Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our School Plans for Next Year

I've been planning what we're going to do in our homeschool next year. Sort of. Since we use Ambleside Online as our template, I don't need to plan in as much detail as I might otherwise need to do. Also, I tend to take things as they come. In fact, a dear friend of mine suggested I title my blog "Fast and Loose Homeschooling," but I demurred.

Despite my cavalier attitude, some planning is necessary and worthwhile. For instance, I've been woefully slack in our French studies, despite several books and a few CDs. Obviously, another tack was needed. Also, we're adding Latin and spelling, so I did some research in those areas. Here's what I have so far (but it's never carved in stone):

  • Math: MEP, years 2 and 3
  • History: Story of the World, after the Norman Conquest and into the Renaissance; continue with Our Island Story; This Country of Ours
  • Spelling: Excellence in Spelling's The Phonetic Zoo
  • Copywork
  • Grammar: English for the Thoughtful Child; Simply Grammar
  • Latin: Latina Christiana
  • French: Rosetta Stone
  • Natural History: finish Pagoo; Secrets of the Woods; nature study
  • Science: Science Lab in a Supermarket
  • Geography: Marco Polo
  • Biography: Da Vinci; Good Queen Bess; Squanto
  • Literature (a few selections): Tales from Shakespeare; Little Pilgrim's Progress; The Princess and the Goblin
  • Poetry Study
  • Artist Study
  • Composer Study

I've also been perusing the Tanglewood School curriculum. I really like Tanglewood in that it's a blend of Charlotte Mason and contemporary classical philosophies. Also, Tanglewood differentiates between literature and reading. For example, literature is what's read aloud to children; and reading is what they read on their own. I've found that many of the AO free-reading selections are too difficult for my daughters to read independently. Tanglewood's suggestions are quite good.

That's the plan, thus far. As you can see, I have a few holes. Artist study, for example. Our first year homeschooling, we studied Claude Monet. We really enjoy Monet. In fact, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta currently as a Water Lilies exhibit going on. We're planning to see that. We recently read Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, by Hugh Brewster about the development of the Sargent painting with the same title. It's a fabulous book that I highly recommend. So now we're interested in John Singer Sargent. I could write a post on that book and Sargent, alone, so I think I'll stop there and do just that.


  1. Ah, the obligatory "Our plan" post. It all looks so serious there in black and white. Now you must follow up with a "why we homeschool" post; feel free to limit it to your top 25. This will help me immensely, as I need to solidify some sort of pat answer to offer when asked. Last time I just bantered on and on, seemingly with no point, in hopes that if I simply kept going, the questioner's empty half-smile would be transformed into an approving nod. Never happened.

  2. So you get the empty half-smile when you attempt to respond to the "so-why-DO-you-homeschool??" query as well? I used to try to explain, but now I just say "I'm a rebel," and have done with it. As to the serious look of my plan: I reserve the right to fall back on my "fast and loose" philosophy. Ha ha!

  3. and we're considering a christian school, next year, which is causing a lot of soul searching, tears, and instabilities coming to the surface, but a lot of positive stuff, too.
    Unfortunately, it leaves me with hypo-'nextyearsplan'-derangement. I can't plan anything (yet) and I feel disenfranchised.
    I'd even be in a tight corner if I were asked 'why do you homeschool' wouldn't I?
    Oh help. I need to breathe.

  4. I've been deciding on the details for next year as well, and possibly adopting "Anne" is making me have even more to consider! :-)

  5. I've enjoyed these three posts on CM and Tanglewood. I also like their list and think I'll deviate from the AO and choose them for a few things. I also like their Young Josephus book in addition or to replace the Story of the world for the early years.

    Good point the difference between reading and literature. I agree with you about the AO free readings.

    I also enjoy their suggestions on Geography and Science. It's great to have both of these amazing resources though.


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