Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teaching Tool Tuesday - New Curriculum

Well, we're just coming off two weeks of camp for the kids, and I have a new respect for "school" moms. Having to be up and out the door at a certain time - lunches packed - every day was a huge challenge for us and made me extra glad that it's not our norm. But, it did give me some ideas for making our mornings run more smoothly (most specifically, some advance preparation the evening before).

This week, we are transitioning back into some semblance of a routine and getting the classroom ready to start school next week. Last year, we took the entire summer off and it was way too hard to get started again in the fall. This year, I'm calling December and June (our busiest months) our time off and going year-round other than that.

Having attended the FPEA homeschool convention at the end of May, we are all set with our new curriculum and anxious to dig into all our new goodies. Here's what we have planned for our year:

Right Start Math (Noah & Ava) - We just switched from Singapore, and I'm really excited about this new approach!

Baseball Unit Study (Noah) - For some fun this summer, we're using Amanda Bennett's baseball unit study and a variety of books - along with lots of batting practice, of course. I'll post the complete resource list in the coming weeks.

Inventors & Scientists Unit Study (Noah) - We actually started this one in the spring, but I can see it lasting us through the entire school year. In fact, I held off buying a science curriculum since I think this will occupy most of our time in that area. I'll also post a complete resource list from this one soon; it's comprised of lots of biographies, documentaries and the Thames and Kosmos Milestones in Science kit I found in the Barnes & Noble clearance bin for $20!

Animals Around the World Unit Study (Ava & Noah) - Ava loves animals, so this one will be designed for her but studied by both kids. Starting in the fall, we'll combine science and geography to learn about animals in each part of the world. I'm guessing we'll end up with a lapbook for this, so keep an eye out for that template later in the year. I'll share the complete unit resources when I have them compiled, and I see MANY trips to Animal Kingdom in our future.

Ancient History (Noah & Ava) - I wasn't sure what I wanted to tackle as far as history this year, but some materials on ancient cultures really spoke to me at convention. I'm SO excited about this unit and have most of my materials here or on their way - everything from literature to activity books and science to art. The resource list on this one will be coming VERY soon (although we won't be starting on it until fall).

So that's the core of our curriculum for this year. Both kids will be doing Handwriting Without Tears, and we'll be tying in authentic language arts to everything we do.

Noah will be taking drum lessons and playing baseball; Ava will be taking violin and horseback riding and continuing with ballet and bellydance. And I'm a little overwhelmed now that I'm actually seeing all we have on our plates. But, our theme for the year is FUN, and I intend to keep it that way!!!

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