Monday, December 31, 2007

Language Arts Plans (partially complete)

I worked on literature plans for David and Emily this afternoon, as well as their Grammar lessons.

For Grammar, we are using Sonlight's new grammar curriculum, The Grammar Ace.

I listed out the lessons and the activities we will do. It takes us two days to do one lesson. I was doing grammar two days a week, but I think we'll increase to three days a week so we can finish on time.

I make up my own reading and literature "curriculum", following the philosophy that it's better to just READ. Now that David's in junior high, I have instituted a little more structure. Emily is a good reader, so I've started having her do a little more as well.

Here are the books that they will read for the rest of the year.
David - 7th grade, second semester
Adam of the Road - Elizabeth Janet Gray (finishing from before Xmas)
The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander
Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling
C.S. Lewis (Heroes of the Faith) - Sam Wellman
The Bulletproof George Washington - David Barton
The Life and Times of Washington - Enzo Orlandi (reading these two together)

Once a week or so, he will do an exercise from Adventures in Greatness: Speed and Comprehension Reader (A Beka).

Emily - 5th grade, second semester
Pilgrim's Progress (A Beka edition) - John Bunyan (finishing from before Xmas)
The Secret Language - Ursula Nordstrom
Meet My Friends - Joni Eareckson Tada
Amy Carmichael (Women of Faith) - Kathleen White
Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
Plain Girl - Virginia Sorensen
The Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman

Once a week or so, she will do an exercise from Read and Think Skill Sheet 5 (A Beka).

I need to find some online reading guides for some of these books, but I didn't have time to do that yet.

For their literature study, they write every day in their literature journals to respond to what they've read. They can write a summary (which they usually do) or they can respond in some other written way to the selection. (James does this too on a smaller scale.)

If there are comprehension questions, they answer them in the lit journals as well. Any book reports are also written in the literature journals. They will do a book report for each book, I believe.

They will do one entry a week from English from the Roots Up and play Rummy Roots once a week or so as well.

They will do Spelling Power four times a week. David will do handwriting once or twice a week. Emily will do handwriting three or four times a week. They are both working on their cursive.

I think that's it. I am going to find some online reading guides (free!) and then work on James and Suzy's plans, which are much easier. Then I just have History and Math to do, I think. Oh yeah, Art and Music.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bible Plans complete

I completed the lesson plans for our Bible class for the next five months! Bible is probably the easiest of the subjects to plan, actually, except for Math. Math is just - do the next lesson. lol

We will learn several new hymns and praise choruses - one of each for each month. Here are the choices:

January - Holy Holy Holy, Jesus Lover of My Soul

February - Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus, As the deer panteth for the water

March - He Lives, Thank you Lord for saving my soul

April - All Creatures of Our God and King, Have Thine Own Way Lord

May - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, There's just something about that name

We will finish up two curriculums that we began in 2006, I think: Bible Study Guide for All Ages: Volume 3 by Charles and Mary Baker and Character Building for Families: Volume 1 by Lee Ann Rubsam.

We will do lessons 280-312 of the Bible Study Guide for All Ages. This covers the remainder of the book of Judges, and the complete books of Ruth and 1 Samuel. We will continue with Volume 4 beginning in the fall, I think.

We will finish a study on Service in the Character Building curriculum and complete a short study on Hospitality. That will bring us to the end of that book. I will buy the next volume to work on next year.

Finishing those books will take us to about mid-March, so I poked around to find something else we could do to finish the last two and a half months of school. I had purchased The Model Family: God the Father and Jesus the Son by Ray and Charlene Notgrass three or four years ago. This looked like it would fit ok into our plans, so I decided to use it. We will finish 7 of the 13 lessons by the end of May. Hopefully we can then work on the remaining 6 lessons over the summer, finishing in time to begin the new volumes of Bible Study Guide and Character Building in the fall.

Need to print out the hymn and praise chorus lyrics for the kids and make some copies to be completely ready.

Science Plans Complete

I also got the Science lesson planning done tonight. I wrote out all the science I hope to get done before the end of the year. It's a little more for David than for the others, but that's as it should be since he is doing seventh grade work.

David is working out of Backyard Ballistics. He has completed only a couple projects from this book so far. I need him to complete all of the book before I will consider this subject complete. I am calling his science work: Applied Science: Ballistic Engineering. Doesn't that sound fancy? He's pretty much learning the physics that goes into creating weaponry.

If you're wondering what kinds of projects David will be working on, here is a project list that the author - William Gurstelle - put on his website.

I do plan to have David work on a website for these projects. He has a webpage done for one of the earlier projects, but we never published it anywhere.

There are a LOT of materials needed for this book, everything from Sterno to lots of PVC to things I've never heard of. So, it'll be costly, but I bet he'll remember THIS science way more than he would reading a dry textbook. And he may actually be able to apply the physics principles later on too.

OK, now the three younger kids are all working together on some simple science concepts. Last year we did Considering God's Creation and that stretched both Bob and me nearly to the limit. So I wanted something simple this year.

Suzy is Kdg, James is 2nd/3rd, and Emily is in 5th. I found a book called Science Mini-Journals from Scholastic, aimed at grades 2-4, which seemed close enough to me. There isn't a whole lot of content and the story-writing prompts are kinda lame, but I think the little booklet format is fun. There's enough information that I feel good about using it as a jumping-off point anyway. We will do several activities for each topic, some writing, and read some related picture books. That's not much science for a 5th grader, I know, but she got a LOT last year and she's in no way ready for what David is doing. We'll do something more involved next year again.

Anyway, those are all planned out and photocopied (did that in the fall), although I have to find the picture books before each topic.

We've been doing Science and History in alternating weeks. Not sure what we'll do now.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

January - May Lesson Plans

Since I have a few days off work, my goal is to get my lesson plans all done through May. Hopefully then we can stay on track. I have yet to actually accomplish any of it though, and I go back to work on the 2nd. We will start our lessons on the 7th, I think, although we may begin math before that.

Stay tuned here for lesson planning progress.