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For some reason I have been overly ambitious about homeschooling this weekend. I’ve been putting our 2011/2012 year together. I’ve broken it into Summer 2011 and 2011/2012 year (September through May). I’d love to do a lighter load this summer (2 hour days). Usually I don’t have too much of a problem narrowing choices down into a reasonable day. But I keep running into curriculum choices I can’t resist, and I’ve been hit particularly hard with curriculum lust this week.

So far, here’s what our summer is looking like. Talk about Curriculum Overload! I need to narrow this down!

If I talk it all out on my blog, maybe that will help me drop some stuff. The numbers in front of the subjects are how I rate them according to priority groups. We’ve got 4 different priorities, with a few extras at the bottom that I just added and not sure what priority (if any) they are. Taking it from the top… I’ve crossed off the things with the most potential to drop, and added question marks to things we might drop next.

  • ETC 8: The first subject is ETC, which is a phonics/spelling/reading review for us. We’re on book 8, the last book, and following the above schedule, we should be done the first week of July. Then it’s over forever.
  • GWG/FLL 3: The next two are purely grammar programs. We’ve had no problem using both and I love how they complement each other. But if we end up having to drop one, we’ll drop FLL temporarily. We accelerated grammar because it does so much for my little writer.
  • Singapore Math: Our main math we love. In the fall we’ll go back to doing this 4-5 days a week. We’ll finish up 1B soon and dig into 2A this summer.
  • Math Mammoth?: The math that was supposed to be just our supplement, but I couldn’t resist the cute workbook format I made with the ProClick and we just got done doing a week of it on our Oregon vacation. I am not sure why I’ve scheduled it more than Singapore. But this is something I will definitely lessen and probably only do when we’re out of town.
  • Getty-Dubay Italics?: Satori wanted to try out a fancy new handwriting program. We started with their 2nd grade book B. The spaces to write are so huge though and it’s hard for Satori to get used to. She writes very neat and tiny. I’m not sure why we need handwriting anymore to tell the truth, so we possibly might drop this, or at least get to a more suitable book level.
  • All About Spelling: One of our core favorites, but we’ll only be doing 2 days a week over the summer, switching back to 3 days/week in the fall. We’re more than halfway through Level 4 and will start Level 5 this fall.
  • Writing With Ease: I feel so guilty flying without WWE on the WTM forums. Out of all our curriculum choices, this is one both Satori and I pretty much dislike. The concept behind it sounds great for young children, and I wanted to give it a third try. But we’ve got so much on our plate, this will be one of the first to drop, simply because we dread doing these lessons. I don’t know why, they’re set up as so easy to teach.
  • Write Source 2?: Since Satori actually does write, this is what we use to help her with her varying writing genre. This tends to get skipped a lot, so I’ve tried to break it down into manageable chunks twice a week. We only do the student text that focuses on writing and not the other parts. We may drop this if EPGY LAW (Language Arts and Writing) covers writing well.
  • Vocabulary (Wordly Wise and Evan Moore Word a Day): Satori loves to learn vocabulary and it doesn’t take long. We’ll skip the reading part of the WW workbook and learn the terms on the free online site, do the games, and do the exercises in the book.
  • MCT Island?: We’ve gotten our feet wet into the Grammar book and really enjoy reading it together, but we’ve already got so much grammar. We also have their Poetry, Sentence Island, Building Language, etc… We’ll see how it goes.
  • SOTW History: We’re a bit behind and wanted to take the summer to finish up SOTW 1 – Ancients in time for SOTW 2 this fall.
  • RSO Life: Wrapping up Plants this summer and easing into RSO Earth and Space this fall. Satori has taken an interest in biology, so we’re going on lots of in-depth rabbit trails in this area.
  • Geography: We use a variety of resources, including online geography games, puzzles, and workbooks. This summer Satori will memorize all the countries of the world. She does this easily, we are almost finished with Europe and will move to Asia next. For workbook, we’ll use the Evan-Moor Geography a Day 2nd grade. We whipped through tons of geography workbooks, this will be our first time trying this out.
  • Elementary Spanish: This is super easy to implement and adds lots of vocabulary. No problem there.
  • Getting Started with Spanish: Can drop this.
  • Song School Latin: Can drop. If not, we’ll finish up quickly and be done with forever. We’ll start Lively Latin in the fall.
  • Logic/Critical Thinking: We use various workbooks/resources, it only takes 5 minutes a few times a week, so we’ll keep this subject.
  • Meet the Masters: Love this program! The art projects that have us copy a concept from the artist slow us down though, so we’ll skip those and just focus on the art appreciation aspect. I’d love to go through the program faster so we can learn about more artists, yay!
  • Artistic Pursuits: We slack on this one, but it actually doesn’t take much time to do. I think Satori really enjoys it, so we’ll spend the summer and try to get through AP Book 1. No biggie if we don’t get to it every week, when we do get to it, we tend to do several lessons at once.
  • Read and Understand and Daily Paragraph Editing: The next two are both Evan Moor workbooks. Both these workbooks I’ll probably slash for this summer. The Read and Understand looked interesting, we could combine reading with another subject. The Daily Paragraph Editing is fun for Satori to take a red pen and slash and edit. Maybe we’ll revisit these this fall.
  • Singapore My Pals Are Here Science – This is one I just realized we could do this weekend. There is a HOTS component that might challenge Satori. This program looks interesting because there’s a text, workbook/activities, challenging book (HOTS), and other components. Kinda like Singapore Math, which we love!
  • EPGY Math and LAW (Language Arts and Writing): David really wanted Satori enrolled in this, so now we’re all registered and paid and ready to roll. I’m not sure what to expect.

