As I write, we have 9 days of school left. 9 days. And as I write, it occurs to me how much different our next school year will look. I should correct that. It occurs to me how different our next school year is already beginning to look. I generally spend this season planning for next year—what curriculum to buy, who/ what will be my focal point, and what are our learning objectives and goals for next year. I still have that process in my head, but it is almost frighteningly abbreviated.
Our son will be a hybrid of a college freshman and a high school senior. I digress, but you have to love the uniqueness of homeschool, in which someone might ask you, “Is your son in high school or college,” and your answer is, “Why, yes.” The only course he needs at the high school level is Physics, and of course, we will continue to make our way through a wealth of good 20th century literature. I shared our reading list before, and I am as excited about reading some of these—for the first time—as if I am back in high school myself. But, nevertheless, that is the extent of my planning. He will be physically here for some portion of the day, but he will divide his time as he has for the last three years, with even more time being spent at the local community college. I actually sat for a minute trying to visualize what a planner for 1-2 courses might look like!
Hence, I am setting a table primarily for one.
Our youngest has spent the first of her middle school years doing what middle school should do—reinforcing basic concepts, developing those areas that need a more solid foundation, and defining her passions. To that end, the Keys products have been invaluable in helping us focus on fractions, percents, and decimals. Each concept has a set of 4 books that begin with basics and then build on those concepts in books 2-4. We skipped what would have been her 6th grade Math text—in large part to save the $200 on another Teaching Textbook that will only be used once (heavy sigh). The beginning of the thick workbook was a repeat of the basics, but what became obvious toward the end was that her understanding of the concepts I mentioned above was shaky, at best. So we took a step back, and I told her that we’d enter 8th grade math when we are ready, with no pre-designated calendar date dictating to us when that time should be. It is far more important to me that she understands and has a strong foundation, whether her 8th grade year is an actual 8th grade year or not. Here are my thoughts right now regarding her year:
- English: Rod and Staff Grammar series
- Latin: Latina II with Memorial Press
- Logic: ??
- Math: Keys Products/ Multiplication drill sheets/ Teaching Textbooks 8
- Science: Time 4 Learning’s Earth Science series
- History/ Read-Aloud/ Reading List (selections from “This Far By Faith”—my own history curriculum)
I am actually thinking of enrolling both our children into Time 4 Learning’s program for their science studies. The youngest is not ready for Apologia’s “thick” books at that level, but definitely ready for something a bit more rigorous than the elementary series. Allowing our son—a very independent learner—to use this online vehicle for Physics will free me up to work with her. I am still at a quandary about introducing logic, though. I believe this is a very necessary part of a child’s education; our older children will still use some of those terms and ideas occasionally to pick holes in an argument, and I know that their foundation in being able to distinguish a logical discussion from something else was the time spent over the table talking about fallacies and sharpening their abilities to think critically. Yet, I will confess that these past couple of months of paper have me thinking that if I pull out one more drill sheet/ workbooks, I will, quite simply, go BANANAS!!! This table for 1 is a MESS right now!!! So, I may go with the Fallacy Detective, or I might keep looking for that next living book. Any suggestions?