The start of another school year is fast approaching; in fact, we are at T minus 7 days. The girls couldn’t care any less, and I’m mostly ready to go. Okay, physically I’m ready. We have new pencils (with actual erasers), fresh reams of drawing paper and card stock, new curricula, and replacement workbooks for the older stuff. Here’s what we’ll be tackling this year.
H is the only one using Five in a Row this year. That’s something new for us. FIAR, unit studies designed around award-winning children’s picture books, has been the core of our curriculum for the past six years, so it will be a special time to share The Story about Ping, Madeline, and Night of the Moonjellies with my littlest student.
Big sisters G and S will be using Total Language Plus as their language arts program since G did very well last year. G has chosen King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry as her first unit. (It’s a horse book, go figure.) S is starting with The Courage of Sarah Noble, a lighter unit for somebody who is just starting novel-centered language arts. I like that I don’t have to pull separate literature, vocabulary, spelling, and writing programs together. For a fun twist on grammar, I bought Grammar Ace for the two older girls. Anything that requires viewing School House Rock episodes has to be fun, right? If you’re already singing “Conjunction Junction” in your head, maybe you should ignore the clip below.
We’re moving on to Volume 2 of Story of the World. This year we’ll be learning medieval history. Volume 1 was a big hit with everyone last year, and I bought Famous Figures of Medieval Times because the girls will want to assemble Joan of Arc while they read about her. At least this year we won’t have to mummify another chicken….
We’ll be starting our third year of Apologia elementary science, too. After learning about astronomy and flying creatures, the girls chose human anatomy and physiology for this year. I’m excited because we’ll be knocking out science and health at the same time. I really love the notebooking journals that come along with the series. These are huge time-savers for me, and the girls end up with a finished notebook that they can use for future reference.
Math is still Alpha Omega Horizons, and we’re covering 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, and 6th grades. Who says you don’t use math after you get out of high school?!
Lastly, I’ll be teaching music this year. Despite having taken five years of piano myself, music has never been a particular strength of mine. Since we’re not participating in a co-op this year and since the Great State of Maryland mandates “progress” in music each year, it should be an adventure for H, S, and me. (G continues to take lessons with a super patient piano teacher each week.) I bought Story of the Orchestra to get us started. Orchestra Bob and I will not be teaching theory or voice; I think appreciation is a better goal. And in case we start to take school too seriously, then it will be time for Beethoven’s Wig.