Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This time it will be PERFECT!

It hasn't REALLY sunk in that this was my last year to go through AO Year 1.   I have had such fun rereading James Herriots Treasury for Children Aesop's Fables Paddle to the Sea ,  and many other books and poems,  watching a child discover the joy of reading using Charlotte Mason's methods  and Alpha Phonics,  and seeing scribbles move into beautiful letters.

I have been asked if I use AO exclusively, and I must say,  10 years into it,  I SHOULD have used it more exclusively.  I have only small differences and those are easily adjustable.  I played around with different styles and curriculum thinking THIS would help my eldest be a better writer/mathematician/speaker/speller,  but  now homeschooling my 4th and last child,  I see I should have stuck with the curriculum more closely,  combined some children to make it easier on me, reread various parts of the CM Homschooling series and taught HOW to do things like narrate,  look at words for spelling and sentences for punctuation and such. 

SOOOO..... this time around I am working on PERFECTION!!  Ok,  maybe not perfection, but perfecting,  going a little slower,  not worrying so much,  enjoying the ride more,  going outside more.  And that's ok.  I tell my oldest she will be stronger,  better able to deal with change and interruptions,  a leader, because of all I tried out on her.  She looks at me funny...sighs....and moves on to learn her new book I just gave her.  (Just kidding,  we are sticking with what we have and know....right??)

And now to the real point of this post,

I have been looking at what to gather for next year.   I have my 7 yr old in AO year 2 and we are not varying much.  Here is what I have for her.  The good news about doing this FREE CURRICULUM GUIDE for 10 yrs now is that I own most of the books, so there is no buying involved for this year.  AMAZING!! 

Reading:  Keep using the McGuffey's first and then move on to the second reader for practice.  I will occasionally ask her to spell some words aloud to practice seeing the words with the mind.
Oral Narration: (look at it as oral book reports and essays)  I really need to read up on this this summer and help ALL my children become better at looking for details and being able to narrate using different forms and thoughts.  More on this later as I review.  Modeling come to mind as a good way to show the kids what I am looking for. 
Copywork:  Copy and paste sentences from AO2 readings and then my child will copy them in her best handwriting.  .  I will use these sentences to point out subjects and verbs,  very basic grammar.
Math:  After listening to Tom Clark of Videotext talk about math in general,  I am convinced that for my family, sticking to Math U See through Zeta, and then moving on the Videotext through Geometry is the very best.  My 9th grader is moving quickly through Videotext, and my 6th grader is almost finished with Zeta.  He sees her math video and says,  "I just learned that."  He will be using this in 7th grade.  ALL THAT TO yr 2 child will be finishing Beta and moving on to Gamma.
Spanish:  We have been using an online course and the girls love it.  But we are almost finished with this and must use something else. I will be researching this.  And why am I not using the spanish speaking ladies at church?  Don't ask.
History:  An Island Story, excellent history of England, and yes, we Americans need to know this.   Remember, our founding father's came from this country.  Story of the World book 1. (I own this so won't be buying A Child's History of the World, although an excellent book.  Used it with my eldest.  If I find it for VERY cheap, may go back.)    Beautiful Feet Early American these books. AO uses some of them, like the D'Aulaire books, but I like the add ins so we  use this guide, mainly for the book list.
Tales: The Little Duke (wonderful book!),  Joan of Arc by Stanley, Trial and Triumph
Science: Nature Study..I really want to spend time outside.  I love it,  but have not done well in developing this love in my children.  I want to follow The Outdoor Hour.  Burgess Animal Book, and Pagoo by H.C.Holling.
Geography: Tree in the Trail and Seabird by Holling.  I will be doing this with my 5th grader also.
Poetry: Walter de la Mare,  Eugene Field, and Christina Rossetti  (we love these poets!)
Literature:  A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls (in place of Shakespeare),  Pilgirms Progress (I have the audio from AIG .  My kids love to listen to these over and over.) Parables of Nature,  Understood Betsy (one of my all time favorite books!  A MUST read)  Wind in the Willows (we watched the claymation movie one year and loved it!)  and Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.  ( I have never finished this book but am determined to do so this time around!)

If this looks like a lot,  remember it is spread over 36 weeks.  There is even a 36 week schedule for me to follow.  When I find out in what form I will be using this,  I will try to post it. 

I am hoping to be in a CM co op next year.  That will help with those extras like Art,  Composer Study,  Artist study,  etc.  I will let you know it pans out.

You were so BRAVE to keep reading this,  OR you sure have a lot of time on your hand OR your my mom who loves me OR my sister who is curious as to what we are doing this year.  Whichever it is....

thanks for reading,