Every year around this time I get the urge to change up our homeschool a bit ~ keeping what’s working and tweaking what’s not. I spent a whole day recently reworking our homeschool routine in the hopes of streamlining it and making it more engaging (and perhaps a bit more Charlotte Mason – like). We have been doing a few separate BookShark levels for years in our home, and really, it has worked well. But lately, I have been feeling the call to do more things together, both because it’s more fun, and to save some time.
To make things clearer, Grace is my tenth grader, Christopher my eighth grader, James my sixth grader, and Rose my third grader – and when I say “daily” I mean Monday through Thursday. Friday is our art and catch-up day.
- Grace: Do one exercise every other week from Analytical Grammar Review & Reinforcement
- Christopher: Work daily on Season Three of Analytical Grammar
- James: Work daily on Season One of Analytical Grammar (he’s almost done!)
- Rose: Do three lessons a week from First Language Lessons Level 3
- Grace: Work three days a week through Vocabulary from Classical Roots D ~ with an oral “quiz” at the end of each unit
- Christopher: Work daily (usually 1 page) through Wordly Wise Book 8 ~ with an oral “quiz” at the end of each unit
- James: One Spelling Workout F page daily
- Rose: One Spelling Workout C page daily
Everyone: Work daily on a Writing Strands assignment, with a one week break between assignments. If a given assignment isn’t to their liking, they have the option of writing a history or science summary instead, and I always let them tweak the assignments if the given one doesn’t interest them. We are currently using levels 3, 4, and 5 of Writing Strands in our home.
James & Christopher: Work on Typing Instructor daily (for 10-15 minutes)
Rose & James: Do 1/2 to 1 page of Zaner-Bloser handwriting daily
Everyone: Complete one Teaching Textbooks lesson daily. We are currently using Algebra II, Pre-Algebra, Level 6, and Level 3 of this program.
Everyone: Work on memorizing a poem of their choice daily; listen to 2-3 poems read aloud daily. We are going to do this all together, focusing on one poet at a time, beginning with E.E. Cummings.
This is where things get interesting. Grace and Christopher each have a few weeks left of their BookShark levels (100 and 7), and we have decided not to continue with Sonlight or BookShark for them (I’ll tell you why some other time).
Since they are both reading about the early 1900’s now, I decided to pull everyone (mostly) into a study of modern history, while continuing with some of their independent BookShark readings on the side. So…
Everyone: Listen daily to a double-page spread of The History of the Modern World. Discuss, then choose an event or two to add to their timeline book.
Then, to supplement this reading:
- Grace: read 2-3 chapters from the A History of US series; or another history-related book ~ currently Dragon’s Gate
- Christopher: read half a chapter from Story of the World IV
- James: read a history book of choice ~ currently Wooden Teeth & Jellybeans
Rose and I will keep to our current routine of BookShark reading, but she listens in on the combined history/lit most days as well.
This will be very loosely matched up with our modern history timeline. We are combining for a read-aloud, then having everyone read their own book on the side.
I will try to share my planned list of read-alouds and independent history and literature reading soon.