As you may know, I just have one young girl, who is 4.75 years old now and this spring was an experiment to keep her home and an intro to homeschooling. Obviously it was a success and everyone is on board with it now (husband, Grandma/mom, etc…). This summer I’m in no rush for a strict schedule yet, but I’ve tried to make sure we get at least a few minutes of lessons in each day. This fall (which we’re calling kindergarten) we’ll extend that to perhaps an hour give or take a few minutes.

By now you’ve maybe heard me talk about classical education, or you’ve heard me talk about it on homeschooling forums. I just got done reading the book, The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, for the 3rd time since February, not to mention all the times I’ve peeked inside for a quick reference. This is the homeschool style that has influenced me most. I will be writing a separate blog post or page about the classical education method for those folks who’ve never heard of it.

The Well-Trained Mind

There’s been a lot of talk about The Well-Trained Mind (WTM) in all 3 forums I frequent on a daily basis, so I’ve been a bit rejuvenated on the classical education style. I mentioned earlier that we are in a big learning/growing stage, and life has changed so much that David and myself are so excited about how much Satori is learning. David said to me, that at 4 years old, he was really good at playing in the sandbox. 🙂 Here Satori is sounding things out at the grocery store, writing titles on her Bare Books, trying desperately to type in “scooby doo” on her computer to watch YouTube videos (I’ve chastised David about introducing YouTube to her multiple times.) I can’t imagine what she’ll be like when she turns 5 this November.

Here I am copying one of my posts regarding my plans for the upcoming school year. The curriculums in purple are all written by the same women who wrote The Well Trained Mind – Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. The curriculum in orange is recommended in WTM.

Fall 2009

Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

We’re on lesson 46, this is going super fast now, Satori catches on to the new sounds immediately and is blending effortlessly. I’m moving to 2 lessons a day instead of 1.5.

Story of the World with Activity Guide (maybe follow History Odyssey)
2-3x week
1) Read the “text”. 2) Read extra go-along books. 3) Do activity.

First Language Lessons
We’ve already started this, though according to WTM, we should’ve waited until we got to OPG’s Lesson 150 or so. But it is easy and simple and fun, and she’s ecstatic that she memorized her first poem! We’ll just do 1 lesson a week until we get caught up with OPG, which should be near her birthday when she turns 5.

Handwriting Without Tears
We’re just wrapping up “Get Set for School” and starting “Letters and Numbers for Me”. It thrills her to be able to write, even though she only knows capital letters right now. She’s eager to learn lowercase, and copies my writing a lot so she knows a few lowercase letters already.

The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease

We won’t start this until next year, but I have it lined up ready to go. We have to learn our lower case letters first.

Math
Math is very important to me and DH, we were both very good at it. So I geeked out and got like 4-5 curriculums, although I want to just stick to one primary curriculum, hehe.
Math-U-See (wrap up Primer and start Alpha this fall)
Singapore (Earlybird B this fall, but just lightly, as MUS is our main)
RightStart (just to use their games and other manipulatives for some variety)

Science
We’re surrounded by nature (bears and fox walk up on our deck often), so it is easy to study our surroundings. Not sure if I will follow WTM’s suggestion to start with plants, animals, human body for the first year… I haven’t quite decided on what to use for science, but have lots of science activity books lined up and have purchased this:
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2

Spelling

All About Spelling

Art
Using Artistic Pursuits, Meet the Masters and lots of books. Just 1-2x a week.

She is always drawing. We study the illustrations of award-winning books, and she LOVES trying to emulate the artist’s illustrations. (Five in a Row is a big influence on this.)

Music
Still researching this, although probably not do any official studies this year. I would love to start teaching her piano. We also listen to classical music a lot.

Spanish
We took a class this spring, not sure what I will do to continue to teach her, I can’t afford classes anymore. I majored in Spanish in college, so I’m not too worried, and we are heading to Mexico probably a few times this summer/fall as DH has a client there. WTM strongly suggests learning Latin or Greek, so I’m pondering whether to teach Latin now (and modern languages later). Yes, this is a hot topic  in the forums, with the majority of classical homeschoolers teaching Latin.

Read-Alouds
We read TONS and TONS! During the day we calm down with our current read-aloud chapter book, as well as at night. We do Five in a Row rowings every now and then and also do lots of related go-along picture books for anything we do (FIAR, history, art, science, etc…)