Monday, August 5, 2013

Our 2013 ~ 2014 Learning Plan

We are going to do things a little differently this year.

First of all, my girls are getting older (6th and 8th grade) and I want them to be more involved and responsible for their education.

Secondly, we are almost done with the final volume of our history program.  Story of the World has been our spine over the last three years.  We've decided to take this year to read historical novels and non-fiction books about people and events we want to know more about before beginning History of the Ancient World (probably next year for Allie's freshman year of high school).

Math and foreign language are absolutes in our homeschool.  I won't waver on math and Jason won't waver on foreign language.  We will be doing both using software this year, so my time is freed up to read and help the girls find resources for what they want to learn.

Lastly, and dare I say most importantly to us, we want our girls to have A LOT of time to pursue projects that interest them.  For Allie that is art and sewing and she needs time at home to lock herself in her art studio and CREATE!  For Piper that is videomaking and art and she, too, needs time at home (she took two video making workshop camps this summer) to make and edit videos and to hang with her sister in the art studio and CREATE!  Both girls will also be taking art classes and pottery classes at a local studio and Piper will once again sing with the Children's Choir.

**We school year-round.  This summer we really immersed ourselves in modern history.  We are not going to "begin" this "school year" until we have completed Story of the World Volume 4 and at that, we may just decide to take a break before we start this new "learning plan".  Co-op, Choir, and Pottery all begin in early to mid September.

This is a very loose plan that I want to feel free to tweak here and there to fit our needs and interests:


We gave the girls several options for Math programs, and they both selected:

Teaching Textbooks - it's pricey, but we bought 2.0 which is completely self-grading!
Khan (supplement)
Math Doesn't Suck (supplement)

Reading, History

Memorize the US Presidents in order (we feel some memorization is a good brain exercise)
Memorize a poem
Memorize the Preamble to the US Constitution
Memorize the Gettysburg Address (done!)

Read a book about an artist or musician and write a report
Read a book about a US President and write a report
Read a book about a Captain of Industry and write a report
Read a book about someone in a foreign country and write a report


The girls have each picked a project to work on:

Allie wants to write and illustrate a children's book.

Piper wants to write a script for a play to act out and film with friends.

Additionally, we plan to use Writing with Skill at some point this year.  I gave the girls choices of several writing programs and they have chosen Writing with Skill.  Allie used this two years ago and felt she did some of her best writing with it.

Books to Read & Discuss
(These are just possibilities - we may not read them all this year, we may read others, I am just trying to keep a list of books I want the girls to read/to read with the girls).

** I bought Moving Beyond the Page for The Giver by Lois Lowry and we never used it...maybe this will be the year!

Grammar & Logic - (assigned when I go to work)

Editor in Chief, Reading Detective, Building Thinking Skills & Mind Benders - The Critical Thinking Co. products are top notch at making kids really think!


Computer Science & Programming on Khan

Wild Science, Thames & Kosmos, ScienceWhiz Kits, Erector set, Marble-run, Snap Circuits
Scientific Method sheets

Khan videos, Youtube videos on scientific concepts we are learning/interested in and various documentaries

Foreign Language

continue with Latin and Greek root study

 use software for Spanish

Sewing with my mom
Soldering & Building with my dad
Pottery classes
Art Academy classes


Rutgers Children's Choir

Additional Clubs & Outside Classes
Co-op - Allie is taking Rhetoric, a class on the Renaissance and will be participating in both Destination Imagination and teen-led class that I will write more about when it gets underway.  Piper will also take part in this teen-led class, as well as Destination Imagination, American Girl Club and Survival Skills II.

4-H - the girls are both hoping to get into a local 4-H club for Small Animals.