2011-2012 Family Work
We will use some of the Children's Garden of the Theotokos again this year, but mainly we will be studying the different parts of the Divine Liturgy. This is a pretty dope resource put together by Fr. Aris, my godchildren's priest. Last year, we used this Scripture memory system to begin learning the Scriptures which are found in the Divine Liturgy and this year, we will probably continue that. This may change based on the theme of our Church school this year.
Theology will include Scripture memory and Nicene Creed recitation, Church Music study, daily prayers, and acts of service. We will use Ages of Grace as our hymn study. We'll also pick up the online version of Sanctity Through the Centuries to study timeline-appropriate Saints... although this year, since we're doing Ancient History, that study will be in the Bible. But we can also use it to learn about some of the lesser known Saints as well.
We are reading Bible stories from The Bible For Young People. Its an Orthodox Bible for school age children and it is FANTASTIC. Can't recommend it highly enough. Talk about a Living Book!
Bible, History, Geography
We are combining Bible, History, and Geography this year by using this resource from Simply Charlotte Mason: Genesis Through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt and (hopefully, if we get to it) Joshua Through Malachi & Ancient Greece. These are interesting resources... some of the dates are iffy, but that's easy enough to tweak There are lesson plans for 5 days of the week, most of which are directly from the Bible. What I like about this book is that it isn't really theological at all- the perspective is pretty much historical. We study geography based on the areas we are learning about from the Bible and Ancient Egypt. The Bible is our main textbook. We will supplement readings with the following:
Other book recommendations from the INCREDIBLE bibliography All Through the Ages
along with the suggested activities in The Story of the World Activity Book and the activities found in Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt.
We are also keeping a family Book of Centuries using Homeschool in the Woods Timeline Figures... with the pre-history (pre-Abrahamic) dates whited out of course :-P
I would like the kids to have a broader view of Ancient History than just Biblical history and Ancient Egypt... a criticism I have of "Christian" homeschooling is that the focus is often too narrow. What was going on in China, Europe, North America and the rest of the world during those times? Heck, I couldn't even tell you without looking it up first!
Both my kids will be enrolled in Meet the Masters through their charter school.
We will focus on the music of one particular composer for six weeks at a time. We'll probably hit the following: Bach; Mozart; Chopin, Strauss; Tchaikovsky; Stravinsky
This was a tough one for me. We are Old Earth Creationists in this house and I am VERY reticent to let anything from a Young Earth perspective influence my children. But on the other hand, it is also very difficult to find a Christian curriculum that isn't young earth.
So, I picked up Simply Charlotte Mason's 106 Days of Creation Studies. Yes, it is young earth, but it doesn't really have to be. The idea is to get the kids familiar with the creation story (easily explained from an Old Earth perspective) and then get them outside, observing nature. Three times a week, the kids will engage in some kind of science experiment or nature study.
Both kids will begin learning Koine Greek this year using Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek. I've heard of other homeschoolers with Kindergartner's using this program with great success. My kids already know a teeny bit of modern Greek. We can't afford to put them in Greek school at the Church... BUT, I think the purpose of learning Greek, at least academically and even theologically, is so that one can read the Bible in the language in which it was written. Honestly, having my kids learn modern Greek isn't that important to me (although it would be a nice bonus). But if they can sit down with a Greek New Testament one day, I'll be plum tickled.
We'll also be drilling Spanish flashcards. Formal Rosetta Stone Spanish doesn't begin for Alex for another year.
We are studying one habit per six weeks using the Child's Book of Character Building and Our 24 Family Ways. Both books are FANTASTIC!!
Poetry / Literature
The Poetry spine we're using is Favorite Poems Old and New. Love love love this book! I haven't come across any racist poems like I did in Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses...
We do chapter book read alouds at bedtime every night. This next year, we'll attempt to get through the following:
Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan
We are using the Copywork from Ages of Grace.
Reading: Delightful Reading, BOB Books, Treadwell Primer and First Reader, McGuffey Reader
Language Arts: English for the Thoughtful Child, Explode the Code
Reading: Delightful Reading, BOB Books, Treadwell Primer, etc. (See above)
Let me pause for a moment and say something about Delightful Reading. This is a program put together, again, by Simply Charlotte Mason. The program includes phonics, sight words, word building and writing. The kids get to keep a book full of words they know how to read. Its a little rudimentary for Alex, but who cares? It looks like a "delightful" program.
Why We Are Not Using Ages of Grace
Its very simple- we are on a six year history rotation and Katherine is two years ahead of us! We don't have the historical foundation yet and even though I sooooo wanted to ditch our chronology and pick up Ages of Grace for this year, I feel like it would be a disservice to my kids to skip over nearly three thousand (or more!) years of history just to use this curriculum at this point. But we'll be all over it in two years! And we are using pieces of the curriculum like the copywork and hymn study.