Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Writing Curriculum

Last year I wrote dd1's history curriculum.  It was pretty easy because I just used some free samples of an existing curriculum as a guide for the rest.  This year I'm going to write all of the curriculum for both girls.  Actually I'm lying.  We're going to continue doing the K-2 science curriculum we started in the fall.  Everything else, I'm writing. 

This is not as daunting as it sounds.  For one, I have a couple of months to finish it.  Also, dd2 is only 3 and we're only doing "school" because she sees her sister doing it.  For her I'm writing a Five in a Row style curriculum.  Basically you get a bunch of age appropriate story books and do activities inspired by whatever you read.  Really basic.

For dd1 it's much more eclectic.  Here's the plan so far for grade 1.

*I can pretty much guarantee this will change before September as dd1 continues to learn through the summer.

Math:  I was going to purchase RightStart Math Beta but I don't want to spend the money. Lol no, it's just that now that she has the basics down it's really easy to teach her without the formal stuff.  It would be a pointless expense. Instead we'll teach her from life as well as read some fun math books from the library like; A Dollar For Penny, Sir Cumference and Mummy Math.  She also likes the Khan Academy videos.

LA: We're going to delve into writing stories and poems this year.  I purchased this book from Amazon as a jumping off point for my poetry plan.  For the writing part, we'll go over parts of speech, how to write a sentence, paragraph etc.  I've also started a list of writing prompts for her to work with.

Shakespeare:  It's never to early to start them on the Bard.  We're going to read three plays from this series of books and watch the corresponding BBC Animated Tale.  I'm going to find some related activities to do and maybe a short performance or two.

Reading:  I started a book list for dd1 to read next year but she blew through it in the past couple of weeks.  Instead I'm going to stock up on novels and get her to keep a list of what she's read.  I need recommendations for books though.  She's currently reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. 

Science:  We're going to finish up the rest of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding and read related books from the library.

History:  History was our big subject last year.  We used my writeup of History Odyssey: Ancients.  This year we're going to continue learning about the subjects we covered by watching documentaries and the millions of books the library has. As an offshoot of the Ancient Greek portion of our studies, we're also going to read D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths.

Geography:  Did I mention that I love the library?  What I've been doing with all these subjects is searching the library for related books.  I'll put them all on hold in September and read them as they come in.  Our main spine for Geography is going to be The Usborne Geography Encyclopedia with Complete World Atlas.  This book has yet to arrive and I'm hoping it'll be suitable.  I'll write out our lesson plans when it comes in.

French:  Dd1 has already started on Rosetta Stone for French.  I think it's (learning French) a tad bit pointless myself.  If at some point we have to put the kids in school (hopefully never) at least she
won't be behind in it.

Art:  I'm excited about this subject.  We're still playing around with Creativity Express but I've been eying up Meet the Masters and Artistic Pursuits.  This is another of those boxed curriculum that I look at and think "I could totally write that myself".  So that's what I'm doing.  We're going to study three artists, read about them with some lovely books like this one and do a bit of painting.

Health and PE:  We really don't need to do much here.  I am going to purchase this book as well as this one.  Both kids want to take dance classes in the fall.

Logic: She'll be doing Logic Safari.

Cursive:  I've picked up a couple of workbooks for this.  When she's perfected her printing we'll start cursive.

It looks like a lot when it's all typed out doesn't it?  It's not really though.  We'll do a little bit of art here, a little bit of math there.   When you have one kid to teach instead of thirty, learning happens much more quickly.

DD2's curriculum is super relaxed and fun.  For each book I have a list of questions to ask/discuss and a list of activities to do.  I'm going to write the lists on an index card and place the card in an envelope taped to each book.  Each book's list can be stretched out over a week. 

The reading list for her is as follows;

Goodnight Moon
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Stella Queen of the Snow
Katy No Pocket
Very Hungry Caterpillar
Blueberries for Sal 
The Colour Kittens 
Ruby’s Tea Party
Big Pumpkin
The Going to Bed Book
It’s Me, Hippo!
The Paper Bag Princess
The Year at Maple Hill Farm
Jesse Bear What Will You Wear?
Story About Ping
The Little Rabbit

That's it.  I'm working on a word document for each child with the year's curriculum written out in detail.  I'll print everything out, put it into binders and work from there.

So, reading recommendations for dd1.  Do you have any?

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