Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking ahead ...

As for the pictures in this post, I thought I'd take you on a trip down memory lane with me.

As promised, I wanted to share with you some of the fruits of my labor. I spent the day on Friday looking ahead to the rest of our school year. In case you didn't realize it, we have our year set up to go from January through December instead of the traditional school year. So, that means we are only about to finish our first term of 2012. Anyway, I sat down with a calendar and determined how I wanted the rest of the year to flow. Keep in mind, any and/or all of this is subject to change if need be. I am, after all the principal/teacher/CEO of this school. :)

The Princess
In looking at some of the plans we have already made for the year, I decided that our second term would run from approximately April 9th through July 27th. That will include two weeks off in May for a vacation we already have planned (well, the vacation itself is only six days, but I am smart enough to take the weeks surrounding it for planning and packing and then for recuperating). It also includes two weeks off sometime in June or July because my in-laws are planning to visit some time this summer.

With that in mind, I figured our final term of this year would begin somewhere around August 6th and run through the end of the year. That includes 4 to 5 weeks off for a trip to Germany (again, the trip itself will only be 3 weeks, but that whole week before and after thing again). I'm also taking into consideration a week off for Thanksgiving (more likely to be more than that) and a much lighter schedule in December. I like to call that "Christmas School" ~ read Christmas books, listen to Christmas music, make Christmas decorations and gifts, Christmas baking, Advent devotionals and Christmas Bible stories, copywork related to Christmas and only really continuing math as a regular subject. We'll put science and history on hold until the start of the new year.

So, that's how the dates appear to line up. Again, this is a GENERAL plan.
  • Term 1 ~ January to beginning of April
  • Term 2 ~ April 7th to July 27th
  • Term 3 ~ August 6th to the end of the year, with Christmas School
The Hippie and Mommy

Now that you know the when, would you like to know the what?

We took a break from history this term to really get our habits down with doing our "basics" regularly. However, the Hippie recently asked me why we weren't reading The Child's History of the World anymore. She liked it and wants to read it again. So, I've devised a plan for the next two terms that includes some history again. The challenge was figuring out how to fit it in. Let me share some thoughts with you on that.

It took me a while to have the epiphany, but it finally dawned on me that I do not need to do Bible every single day. One story per week is sufficient. I also do not need to do the Millers every day or twice a week ~ there are only 25 chapters and we have 24 weeks left ~ we can do that once a week as well. As far as music and art ~ instead of devoting two 15-minute blocks per week to each subject (I was trying to do picture study AND read about the artist each week as well as listen or watch music pieces AND read about the composer each week), we can alternate. There are 12 weeks in a term and I am only focusing on one composer and one artist. If we alternate, we can study six pieces of art AND read about the artist. We should also have ample time to read about the composer and still enjoy the music itself. Finally, I came to the same conclusion about our Burgess Bird Study and Nature Study. I simply couldn't fit it all into the schedule (happily), so I decided there was nothing wrong with alternating that as well ~ one week we do Nature Study, one week we do Burgess Bird Study. Or, maybe do Nature Study when it's nice out and Burgess Bird when it is so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. You get the idea.

One final note, when planning out the weeks themselves, I smartened up on another little tidbit. I decided not to plan anything (well there are a couple of things, but not the bulk of it) for week 12. I also left a little bit blank in the plan around week 6. The idea was to have a couple of weeks available for catching up if needed ... and, I have a sneaky suspicion it will most certainly be needed!

All of these little epiphanies have been so freeing. It has opened up time in our days and weeks to fit in other subjects like history. It has made me realize that we really can do it all ~ we just don't have to do it all every week. What happens over the long haul is what matters most. Slow and steady ...

All of that to say, here is what we have planned for Term 2.
  • Bible ~ Continue reading the Old Testament about Moses, chapters 32-42
  • Fairy Tales ~ One per week (I have these all mapped out and would be happy to share if someone is interested)
  • Wisdom and the Millers ~ One chapter per week, only weeks 2-11, chapters 5-14
  • Child's History of the World, Chapters 3-9
  • Life in the Great Ice Age
  • Boy of the Pyramids, Ruth Fosdick Jones
  • Tut's Mummy: Lost and Found
  • A Living History of Our World, Chapters 2-4
  • Eric the Red, Neil Grant
  • Lief the Lucky, D'Aulaire
  • Pocahontas, D'Aulaire
  • A Lion to Guard Us, Clyde Robert Bulla
  • Finish reading Seven Little Sisters
  • Begin reading Little Pilgrim's Progress, Helen Taylor
  • A.A. Milne Poetry: When We Were Very Young (weeks 1-6) and Now We are Six (weeks 7-12)
  • Finish Outdoor Secrets and companion
  • Alternate Burgess Bird Book Study and Nature Study
  • Artist ~ Cassatt
  • Composer ~ Beethoven; read Opal Wheeler's "Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells"
  • Charlotte Mason Elementary Geography, Ch 6-23, only weeks 2-10
  • Literature ~ Five Little Peppers and How they Grew & The Wise Enchanter
Individually, the girls will continue working with Math U See and in their own Queen Language Lessons books. The Hippie will finish her Cursive book and continue reading selections from Sonlight's 4th and 5th grade readers. The Princess will continue reading to me from Harriet Treadwell's Reading Literature First Reader. The Princess has also requested that we do the Delightful Reading Lessons again, though I don't really think she needs them. But, I will oblige. The Hippie will still draw and do copywork each week from our Old Testament story and the Princess will draw and do copywork each week from our Fairy Tale.

I think that about covers it. I have this in a table that is planned for each week. I'd be happy to share that if someone is interested. If you've stuck with me this far, thank you for your interest. I like to get this all "on paper" once in a while, but I realize it may not be of major interest unless you are also trying to plan your own school year. :)

Stay tuned for more of my musings. Have a wonderful day.


  1. Boy, do understand the feeling on not quite "fitting" it all! There is just so much neat stuff out there to learn and READ! :) We LOVED Cassatt and we are also learning about Bach. I'm very intrigued by the way you lay out your schedule. So you don't really have a "summer break", but instead intersperse your breaks as needed for family things throughout the year!? I really like that! I also love your idea of 'Christmas School'. We usually plan to just be done before December and do different things during that month.

    Loved reading your plans! :) And the old photos of your daughters are so sweet! :)


  2. Oh, I miss those girls so much!! Can't wait to figure out when we can get down there!! Love you guys!

  3. I absolutely adored the pictures! Especially the one of you and the girls at the beach, and the one of them at the easel. I would love a copy of the beach one! XOXOOX

  4. You know what struck me as I perused this post - those girls are so young! I remember when my kids were that little! They are gorgeous - enjoy them! Follow their passions, read together, play together - you will be amazed at what you learn in the long run :-)

  5. Well, Ingi, they are NOW 7 1/2 and 9 ... those were some memory lane pictures :)


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