April 19, 2011

Our Curriculum Plans for Summer

This current year's school is wrapping up and I am making preparations for summer and next year.  And seeing as how there is a near blizzard outside right now, I am, apparently, a little ahead of the game....ahh spring.

Back to the schooling plans.  We don't do year round school, but we do. What?  Well, we kind of do.

I don't intend to waste my time as much as traditional schools and spend most of the fall reminding the children everything we worked so hard on the previous year. 

However, summer is full of activities and fun events.  And seeing as how we live in the upper midwest, summer weather is precious and something to celebrate. Thus, we scale back and add in some fun electives.

But really, it also comes down to this simple truth: no planning on my part leads to chaos and chaos and me are, well, let's just say they are not good friends, at all.  So, when running and playing outside turn not quite so carefree here are my best laid summer plans:

1. Continue with our read alouds (some of our next books are: E.B. White books, The Railway Children, and Mr. Popper's Penguins). I am looking forward to doing a lot of this outside!

2. Z and T progress in their handwriting and math curriculum, but only doing one or the other, alternating weeks.

3. Continue with Bible Study using Leading Little Ones to God (this was a gift to us at a baby shower about five years ago).  We began this book a few weeks back and it is simple, to the point, and aids in some great discussion.  I love that J can now (most days) explain the trinity in a simple 'childlike faith' way.

4. T will continue on with her phonics and reading (I kept Z reading through the summer after Kindergarten and am SOOO glad I did).  I find that when they are just learning to read, it is very crucial to build confidence and taking a large summer break does not help with that.

5. Z and I will read through books together that are near his reading level and interest him.  Back in December his reading level jumped dramatically and the Abeka 1st grade readers were too simple for him.  So, we abandoned those and I quickly went to work online finding suggestions for second or third grade boy books that were quality and clean and at the library (no easy task!). Right now we are enjoying Guns for General Washington.  It is a bit beyond his current level, but I knew he would be motivated and love the story (For the record, I was right!). He and I each read a few paragraphs, aloud, of each chapter.

6. Do art all together twice a week.  Art was included in our current curriculum, but we didn't do a whole lot of it.  I want to use some of the book we have: I Can Do All Things along with just some fun painting, sidewalk chalk, watercolors, etc.  

7.  Music.  Through the blessing of a good friend we are finishing up our first experience with Kindermusik.  The kids look forward to this day equally as much as swimming lessons (I didn't think that was possible).  Anyhow, this subject is not very natural to me (can you tell I am nearly all left brain???).  But the kids really like music and I want them to have the opportunity to grow in this area.  So, this summer I am planning on us all studying orchestra instruments and maybe including some light composer study.  I am considering using one of these two books: Story of the Orchestra or Those Amazing Musical Instruments about two times a week.  Still working on this area of summer...

8. Baseball for Z two nights a week.  It will be his first year in youth baseball without a T and he is super excited! And Ryan is helping coach...

9. The Beach.  The most important part of our summer plans (in my opinion).  I am aiming to pick the nicest day in the forecast, once a week, to go and enjoy the sand, lake water, and sun.  As much as I hope to relax and read a book you will probably find me chasing S around like a crazy woman.  Oh, well....one can dream, right?

There you have it.  Our summer plans.  I can promise you it will not go as I have so neatly laid it out here...I am sure there will be some sneak peaks into how it all is going at some point in summer.  Just as soon as we can find our grass...

Our fall curriculum will be coming in the next post...

1 comment:

Diana said...

Sounds like a good plan. Plan the plan and keep flexibility in your back pocket. :-)

I remember I did not think of myself as an artist, but I found a book in the library called, drawing on the right side of the brain. I still don't think of myself as an artist but the book proved that I could draw if I worked the right side of my brain. It also gave me some confidence.

Sounds like Z is coming along great. :-)

Oh my, your weather has been something else! It looks like you have a week of showers while it warms up a little. The grass is just around the corner! :-)