Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New books already?

For the past few years, we've homeschooled on a year-round plan.  Jude was struggling to catch up, plus had physical, occupational, and speech therapy appointments. It made sense to plan on twelve months to accomplish things instead of just nine - it gave us a buffer for missing days due to appointments. When you'd ask what grade he was in, he'd tell you the one that corresponded to his age.  It was good enough. Anybody asking him and making small talk really was just interested in trying to figure out how old he was, while anybody who needed to know where he truly was academically (doctors, therapists, etc.) would be asking me and giving me the chance to qualify "this grade on paper, using that grade level books." While we have chosen to "officially move up grade levels" in September, following the "regular" school calendar, we have run our learning year from June to June. Up until this year, Jude was as much as three or four years behind, because his language skills were so delayed. It took a full calendar year to finish things. However, this year, he's been closing the gap at a lightning pace.

When  I planned out his curriculum last fall,  we began a formal grammar program.  I wasn't sure if we'd start with Level 1, or jump in higher.  Ultimately, I decided to start at the beginning, and just go at an accelerated pace.  He finished the Level 1 book by Halloween, and Level 2 by just past Christmas!  There was a lot that he already knew but didn't realize.  For example, he knew what persons, places, and things were, but didn't realize they were called "Nouns." He was aware that if he wanted help spelling "here" or "hear" he'd need to use them in a sentence to figure out the context, but not that they were called homophones.  He's just begun Level 4 - he's nearly caught up to grade level! Woo hoo!

He also has been zooming through other areas.  For last fall, I decided on five full-length novels for reading/literature, and while I was certain it would last us until Christmas, I fully expected them to last us through to spring.  However, he zoomed through them, too, and was not struggling at all with the content and studies.  I'm proud of him, but I'm left thinking, "Now what?"  I planned on him needing more time than he did.  Based on his track record, June Meg never thought to warn March Meg that she might need to be ready with more stuff!  Oops.  I've decided that homeschool curriculum is kind of like kids' clothing: things are the right fit for so long you think you'll never outgrow, and then one day kiddo wakes up, and nothing is right!

Technically, he's Grade 4 (if anyone asks), but whatever we pick now will likely last him until at least the beginning of "Calendar Grade 5." My checkbook is kind of hoping it will last him a little farther, but at the speed he's going, I think it's best not to count on it.  Crew curriculum reviews will stretch things, but our core program definitely needs assessment and re-planning.  I'm finding that while hands-on/interactive programs still work very well for him, he's also responding very well to activities with a classical-style format.  Based on that, I think I have a plan for the next six moths or so:


Ignatius Press Faith and Life - Our Heavenly Father


Math U See Epsilon

Language Arts

      Growing with Grammar - Level 4
      IEW Fix It! Grammar  - Level 1

      Memoria Press Literature Studies-
               Mr. Popper's Penguins, Farmer Boy, A Cricket in Times Square, Homer Price, and Poetry for the Grammar Stage

      Independent Reading: interest-led new and classic books in a Lexile Range of 650-800

      Read Aloud: classic books in a Lexile Range of 730-880

Spelling: Spelling You See - American Spirit

Writing: Memoria Press - Fables

Copywork: IEW Poetry Memorization

We reviewed this last year, and Jude struggled because it was a standalone thing for him.  This time, we're going to turn each into a unit study, using copying, chunking, etc.  It's also going to double as speech/articulation practice.


Sassafras Science Vol. 1 Zoology with SciDat Logbook

Social Studies

Veritas Press - Old Testament and Ancient Egypt
Evan Moore - Daily Geography

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