After much prayer, and Bear’s permission, we’ve decided to pull Bear from her Montessori preschool and enroll her in Classical Conversations in the Fall. It meets one morning a week. (She’ll do one more month of Montessori preschool in August so she can celebrate her birthday in the Montessori way and then we will move on.) As much as we love the school, the long drive, the tuition, and my intense desire to homeschool have made us reevaluate where we think Bear needs to be. I spent most of last week at a CC parent practicum to learn more about it (hence my lack of posting last week) and finally we decided that not only would we enroll Bear, but I would become a tutor for a new CC “school” starting near us.
We will continue to do Montessori at home, but will be following a bit more of the Classical Conversations subjects and ideas. Since Bear is advanced for her age, I did order a couple first grade resources; they are in bold.
- Writing Folders (I’ll post about this at some point)
- Reading anything that appears to be her reading level (using All About Spelling to help with phonics rules) but using the Houghton Mifflin lists as a guide.
- Montessori math
I love Montessori math and we will continue with that but I needed something to help me know where Bear was (grade-wise) and also to ensure I wasn’t skipping over anything by mistake. Bear doesn’t need much repetition and though most of the moms I met at the CC practicum use Saxon math, I just knew it wouldn’t be a good fit.
- CC goes through yearly memorization of the Saxon History flashcards (all five sets) as well as cycles through three time periods of historical facts over three years. This year is Cycle 3 which has a History Focus of the United States. We will try to do activities (gleaned from the internet) in conjunction with the memory fact of the week. I like the way Singapore Math presents number stories and shows another depiction of addition and subtraction.
- The United States – memorizing the States and capitals. I will be using Carisa’s USA geography powerpoint (from her Member’s Only site) and many ideas from Adventures in Mommyness and Montessori Tidbits in addition to the map activities we will do at CC.
- Karen Tyler’s Geography album
- Human Body – I will use Karen Tyler’s album a bit for this, along with other resources, but I haven’t quite looked at how I will do this.
- It’s my goal to have Bear and J-jo speaking more in their two other languages (French and Spanish) by this time next year. Although they understand all that is asked of them in those languages, they mostly respond in English. We are going to spend about an hour a day role playing in French – doctor, store, restaurant, library… – to learn useful phrases as we play. We will also play board games in that hour and make sure we speak French as we play. Any books read in that hour will also have to be in French. I am hoping my husband will do that hour of intense play with them on weekends so they can have the same experience in Spanish. I will initially be giving Bear rewards for her efforts (checks on a chart that can be traded in for a prize when the chart is full – that usually works well enough for her) to spark her interest a bit as currently she has no desire to even try.
- Classical Conversations has Latin memory work. This year it involves learning John 1:1-7 in Latin. I’m not sure how well this will go, but apparently kids her age like it because the words feel and sound funny to them.
- We started with Creation last week and are going through each major Bible story, memorizing a verse that fits the story and engaging in some Godly Play activities.
As you can probably tell, we are schooling through the summer, but keeping the emphasis on spelling, reading, Bible, math, and French during the hottest hours of the day. Although, the French playing could be done outside as well.
I’ll post what all of this will look like on a weekly basis because it looks like an overwhelming amount when you look at it in this long list, but I did calculate that it wouldn’t be more than 3 hours of “school” per day, which is less than she would get at the Montessori preschool. (I didn’t calculate the French playing in there, since that would technically be playing.)
Have you posted about your curriculum decisions for 2011-2012? If so, please feel free to post the link in the comments. Or just tell me your favorite curriculum decision. I love to see what everyone else uses. It’s so helpful in making decisions.
Edited to add June 24,2011 – Educating layton is hosting a link up about what curriculum everyone is using for the 2011- 2012 year. I’m adding this post there.