Curriculum Planning 2018/2019

My secular friends will hopefully forgive me for my transgression of using a base curriculum that is in fact not secular this Fall. We've got reasons and issues, and well, that's the beauty of homeschooling- tailoring it for the student.

Plenty of secular folks send their kids to religious schools, and in fact, I cut out quite a bit to suit our needs. It's way easier to cut than it is to add which is why I went this route.  I know most secular homeschoolers do not agree with this approach. They are the same people who also don't eat at Chick Fil A. While I understand all the reasons behind both stances, that's not me. *Shrugs*

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I had all of July to get my plans in order, and this year I went old school and printed out all the lesson plans and then planned on physically cutting and pasting them together in the Seventh-grade manual.

Then I decided that the manual would be too thick, so I tried copying and pasting them into a blank template.

Then I put blank labels over the subjects that were wrong and wrote on top of them. I just did the first seven weeks, so we'll see how it goes and tweak after that. 

(Then I saw they sell blank planners and will probably write them out in that.- just slap me now, I'm so indecisive this year.)

My kid is all over the place ability wise, and the accommodating folks at MP didn't hesitate to pull a package together for me across the levels. They go above and beyond in that way.  Next year I'll order the whole thing at Sodalitas because I kept changing it all even after the first day there.

Everyone always wants the nitty gritty, so I'll list our subjects for the year. We don't do everything every day, and some subjects are planned for the year, but I'll be using different resources by quarter or semester.

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Let's start with Music.  All kinds of stuff going on here. We've got Rock History as pictured above from the School of Rock movie circa 2003- it's a family fave. I've also got a Classical Music Theory book from MP that we'll use once a week. The kid wants music lessons too- but I'm not sure if that will pan out this year.

Next up is Art. We are still on our quest to learn to draw- hoping hard that this is the year. I've got shelves of materials and a couple of real-life artists in residence, so its mind over matter. We're scheduling art for once a week, plus free time.

Literature: We'll do the four books in depth that MP schedules for seventh grade. Off the top of my head, they are Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit (lol- we sort of know this one backward and forwards), The Trojan War, and they scheduled The Bronze Bow, but I don't know if we'll use it or not. I may sub in The Twenty-one Balloons. We also read a lot of ARCs as they roll in, but we don't analyze them which is why I use the Lit guides on at least one book a quarter.

Latin/ Greek: We're going to tackle First Form Latin for mastery this time instead of simply exposure. Since we both have memorized much of the vocabulary it should go smoothly. Greek is really just the Greek Alphabet book, if he likes it we'll do Elementary Greek next year.

Math- We're using a combo of Rod and Staff drills, Math Mammoth and various resources I have lying around. The goal would be pre-algebra next year in 8th grade.

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The ancient Greek Stoics, founded by Zeno in the 300s B.C., hit on what I consider to be the greatest ever secular argument for the necessary morality of man: Since the things that are the most honorable and right will always lead to the best outcome, we have an obligation to strive for those things. An educated man, therefore, was not only one whose mind was crammed full of knowledge, but one whose heart had learned to adhere to the virtuous. In fact, the Stoics first proclaimed the four cardinal virtues that were later adopted into the seven Christian virtues of the Church. - Abigail Johnson The Before Exercises

Classic History- Famous Men of Greece, Horatius at the Bridge and a bit of fun with- Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October. We'll add in whatever seems interesting too. I plan on doing the next thing and working at our own pace, I know we'll be all over the place in the printed plans, and that's okay with me. I'm looking for a rich, immersive experience, not a quick flyby. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) I know video games aren't for everyone.

Grammar and Writing are also from Memoria Press. I sat in on a tutorial of Classical Composition and finally understand the concept and implementation of the entire program. Spelling is from Rod and Staff. I adore their spelling program and detest those MCP workbooks with a passion you'd find hard to believe.

 Our grammar level matches up with First Form Latin and is light in the right way. My son has just wanted to memorize the "rules of grammar" his words- this does that.

American History- we've slacked on for the last semester or two. I'm more than ready to give this subject a bit more time this year.  We'll use the 200 Question book from MP and a bunch of historical fiction books.

Geography- We'll do a States and Capitals review unit first quarter and then roll into a World Study for the rest of the year.

Science- We already used the 7th-grade nature study of Trees last year, I thought about using Oak Meadow Science since I own it and all. Of course, that would be too easy. I ended up choosing to do a few units: nutrition, safety, wilderness survival, and a biology unit in the Spring.

What else is there? I bought the text for Christian Studies 4 and may use it as a cultural reference course one afternoon a week. We are joining our local YMCA to have access to a swimming pool in the Winter and inherited a treadmill from the former owners of our house, so that should cover PE.

