is that they wanted more art and painting, crafting and creating. So I have designated Friday's as our Artsy day. We are going to come together for our morning brunch and pair it with Poetry Teatime and a quick Weekly Review. Then in the afternoon, they are free to be creative. Some Friday's I will have a planned art or handicraft project, and other times they will be left to their own direction. This is also a time that I am betting music and audiobooks are going to be plentiful!
I know Art Friday's sounds so nice and hopefully, I likely won't go that way EVERY Friday. Some Friday's we might be off exploring or running errands, but I want this routine to become our base.
Now that I have covered our together learning parts, this is what the more individual needs are:
ASHLYN - GRADE 5 | AGE 10
My oldest is wanting more independence this year, and she requires structure and routine. So I bought her a little academic planner, which I write in each Sunday her math + spelling for the week, any assigned reading (her reading list this year is evolving, but she is currently reading Harry Potter, Chamber of Secrets and Girls Who Looked Under Rocks), journaling and anything else that she is required to do. This girl LOVES checklists and this is a good habit to start her on as we approach middle school age.
Spelling is one area Ashlyn expressed a desire to work on this year. I found this amazing online dictation program called Spell Quiz that she will be using. I will be providing a deeper look into this program later this year, but from what she has done so far has been so beneficial.
BRIANA - GRADE 3 | AGE 7.5
Briana is my self-directed, unschooly child. So I really want her free time to be just that, free. Her main goal for this year is to work on her reading, which we will be using the Progressive Phonics to support her. I am not one to push or force reading, I know that she will get there when she is ready, and she is so close right now.
Briana will be using the same resources for Math, as well as Spell Quiz.
HAIDEN - KINDER | AGE 4.5
I have no formal learning plan in place for Haiden for kindergarten. He is a busy boy, who I believe should be playing, exploring and hands on activities. I do however want to continue to cultivate habits, so we will continue to start each morning cuddling on the couch, reading, talking and playing. While I said nothing formal, I am pulling some ideas from Wildwood's: A Quiet Growing Time (if you love Charlotte Mason and have children under 6/7, read this). Currently, we are reading Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales and so enjoying it.
Haiden is showing interest in learning to read, and I am a HUGE believer in following the child's lead, so we are slowly working through Progressive Phonic's Alphabetti Books. I can't rave enough about this program, not only is it free but it gets the child reading right away. It has done so much to spark joy and excitement in him, that he asks to do his reading lessons.
One last resource I am pulling from is the book Kitchen Table Math. I came across this book by accident and so glad I did, each chapter is a new math idea that is applied via a fun game. I actually think my middle child will join in with some of these.
So that is it. Our plan for the year. Well most of it anyway, there are still activities and outings that will be fit in and planned throughout. I am working on another post about HOW I have scheduled this all and how it looks in our day. Hopefully, that will be ready for you soon!