Friday, August 29, 2014

Emma’s Kindergarten Plans

Our Kindergarten Learning Plans at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds5-year-old Emma is very excited to be doing school this year…in fact, she’s been begging to do math on Sundays.

Who is this strange child?  It’s hard to believe that she’s related to my math groaners, lol.

My kindergartner will be joining her bigger brother, Peter (age 8) for many things.

Five in a Row Unit Studies

Volumes 1 & 2 (science, social studies, art, language arts)

Language Arts

Logic of English Foundations

Handwriting without Tears Letter and Numbers for Me

Picture Book Club at our local homeschool group

Lots of great books

Our Kindergarten Learning Plans at Homeschooling Hearts & MindsScience

The Nature Connection

The Private Eye

Health and PE

Healthy Me

Family Time Fitness (with the rest of the family)

The Arts

Complete Book of Arts and Crafts

Making Music

Religion

Catholic Treasure Box complete set

Do you have a kindergartener this year?  What are your learning plans?

You might also like to read about our 2014-2015 Learning Map.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peter’s 3rd Grade Plans

Our 3rd child tends to thumb his nose at the idea of “grades”---if I had to place him, really place him, I’d say that he’s straddling 3rd and 4th, but probably functioning more at a 5th grade level in terms of verbal development.  He has some sensory issues that tend to distract him, so it’s hard for him to focus on things that don’t interest him for more than a short time.  Math lessons are murder.

3rd Grade Learning Plans at Homeschooling Hearts & MindsWhat I’ve found over the past 4 years of homeschooling him is that it’s easier to start with the level of things he has trouble with and add to other areas to get him where he needs to be to keep him challenged.   It used to be that I pushed him too hard, but I’ve learned to relax my expectations, which has given him the room he needs to grow at his own rate.

We started him in kindy a year earlier than he would have started  if he attended  public or private school (our state has mandatory kindergarten beginning at age 5, but the age cut-off is almost a full month before his birthday) and while that was good for him at the time to keep him engaged, it has had the affect of causing more competition between him and his older sister (they were only 1 grade apart instead of 2), and contributed to a sense of his “being behind” in some areas.

When an objective observer pointed out---he’s a rising 3rd grader who happens to be advanced in some areas---well, yeah, duh!

So, this year, Peter will be a 3rd grader.  Again. 

But only on the profile I send to our homeschool monitor.  He’ll be doing all new stuff at his own rate, which is just what he should be doing.  The plus, is that I won’t feel like he’s behind when he isn’t.

I mentioned in a previous post that I used to group Peter with his older sister for the content subjects, but that was causing some conflict.  This year his learning will intersect with hers in a couple of areas (you’ll see that if you look at our 2014-2015 Learning Map or compare their lists), but the two will not be joined at the hip as they have been previously. 

Instead, he’ll be serving as a role model for his younger sister, Emma (age 5) as she officially becomes a student in our homeschool---we’ll be using Five in a Row unit studies extensively, adding in lots of hands-on activities plus extra content for Peter.

Note:  This post DOES NOT contain affiliate links.

3rd Grade Learning Plans at Homeschooling Hearts & MindsFive in a Row Unit Studies

Volumes 1 & 2 (science, social studies, art, language arts)

Language Arts

Writing & Rhetoric books 1-2

Pentime Transition (to cursive)

Chapter Book Club at our local homeschool group

Math

Math U See Beta (finishing it up) and moving onto Gamma

MEP year 3

Life of Fred Elementary

Beast Academy 3 (I have A, and will continue if we like it)

Science

The Nature Connection

The Private Eye

possibly Science in the Creation Week if it fits with our FIAR studies

Social Studies

Complete Book of Maps & Geography

Local geography as inspired by a really old copy of Oak Meadow 3

Health and PE

Healthy Me

Family Time Fitness (with the rest of the family)

The Arts

Recorder (Using the Nine-Note Method)

Complete Book of Arts and Crafts

Religion

Catholic Treasure Box complete set

Bible

Extracurricular

STEM Club at our local homeschool group

Cub Scouts

A few notes:

You’ll notice a whole lot of math!  I used to be a one math program per kid per year kind of gal.  What I’ve found is that:

  1. The perfect math program doesn’t exist.
  2. If you have a child who really hates doing math and gets bored easily, retention is better and the whole experience is less painful if you change things up. 

We won’t be spending hours a day on math---most of the math I do with Peter is either oral or on a whiteboard (he’s allergic to worksheets) and lessons will be short.

Do you have a 3rd grader this year?  What are your learning plans?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mary’s 5th Grade Plan…and why I’m splitting my kids for the content subjects

This year, my 2nd oldest child is moving towards a more independent learning plan.  In the past, Mary (age 10) and Peter (age 8) have worked together for the content subjects.  While this had its cozy moments, it also led to some conflict. 

5th grade Learning Plans at Homeschooling Hearts & MindsThese two kids are only 20 months apart and are a bit, um, competitive? 

In some areas their abilities are neck-and-neck, in other areas she’s way (waaay) beyond him in cognitive ability, but then in couple of areas (spelling, composition, and art) he’s way beyond her.

They’ve made the fact that child development does not follow one particular stair-stepped path abundantly clear.

They also have very different interests. It only took me 7 years of homeschooling, but I’ve learned that while incorporating your kids’ personal interests into their education may not be necessary…it is advisable if you want to keep them fully engaged. 

This is their education, after all, not mine.

So, in planning Mary’s 5th grade year, a lot of consideration has been given to where she is academically and developmentally, as well as what her personal interests are. 

Her key interests right now:  American history, wildflowers and other plants, and the domestic arts (specifically cooking and hand crafts).

Note:  This post DOES NOT contain affiliate links---click all you want.

5th grade Learning Plans at Homeschooling Hearts & MindsLanguage Arts

Apples and Pears Spelling Book B (and C if we finish)

Treasured Conversations:  Writing Instruction through Analysis

Pentime 5

Chapter Book Club with our local homeschool group

Math

Horizons 5

Life of Fred Fractions

Your Business Math:  Pet Store

Social Studies

From Sea to Shining Sea:  The Story of America and notebooking

Complete Book of Maps & Geography

Science

The Nature Connection

The Private Eye

Various books on plants, plus learning to identify wildflowers using a guide and pressing flowers

She may also participate in science activities the younger  kids do.

The Arts

Recorder (Using the Nine-Note Method)

Handicrafts (sewing, crochet, needle arts, weaving, candle making, etc.)

Health and PE

The Care and Keeping of You

Family Time Fitness (with the rest of the family)

Extra Curricular

Ballet

Singing Club

Little Flowers Club

Find our 2014-2015 Learning Map for our homeschool here, with links to what the other kids are learning this year.

Have you got a 5th grader this year?  What are your learning plans?