There was lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth last night, but some progress was made on the curriculum front! I have decided to not try to plan out the next 15 years of homeschooling, and instead just focus on what I want to do for next year, with an idea of where I would like to head after that! This is mostly for history/science and the like, as the skill areas are more of a 'follow this curriculum unless it just doesn't work for someone.'
For history, we're going to use Hillyer's Child's History of the World, for a one-year overview of World History. Our history study has been so disjointed and confusing the last 4 years. We've started one thing, stopped and started something else, stopped and went back to the first thing, stopped and did something completely different. I really want the children to get a sense of the flow and story of history, and I do like the Hillyer book. It also has the benefit of being recommended by most of the popular homeschooling folk, including the Charlotte Mason-y folks. And I already own it, which is also very good! ;) I had hesistated to use it because of the lack of hands-on activities, but I forgot that I purchased the workbook from Calvert that goes with it, and it does include some hands-on stuff, along with the workbook pages. Not a TON, but a good way to gently ease myself into it.
I do not know what I will use next year for history. ::GASP!!:: Yes, I know. It's kind of weird to read that on something I'm writing. It's kind of weird for me to be typing it, to be honest! I even went into my spreadsheet last night and deleted all the history 'plan'. Right now, I'm going to work THIS coming year, and this time next year, we'll see where that leads us.
This year for science we're going to use one of the plans from
My World Science . I have been looking at it for months, because it's written by a mom who posts on the WTM board, but it has a Charlotte Mason appeal to it. It differs from the WTM approach, in that there are a number of areas of science covered in each year of MWS. I had ruled it out initially, because I was going to have to purchase two plans in order to cover all of the physics I wanted to cover under the WTM method. But then it dawned on me, that I don't have to do that! ;) So I will order one plan and we'll study those topics this year. There are many activities that I know the children will enjoy! We will be using the plan that studies the Savanna, Sound & Light, Electricity & Magnetism, and Ponds.
If we enjoy ourselves, we'll get a different plan next year and use it. But there again, that's next year! We're talking about this year!
Read-alouds: We'll pick some of the books we never got to in the earlier Sonlight Cores. Many of them I can find at the library, and even on audio book so I don't have to read it myself!
Reading Lists: Based on the Sonlight lists that have worked so well for us in the past. They won't be reading the same selections, and I've added a couple of alternates by the same author for books they have already read (thinking here of Henry Huggins and Betsy-Tacy).
Art: Picture study using the Come Look with Me books I already own; Get around to teaching from the Evan-Moor book on teaching art to children
Music: Composer study using the CDs I already own, and Classical Kids CDs from the library
Latin: Prima Latina (every other week)
Vocabulary for Austin: Wordly Wise 3000 A &B for sure (every other week)
Math: MUS for Austin, Singapore for Riley (though this I do wonder if I should just keep Riley in Calvert Math since it's all she's ever used, and I do like it)
Grammar: Rod and Staff for Austin, Riley will finish FLL
Spelling: Sequential Spelling for Austin, Riley will finish Explode the Code
Writing: IEW for Austin, Dictation for Riley
Bible: The Awesome Book of Bible Facts (there is a schedule for this in the Sonlight IG I dug out last night! Since I already have it, and Austin is so fond of 'facts', I think we'll start there), Window on the World (also in the SL IG... praying and learning about different people groups in the world)
Geography: Naturally occuring part of History and Bible; Geography Songs that I've already got; also I purchased the next levels of Maps, Globes, and Graphs workbooks that I'll add in here and there
So there we go! A plan for next year that doesn't require the spending of hundreds of additional dollars, or the total revamping of what I've already purchased. And heaven knows that if this doesn't work out well this year, I know what my options are for the following year! LOL