2017-2018 Curriculum Choices

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School year 2017-2018 is upon us!   I'm excited for fresh starts, clean notebooks and sharpened pencils, but I'm also a little in awe of just how much a "low-key" plan involves for us this year.

Aidan (9th Grade)

Our first year of high school is here.  I'm proud of both of us for getting this far and I think we are ready for the adjustment.  Turns out the small steps we took last year to transition towards high school appear to have paid off.  Here is *the* plan.

Math-U-See Algebra I
Dance

Unaccounted for is any sort of religion curriculum- I kind of see that as a life list and I'm not sure I see an intrinsic value in having those credits on a transcript in the first place.  Certainly religious colleges accept public school students.  Overall, the list is admittedly shorter than most 9th grade lists I see, but I feel like its the right choice for us.  A piece of me even feels an urge to justify or explain why it isn't as academic as some might choose to make 9th grade.  

But I won't.  

Because that might give you the idea that I think more is needed and I don't.   Maybe someone (maybe you!) needs encouragement that every homeschool doesn't have to outstrip the nearest prep school for academic achievement.  Not that academic achievement is bad either.  Just, whatever works for you...or better yet what works for your child.

Can I write even the most basic post without getting on some soap box or another?

Clearly not, moving on...

Caleb (6th Grade) & Kylee (4th Grade)


These two are on 95% of the same plan this year.  Their education will mostly differ in the way they choose to use their freedom throughout the week.  I have come to see the upper elementary period as a great opportunity to go deep in just about whatever interests my students.  Each year I offer a shorter list of mandatory subjects and each year they still do more. 

Morning Meeting & Weekly Lyceum Time (see below)
Math U See (Caleb- Finishing Delta then Epsilon, Kylee- Delta)
Catholic Heritage Handwriting (Kylee chose this to learn cursive)

Lots and lots of individual work with occasional follow up assignments based on our Morning Meeting.  

That's it.  

I would require writing, but these two write so much on their own I don't feel I need to require it in addition.  That just takes away from their self directed writing at this point.  We did one year of IEW Thematic Writing (2 years ago, I think?) and that was enough to give them basic structures for their research projects.  We will pick up more formal writing instruction in the future someday.

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Logan (1st Grade)

For the most part, Logan is on the same type of plan as Kylee and Caleb with more direction for reading and individual support during work time.

Reading Fluency Practice:  Montessori Reading Drawers, Words Their Way, Little Angel Readers...kind of every resource we own and the kitchen sink just to keep him practicing.  He can read but he needs confidence.  (See our Language Map for more details)
Morning Meeting & Weekly Lyceum Time (see below)

Logan is the first child I have "held back" which seems so silly to call it that when I see how much he benefitted from it.  Over the summer, he really transitioned into the second plane of development (its a Montessori thing) and is enjoying tackling big works such as the Timeline of Life shown above for the first time.  It's been a transition for him, full of big emotions, but I see him coming out on the other side more confident and capable for it.

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Lucie (Kindergarten)

After making the decision to wait on school for Logan, I thought I would do the same for Lucie.  Then she entered her writing explosion and had a huge leap in development across several areas and I realized that she would be horribly bored this year if I didn't do something!  Kindergarten at our house is fully Montessori, although not always the full scope and sequence as laid out. She is loving her big girl status during our school mornings and I'm see how this is going to make my life easier in the long run because she is much closer in Logan than Tomas for future working together.

Morning Meeting & Weekly Lyceum

We start each day with morning prayer & breakfast, chores, and then gather for a Morning Meeting with every except Aidan, who has outgrown the need for this time but usually sticks close by.  It's basically what most people call Morning Basket- so much so I should probably just change the name!  

Memory Verses (Various)
Montessori Geography &  Culture Presentations
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd/Godly Play Presentations
Nature Table provocations with Tanglewood Hollow monthly subscription

Monday through Thursday we work with the above topics (its not a strict rotation, but I do plan them in advance) and then on Friday we have our Lyceum day where each of the kids bring an example of something they worked on that week to present to us.  They can only bring one thing but it can be anything that is important to them from the last week.  As simple as reciting the memory verse, or as as complicated as writing a research paragraph and illustrating it with watercolor paintings of a luna moth from multiple perspectives (shown above- Caleb's first Lyceum contribution this year).  

So far no one has come up with something I wouldn't go for sharing...it's early in the year though!

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Tomas (Toddler)

This kid.  He sure keeps me moving!  FPIES wise, this is a big year for him as we hope to continue to broaden his diet, avoid new triggers, and maybe even earn a few foods back.  All of this of course, lies in a power greater than me and we will continue to take it to prayer (and beg them of you!) for this progress.

Developmentally, he is not remotely 20 months old.  He doesn't really have more than a couple words and none of them except mama is probably understood by anyone other than us.  I actually cried the first time he used mama with purpose, which didn't happen until earlier this summer.  That being said, we are going to continue focusing on physical health and healing (I mean look at that chunk!) and continue holding off on formal therapies.  I will work with him in a Montessori style sequence and let him progress at his pace as long as he is still progressing.  He definitely has no cognitive or social issues and really wants to try new things, his hands and voice just can't always keep up.  

He is so proud of each new accomplishment and brings laughter and joy to our house every day.


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Sarah (Infant)

I know most people don't think much about their infant "curriculum", but this was my professional wheelhouse when I was a classroom teacher.  Add that to how out of sync Tomas' first year was and I'm looking forward to taking an intentional Sarah-led journey through Montessori baby-hood.  She's starting to enjoy her movement area more each day and it has been fun to share tidbits of infant observation skills and lessons on respecting her cues with the older kids.  This is the first time they have been all that interested in learning more of the nerdy teacher knowledge that my brain spews out at random moments.

My plan also leaves lots of room for this...

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...because who could resist that?


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