Saturday, May 3, 2014

School Planning

I have just finished planning our school materials and calendar from now through June 2015. I had to adjust our calendar as my brother's wedding is taking place on September 13, and we have planned a family vacation for the entire week prior to his wedding. Normally, this second week of September would be our second week of school. As I did not want to start school, finish a week, then leave for vacation, I've opted to start the second week of August and do a four- week- on, one- week- off rotation. There is a three week block in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, however this is unavoidable. I've learned we need to take whole weeks off when there is a holiday. As in other years, I am aiming for a four- day school week, but am now open to doing school on Saturdays if the need arises.

Planning our calendar was simple, but planning our materials was a very long, sometimes agonizing process. In January, we planned to use enrollment with Seton. By March, when 'The Winter that Would Not End' was taking its full toll on our house and bank account, I came to terms with reality: using Seton was not a financially valid option. I went back to the beginning of the planning and researching phase, and wallowed there, unmoving, for some time. I vacillated between returning to Sonlight, as I own most of the materials, and designing my own courses with free materials. The spot where I came to rest was really a blend of these two approaches. For content subjects, we are using Creek Edge Press, beginning with Geography and Cultures. I have not decided whether we will do Life Science or Nature Study, as I am, for the first time, refusing to schedule too much. We can certainly add more later. I have drawn from Sonlight's book lists to use with Geography and Cultures. For faith, we are reading through 'Tell Me About the Catholic Faith', and have two saint stories as part of geography. For skill subjects, I have made peace with my favorites. Below is the outline for each child.

Grade Roughly Four
Math Mammoth 3/4
Logic of English, Dictation Day by Day ( text)
Sonlight 4/5 readers
Speaking and Writing 4 ( text), Sonlight 4/5 creative prompt monthly
Latina Christiana
MODG 4 poetry memorization

Grade Somewhat 2
Math Mammoth 2
Little Angel Readers
Dictation Day by Day
whiteboard cursive
Sonlight 1/2 readers
Speaking and Writing 3
MODG Latin flashcards
MODG 3 poetry memorization

Grade Approaching 1
Little Angel Readers
whiteboard handwriting
MODG 1 poetry memorization

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