We still have a house to demolish, a home to remodel and sell, and Grandad- so if we hit the basics: Latin, Math, Lit and Comp daily.  I'll be thrilled. I also permitted myself to stretch everything except Math and Lit over two years if need be. 

Summer Hiatus

Although, this isn't a paying gig (except for my Amazon commission) reading and reviewing takes up a large chunk of my time. It's a true labor of love.

This Summer we have a lot going on and honestly, I just need a break from something. I'll still be reading and probably reviewing on Instagram cause I'm like- addicted to sharing good books. I won't be here or on Facebook. Shoot me a message if you are in dire straits and desperately need me to step in as your homeschool librarian. I will be out and about at both  Sodalitas and the Sea Conference and I love talking books so stop me and say hello.

I thought about running older posts in July, but I hate re-runs so I won't. 

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Jennifer Naughton

I'm a lifelong bibliophile who happens to love children's books and who should have become a librarian. Instead I horde books in case of apocalypse or the enactment of a Fahrenheit 451 type law. My five kids accept my addiction and have learned to accept books in odd places.

Erin Condren Teacher Planner Review

I think I've tried every single teacher planner out there. Everything from office store generic types to planners designed for homeschoolers. I've gotten creative and used a bullet journal and scribbled tomorrow's lesson in a plain spiral notebook. All of them get the job done. I'm never going to tell you that any of these methods is inherently better than another.

In fact, if you are schooling more than one kid using different levels, this may not work for you at all, which is ironic since it is designed to be used by classroom teachers. However, They are teaching 25 kids the same thing, and you may be teaching four different grade levels.

If you want to treat yourself and like the Erin Condren brand than the teacher planner, this year is probably their best version ever. I'll show you how I tweaked it for homeschooling.

  I'm doing what I like to call old-fashioned blogging here today. This post isn't going to be linked up to some fantastic Pinterest SEO termed graphics, it is the last thing I'm typing up before my hiatus, and I'm just trying to get this up before I leave you all hanging for a while.

I paid for this baby myself, so no worries that I'm biased in any way. In fact, for my stuff, I'm back with my old Passion Planner- I use this one for lesson planning only.

I have too much going on to keep it all together and honestly; the Passion Planner is more like bullet journaling which is my ideal method.

I should probably write that post too when I get back in August.

Let's get to it. First of all, you can choose from a gazillion covers, color combos, and personalizations. I decided on this vintage floral print to match our new house.

 

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Inside the front and back cover, there are whiteboards- which come in handy for impromptu sentence diagramming and math problem explanations.

No more searching around for scratch paper!

They also make great schedulers. I like to write a quick rundown of the week in the front that I can glance at as needed.

 

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In the planning section, there are twelve squares with the months of the year on them. If you use Unit Studies or want to achieve specific goals on a monthly basis, you can leave it as is.

 I had a different idea in mind.

I (choose one)

can't leave well enough alone

like to use various resources

am indecisive

 So, I reallocated the stickers from the back of the book to cover the months of the year with subject titles.

I'm using the two pages for First and Second Semester with six subjects for each term.

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This coincides nicely with the fact that there are six subject slots on the daily planning pages. We have more than six subjects, but we don't do all of them daily so I combine them into just six categories to make them fit.

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There are checklist pages in the back of the planner that I'm going to use as reading logs, memory work tracking pages, and possibly chore charting. The skies the limit. 

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I wouldn't have guessed that I'd find placing stickers so therapeutic, but I do. The planner comes with a few pages of them which I scatter around as needed to mark essential school events. They sell pretty monthly sticker packs too if you are so inclined to indulge in that or the multicolor pens that look so good on the Insta. As far as pens go we swear by the erasable Frixion that we buy in bulk from Amazon. I also have a set of Papermate Flair fine tips that I use when I want to be fancy.

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New Reviews starting on Monday

I'll be back on Monday back to my full-time schedule of posts. I tried not reading and made it 24 hours instead of the two weeks I allowed myself.

In January, I'll have a bunch of new releases just in time for you to pre-order. While you are reading all of my pre-written reviews, I'll be deep into a stack of Elementary and Middle Grade Cybils NonFiction finalists. I'm so happy to be in the second round this year.

February is shaping up to be both all those nonfiction reviews and a series of posts of books I had wanted to read but never did. I was inspired by the podcast Overdue. You should check those guys out if you enjoy hearing people narrate books- they are hilarious.

I haven't mapped out March yet- but was mulling over reviewing some straight up curriculum as we all hit the slump where next year looks better than this Spring!

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Jennifer Naughton

I'm a lifelong bibliophile who happens to love children's books and who should have become a librarian. Instead I horde books in case of apocalypse or the enactment of a Fahrenheit 451 type law. My five kids accept my addiction and have learned to accept books in odd places.