Yeah, yeah, I know.
Long time no blog.
Rather than make excuses, I'll just jump back in, mmkay?
Besides, I have CURRICULUM choices to share! I think we're almost set for 2nd grade and Pre-K!
But first, I wanna share how I got here. I've been spending a lot of time reading over the past few months. I skimmed through The Well-Trained Mind, read Help for the Harried Homeschooler, read everything I could get my hands on by Sally Clarkson (Mission of Motherhood, Ministry of Motherhood, Educating the Whole-Hearted Child...) Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola, followed by A Charlotte Mason Companion. And then I dove into Charlotte Mason's own writings in her Original Homeschool Series. I also love and have read a bunch of Ruth Beechick's work - Home Start in Reading, Strong Start in Writing, You Can Teach Your Child Successfully... I haven't read For the Children's Sake by Sharon Shaeffer Macauley, but it's on my short list!
I spent hours perusing www.amblesideonline.com, www.simplycharlottemason.com, www.charlottemasonhelp.com, www.higherupandfurtherin.com... (these last two are from the same person, HUFI has been replaced by Charlotte Mason Help, but I like poking around the archives of her blog. I joined every Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Yahoo Group I could find.
After all that research, I'm convinced that a CM education is the path for our family. At the very least, we'll be aiming to pursue her ideals and embrace her philosophy. I'm sure iy will be be an ongoing journey for us, especially since I'm honestly feeling pretty inept and unprepared to share some of these things with my kids, having very little exposure or knowledge myself! (Music! Art! Poetry! We'll be learning many of these things together as I see and hear them for the first time, too...) But I am so happy to have "met" Charlotte and am totally loving getting to know her and implement her vision as we go along.
With all that said, here is the basic outline for our upcoming school year:
Ambleside Online Year 1 as scheduled for bible, history, language arts, social studies/geography. I thought about tweaking, spent a lot of time mapping it out and omitting some books, and then overall decided to go with it as designed. I'll pre-read some books (Trial and Triumph, This Country of Ours, etc.) and we won't hesitate to toss things aside as needed.
Daily walks, lots of outside time, weekly art study, daily/weekly music/composer study, handicrafts and skill-building from Dangerous Book for Boys, American Boy's Handy Book, etc. Weekly art classes at our local fine arts academy. Local artist focus and study, "first friday" events... I really want us to embrace the beauty and richness of life as we learn, you know? We have a zoo membership, museum and children's science center memberships, along with a gym membership... We'll dabble a teeny bit in Greek and Latin - word roots, etc. I don't want to get in over my head! I'd like to aim for at least a word (the same word, kwim?) a week in Latin/Greek/German/Spanish (since The Papa is fluent auf Deutsch and Espanol... ) and go from there.
We'll listen to the SOTW 1 CD's again, and use the activity guide for rabbit trailing and as interests dictate.
In addition to copywork and written narration, we're going to use HWOT this year. Last year I didn't use a handwriting program (it was frustrating to him) and now Bug is ready and actually excited (I know! Weird!) about forming letters properly. Monkey is using the wooden pieces and the PreK workbook. We'll play with sand, clay, etc.
Horizons Math 2 for N. I considered switching to Right Start, and ultimately decided to buy the RS Math Games, but stick with what is working. Monkey is started Horizons Math K this week, but I think I might need to find a preschool workbook for him, he wants to "do school" with Noah, but I'm thinking he'll not be ready for the K book as we get further along.
Science Experiments from Academy of Science for Kids. One a week. I bought two kits -- Polymers and Electricity. Bug was ENTRANCED by this lady at the HS convention, and science is his "thing", so I want to embrace that beyond our natural science/outdoor time/ study.
He'll also continue with soccer through the winter (indoor, obviously! ) and he wants to try karate, so we're considering it and deciding if it's worth the shuffle and disruption to family time -- I'm kinda big on one sport at a time, so I don't know if he'll get to do that while doing soccer.
Anyway, that's how it's shaping up!
The last thing that's really bugging me is a wall timeline. I WANT to do one, I just can't figure out exactly HOW I want it to look. Check out this clipart, though -- amazing! http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/sitemap/sitemap.php