Monday, August 3, 2015

2015-2016 School Plans

We are already on week 4 of our school year.  But before anyone gets to thinking that a) they are behind or b) we are way ahead, remember this.  We have a baby due in mid-November and will be taking off ALL of November and December (and in reality January will probably be a slow month school-wise as well).  Also, we basically floated through the last six weeks of school last year because of morning sickness.  With that said here are our plans for this school year.

We have decided to try to keep things pretty simple this year.  We are mostly following Mother of Divine Grace, with a few changes and additions.  And four weeks in, I can tell you that things are running pretty smoothly and I am happy with the plans we've made.

Fritter - 3rd Grade

Fritter makes Confirmation and First Holy Communion this year, so on top of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at our parish we will do the following:

Continue Baltimore Catechism 1
Child's Bible History
This Coloring Book

I'm thinking we will be making a 10 Commandments lap book, together with Ladybug and this 7 Sacrament stained glass window.

Abeka Arithmatic 3
Math It
Last year we used Saxon 2 and both of us HATED it.  So I switched us back to Abeka and we have been much happier with our choice.  I'm not a fan of Abeka in general, but I've yet to find a primary Math program that's a better fit.  So I made sure to purchase through Christian Book instead of directly from Abeka, though I'm not sure if that makes any difference money-wise for the company.

Language Arts
Primary Language Lessons
So far I am loving this program.  It's challenging in the right places, and simple in the right places.  Plus it's a vintage reprint which is right up my alley.

Spelling & Phonics
Writing Road to Reading
Starting a Spelling Notebook
The jury is still out.  It seems complicated, but we are starting to get the hang of it.  It helps that we did Sound Beginnings last year and already have familiarity with most of the phonograms.

Memoria Press New American Cursive 1
Memoria Press New American Cursive 2
Memoria Press Cursive Copybook
Last year we used Getty-Dubay, and while I think the script is a nice one, I do not like how different it is from most other cursive scripts.  Plus Fritter struggled with it.  So we've started cursive over (although we are going fairly quickly and are already half-way through book 1) and he is doing great with it.

Continuing memorizing poems from the Harp and the Laurel Wreath following Mother of Divine Grace's schedule.

How Our Nation Began (for American History)
RC History (Finishing Ancient History from last year and then continuing with Medieval History)

Maps, Charts, & Graphs C
Uniquely Arizona
My First Book About Arizona

Behold and See 3
Nature Notebooking
MODG recommends an Abeka text, but I just couldn't do it for science.  As Catholics we have had a huge hand in science, and studying from a text that would purposely leave out (or twist) this fact seems wrong.  I thought that there had to be some science program from a Catholic perspective and after many reviews and research we settled on the one from CHC.  So far it seems to be a good text with many hands on activities and experiments that Fritter can do by himself (because otherwise they just would not get done.  Just being honest).

Childsize Masterpieces Level 4 & 5
Various Projects that I'll probably come up with by the seat of my pants

Music Masters CD's
Let's Learn Music 2
Piano Lessons (Yay!)

English From the Roots Up (just the cards, not the whole program)

Fritter also wanted to learn about Australia this year, and I did get a couple of books for him, but this seemed like enough and we haven't pulled it out yet.  My guess is that will make it's appearance next summer or maybe during our long winter break.

Ladybug - 1st Grade

St. Joseph First Communion Catechism
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The 10 Commandment Lap book and 7 Sacrament Stained Glass Window mentioned above.

Abeka Arithmetic 1

Sound Beginnings
MODG recommends continuing with 100 Easy Lessons, but we finished it (mostly) last year.  As I did with Fritter, I plan on breaking this program up for both 1st and 2nd grade, because it really is a lot.

Memoria Press Copybook 1

Memorizing Poems from the Harp and the Laurel Wreath

Nature Notebooking

Childsize Masterpieces Level 2
Aesop's Fables to create a Fable Book
Again various crafts that don't make me want to pull my hair out.

36 Traditional Roman Catholic Hymns
Peter and the Wolf
Carnival of Animals
Bach's Goldberg Variations
Gershwin's Rhapsody
The Farewell Symphony
Piano Lessons (Yay!)

RC History with Fritter above

Ladybug wanted to learn about Seasons, so I've been looking up ideas for a season related lap-book.  We'll see what we get to.

Sunflower - PK

I was given a stack of various preschool workbooks, and so far that has been enough to satisfy her and keep her busy until Daniel Tiger comes on PBS.  Ahem.  I mean, we have various Montessori style activities for her to work with in quiet peacefulness.  Right.

Froggy - The Terror Age

Right now we have him sitting on a blanket in the school room and playing with whatever I have at hand.  One day it was a bucket of beans that he was supposed to be content with scooping into an empty bucket.  It seems it was more fun to dump the whole bucket all over the floor.  The sounds!  The sights!  So much stimulation!  And then he goes in the playpen for Daniel Tiger time.

There you have it folks.  Our school year in a nutshell.


Jennie C. said...

First, what is the name of your parish that offers Confirmation and First Holy Communion together? Feel free to email me if you don't want to say, but I'm pitching hard for an earlier Confirmation in our parish.

Second, good plan. We're ditching MODG entirely this year, and I'll be posting our alternative coursework, but it got us going in a good direction, and it's really nice to have somebody else do the planning. :-)

Cmerie said...

Actually the entire diocese that we live in (Phoenix) does it this way. Reconciliation in 2nd grade and Confirmation and First Holy Communion in 3rd. At first I didn't really like the idea of it, but the more I've thought about it the more I appreciate it. From what I've learned it's a more appropriate way, since the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith and everything we do leads up to it. So it all happens at the same Mass. The children receive Confirmation first and then follow with Communion. And in today's world they really do need all the grace they can get. The only trouble is most of the preparation books and things for Confirmation are directed towards teens. So I'm having to do what I can and pray it is enough and that he will be well prepared.

There are a few articles that have come out recently about it, since there are other diocese that do it this way. I think the most recent was North Dakota, or maybe Hawaii, but I'm pretty sure both of their bishops released statements explaining their reasoning. Maybe forwarding those articles to your bishop would help? Not everyone is a fan of it though. Atlanta's bishop said something about never doing it this way.

I'm interested in reading your school plan when you get time. It's good to hear what works for other families. Especially those with experience. :)

Jennie C. said...

Thanks for sharing. I've seen a couple of articles here and there, but didn't really delve into it. But yes, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives, not a second-rate sacrament for children. :-)