Believing in lifelong learning, we do some schoolwork year-around in our family. However, we just do a bit of the basics (math & phonics, mostly) in the summer, while the days are also full of much play, exploring, and various books of all kinds.
In the fall, we begin a “regular” school schedule. Our homeschooling follows the framework of the classical education model as described in The Well-Trained Mind. I also incorporate some Waldorf & Montessori-style learning, as well.
Our daughter (who will be 6 in a couple months) has started first grade-level work this fall, and our three-year-old son has just begun preschool. (I will share some of our preschool fun in a later post.)
Our Week at a Glance
- We do Math each weekday.
- Language, Reading, and Phonics/Spelling 3 times a week.
- Writing is done twice a week (writing letters to mail or copywork).
- Listening/Logic is done once a week.
- Science is done twice a week; usually one day is a read-aloud & narration, and the second day is an observation or hands-on project.
- History is done twice a week.
- Geography is done once or twice a week.
- Art & Music are done once or twice a week.
- We have a Nature Walk once a week (plus lots of outdoor play & gardening everyday!).
- We have AWANA club and Sunday School class once a week, and we try for daily family Bible devotional time.
- Each Thursday, we attend our Classical Conversations group, where we practice our Foundations Cycle 1 memory work and some group projects (history, geography, Latin, math, art/music, science, and presentations). Throughout the week at home, we review each week’s topics. This supplements all of our subjects that we study at home during the week.
For the subjects that have multiple books listed, we typically don’t use them all at once. We rotate through, referring to them as topics change weekly/monthly/quarterly.
- Math: Horizons 1st Grade, plus supplementing with fun math-themed stories from the library and card games (such as Uno).
- Reading: Fun library books and Classics from our home bookshelf
- Phonics/Spelling: Horizons 1st Grade
- Listening/Logic: Developing the Early Learner (books #3 & #4)
- Science: We are doing an Earth Science and Astronomy focus this year- Narration/Reference mostly from Usborne’s First Encyclopedia of the World and Usborne’s First Encyclopedia of Space, plus supplemental little books from the library Rookie Read-Aloud Science Series by Allan Fowler and Seymour Simon science books, and referring to SkyMaps (or other astronomy guides) as needed. Experiments from Mudpies to Magnets and Janice VanCleave’s 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments.
- History: Story of the World Vol. 2: The Middle Ages, and supplement with biographies and relevant themed books from the library, such as Eyewitness Books.
- Geography: Legends & Leagues + Workbook and A+ United States Workbooks, and supplementing with a United States Map Floor Puzzle.
- Art: Drawing with Children, Discovering Great Artists, Usborne Art Treasury, The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas, and other supplemental biography and picture study books from the library, plus lots of crayons, pencils, etc.
- Music: Classical Kids CDs, the Tin Whistle unit and music theory with our Classical Conversations group, supplement with other biographies, hymn histories and world music CDs from the library. Also, potentially adding piano and/or recorder (with Grandma) within the next year.
- Nature Walk: I made a colored pencil roll for my little girl to carry around, and she uses a Primary Journal Story Tablet as her Nature Journal. (Her notes in the journal are part of her “writing work” during the week.)
- Religion: Family Devotions, Missionary Stories (such as the Miller Stories and Gospel for Asia resources), Catechism (with Big Truths for Little Kids), Answers in Genesis Books for Kids Set (vol 1-4), AWANA Club Sparks book(s), and the Hide ‘Em in Your Heart CD set. We are memorizing Exodus 20 (the 10 Commandments) with our Classical Conversations group.
Practical Skills Goals for the Year
(most are in process of continuation from last year)
Shoe-Tying (We’re almost there!),
Cooking Skills (cutting, grating, kneading, pouring) This has improved over the past year, and we will be incorporating more recipes/measuring this year.
Habits/Chores/Manners (diligence, routines, orderliness)
Laundry Sorting/Washing/Folding/Put Away
Lacing Cards/Hand Sewing,
Bicycle-Riding (without training wheels)