Monday, August 2, 2010

2010-2011 Homeschool Plans

As I write this post, we are still working hard to complete our 2009 - 2010 school year. {sigh}

So on one hand I'm really not ready for a new school year to start, but on the other hand I'm ready for some change. I made most of my plans in the spring (in time for conventions and book sales) and I'm ready to open those new books.

If this is your first time visiting my blog, let me give some brief background information. I homeschool my two younger kids, while my 12 year old attends a Christian classical school three days a week. She studies at home the other two days, so it still feels a little like when she was a homeschooler too. My son has autism, which greatly influences the choices I make in homeschooling materials. We follow a classical model, with some Charlotte Mason influences.

Here's what we have planned for the new school year:


  • Daily stories from The Child's Story Bible
  • Jr. Catechism -- a class offered by our church, but since my two will be the only students this year, I'm teaching it myself during our homeschooling time. They will memorize portions of the Heidelberg Catechism, the books of the Bible, and Psalm 23. I'm also planning on using Phillip Keller's A Child's Look at the 23rd Psalm to supplement our memorization of that psalm.
  • Sunday School lessons and memory work
  • MFW's Exploring Countries and Cultures -- can you believe someone is lending me all her materials for ECC (see picture above)?!?! I am humbled by her generosity, especially since she's never met me IRL. We are soooo looking forward to ECC!
  • ECC -- picking and choosing. Nothing against ECC, it's just that I'm in love with...
  • Apologia's Exploring Creation series -- we loved the Astronomy book, so this year we'll be starting Zoology I - Flying Creatures
  • Outdoor Nature Hour Challenges -- last year was our first year to do formal nature study, and it was Grace's favorite part of the week. Barb's challenges are perfect for keeping me motivated and accountable, but I'd still like to be more consistent this year.
Foreign Language
  • Latin for Children A -- Grace is still pretty young, and I don't consider Latin a huge priority for Ryne, but they both love Latin so we'll just do the first three units of the book and take it real slow. I'm pretty sure they have at least the first several chants memorized, just from hearing Anna when she used the program.
  • Artistic Pursuits K-3, Bk 1 -- I loved this last year, and yet we dropped it after the first 10 weeks. Try, try again...
  • Sketch Tuesday -- We did a few of these two years ago and loved it. Why do I have such a hard time making art a priority? You'd never believe I'm the daughter of a former art teacher!
  • Craft projects in ECC
  • Piano lessons -- We {heart} our wonderful instructor who comes to our home!
  • Two musical events such as the symphony, a musical, etc. A BHA tradition!
  • Complete The Story of the Orchestra and the Dover coloring book Musical Instruments
  • Composer Studies: Chopin, Schumann, Foster, Brahms, and MacDowell
  • Singing Made Easy -- I've never heard of anyone using this in their homeschool, so hopefully I didn't waste my money. I'll keep you posted...
  • Classical Conversations memory program -- ???? CC is new to our metro area and we had hoped to join a class this year, but they weren't able to find a class director so it looks like it will be another year or more before a class opens close enough for us to attend. I might try doing the memory work at home, but I'm also looking at Living Memory as an alternative.
  • Occasional lessons from Family Math
  • Typing
  • Polished Cornerstones -- This is new for us too, but I love the idea of it.
  • "Therapy"-related activities for Ryne -- Will blog more about this in the coming weeks.
  • Extracurricular activities such as swim team, ballet, and Cub Scouts
Individual Subjects: Ryne (age 11; autism)
Individual Subjects: Grace (age 7.5)
About the writing... last year we tried using Writing With Ease, but I found it awkward, and this is coming from someone who loves The Well Trained Mind products. I didn't like that the selections were from books we weren't currently reading, so it was hard to connect with the material. Plus, Ryne's copywork and dictation skills are much better than his narration skills, so he needed to split his work among two different levels. This just added to the confusion. My options are to either create my own WWE curriculum (using the plan in the teacher guide), which is a ton of work, or hope that the IEW DVDs convince me of a better alternative. Any advice is welcome!

If reading about my curriculum choices makes your heart go pitter-patter, you're not alone! You can see what other homeschoolers are using this year at the Heart of the Matter Not Back to School Blog Hop. The blog hop just started this morning and already 150+ homeschoolers have posted their plans!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Happy Homeschooling!


  1. We did ECC last year and loved it!! I know you will too. Have fun!!

  2. Sounds like a busy but great year ahead of you!

    We are taking baby steps with IEW. Maybe we can figure this out together. Right now, I am just doing steps 1 & 2 until I feel like the boys have it down so well that they could do it in their sleep. I'm using paragraphs from their history and science books along with their reading selections to keep it relevant and on grade level. I don't feel like any real writing is going on, only paraphrasing, but I am holding to the hope that we'll get back to real writing soon and that it will be much improved.

  3. Jen, Glad to hear another positive report on ECC!

    Dawn, When I read my post I kind of panicked because it does look busy! But I have to keep reminding myself that many of things planned are 5-15 minute activities that happen just once a week or less. I'll definitely be turning to you for help with IEW, if that's the direction we go!

  4. You'll love ECC!

  5. We're in the same boat!

    We have 19 more *school* days left in our MFW curriculum. I haven't even ordered next year's curriculum. Honestly ~ I'm not in any rush. We're just going slow and steady.

  6. Hi, Kellie.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog hop post; I hope you'll come back to visit my blog again. :^)

    About the weekly reports: probably not. My girls just turned 8 and 9 (both of whom we think of as being in 3rd grade) so I think they're a bit young for that level of composition. We are starting Writing Strands (using Level 2 to start at the "beginning" with writing) and will do narrations and copywork, but not full-fledged reports yet. But we'll repeat ECC when they're in 8th grade so I am not worried about that just yet. :^)

  7. Kellie, I bought IEW this year so I'll probably be striding right along with you learning! Keep me posted on how it goes with you and what you think.

  8. Hey Kellie, my name is Kayce over at Pastorette's Progress. I am part of the blog hop as well. We are doing ECC too and I also have a son with autism named Alec. He is 13 and going into 7th grade. Looking forward to following your blog and sharing info. Happy homeschooling.