I’m nearly ready to start our homeschool year. And by “nearly ready”, I mean I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I have resources for most of my subjects, and a few things specifically written out, so that’s something, right? I think because we don’t officially have to report this year since Jonah is not at the age limit of 6 for Wisconsin, I feel a little bit more at ease about jumping into things and seeing how it works as we go. This is major progress for my Type A planning personality, by the way.
Here’s what we have planned to use for this year. I am guessing at least some of this will change as we figure out what works for us, but this is at least where we are starting.
One of my big resources is Wittenberg Academy, a free classical Lutheran homeschool curriculum. This is their first year, so it will be kind of cool to see how it all works. They use public domain (meaning free) resources and pdfs, and the curriculum is all set up for you as long as you are registered. We won’t be using all of the subjects, because I have some things I wanted to do differently, but we will use this for some subjects.
Bible Stories, Memory Work, and Hymnology. This is actually the one thing I don’t have fully figured out yet. You’d think the pastor’s wife would be on the ball with this one, but no. We are using Wittenberg Academy for some of our other subjects, and I expected them to have a Bible History section, but I haven’t found it yet. So I’m still looking into that. We were going to do Christ Light, but it’s kind of expensive.
For Memory Work, we will be starting On My Heart, and I will also be picking one hymn to work on each week. Most will be seasonally appropriate, or something that we will be singing in church soon (as the organist, I have all the ins on what’s coming up).
Math. We are starting out with the math on Wittenberg Academy, which is a 3-day-a-week setup. I will supplement this with activities and worksheets that I find online for free. It seems really basic (it is Kindergarten math after all), so if Jonah ends up flying through it really quickly, I may still look into ordering Saxon, which is what I originally planned on. However, free won out over $60, at least to start.
Reading. For learning letters, we are using Letter of the Week, which I found awhile ago and really liked, and then it was also recommended by a teacher friend, which is a bonus. The only sad part for me is we have a black and white printer, which means some of the materials I’ll have to print, and then attempt to color to make them pretty. I’ll supplement this with other letter-appropriate crafts and projects I find online.
We will also be reading a lot! I’ll be using reading lists like this to find books that reinforce the letter of the week. We’re also going to be doing a chapter a day of some longer books, starting with Stuart Little. And finally, we’ll have other more factual books available that go with our science units. Plus, Jonah and Matthew each pick out 2-3 books for fun each week at the library. Read read read!
Handwriting. There are tons of free resources out there for handwriting practice. We’ll be using some of these each week to go with our letter of the week.
- Letters of All Sizes from The Measured Mom. This will be our introductory page each week to get used to writing the letter.
- Alphabet Tracing Worksheets from Itsy Bitsy Fun. This will be practice for writing uppercase and lowercase of each letter.
- A-Z Beginner’s Handwriting Book from CurrClick. This one has the letter, a short word, and a space for drawing a picture of that word.
- Bible Based Handwriting Curriculum from Frugal Homeschool Family. This one starts with letters, moves on to Biblical names and words, and eventually to Bible passages. It was on a special free promotion last week, so I picked it up!
I like A Reason For Handwriting, especially because there are Bible verses that go with each letter, but I chose not to do that this year for two reasons. First, I have enough other free resources for now, and second, because the Bible verses don’t start until the next book anyway. We may revisit that for next year.
Science. Right now my plan is to do units on different topics. I do also like the science included in the Wittenberg Academy curriculum, because it includes Biblical stories and principles in it, so we will probably use that too, as it fits in with the topics. Our first unit will be Oceans, ending with a field trip to Lake Michigan toward the end of September (that’s as close as we get to an ocean in the midwest, but we’ll talk about the differences too).
History. I looked into Story of the World, and I really like it, but I think it may be just a bit over Jonah’s head, and since it’s geared toward starting in 1st grade, we’re going to wait on that until next year. Our history this year will focus on holidays, plus other random little tidbits as they come up, like learning about Johnny Appleseed during the month of September.
Art. Our art projects will go along with our Letter of the Week, Science, or the season. For little kids, there are endless amounts of project ideas online, and I like to think I’m creative every now and then, so we should have no issue coming up with these!
I think that’s it! Right now I have my first month or so mapped out with lots and lots to do every morning of the 5-day week. We won’t do it all. I’m at least realistic enough to know that. We may end up shifting into a 4-day week if 5 days gets to be too much, especially with doctor appointments and grocery shopping and household things. But for now, this is the plan!
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