If we actually do follow the above schedule, here’s what our days would look like in the next two months. Monday-Thursday averages 2.5-3 hours, with 2 hours on Friday, and 1 hour (of easy stuff) on the weekend days. I really want to get everything below 2.5 hours, with a 1 hour Friday.

The last few subjects were ones I only recently discovered and that’s what tipped the scale to be overwhelming curriculum overload for me. Give us a few weeks and we’ll pare our schedule down and let you all know how it’s all working out!

Screenshots were from the online scheduling program I use – Homeschool SkedTrack. Oh and one more thing that is overwhelming me – I wanted to program my own online scheduler to have all the features I wanted. I love web programming, but it would require too much out of me right now, it’s been several years since I was last active in programming.

Behind the scenes I’ve been working on updating a SOTW Lessons page. I started making this page last year as I was preparing our SOTW lessons, but now I brought it into the blog for easy viewing. Seeing all the chapters lined out on one page makes it easy for me to see at a glance where we are, for current, past, and future lessons. This is a work in progress. I actually told Susan Wise Bauer’s team I was doing this, so that I could come up with something that wouldn’t infringe on her hard work. I think it will actually make people more interested in her program, as well as helping me plan, so everyone wins.

Also updated is our K-1 Weekly Lesson schedule. I’m a spontaneous person, so I don’t have a schedule down to the hour. Click to see full view, or head to the link above. You may notice I finally cut out our Explode the Code workbook, it was redundant. We cover reading/phonics with our normal reading and readingeggs.com. We cover handwriting in our normal handwriting and copywork for several subjects. Spelling is adequately covered in All-About-Spelling. There are subjects that we haven’t covered yet this year, like Science and Art. I do feel bad about that, and hope to get organized enough to include them. Other subjects, like Spanish/Latin/piano/swimming class/drama classes maybe we’ll start later this spring or summer.

A Sample Monday

If I had to describe a typical day, here’s how a typical Monday might go. As you can see from our lesson schedule above, actual sit-down work is less than two hours a day, so most of our day is spent as freetime. For some reason, we both like to do Math at night, after we both get a second wind. It has become very enjoyable, but the disadvantage is that if we’re busy, we sometimes skip it. I need to prioritize certain lessons to make sure we cover them as planned.

  • 9:00: Wake up, breakfast, shower, check email.
  • 10:00-10:20 – Reading (OPG)
  • 10:20-10:40 – Spelling (OPG)
  • 10:40-11:00 – History (SOTW)
  • 11:00-12:00 – Mama reads aloud, Satori plays ReadingEggs.com, watches educational video, etc…
  • 12:00-1:00 – Lunch
  • 1:00-5:00 – Freetime – Play time. Possible craft. Possible educational videos/movies.
  • 5:00-6:00 – Dinner
  • 6:00-6:20 – Math (RS)
  • 6:20-6:25 – Writing (WWE)
  • 6:25-7:00 – Mama might work on blog, while Satori might color/play.
  • 7:00-9:00 – Playtime, mama workout time, TV time…
  • Before bedtime, Satori reads a few stories from her readers, and then Mama reads aloud from a chapter book.