Today is our last day of summer. Tomorrow N starts high school and K starts middle school! My kids are getting so big! Back to school feels very different this year because N has been going to school daily for summer band for several weeks now and K doesn’t go to traditional school, but this weekend N’s supplies were bought and K’s lesson plans were rounded out and I think we are mostly ready to go! Our last day of summer is going to be spent gathering some library books (if we have time), going to summer band, and taking Josephine for her feeding/speech therapy evaluation. Party animals!
This will be our third year homeschooling. WOW! It doesn’t seem like we’ve been at it that long. Last year, I never got around to posting our plans here, I was mildly distracted by the whole baby with heart failure thing. We basically had to throw out our plans last year (and re-sell our purchased curriculum) and restructure everything so I could be more hands-off with K and more hands-on with Josie, who required (and sometimes still requires) many, many hands. It actually ended up being FANTASTIC! K and I were both so much happier with how things went, even though we both enjoyed the previous year. This year we are trying some new things and keeping some old things, with the same basic format. (I’m using this homeschool planner this year and really liking it so far. I print multiple copies of each 6-Week calendar; one for each subject, plus an extra for enrichment.) Here is our overall plan for K’s year:
We changed from Teaching Textbooks to Life of Fred + Khan Academy over the summer. K likes this combination a lot better (I mean, it is still math and she basically hates it, but she hates it less!). We are doing Kidney, Liver, Mineshaft this fall and will move onto Fractions and Decimals & Percents in the Spring. She is working through the Arithmetic Challenge on Khan Academy. We are going to try Reflex to try and improve her math fluency, too, as she really struggles with remembering those facts. Math is her most challenging area so we are taking it slowly and trying to really get that foundation set, it is definitely a process!
We are continuing on with Story of the World Volume 2 and have subscribed to the Skrafty class, as well. Minecraft assignments to go along with core class, SCORE! 🙂 We may be reading some Horrible History books again this year, too. K really got a kick out of them last year. She also watches the Crash Course World History series that coincides with the sections she is covering, and utilizes other online resources to beef things up a bit. (I do an enrichment folder for each week on the computer that she works through that matches up with content from her various subjects.)
K chose Anatomy and Physiology this year as her science course, so we will be using Apologia A&P along with the Skrafty course for it. She’ll read some Horrible Science books like last year, too. She will also be watching the Crash Course A&P (and Biology, when appropriate) videos and doing other online enrichment activities.
LA and Reading:
We will be using Easy Peasy All In One, 6th grade Language Arts and 6th Grade Reading for her main curriculum, and are going to start the year working through the Mensa for Kids reading list for her age. She’ll probably zoom through that pretty quickly, but we have more lists! 🙂 (Last year, she read through most of the Newbery Award winners that our library has.) She is definitely well above grade level for reading, but it can be challenging to find appropriate content at higher levels and I think a lot of the classic books are worth reading even if they are not a challenge. She is going to read some books from this list that are also on StacyPlays Book Craft vlogs, she’s very excited about this! She’ll also be working on Vocabulary.com regularly. She does her written work on the computer to help with muscle fatigue and we are using Google Docs this year so she isn’t tied to her computer and I can access the files when I don’t have direct access to the desktop computer she uses.
K has some issues with organization and remembering what she needs to be doing, so we are working on that, too. “Oh, I forgot!” is a frequent refrain around here! We are going to be using a notebook to keep her on track for both school work and home tasks. We also implemented a plan over the summer to help her remember to do her morning tasks (brush teeth, start tube feed, do school work, ect) which involves iPad alarms and no screen-time until her tasks are complete. Progress is being made! Yay! She said, “You know, since you made that no screen-time rule, I’ve been using things in my room again!” Ha! Imagine that.
Homeschooling has been SO wonderful for K. Her health has improved so, so, SO much since she stopped attending traditional school. I think it is a combination of being out of that never-ceasing cascade of germs and not working herself to exhaustion on the daily that has helped her so much. I love that she can pursue things she is interested in and we can work on her levels (watching things like Crash Course that are meant for high school AP students in areas where she excels or backtracking a bit when we need to with math), and that she has enough energy to do things she loves, like theater! Meanwhile, N does wonderfully in public school and thrives in that environment. I’m so glad that each of my kids can get what they need out of their educations. 2016-2017 school year, here we come!