If you haven’t noticed, I love planning for our homeschooling and each year I start earlier and earlier for the following year. It feels more like a hobby now because it’s something I do for the enjoyment of it instead of just because it’s part of my duty as a homeschooling mom. There’s something about piecing together just the right curricula, books and other materials that compliment each other and contribute to building a rich and exciting homeschool year that thrills me. It’s like putting together a puzzle and when I find a piece that fits well with what I’ve already got, it makes my day.
Ever since this school year started, I’ve been working on my plan for next year and collecting up the things I’ll be using. I’ve been storing it all away in what is now affectionately referred to as our treasure box. When I open it up while the kids are around, they beg me to let them look through it, pull out stuff, and they want to know what will be used for who. Elliot has been known to beg me to let him start using some of it this year because he “just can’t wait”, but I stick to my guns about finishing what we’re doing this year and waiting until next year to dig into the new stuff.
By the end of this year, Elliot and I will have finished all the FIAR books I have planned for us to do (I believe it’s a total of 50 of them for all three years…wow.) and he’ll be ready to “graduate” onto more challenging things. It’s not the end of FIAR for us though, as Caroline and I will be starting back at the beginning. I’ll probably keep it pretty simple though, considering we are adding history and science for Elliot and I plan for her to be pretty involved in that as well.
So, without further ado, here’s a look at a few of the new things we’re going to be adding next year for third grade and kindergarten:
For history we’ll be doing a basic overview of world history. I’ve paired up a few different things to use together. Our “spine” is going to be A Child’s History of the World by Virgil Hillyer.
Along with that we’ll be keeping history notebooks with pages I purchased on a CD from Hold That Thought!. We’re also going to keep a timeline of the people and events that we learn about with Sonlight’s Book of Time and timeline figures.
Book of Time and Timeline Figures
Like I mentioned, our history text is just our spine which we’ll be adding lots of other books to, many of which we’ll get at our Library. We’ll be referring to Usborne’s Book of Living Long Ago throughout the year and several of our read-alouds will correspond with our history. I’ll also frequently be assigning Elliot extra reading in books that go along with what we’re learning in history.
For Literature, Elliot will be using Progeny Press guides. These booklets contain things like reading comprehension, vocabulary and critical thinking, and they are written from a Christian perspective, so many of the “digging deeper” questions involve applying biblical truths to a certain situation.
Elliot will also be finishing Explode the Code’s final book this year, giving him a firm phonics foundation, so we’ll be moving on to a spelling program, and I’ve chosen Simply Charlotte Mason’s Spelling Wisdom. Each of the books takes about two years to complete, and there are five books available in all so there are more than enough to use all the way through high school.
Instead of lists of random words, the student learns new spelling words in the context of passages from great literary works, quotes, and scripture. About two passages are learned each week, wherein the student should be able to write it all correctly, including punctuation, when recited by the teacher.
Finally, we’re adding Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy series for science. We’ll be working through the student journals as well as doing an experiment for each lesson.
Supplies for Science Experiments
You’d think I’d be satisfied for a while, but I’ve started working on the plans for the next two years as well. I’ve got folders where I keep a running list of ideas and books. Maybe I need to find another hobby???