Thursday, April 28, 2011

Homeschool Plans and Objectives for 2011-2012
Okay, so I actually sat down and got organized with our curriculum this year (not that I didn't last year, but once a child hits grade school, there's definitely more work involved and more to keep track of). I'm excited to actually put The Well-Trained Mind into practice this year. It's an insanely organized, genius book written by a mother/daughter duo and is based off of a classical education. Although we consider ourselves somewhat eclectic (a bit of 'Charlotte Mason' in our hands-on experiments and our consistent routines; a large majority of 'Classical' using the Trivium and time line learning; not-so-'Montessori'; a 'unit study' here and there according to seasons/holidays, but never 'unschooling'). This book is a MUST READ for any homeschooling family and/or professional educator whether you're in a private or public traditional school classroom. Heck! Any parent should read it, period. It gives you a better understanding of how your child learns and what you can do to organize it and apply knowledge depending on what stage of development they are in.

One other book that I loved adding to our bookshelf this year is the Homeschooler's Book of Lists by Sonya Haskins. It's a book no parent with children should be without (again, whether you home educate or not). It comes with a disc for your computer to make multiple copies of various pages in the book. All topics (just about) are covered and the lists are VERY helpful. I was able to make copies of information (math facts, famous people, dates, wars, etc.) and add it to Avonlea's school binder behind various subject tabs.

I always enjoy reading what other people are doing curriculum-wise, so I decided to copy and paste Avonlea's 1st grade objectives to this post. Although there are other great curriculum out there with some okay scope and sequences, it would be silly to stick with just one. Every child learns differently and what works for one, doesn't always work for another. Hence the beauty of home education. {smile} This is why I would label our learning style as "eclectic" and I'm sure we'll switch things up from time to time, year to year as each child gravitates towards various topics.

Objectives for Avonlea, 1st Grade

Assigned Reading: 20-30 minutes per day
“Great Books Study” Ancients (6000 BC – AD 400)

1. Read book from book list of “Great Books Study”
2. Don’t use history texts, which provide a predigested interpretation of history.
3. Look for something that progresses chronologically rather than by country. Read according to chronological order and then apply the country.
4. Keep a time line of important events — birth and death of important people, battles, scientific discoveries, etc.
5. Read through the booklist chronologically.
6. Mark the birth and death dates of the authors on the time line.
7. Highlight the life span in a particular color.
8. Read the book.
9. Talk about the book with the child.

Questions (For a novel/story)

1. Who is this book about? (central character[s])
2. What do the central characters want?
3. What keeps them/him/her from getting it?
4. How do they/him/her get what they want?
5. Do they have an enemy or enemies? Is there a villain?
6. What does the villain want?
7. What do you think is the most important event in the story?
8. What leads up to this event?
9. How are the characters different after this event?
10. Pick out the most important event in each chapter.
11. How many different stories does the writer tell?

Questions (for evaluation)

1. What was the most exciting part of the book?
2. What was the most boring part of the book?
3. Did you like the character[s]? Why or why not?
4. Did you hope that he/she would get what he/she wanted?
5. Did any part of the book seem particularly real?
6. Did any part of the book seem unlikely to you?
7. Did you hope it would end in another way? How?
8. Would you read this book again?
9. Which one of your friends would enjoy this book?

Write about the book:
Begin with simple narratives — having the student retell the story of the book in his or her own words. Aim for 1 page. Help him to evaluate each detail by asking questions:
1. Is that important later on?
2. Would the story still make sense if you left that part out?
3. Does that character show up again at the end of the book?
4. What does he do?
5. If you leave him out of your report, will the story end the same way?

Beginner: At the end of the narration, ask the child to write a one- or two-sentence evaluation of the book that includes specific reasons why he did or didn’t like the book.

Advanced: Move towards doing an evaluative paper: that is, a short essay (start with 1 page!) answering one of the above questions. This is beginning socratic dialogue. Can use Reading Strands (National Writing Institute), a step by step guide to beginning Socratic dialogue.
5) Put the compositions in a notebook.

Free Reading: 30-60 minutes per day
(Keep running list of books read and their authors)

Text: A Beka’s Language 1 (Grammar, Creative Writing, Reading Comprehension)
1. Write in complete sentences
2. Capitalize the first word of a sentence, the days of the week, and the months of the year.
3. Placing correct punctuation at the end of sentences.
4. Knowing suffixes and prefixes.
5. Recognizing and working with rhyming words, opposite words, same-meaning words, same-sounding words, compound words, and contractions.
6. Alphabetize words.
7. Write original sentences, paragraphs, and stories on given topics.
8. Comprehend reading material on a first-grade level or above.
9. Introduction to the basic parts of speech.

