Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Executive Decision

After a bit of a break and some consideration, I've decided to ditch the public school year in favour of year round schooling.  What this means for us is that we'll continue to take breaks here and there as we need them and the next grade's curriculum will be started when the kids are ready instead of waiting for fall.

We had a huge break in December and another in March.  In public school this would mean the students would be quite behind in their studies.  For my homeschooled Dd1, she finished all our curriculum plans back in February.  So I'm just getting things accumulated and the curriculum written.  I'm hoping to start them all up again in two weeks.

For both girls I'm implementing a workbox system.  With three kids and a micro farm, it can get crazy around here.  As a result we often skip out on some of the non-essential fun stuff (usually arts and crafts)because we just don't get to it.  I'm hoping the workboxes will help with that.   It should also give me a break from the kids complaining about being bored.


I looked at a lot of different preschool programs but of course I didn't like any of them 100% Lol, not even 75%  So I've decided to write my own.  This one is going to be letter of the week style.  In addition to the workboxes I've been reading up on activity bags.  For each craft in the preschool curriculum, I've bagged up the supplies needed along with a small picture and brief description of what to do.  That way if Dd2 pulls out a craft to do while I'm busy doing something else, she can get started on it without me.

Grade 2

Science-I was going to buy a microscope and start on Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Volume 2.  However, I don't think Dd1 is ready for it just yet.  It is a much more advanced and meaty book than the first.  Instead, we're going to go through all the experiments in 101 Great Science Experiments and reassess when we're done.

Canadian history.  My plan for history hasn't changed much since I last blogged about it.

Geography- We're going to do a brief unit on maps and then switch to world cultures.    For each country we study, I've accumulated a list of documentaries, books, and web sites to check out.  We'll also celebrate some different holidays, eat regional foods and participate in traditional pastimes.

Math-She's almost done Math Mammoth 2A and will be moving on to 2B soon.

Language Arts-More reading and Winning With Writing Volume 2.  Will also be doing spelling copy work.

French- copy work


Art-biweekly drawing practice

Think! Challenges-These are so cool.  On the blog there are a bunch of challenges listed.  Each one calls for a specific set of items and instructions to make something with it.  For example;

Use the following materials to build a water wall:

a 4 x 4 foot piece of wood
2 feet of pvc piping

10 paper or plastic cups
10 straws
6 index cards (can be laminated if you want)
duct tape
4 nails
2 items of your choice
You may use a hammer and permanent sharpies as well. Be careful. Have fun. Get wet!

That's the bulk of it.  I have a list of other schoolish stuff and fluff to go in the workboxes which I'll list in another post.  


  1. You are very brave. I have a few friends that homeschool and love it. I would love to have home schooled our son, but I am far from being a brain and I know that would have been a deterrent to him and not fair to him. I could have easily taught him most subjects but maths. I am so stupid in math it's not even funny. It's really sad.

    So more power to you and all other homeschoolers!

  2. I don't know what I think of home schooling. I'm sort of sitting on the fence....Looking back 60 years later I don't remember a whole lot of the 'learning' part in those early grades. However I remember my best friends distinctly, playing marbles and the whispering while we were lined up for our cod liver oil. Recess. You learn an awful lot during recess! I guess you must have a plan in place to cement those kind of memories and experiences for social development. Otherwise, you are doing one heck of a job here. I will look at your home schooling posts again.

  3. Lisa-That's what homeschooler curriculum publishers are for. Lots of parents are learning along with their kids. A tutor could help as well if you really needed it for a subject you just can't wrap your head around.

    Annie-Living life is the plan for socialization lol. If you google "socialization myth" you'll come up with a lot of articles on why it's a non-issue for the majority of homeschoolers. There's a research paper or two as well.

  4. Have you considered letting your children go to school 1-2 days a week? A friend here started doing that when her home schooler complained often of being bored and lonely. The school allows it in the younger grades. It gives you a chance too to assess how your child is doing, if she is comfortable being away from you, etc. I worry that kids who are exclusively home schooled don't have the skills to leave the fold.

  5. Someone did that here and the school wasn't too happy about it. They don't get funding for part time students.

    The kids aren't lonely and bored usually means they want to watch movies all day long. We put on a weekly playgroup and there's lots of playgroup activities going on in the Valley. They also don't have issues being away from us. Well the girls don't. Ds is still young enough to never want me out of sight.

    Assessment is easy enough to do from home. All the provinces post their curriculum standards online. Dd2 (4) would meet the level of most kids her age. Dd1 consistently works several grades ahead and reads at a 5/6th grade level.