Thursday, June 6, 2013

Planning for Classical Conversations Cycle 2

I can't believe that next year will mark our third year homeschooling.  I know it seems dramatic, but being sick made me realize what a gift it is to be home with my kids.  If I'd spent the last year and a half before I died being home with them and teaching them, I would've been completely happy with that.  Since I didn't kick the bucket, however, it means I get to head into my third year knowing how special my time with them is, and what a privilege I have being able to homeschool.  It also means that since I'm still a little slower and a lot easier to tire than in the past, I'm reconsidering how we're doing things around here.

Classical Conversations has been the hinge our homeschool opens and closes on.  However, I've spent lots and lots of time expanding the memory "pegs" into a full curriculum, spending hours on Pinterest, Google, and at the library ensuring that I have enough information to fill in the blanks.  Knowing that I have good days and bad days, I'm planning to spend more money this year to provide myself with all the tools and plans I'll need so that if I have a bad day, everything is already prepared.  That seems to be the trade off in homeschooling, you can either spend more time preparing or more money preparing.  This year, I'm picking time saved over dollars saved.

I am still incredibly happy with our Singapore Math.  Savannah completed the Kindergarten A book this year on her day off from preschool (she had preschool M/W/F half days and CC on Thursdays, leaving just one day a week for homeschool). She'll start Kindergarten B this summer, and then we'll move her up and along when she's ready.  Logan is right on schedule, and will complete his 1B book in the next week or two so that he can start 2A in the fall, using a summer review book over the "break".  My first year, I purchased the teacher's guide, but I don't do that now, opting just to purchase the textbook and workbook.  I let my kids write in both, but certainly you could not allow them to write in the text and just order a new workbook each year.  I don't really feel like for the Singapore price you save much money photocopying every page--especially with our printer which eats ink like it's a contest.  Riley had a bit more of a pause this year as he struggled with multiplication facts, but with some work this summer to finish up his workbooks, he'll probably start 4A in October.  I'm not particularly concerned, because aside from mixed numbers, which is in the second portion of his 3B book, he's hit all the grade 3 SOLs and just a few of the grade 4 ones.  I always like to look, just in case there's a crisis and we have to send them back.

So....Math is staying the same.  Singapore makes me happy.

English wise, Riley will start Essentials, which is through the Institute for Excellence in Writing's Essentials of the English Language.  We'll continue all three kids with First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease for the younger two. I started these this year, so they've got plenty more to go.  Savannah will have the advantage of starting when you should actually start!

For science and history, I am going to go with Sonlight C (we'll have to circle back on world history for cycle 1 in two years) and I think I'm going to get Sonlight Science B (Animals, Astronomy, Physics), but I'm not totally sold on that one as much as I am the history. 

I feel like Riley should really start a Latin program....but I'm not sure I'm mentally there yet, but I'm trying to get a feel for what people like anyway.  I never took Latin, so I'm excited we can learn together.

What are you using next year? What's working and what's not?
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