Well, we are making some nice progress in the way of getting ready for school this year! It is falling into place quickly, despite having to go back and tweak! I am starting to get excited about our first day, which is a week from tomorrow!
Yesterday, I went back and reworked the plans for history and science, making them much more simple. Basically, my plan is to read from a 'spine', take oral narration from Austin (and possibly Riley), and work on memory work that relates to history. Riley will have a separate spine and her own narration will come from there. I am hoping that this will help avoid some of the narration problems we've encountered in the past.
Geography will be once a week. Our library has a set of DVDs called U. S. Geography for Kids (or something like that... if anyone is interested, I can look it up for sure), and they go by the regions that we'll be using for map drill. We'll watch those DVDs, read books about the states in each region, and do map drills on each region. I will be using the map drill system that is explained at www.simplycharlottemason.com. This is the direct link, I hope: http://simplycharlottemason.com/home/started/cmmethods/#geography.
Science is going to start out by continuing Apologia Elementary Botany. We will move on to studying the human body when the weather cools off. I'm not sure if we'll go back to finish the botany, or if we'll move on to something else. I guess we'll see how the botany goes. We're not going to worry about notebooking, unless the kids decide they want to add something to their notebooks.
Copywork/Dictation was something that was going to be time-consuming, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted them to work on. I decided to help jump start this process by using Spelling Wisdom from www.simplycharlottemason.com. I haven't purchased it yet, but I will do that next weekend. It's really for use as a spelling curriculum, but I think I can use it to good purpose for copywork/dictation, at least until we all get used to the process of selecting it ourselves!
Math and Reading aren't really difficult to plan. Riley's is just the 'do the next lesson', and Austin's will depend on how easily he understands his lesson. I have the first 2 books for each child planned out, need to work on reading those myself. And then I'll just sort of go with the flow, depending on how fast they are reading, how wrapped up we get in discussion, and what we are discussing in history.
As we've done for the last several years, we're going to ease into our full schedule. I think this will be especially important this year as we add Reece. Speaking of Reece, I have her 'lessons' planned out as well. I plan to spend no more than an hour with her academics per day, and really more like 45 minutes. This will be spread out through the day, include lots of games and fun stuff, and will just be fluid, depending on how she reacts. She is still incredibly excited about having school work at her desk! LOL
I think that's about all of the interesting stuff! I'm going to implement 2 new things that I'm a bit nervous about, and that I'm hoping will be more conducive to an RDI lifestyle. The first is that there will be extremely limited TV or non-school-related computer time M-Fri. Well, at least until dh gets home from work. I can't control if he wants the TV on in his own home when he gets home from a long day at work! ;) Austin tends to rush through his work, in order to get to watch TV. I especially see this during baseball and nascar season, but since he has found the Discovery Health channel, it's gotten worse. It won't be easy, because he doesn't have hobbies or pastimes, but that's what I'm here for. It will be easier for the girls, because they love to play. But it will be important that Reece is playing, and not just lining stuff up. :)
Which leads to the 2nd thing: a change in assignment sheets. Instead of listing all of the assignments, I'm going to just list the subjects we'll be doing that day (I couldn't take all of the prompts away! LOL). I'm hoping this will lead to much more interaction and referencing. Yes, it's really a step 'back' if you're looking at this from what you would be looking for with a typically developing child. If he were typically developing going in to 5th grade, I would be expecting to be instilling the beginnings of independence with him. However, that doesn't align with our RDI goals. Also, I am wanting to work on the perfectionism, and that will require that we are working in that "Zone of Proximal Development" and I can't really ascertain that without working fairly directly with him.
Well, that was alot of stuff! :) It's a good feeling to not be so overwhelmed!