Aaaah Every homeschool mama’s dream- getting the new school year’s supplies and curriculum all planned out and organized.
As you all may know, we *love* Sonlight’s curriculum as our core- Bible, history, and read alouds. We also love their readers (books children learn to read on their own).
This past school year (2015/2016) we used Sonlight Core A with the intention of stretching it out over two years- I planned to do that by reading sequels to books, adding in lapbooks and other units, while alternating weeks of SL and these other things, etc.
Yea … so we still flew through it! The kids asked all the time to read our “learning time books,” and did not like me alternating some weeks of all the great read alouds and history books from SL in an attempt to stretch it out.
Because we didn’t stretch Core A over 2 years as planned, this left me with an extra year to fill- a year known in the homeschool world as a “gap year.”
As it turns out, SL revamped their cores for 2016, which means Core A has some new books added and some old ones removed! They also separated their language arts from the core itself. This helped me create a new plan for our next few school years.
Here is what we will do for the next few years:
- 2016/2017- Gap Year using Beautiful Feet Early American History as core (ages 4 and 6)
- 2017/2018- Revisit Sonlight Core A (ages 5 and 7)
- 2018/2017- Begin Sonlight Core B (ages 6 and 8)
Why is this helpful? Because it means I can keep my two oldest in a Core together, and my two youngest (who are toddlers and a soon to be born baby) will core together when they are ready to begin. Inserting a gap year here puts my two oldest at the best possible ages for the Cores; with Sonlight it is generally better to be in the top of the age range than the bottom because book content is heavier as you get to Core D and the farther in cores you go the more chapter books you encounter.
Break Down of What We Will Use for 2016/2017
Last year my 3 year old tagged along for Core A, as I have mentioned, and learned to count to 100, ID all his letters and their sounds, and just found a love for learning (slooowly but surely). My oldest, 5 years old, loved every minute of Core A, and began reading anything she could get her hands on, including books on 3rd-4th grade level. She seriously just picks up any book and read it.
They both LOVED the pioneer era, so I thought for our gap year doing an Early American History study would work out well! We chose Beautiful Feet Books Early American Primary Jumbo Literature Pack for our curriculum this year. I am truly 100% excited!
We have done 2 years of other cultures/world history so I thought this year we could take a break from that (though I think I may have a couple of future ap world history students!) while we enjoy a little bit of studying closer to home, before we jump back into world cultures/world history with Core A again.
2017 Curriculum Choices (Kindergarten age 6, Preschool age 4)
Together we will all enjoy:
- History/Core– Beautiful Feet E.A. History- this also incorporates copywork and writing
- Bible- Reading from Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
- Memory work (Bible verses, poems, etc that I have chosen)
- Science- Apologia Science Astronomy second edition (oh my goodness we are LOVING this-review to come in September) used with the Jr. Notebooking Journal for Kindergartener, the preschooler will tag along/color pictures as we read
- Art– Artistic Pursuits- we love this program, hands down
Kindergarten (age 6)
- Reading– AAR Level 2/3- we are about half way through Level 2 now, so we will continue on to Level 3 once we are done
- Readers– we will continue using Sonlight’s readers, as well as other first and second grade readers from the library
- Spelling– AAS Level 1- we did not being AAS last year as I had planned (mama was just too sick/exhausted with pregnancy to add in anything else at the time) so we will begin it this year. Lexie is very concerned about how to spell her words and because her reading level is so advanced I figured this is a good time to gently introduce spelling.
- Math– Saxon 1/2- we will finish Saxon 1 and move on to Saxon 2 this year. Max, the preschooler, will tag along using manipulatives to understand concepts instead of writing
- Handwriting– we will use our faithful copywork, as well as A Reason for Handwriting book B
- Writing– copywork, journal, and modeling (I plan to introduce more formal grammar/writing at 2nd grade level)
Preschool (age 4)
- Reading- All About Reading Level 1 (mixed with some games from the Pre Reading level because he loves them)
- Math- tag along using manipulatives to understand concepts instead of writing, learn to write numbers
- Handwriting- Handwriting Without Tears Preschool or K book (I haven’t decided yet… he is still very much at the pre writing level, but I know Lexie flew through that stage once she got started, so we may just go to the K book first)
- I plan to use lots of hands on and games with him; he loves puzzles and mazes, building things, and sports right now so there isn’t a ton of interest in paper and pencil learning just yet. I don’t want to burn him out or push him too young. He is excited about learning to read and write letters, but short of that it will be a lot of play.
Miss Tot (2)
Ila will tag along, get some one on one time with mama, and enjoy independent play during our school time. She is learning her shapes, colors, ABCs, and how to do puzzles right now. Really, she has mastered her puzzles and counting to 10, so we will just continue with songs, finger plays, and other tot-time learning for her. =)
In addition to our curriculum, we will do LOTS of play outside, work on the farm, and learn through nature.
So, as for now, these are our plans for homeschool this year! If things change or I add something (haven’t yet placed my last order..) I will do a part II and let you know.
What will your school year look like for 2016/2017?
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