Monday, September 02, 2013

School Year 2013-2014: Reece, 6th grade

Since we are starting our 5th week of school, I figured it is probably time to do my annual posts detailing what we're doing for lessons this year! :D I'm going to start with Reece since hers is the most straight-forward, and she's the one who is the most fun to teach! LOL

Her History, Geography, Biography, Science Biography, and Poetry are based on Ambleside Online's Year 5. I used to list these books out, but Ambleside wants users to direct folks to their website when discussing their curriculum, so I will do that!

I have changed her Literature plans mostly because there are a couple of books that are listed for Free Reading that I would prefer to have her read for school. Reading is an area where Reece struggles and she doesn't enjoy it as a result, so if I want to make sure she reads a book, I need to assign it to her. For 1st term, she is reading a version of King Arthur by Roger Lancelyn Green. I am reading Age of Fable out loud to her which is really enjoyable because she already knows so much about Greek and Roman Mythology that the advanced language doesn't hinder her understanding of the material. In Term 2, I would like her to read Alice in Wonderland and Tom Sawyer; and in Term 3, I would like her to read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables. Whichever ones we aren't able to get to will go on her summer reading list for next year!

Rounding out her language arts for this year, she is using Analytical Grammar. I can't even begin to describe how excited she is to be doing Grammar again this year - and she absolutely adores the Analytical Grammar curriculum! She's my little Grammar nerd! For writing, we are finishing up Writing With Ease, Level 3 and will proceed to Level 4 when we are done. This has been such a challenge for her, but I think the time we are spending will be worth it, especially as I am reflecting on Austin's narration/comprehension struggles and comparing them to hers (so similar so I am assuming it's an autism spectrum issue). I think this curriculum will teach her how to organize her thoughts for narration (and written composition in the future). I am planning to use Spelling Wisdom with her for Spelling, but right now, I am having a hard time fitting it in, so I am incorporating spelling as it comes along in the dictation in Writing With Ease.

I decided to try some official Latin this year, since she read through Minimus Latin informally last year and really enjoyed it. I purchased First Form Latin for her from Memoria Press, and when I got it, I was really overwhelmed by it. I didn't think she would understand it at all. I almost went back and ordered Latina Christiana instead, but decided to go ahead with First Form and cut back on the pace. I am so glad I did, because she is doing surprisingly well with it. In fact, I think we may be able to go ahead and take it at a regular pace.

She is also starting Logic this year with informal logic found in puzzles and games. Once again, I am using the Logic Countdown series that I used with the older kids! She really enjoys it, too, which is nice for me.

Math continues to be RightStart Mathematics. We are going to complete Level E this year, and then we are moving on instead of using the Level G Geometry program. My plan has been to use the Key to Fractions/Decimals/Percents books but, so far, she seems to be understanding it all really well, so that may not be necessary. In that case, I will have her work through the Singapore Math Word Problems books that I bought before they went out of print! :D

Finally, for science, we are taking one last year to do some informal science before jumping into Apologia next year. This year, Reece is going to read through the Elementary Physical Science book from the Calvert School. This is an out-of-print book that is small and boils down all of the typical Physical Science topics down into simple words and easy-to-understand information. Riley loved it when she read it, and Reece is enjoying it as well.

One of the very best things about teaching Reece is that I have done this all before. In fact, I have read most of these books out loud to the big kids - so my workload is pretty low for her, which is good. I have very little prep work and the hardest part is that many of her lessons directly involve me, so she has to wait for time with me to free up so she can get her work done. Truly, I need a clone. Or two.

As for extra-curriculars, Reece added two hours of dance this year. Her ballet class remains and hour, but jazz and tap each extend to an hour. She also added a modern dance class this year, which is on a separate night. We've only had 2 weeks so far, but she is doing great and loving every minute!

First Day of Dance! My big middle school girl is growing up so quickly!

So far, middle school is progressing nicely. I think there is a lot to be said for being the youngest homeschooler! She gets the more relaxed and experienced version of the homeschool mom! Lucky girl!!

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