Monday, September 17, 2018

2018-2019 - Morning Time Curricula Preview....

We are three weeks into the 2018-2019 school year and have worked out a few kinks so I'm fairly confident in sharing our curricula choices at this point. This year, I'm teaching Year 9, Year 8 and Year 1. Since I have a great span in ages, I have chosen a variety of resources for our collective Morning Time. Some geared for each particular child, as well as some that are great for everyone, age 1 to 101.

I currently schedule school four days per week and have for the past several years. This does not mean learning is not happening on the other three days. It's just that I formally schedule our "bookish studies" in those four days. Sometimes it takes 6-7 days to complete what is scheduled, which is fine, as long as we start fresh on Monday morning with the new week's work. I don't schedule my kid's every day because over the years, I have found some of the best learning happens when they have free time to pursue their hobbies and interests. Our Morning Time follows this same four day schedule.

This year, I chose to read aloud The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos in our Morning Time. This is a re-read for my older kids, but the first time around for my Year 1 student. It's such a beautiful children's bible. I think it's appropriate for all ages. I will read the Old Testament section this year and New Testament next year. My Year 9 student is also doing a separate bible study independently, but reviewing the timeless narratives in the Vos children's bible is good.

Along with our bible readings, I have chosen two devotional type readings. First we will finish In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, which we started last year. Then we will move into Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. These books were chosen with my older students in mind. Although, I have never read Lewis and am personally looking very forward to it.

Other resources we will use this year in our Morning Time, along with sources, are as follows:

Citizenship: Ourselves by Charlotte Mason - We started this book last year and will continue this year.
Economics/Government: Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard Maybury - AO Year 8
Music Study: Classics for Children - audio CD, Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes, The Carnival of Animals, Peter and the Wolf, The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Nancy Willard, and The Nutcracker - A Mind in the Light Year 1
Folksong: She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain, America the Beautiful, Frere Jacques/Brother John - Term 1 - We will spend four weeks on each song. I will pick Terms 2 & 3 at a later time.
Hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness and Come, Thou Fount - Term 1 - We will spend six weeks on each hymn. I will pick Terms 2 & 3 at a later time.
Art: The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson - AO - will continue from last year
Artist Study: Degas, Cassatt, Cezanne - A Mind in the Light Year 1
Recitations: Misc. passages for each student and review The Pledge of Allegiance

We don't do all of these subjects every day, but rather, 1-3 times per week, depending on the subject. So our daily schedule looks like this....

Day 1 – Bible, Poetry, Recitations, Citizenship, Natural History
Day 2 – Bible, Folk Song & Hymn, Artist/Music Study, Economics/Government
Day 3 – Bible, Recitations, Geography/Art, Literature
Day 4 – Devotional, Folk Song & Hymn, Tales 

As you can see, I tried to have a bible/devotional reading daily. From there, I attempted to stagger subjects according to difficulty. I wanted some form of daily student interaction, whether through singing or reciting, as well as me reading aloud. I also tried to break up subjects geared for Years 8 and 9 vs. Year 1, altering between light and heavy readings. In addition, I do ask for narration once per day from each child in Morning Time. My Year 1 student narrates the Vos story bible or the tales as these are resources I primarily chose for him. The older kids take turns narrating from the citizenship, natural history, econ/gov, literature, and devotional readings. So far, this has been working well. Our total Morning Time typically takes somewhere around 45 minutes, give or take. 

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