Saturday, December 8, 2007

Re-evaluating and Revamping

I have finally had some time to sit down and look at where we are at so far this year, evaluate Magnus' abilities and skills, and figure out what we need to do to reach our goals for the year. I am planning to look at Thane's skills in a few day and come up with a plan for him soon. Here is what I have come up with so far...

As of now, the plan is to move sometime in August to wherever Collin will be attending Graduate school, so we will stay here through July. Collin informed me today that he was offered an easy office type job on campus for the summer so that eases my mind a bit. Poppy and Nana will be visiting sometime in February, as may our friend from France. The boys and I are planning to take school on the road with our friends in their RV for a couple of weeks this spring. Collin will be graduating (Praise the Lord!) the first week of May and his parents (from WA) and mine (from IA) will be attending the ceremony. Then we will all be heading to IA for the next few weeks after graduation. During that time, Collin and I will go to MI for his research presentation at the International Medieval Conference. With that all said, I figured out we have about 30 weeks left to finish up school. I am going to plan for 26 though so that we can have some flexibility in our schedule. Especially around the time we will be packing and moving.

History...We are going to continue using SOTW vol. 1 three days a week. It is working for us as there is not a lot of prep time for me. We will listen to Jim Weiss narrate on the cd's and answer the questions in the AG afterwards. The boys will complete the coloring pages and maps. I hope to also complete at least one "hands on" activity from the AG a week. I am still giving thought to adding copy work and completing a time line. I have made beautiful time line books for the the boys and have purchased the Homeschool in the Woods time line figures, but I am not sure if I want them to work on them during the grammar years or the logic years. I am leaning towards the logic stage. I would also like to add more reading other than just SOTW. Collin was suppose to be reading some books to them that went along with the unit we were studying, but he is just way too busy. I think the boys would rather here their Daddy reading the Hobbit. I am going to have to do some more planning in this area.

Science...I am free from the bondage I created! We were, or attempting to, use Christian Kids Explore Biology. I think this is a good program, but it's just not for me. I felt it was lacking something. I am still not able to put my finger on it, so I decided just to change altogether. After Christmas we are going to study the human body for 15 weeks and then plants for 11 weeks when we come home from IA in May. I did away with the animal part of the program because we will be studying them with Apologia for 3 years after we do the Astronomy study next year. I am not sure what book(s) I am going to use for the human body and plant study yet, so I have some work ahead of me. I do know that we are going to do a lapbook for each unit. Regardless, I feel good.

Math...I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am so glad we switched from Saxon to Right Start. Magnus is excelling and is not bored with it. Thane has been watching his big brother and he is catching onto it quickly as well! Originally we were only doing math 3 days a week, but we are going to do it four so we can complete Level B by the end of the year.

Grammar...FLL is working well for us. We will do 4 lessons a week so we can be up to lesson 100 by the end of the school year.

Spelling...I am not sure what to do here. Magnus spells phonetically very well, but doesn't know the "rules". I am going to continue to have him work through Spelling Workout. He will finish Level A by Christmas and start Level B in January. I will continue to make up my own spelling word lists for him to practice. I will re-evaluate at the end of the school year and make any changes, if any, for next year.

Reading Comprehension...We are going to work on volume 2 and not finish volume 1 in Veritas Press First Favorites. Vol. 1 was too "elementary" for him. After looking through vol. 2, I think it will be more of a challenge. I may use this for copywork instead of making it coincide with history.

Independent Reading...Magnus is reading at a very high level. He always has his nose in a book. Collin and I are going to go through various book lists I have collected and choose books for him to read that are written well and are "meaty". No more Magic Tree House. We want to help him develop a desire and discernment for good literature. Being the book-made family we are, good literature is very important to us.

Fine Arts...I was trying to do this with Magnus on Monday afternoons, but we would never be home. We have 22 more units left in Artistic Pursuits (we really did not get far). We are going to have Fine Arts Friday. Magnus and I are going to do AP or a Composer Study Friday afternoons during his quiet time and Thane's nap time. I hope this will be the "cherry" on top of a full week of school.

French...We aren't doing a "formal" study, but haven't really been incorporating it into daily life like we had planned. I am going to make posters with vocabulary words, have the boys listen to our cd's and French audio books more often, and ,hopefully, Collin will be able to record his voice onto a memory cd (thanks to Mindy at Magnum Opus Academy for this idea!) for the boys to listen to that includes common phrases and such.

Our week will look like this...
Monday: Homeschool Story Time, errands, Chiropractor appt., library, and Chess Club
Tuesday: History, Math, Language Arts, and Biology Club
Wednesday: History, Math, Language Arts, and AWANA
Thursday: History (project), Math, Language Arts, and Book Club
Friday: Math, Language Arts, Science, and Fine Arts

I have a bit more work ahead of me, but overall I am very pleased with the changes we are making and the things we hope to get done. Now onto Thane...


LisaWA said...

So you were a transplant in WA hu? *Ü* I have been her all but 2 1/2 years of my life.... same County even! lol

Your plans for the New Year look wonderful! Sound wonderful! Congratulations to your husband and his accomplishments!


Wes said...

I think I should switch from Saxon Math to Right Start immediately. Yeah, we used Saxon. Everybody was doing it and we jumped on the bandwagon. And then we jumped off. I don't know. I guess it works for some people---like people who already know how to do math. Never heard of Right Start. Sounds like you made the right choice though and that's something I wish we would have had. Good to have something that doesn't make you hate the subject you're learning. That's definitely a plus.