Monday, April 23, 2012

A New Direction for the Year- Charlotte Mason

It's Spring! Well at least we had some major meltage yesterday and glory be, I can finally see brown grass. Of course there is still plenty of snow like the 3-4 foot drift next to my house that will take quite a while to melt, but hey...I'm not complaining. Spring is on it's way.

So since I have been under the weather and unable to really start my spring cleaning or spring decorating, I decided to spend all that time resting working on plans for the rest of the school year. Basically my thinking is that I want to transition us into what we will be doing next year to find our rhythm. We are now officially enrolled with IDEA (Interior Distance Education of Alaska), and so next year we will be able to use $1700 in funds to purchase curriculum. This will be a huge boost for us. We will have to report to the state, send in work samples and communicate with our assigned teacher once a month, however they will let A work at whatever level we feel is appropriate. They will not expect to see Kindy work from her next year. In fact they are amenable to grade skipping. So much so that they are letting us skip K right off the bat and enroll her into first grade and then once the year gets started we can move her up to what ever grade I feel she is ready for. Basically they said I can move her through the grades as fast as she needs, and even if she is enrolled in 2nd, if a 6th grade curriculum in science, or 4th grade curriculum in math is what we feel is best, then that is the work we send in. So yea! The benefit to grade skipping her is that we will have transcripts, so basically proof from a school in our future advocacy efforts. Also if we stay in Alaska and continue with IDEA, then she would be issued high school credits and a diploma once we have skipped her up to highschool level. So while Alaska has some of the most relaxed homeschool laws- we don't even have to notify anyone- I think right now the trade off for the financial support is worth it. 

So as I said, I sat down and planned out the rest of our year. And basically we are leaning to a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool. I know I have written about her methods before, and truly while I am still attracted to Waldorf and Montessori, and will be incorporating some of those aspects, this just fits both of us the best. You can read more about the method here. But what really attracts me is the literature basis. I love to read, and so does A. So much of what she already knows comes from books we have read together or she on her own. I love the beauty of the classical works, the study of poetry, and the concept of copy work. Many of you know that we have been doing copy work all along, and it has been a great tool. Now we have moved from handwriting paper to regular wide ruled, and copy work is increasing A's confidence day by day in the formation of her words on this new paper.

Charlotte Mason advocated for nature study- the science of the late 1800's not being what it is today LOL. And we love nature and nature study, but we will be continuing on with our own science curriculum and following A's love.

I adapted and condensed the Year 1 Ambleside curriculum to fit the rest of our year. Here is a look at our curriculum we will be using. Tomorrow I will post our daily and weekly schedule.

Literature/Poetry/ and Narration work
The Aesop For Children- Milo Winter
Just So Stories- Rudyard Kipling
An assortment of Fairy and Folk Tales
A Child's Garden of Verses- Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Myths to Read Aloud- William F. Russell
Knights, Kings, and Conquerors: 20 Stories from British History- Geraldine McCaughrean
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare- Edith Nesbit
Heidi
The Wind and The Willows
(and of course Ansley will continue to read books on her own as normal LOL)

Math
Math Daily Warm Ups: Grade 3- Teacher Created Resources
Common Core Mathematics: Practice at 3 Levels: Grade 3- Newmark Learning

Science
McGraw Hill Science-  6th Grade 
Prentice Hall Science Explorer: Earth's Changing Surface- 6th Grade

History
A Little History of The World- E.H. Gombrich

Grammar
Success with Grammar: Grade 3- Scholastic

Spelling
Harcort Spelling- Grade 2
McGraw Hill Spelling- Grade 3

If we settle into a rhythm with this, then we will continue like wise with curriculum for next year and add in a foreign language as well as composer and artist study.

I will let you know how it went. Today was our first day following our new schedule and it was the nicest, most relaxed day of homeschooling we have ever had, and that's with me being irritable from prednisone and albuteral LOL. So I think we have found something good. Stay tuned to my adapted weekly schedule and daily rhythm post.

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

Amanda, I am glad you stopped by my blog today. I had not noticed that you changed your blog name...I have not been very in-touch with the computer world lately. I think I am back on track now.

So happy that you are finally seeing signs of spring.

Blessings,
Elisabeth