I have been in a quandary as far as teaching my little ones goes. I always thought I would simply teach them in the same way as I taught my older ones, by working our way through the history of mankind. In fact we did start with a Dinosaur Unit Study followed by a Mesopotamia Unit Study. But since then I have been back tracking. A8 and B6 are very, very different from my older children. They do not read nearly as much as the older ones did at their age. A8 does not have the concentration to focus on anything for longer than about 3 minutes. They do not enjoy pretend play as much as their older siblings did….and as a very perceptive friend pointed out, I’ve been there done that as far as history goes.
I have prayed and held off making a decision for ages, but I think I have decided….. These are my tentative plans for my youngest daughters.
Routine Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Focus on Maths and Science
9:00 – 9:50 am
A will be working with Granny for an hour each day. A reads out loud to her, listens to Granny reading out loud, does some hand writing and English work. Mum is a perfectionist extraorinaire to the extreme, whilst I am the opposite to the extreme 🙂 Learning alongside Granny gives both girls the best of both worlds.
I will be working 1-2-1 with Becca. We will continue her reading curriculum, Ultimate Phonics. She reads fairly well already but we both love this program so much and it only takes ten minutes each morning. I also think it helps her with her spelling. Talking about spelling, B6 will start the Word Building PACES from ACE. We used the entire ACE curriculum for the first few years of the older ones school, and whilst I would not want to use it for history, science or maths, we really did enjoy the word building lessons, which are very sequential and repetitive. I have bought the Grade one year for both girls and looking through them I think both will find them easy as they go over stuff they have already learnt. The second thing we will be using are the Bible Paces, again from ACE. I have been wanting to improve A and B’s ability to narrate back a story and I like how ACE accomplish this with large clear pictures which are separate from the text. And lastly we will try and complete one lesson from ‘I Can Draw All Things’ art curriculum.
9:50 – 10:10
We will all be doing a Bible Curriculum together, but I’m not sure what I will be using yet.
10:10 – 11:00
B6 then goes over to Granny’s for 50 minutes. She does exactly the same things as A8 but at a lower level.
Whilst B6 is over at Granny’s house I will be working on a few things with A8. I want to use this one-to-one time wisely. Spelling is A’s weakest area by far, possibly because she is not a natural reader. I have decided to use ACE’s Word Building PACES as I think the repetitive nature will be very good for her. Likewise, I will also use ACE Bible Study PACES.
A’s passion is science and nature, and whilst we will be doing some history, it is the science and nature I will be focusing on with A. I have bought in a lovely Nature curriculum called Discovering Nature Series: A Nature Walk with Aunt Bessie. She will be doing this completely independently, and I think she will love it!
Once B6 returns from Granny’s house, the three of us will be doing Life of Fred maths together. I am so impressed by how they have remembered almost everything we learnt from Apples (book One) and we all look forward to the rest of the series. The girls will be keeping a maths journal, which I intend to slowly increase their autonomy with, so that they will eventually take full control of documenting their learning. In addition to Life of Fred, they will also be given a maths exploration based on something mentioned in the Life of Fred books. This will give the girls the chance to dig a bit deeper. Last term we covered Archimedes, and we are currently exploring the concept of Zero. And finally the girls will carry out a mathematical investigation using Penrose the mathematical cat books as their starting point. Last term the girls investigated polygons and are currently investigating the mathematics of bubbles.
And the last thing before lunch will be spent with me doing Apologia’s Astronomy, which we started a few weeks ago. We will work our way slowly through the book, with each girl filling in their notebooks which go along with the series.
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:00
After lunch we will all be going for a nature walk. I am hoping to do a bit more with the flower fairies, as well as allowing A the chance to explore whatever subject she has learnt about in her nature study that morning. I will encourage the girls to take photos, snip specimens and journal their finds.
1:00 – 2:00
Once we have returned from our walk the little ones will spend an hour in quiet time. I will be putting together some quiet time boxes, which will include books, games and activities which support the rest of their learning (think nature/ maths games/ science kits). They will be encouraged to spend the first thirty minutes reading (the reading books about the unit study topic we will be studying each term in our history) and the last thirty minutes playing a game or doing a provided activity.
2:00 – 3:00
My goal is that we do some of the things the girls nag me to do but that I often sweep under the carpet…baking, sewing, knitting…stuff that is in no way linked to any curriculum or study plan and has no other purpose but spending valuable time together
Tuesday and Thursday: Focus on Writing, History and Geography
The girls do not go round to Mum’s on a Tuesday or Thursday, so I will spend this time on history, writing and geography.
9:00 – 12:00
Read Aloud. I will be using Mystery of History, using resources from Story of the World (because I have them), History Alive! (Audio products) and Homeschool in the Woods products. Whilst we will still study topics as unit studies, I also want to give the girls a better sense of when things happened in relation to each other.
Short walk to get out the wiggles!
Writing. I will run an in depth teaching session about some aspect of writing, probably using IEW‘s excellent writing curriculum. I used this with my older children and found it to be very effective. The girls will also use the printable pages from NotebookingPages to record their work
Hands on Activity. These will be simple, hands on activities related to the unit study topic, for example during the first six weeks we will be focusing on Ancient Egypt.
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:30
Nature Walk (see above)
1:30 – 2:30
Quiet time – as before but with activities based around the history topic rather than maths and science
2:30 – 3:30
This time will be used to focus on the end of unit presentations. I’d like the girls to create a diorama or paper mache scene of life during whichever period we are studying. This will include mini dolls dressed in authentic (ish) clothes, the homes they lived in, land marks and specific things they are known for. The girls love sewing and making polymer clay creations and I think they will enjoy this hour very much in deed 🙂
Although our school day ends at 3:30 in anticipation for the crazy busy schedule of after school activities we have going at the moment, I will be using the read aloud time before bed to read the little ones any specific topic focused fiction books I’d like to tick off my list. This is important because neither A or B are avid readers thus far, and this will be a way to get that all important literature (and therefore vocabulary, sentence structure and story telling skills into them without resorting to bribing them to read said books on their own 😉
I’m feelin’ pretty happy with our plans for next term ❤