15 + minutes per day
Consisting of copywork taken from: Bible verses, poems, taken from novels/stories based off of “The Ancients”, and from classical literature (E.B White, C.S. Lewis, Lynn Reid Banks)
Creative writing of fiction and non-fictional stories. Self editing and revising as well as illustrations to final copy.
Cursive will NOT be introduced until next year when her printing is mastered and she is printing quickly and efficiently.

Using A Beka’s Spelling and Poetry 1
Keep running list of “Trouble Words” in Spelling part of binder
Spelling practice – writing out words once per week and correcting mistakes
Spelling test weekly
Keep lists of spelling rules as reference as we learn them in binder
Word wall in schoolroom

Using A Beka’s Arithmetic 1 workbook
Use manipulatives (coins, counting blocks, math fact flash cards, digital and analog clocks, calendar, rulers, measuring cups, abacus, fraction games, number charts, bar graphs, geometric shapes, thermometer, grids, etc.)
1. Number recognition, counting, and writing 1-1,000
2. Greatest and least
3. Counting and writing by tens, fives, twos and threes
4. Number sequences
5. Ordinal numbers
6. Addition facts through 13 and three-digit addition with carrying
7. Subtraction facts through 13 and two-digit subtraction
8. Story problems
9. Numbers before and after by ones, twos and tens
10. Between numbers
11. Counting and combining coins
12. Telling time to the nearest five minutes
13. Recognizing odd and even numbers
14. English and some metric measures
15. Place value in ones, tens and hundreds
16. Unit fractions
17. Reading a thermometer
18. Using a ruler
19. Multiple combinations
20. Concept of multiplication
21. Calendars
22. Reading pictographs and bar graphs
23. Developing listening skills
24. Roman numerals

4 days per week
Entire curriculum based off of “The Well-Trained Mind” by Susan Wise-Bauer and Jessie Wise.
Text: The Story of the World – 1 chapter per week
Time line approach to incorporating history, geography, reading, writing, art, music, Bible and science. No jumping around from American History to World History, etc.
No boring textbooks!

1. Ancients, 5000 B.C. – A.D. 400 (grades 1,5,9)
2. Medieval/Early Renaissance, 400-1600 (grades 2,6,10)
3. Late Renaissance/Early Modern, 1600-1850 (grades 3,7,11)
4. Modern, 1850-Present Day (grades 4,8,12)
(All 4 sections are touched on 3 times, but at higher and higher levels each time repeated)

Day 1 – narration page, child tells what was just read. I write or he/she writes sentences.
Day 2 – draw illustrations to go with the narration page
Day 3 – geography (locating on map), color a black and white map
Day 4 – Read extra library books!

Day 1
1. Read from The Story of the World. Let him/her ask questions.
2. On a sheet of paper, copy title of section read (at the top of paper).
3. Narration…child tells me most important and interesting things we just read. I may prompt with questions. Write narration in neatest handwriting (me or him/her).
4. Child reads narration back to me.
5. Place paper into History/Geography notebook.
Day 2
6. Create a coloring page (from The Story of the World activity book)or make his/her own illustration page.
7. Write a caption for the page.
8. Place illustration in History/Geography notebook. Keep in chronological order.
Day 3
9. Add characters/events/dates into timeline book and/or wall timeline.
10. Find location of story on the globe.
11. Find location of story on the map.
Day 4
12. Color black and white map of area and place into History/Geography notebook.
13. Check out and read books from this topic.
14. Do an activity or project (if there’s time) and take a picture for the History/Geography notebook.
15. Add in biographies as well.

Using Polished Cornerstones: Projects for Daughters on the Path to Womanhood by Pam Forester
Based off of Proverbs 31, studying the following topics: being a godly woman, reliable, honest, loyal, attentive, loving, submissive, peacemaking, humble, pure, patient, devoted, diligent, skillful, thrifty, using time wisely, wise manager, feeds her family well, organized, goal-oriented, can make things grow, handles money wisely, studious, memorizes God’s Word, prayerful, self-disciplined, seeks wise counsel, committed to her church, determined, hospitable, merciful, evangelistic, just, prudent, domestic, gracious, modest, respectful, supportive, enterprising, thankful, trusting, courageous, controls her tongue, trains her children, teaching, good steward reverent, joyful, family-centered exemplary, beautiful.
Using the NIV Bible
Morning Bible study and prayer
Scripture memorization and copywork

