Sunday, July 3, 2016

School Year 2016/2017 Plans

July means a new homeschooling year in North Carolina and although we school year round, I do like to mark it by starting new subjects and a special first-day of school celebration. I also like to take the time to evaluate my overall school plans for each girl and see what I want to change or add. We had our annual first day of school celebration a few days ago. The girls got some special school supplies and got to eat brownies and ice cream for breakfast. We also went to a bounce house place, Chick-fil-a, and a science museum. All told, it was an exciting day.

Lydia, 2nd Grade

Eleanor, Kindergarten

Adelaide, PreK

The bounce house place took horrible pictures, but Clara did enjoy just taking it all in and sat happily in her stroller, looking around for a solid 2 hours.

Rainbow shadows at the science museum

Not sure what this race track was supposed to teach them science-wise, but they had a blast on it for like a half hour.
Here's our plans for the next year. These are always subject to change, but I am getting better at knowing what will work for us and what won't and feel fairly confident these plans will mostly work out.


  • Lydia-Finish the Mensa K-3 reading list. She's been working on it for a few years and I think she can get it done this year. Also do readings associated with our history and science. Aim for at least a half hour a day. Also do Pizza Hut Book-It
  • Eleanor- Start the Mensa K-3 reading list. Also finish Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. She has about 40 lessons left. I would like her to start doing independent reading along with daily lessons. I'm going to aim for 15 minutes a day and up that to 20 or 30 once she finishes OPGTR. Start Pizza Hut Book-It.
  • Adelaide- Continue to work in OPGTR. She will most likely not finish this year but should make good progress. 


  • Lydia- She's on Christian Light Education 205 right now. I'd like for her to be a year further along, so we're going to aim for CLE 305, but certainly no less than finishing 210 so that she doesn't get behind. I also might continue to do some Ronit Bird math to help her with her basic facts and number sense on the side. And we need to work on skip counting, so we'll probably do a lot of skip counting YouTube videos as well. 
  • Eleanor- Finish Miquon Green and Yellow and at least start the final book, Purple. Also Continue working through Beast Academy. Finish 3A and hopefully 3B, but no hurry. This is secondary to Miquon for right now, but will become primary next year once Miquon is completed, as Miquon only goes through 3rd grade. Also continue with Mathematics Enhancement Programme level 2 and then 3. This is really just extra after the other two and we've sort of been skipping through it as needed when topics are redundant. But I'd like it to be secondary once Miquon is over as it is a full elementary program, so we'll keep it up in the meantime.
  • Adelaide- Finish Miquon Orange, maybe even a bit in Red and make progress in MEP level 1. Miquon is our primary concern for this year though.


  • Lydia- Continue with Writing With Ease level 2. Probably start Writing With Ease level 3. Possibly start Killgallon writing supplements with WWE 3 for some variation, but we're not there yet.
  • Eleanor- Continue WWE Level 1, probably skip to level 2 in a few months as WWE 1 is a bit on the easy side for her.
  • Adelaide- Continue working on handwriting using Handwriting Without Tears PreK and Kindergarten as well as extra apps and copywork until mostly fluent in writing letters and numbers. Probably start Writing With Ease 1 sometime this spring.


  • Lydia- Continue with First Lanugage Lessons level 3. Once she finishes that, I think we may pause before moving to level 4 and do a different approach to grammar for a bit. I haven't decided what yet, though.
  • Eleanor (NEW!)- Start First Language Lessons Level 1, possibly through Level 2. She's been listening to her sister's lessons for a while and the accompanying CD and will probably pick it up very quickly. I have a feeling she will finish level 2 this year, but I won't push it.


  • Lydia- Continue All About Spelling level 3. After that, either move to Rod and Staff Spelling, or AAS level 4. I haven't decided yet. 
  • Eleanor- Continue AAS level 1 (almost done) and start level 2
  • Adelaide- Depending on how handwriting and reading go, possibly start AAS level 1 later in the year.


  • Lydia- Continue in the Complete book of Maps and Geography. It is teaching decent geography skills but also really working on her "following instructions" skills, which is important for her. My guess is that she won't finish it this year (it is really thick and I only make her do a page a day). That's fine, we're in no hurry.
  • Eleanor (NEW!)- She's been begging to do geography for more than a year now. I told her that her reading skills had to be a little better and I think she's finally ready. So she's going to start Evan Moor Beginning Geography

Latin (NEW!)

  • Lydia & Eleanor- This would be a new subject for both girls. I intended to only do it with Lydia, but Eleanor wants to do it too, so why not? I am going to start very gentle with a program called I Speak Latin, possibly combined or just followed with Getting Started with Latin. I want to be consistent with Latin, so if I see that this isn't happening, I might put off Latin for another year, but I hope we can start because I think they'll really enjoy it.


  • Combined All Girls- History didn't really happen this year beyond the informal history as we visited places locally and on road trips and Liberty's Kids. So I'm hoping to be better. We will be working through Story of the World again this year, continuing where we've left off with Ancients.


  • Combined All Girls- We've been really awesome about doing science in a sort of unschooly way. We are really deliberate about bringing up science topics in day-to-day life and have lots of apps, shows, and toys to help facilitate that. I really don't see a problem with it for now and at this age, but I might try out Mystery Science, which looks like my favorite theoretical program (Building Foundations in Scientific Understanding) but much more open-and-go (which I need). I only recently learned about this new program, so I need to think about it for a bit.


  • Lydia & Eleanor- Continue Hoffman Academy. We are absolutely loving Mr. Hoffman and it is working very well for our family. I recently backed their Kickstarter, so we should be sticking with them for the long haul. They are both almost done with Unit 2, and I'd like them to be through Unit 4 or 5 by the end of next year.
  • Adelaide- Start Hoffman Academy in the spring when she turns 5. 


  • Lydia & Eleanor- Take 2 classes/semester at local co-op. They did it this year and it went pretty well, so I hope it continues to work for them. They will also continue in Girl Scouts.

These are not exhaustive. We use a lot of educational toys, apps, games, books, tv/movies, etc. I also try to be very deliberate in what we discuss and look for teaching opportunities all the time. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, in my opinion, and I try to include it in every aspect of our lives.