Monday, July 16, 2012

New Year, New Plan

I'm so far from the best and most consistent blogger out there.  But I've got a plan for the new school year.  I want to post what extras I'm using so hopefully I can look back in 4 years, when we are at the same point in our history rotation again, and know what I used last time.

We are currently using Tapestry of Grace Year 4, Unit 1.  We started TOG last year with two units of year 3.  At this point, we are up to Modern Era, currently working on World War I.  TOG does a multiweek spread on WWI, which I think is great.  I don't recall learning much about WWI in school.  I like this coverage of it, and that the kids will cover it multiple times.

I've got a D level and a LG and one kinder age this school year.  Kinder will listen in on what she can, but I'm not really rolling her into TOG at all.  My LG is 2nd grade, and my D level (accelerated learner) is 5th grade.

The "spine" if you can call it that for TOG, more realistically a multiweek book, for D level is The Complete Idiot's Guide to the 20th Century.  I thankfully got this from the library before purchasing it, because both of us disliked it.  What a bummer!  So, we are going with plan B (C, D, are we up to E?) and doing some of the primary D choices, some of the alternates, some of the UG primary resources and some UG secondary choices.  And sometimes just a book that looked good that we had on the topic.  Sometimes I feel I should have stuck with cobbling together my own curriculum, but all in all TOG has been wonderful for us so far.

In terms of literature for Zach, he read the book Anne of Green Gables in one week when it was supposed to last 4 weeks, so I'm putting in some extras there.  I figured that would happen.  He enjoyed it quite a bit, and when he likes something he will read all day to finish if necessary.  Noah had a shorter version read to him, and also enjoyed it.

So, what are we adding?  First off, we had the unbelievable luck of finding The Century for Young People by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster at a library sale for $1.  Yeah!  We are using that from the alternate resources list, and both Zach and I like that one.  We already had The Story of the World books, audio and activity guide, so we are using those.  We also have History of US from Hakim.  We are choosing topics from both of those.    I'm also toying with jumping into Human Odyssey Volume 3 that we got inexpensively from during a free shipping sale.  I wanted to take a look at it as we go into the middle school years, and it looks great, quite engaging to read, written to the student as it is truly meant to be a textbook of course.  So far, Zach and I both seem to enjoy that selection.

For Zach we added in True Stories of the First World War by Dowswell.  Dowswell books are well loved here.  This was no exception, and Zach whipped through this one in a day, and then recounted to me most of the stories in great detail.  I believe TOG schedules some books on Artic exploration later, but we are diving into this week with Antartica by Lerangis.

Books are great, but Zach is an inventor and hands on learning profile type.  He needs to do some actual handy things too.  In hunting for some things, I saw Jimmie's Collage Blog linked through a search on The Well Trained Mind Forums.  Just look at the beautiful work they did on WWI!  Funny enough though, what I finally chose was something they didn't choose.  Isn't that the way?  I'm grateful they linked it though, because I think it will suit us well.  I pulled out the notebooking template for WWI that was linked and printed it for Zach.  It is short, perfect for this week, and combines a little writing, some coloring and some glue/paste.  I also have some of her other linked items in mind for next week, hopefully with some photos from this week's work.

For Noah this week I got the audio version of Velveteen Rabbit, and netflix seems to have the video on streaming.  That will be great for him.  We also added in The Keeping Quilt from the alternate resources from the library.  For him, we are also doing the Tapestry of Grace lapbooks for the units.  Sometimes I'm finding the info is not fully covered in the LG readings, but really overall it is going well too.

This post is getting long so I'll leave off what we are doing for science, grammar, etc., and add in later.  We are not back to math yet, not until August.  Is that a sigh of relief from the boys?

Have to end with a photo, because a photo livens up even the dullest writing (ahem).  Zach and Lily from when we went to Seaworld recently.

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