Life Science
Based off of “The Well-Trained Mind”
1-2 days per week

Animal Classification (20 weeks)
Text: DK First Animal Encyclopedia, National Audubon Socity Pocket Guides for birds, insects, mammals, reptiles and amphibians; Rainbow Resource Center coloring books on: horses, butterflies, insects, snakes, birds of prey, wild animals, tropical fish and Audobon birds of America.
Objectives: animal dissection, food chains, animal classification (mollusca, annelid, echinodermata, cnidaria, chordates, arthropoda, crustacean)

The Human Body /Health and Nutrition (10 weeks)
Text: DK First Human Body Encyclopedia(also using Melissa and Doug’s Human Anatomy floor puzzle)
Objectives; human body intro., skeleton and bones, moving muscles, brain and senses, heart and blood, lungs and breathing, skin, nails and hair, fighting disease, digestive system, life cycle (early years, growing up, growing older), staying healthy (nutrition, sleep, exercise and healthy eating), communication.

Plants (6 weeks)
Text: DK First Science Encyclopedia, Composting: Nature’s Recyclers by Robin Koontz, Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals, The Plant-and-Grow Project Book by Ulla Dietl, I Wonder Why Trees Have Leaves (Kingfisher), Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer, National Audobon Society Pocket Guides for Trees of N. America, mushrooms and flowers.
Objectives: composting, soil, photosynthesis, dissection of plants, plant reproduction, pollination, hands-on vegetable/herb/flower gardening, sprouting seeds in various resources, indoor growing, mastering the sprouting larger seeds such as avocado and mango, grafting/offshoots/cuttings, drying and saving seeds,

Extra text: DK First Science Enclyclopedia for use with all three categories.

1. Read about the topic.
2. Make a narration page and illustration/coloring page (goes into binder)
3. Do an experiment/hands on activity/observation page (goes into binder)
4. Library book reading

2 hours, twice a week

Watercolor, acrylics, still life painting, oil painting, working with clay, broken tile mosaics and possible lessons at a local art studio with other homeschool friends.

Work goes into binder. Pictures taken and added to binder if work is 3-D.

Studying various artists and their professional works,
Art styles and their periods: Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque.

Avonlea naturally gravitates towards the piano like her Daddy. We’ll be exploring the possibility of music lessons after some introductory lessons with Grandma this summer.

We’ll also be going over instruments in an orchestra, instruments in a band, reading books on composers and listening to their works during quiet time. Some composers I’m thinking we’ll start with are; Bach (1685-1750), Handel (1685-1759), Mozart (1756-1791), Beethoven (1770-1827) and some Chopin ((1809-1849).

Character Training
We will be making a book together throughout the year compiled of the following character traits. The traits will have an accompanying Bible verse, a definition of what the trait means and a picture to go along with the trait.

Objectives: truthfulness, alertness, self-control, wisdom, resourcefulness, orderliness, attentiveness, obedience, hospitality, reverence, discernment, thriftiness, initiative, sensitivity, sincerity, generosity, diligence, faith, contentment, responsibility, justice, virtue, joyfulness, thoroughness, discretion, punctuality, humility, compassion, boldness, flexibility, dependability, love, tolerance, decisiveness, gentleness, forgiveness, availability, security, creativity, cautiousness, determination, deference, persuasiveness, endurance, patience, enthusiasm, gratefulness, loyalty and meekness.

There are 49 traits and we’ll try to cover 1 trait per week as the Lord leads.

(I'll have to do another post on Lincoln's objectives for next year, but I haven't got that far just yet. He'll be in K-4.)

What will your children be learning about this next year?

Have you started planning yet?

I'd love to hear about it!


Matthew and Valerie said...

Good for you getting so ahead of yourself planning for next year. I know I always had good intentions to lesson plan for the next year, but it never happened.

Tessa said...

Just wanted to make a bit of a comment on your not about how you don`t do any unschooling. Seems to me that you do plenty of that in the way that you live. Your kids learn a TON by gardening and raising animals and baking.
My goals for my son include learning to count and write his letters and starting to build words. He`s also currently with my husband voting for out federal election so he`s learning a great deal about the democratic system of gov`t today :D

Douglas said...

Looks great! You are very organized. I check out the Well Trained Mind from the library often, I need to just buy it one of these days to keep as a reference on hand. I'm interested to see how you different/similar you will approach Linc's educational goals as they seem to have two different learning styles. My boys match more up with Linc than Ave and I've been having a hard time trying to teach to their style. Although I am very happy with what they have learned so far. Great Job mama, keep it up! I always come to your blog when I need inspiration or direction :)