August 28, 2008
Planning, second only to God and my family:-)
I enjoy planning anything almost as much as the activity itself. So, here is what Professor Mom has been planning for the 2008-2009 school year…
For my six-year-old son, I base most of what we do around Sonlight's awesome program. (The little one – 4K – is using Sonlight's program as well.) There are a few things that I am doing differently this year based on lessons learned from last year (did I just make a play on words, lol?)
First, their language arts program was a little too writing intensive for us. Cole is working 2 grade-levels ahead in reading, but he isn't quite ready for the more advanced grammar lessons that come with that reading level. I want him to just enjoy his books and pick up his grammar from the masters. I pieced together a language arts program from three places. I use Sonlight's readers for his reading practice. I use Sequential Spelling to get him accustomed to the patterns of language in spelling. I started this week and that has been a hit so far. I also picked up First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise. I found the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading (although not the prettiest volume) to have a meaningful approach to teaching reading even at young ages. When I saw that the first batch of lessons in First Language Lessons focused on an oral approach to grammar, I was sold. These three components comprise my language arts program for the year.
I have Sonlight's science program, however, I am not sure whether I want to keep going with that. Noeo Science's program looks intriguing, and I appreciate the logical, classical (biology, chemistry, physics) progression that they use.
As far as History and Geography, I do love Sonlight's program. Having everything bundled together is a BIG help for me. Their choices are excellent. You can tell a great deal of thought goes into their book selections. It is also just an excellent company all-around. For those who may find Sonlight a little out of their price range, check out Hillsdale's Academy's website and download their Curriculum Guide for FREE. You still have to gather your materials, but they give you a week-by-week plan and resource list. This school is second-to-none, as far as I am concerned. I have visited and talked numerous times with teachers there, as well as the Headmaster. They are committed to instilling both character and academic excellence with a strong Christian base in their students. They provide the Curriculum Guide out of the goodness of their hearts to both homeschoolers and private schools because they believe very strongly in their approach. Also, the College is definitely on the Professor's Approved List for those of you with older children.
Math is Horizons Math, supplemented here and there with Singapore to exercise the brain by giving it a new approach to problem-solving.
Beyond that, we are using Discoveries in Music from Calvert School (I found it at Veritas Press) and Artistic Pursuits, which I purchased from Sonlight.
I enjoy sharing "Leading Little Ones to God" from the Sonlight Bible program with the little guys. It is a sweet book. This "leads" me to share what Bible passage has inspired me in my planning. I couldn't say that just one verse stuck out to me. What has inspired me is that God is a God of order and, this year, I am seeking to be more like Him. Scott and I are working very hard to minimize the chaos and build flexible order and enduring joy into our home.
So, that's my plan. I will keep the blog posted if I hear of any have-to-try products out there.
By the way, I want to share a piece of news that brought me great joy. Last week, I received the official word from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (doesn't that sound official:-) that Professor Mom has officially been registered in my name. This is a joy to me, as I am excited to keep providing content and resources to support all of you other "Professor Moms" in the world.