Sunday, August 28, 2011

Planning for fall...homeschool curriculum options and ideas...

Apologies in advance for the lack of fun and interesting pictures in this post!

I've been patiently waiting for a box from Book Samaritan before I plan our full homeschool curriculum for the fall.  JP is going into what would be the 8th grade if he were in public school.  I don't care so much about grade levels, and rather focus on can he doe the work I give him?  Is it too challenging?  Not challenging enough? While I wait to see what goodies Book Samaritan decides to send, I'm planning our first few weeks with materials we already have on hand.

Language Arts - I believe very much in giving children a wide variety of reading materials, spanning a range of levels.  What we happen to have on hand for literature will definitely be on the easier end for JP, but that will allow him to enter our school year feeling both relaxed and confident.
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
  • The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • A unit on Edgar Allen Poe
  • A poetry unit based on lessons by Kenneth Koch (see this post) 
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • Elements of Style by Strunk and White
  • Megawords for vocabulary and spelling
  • Variety of writing units from around the web
  • Continue working on a story JP began early in the summer

Science - For science, I believe in teaching both evolution and creation, along with discussion about why people place faith in one or the other, and whether it is possible to believe that both are correct. 
  • The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • Middle School Chemistry 
  • Make Your Own Web Page by Ted Pederson and Francis Moss
  • Variety of chemistry, electricity, magnetism, and geology experiments from around the web

Math - Finish the pre-algebra workbook JP had started last spring

Social Studies -
  • Geological features unit
  • Map skills unit
  • State report
  • Nation report
  • Mythology unit

Everything else -
  • Piano lessons
  • Golf lessons
  • Yoga 
  • Hiking
  • A series of nature classes at the local Audubon center
  • Work on Russian using 

MAIL CALL Our poor little mail box has been entirely empty for a couple of days. We had junk mail, and one note for JP's birthday on Wednesday and Thursday.  Friday - nothing.  Saturday - nothing. Sunday - always nothing...but our mail carrier comes at random times, so I checked to be sure I hadn't missed Saturday's mail.  I am expecting a book from Paperback Swap, and a few pen pal letters, so I'm very anxious to find something in ye old mailbox.

DINNER CHECK I neglected to get out the camera while we made dinner tonight.  Mistake...I will remember the rest of the week.  Tonight, I taught JP to make scrambled eggs, to cook bacon bits (bacon cut into small pieces), and how to roll them up in egg roll wrappers, and fry them for breakfast egg rolls.  He loved helping with dinner tonight.  In fact, he enjoyed it so much that we decided to try a new style of eggs every night for the rest of the week.  We are going to be using Alton Brown's egg chapter from the book I'm Just Here for the Food: Version 2.0 as the basis for our dinners this coming week.  I promise pictures... 

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