Saturday, September 21, 2019

2019-2020 Year 2 Curriculum Preview....

I've been tardy in posting my curricula choices this year because I wanted to try some things before solidifying them. We are now three weeks into the 2019-2020 academic year. I've made a few changes, but am finally finding a rhythm.

Levi is in Year 2 by public school standards. However, he is young for his grade with a June birthday so having just turned seven, we are somewhere between 1st and 2nd grade. Honestly, last year started well, but if you've been a long time reader here, you know it dropped off after Ruben's accident in November. Ongoing medical appointments and therapies were very time consuming. Then in March, Levi broke his foot. Needless to say, strict academics as scheduled took a back seat. Although, that doesn't mean learning didn't happen. It was simply different than originally planned.

This fall, I picked up where Levi left off with math and phonics last spring. One of the beauties of home education is teaching the child where they are at, rather than teaching the curriculum and trying to make the child fit. I see no need to start with new curriculum because it's a new year. We will just continue what we were doing, then add in some history, literature, and enrichment. In addition, Levi will participate in homeschool choir and art first semester outside of our home, as well as, a Charlotte Mason co-op for early elementary homeschool students throughout the year. The topics covered there will be:

Memorize Psalm 23
Hymn Study
Composer Study
Artist Study
Science & Nature Study
Presentation (Show & Tell and Recitation)

Levi attended the CM co-op for the first time last week and really enjoyed it. It was kind of like a Morning Time in community. At the end, the kids were allowed to run around and have play time in the gym. I'm sure Levi would say that was his favorite part. :)

Regarding his studies at home, here is a list of resources I will draw from....

Bible, History, and Literature

Heart of Dakota Little Hearts for His Glory - parts and pieces with modifications
Holy Bible - King James Version
Devotions for the Children's Hour by Kenneth N. Taylor
History for Little Pilgrims (Christian Liberty Press)
History Stories for Children (Christian Liberty Press)
The Adventures of Reddy Fox by Thornton Burgess
The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thornton Burgess
The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse by Thornton Burgess
The Adventures of Grandfather Frog by Thornton Burgess
The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel by Thornton Burgess
The Adventures of Buster Bear by Thornton Burgess

In addition, I'll be adding many picture and other literature books.

Reading and Phonics

Memoria Press First Start Reading - We started this last spring and I really like it because it's systematic phonics instruction with writing. The program is geared for Kindergarten-1st Grade. However, I feel it's better suited for 1st-2nd Grade because of the writing component. I don't use the program exactly as written, partly because Levi is an older student and partly because there is some busy work designed for classroom use. Overall, I think Memoria Press has a great phonics/reading program that's easily adaptable to Charlotte Mason's methods. There are five leveled workbooks in the program and we are just about finished with Book B. There is also a separate Phonics workbook and some readers. I anticipate finishing the entire series by the end of the academic year.

Penmanship and Copywork

In addition to the writing in Memoria Press First Start Reading, we will occasionally use the Draw, Write Now series for copywork. We started this last spring after reading The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. Levi really likes to draw so it was a hit. Do you see the bee on the plant? ;-)


We also started Rod & Staff's Beginning Arithmetic 1 last spring and will continue with it this year. Memoria Press recommends this program as well. They use the first half of the book in Kindergarten and the second half in 1st grade with some other supplements. We will just continue through the book as written at a slightly quickened pace without supplement unless he hits a wall or begins to struggle. Levi loves math and seems to have a strong grasp. Honestly, it's been pretty easy so far, but I love the repetition in R&S so we will continue. I anticipate beginning the next level as soon as he finishes the first regardless of his age or grade.


Lastly, I absolutely LOVE Memoria Press's Enrichment program! They offer it at a Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade level. However, I think it could be used for multiple ages throughout with some modifications. I may even include some of the resources in our Morning Time. Actually, some of the same resources are used all three years so they are intended for multi level use.

The Enrichment program covers things like Art, Music, Poetry, Literature, History & Culture, Science, and Nature Study through the use of Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. It more or less encompasses what one might include in Morning Time. The art cards are beautiful! Gyo Fujikawa's A Child's Book of Poems is amazing! There is a wonderful playlist through YouTube of classical music that I play while we are drawing, journaling, or doing copywork. Levi has enjoyed many of the pieces. Literature, History & Culture, and Science is taught through the best of the best picture books. Many are classics and/or Caldecott medal winners. We read several of the books from the Kindergarten Enrichment last year and will continue with the First Grade Enrichment this year. Again, I'm not worried about ages and grades. I look for beauty, interest, and resources that are developmentally appropriate.

Overall, I'm really excited about Levi's year ahead. I've been trying a few different schedules to see what works best. I started the first week pretty bare bones with Math and Phonics before adding the other subjects in Week 2 and 3. I will continue to add until we find the right balance. I'm also not afraid to cut if it gets to be too much. Fall is a very busy time of year for us so I will reassess after Term 1 to see what needs to be added or subtracted in Term 2, which is usually more laid back. I'm confident we will find our sweet spot!

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  1. I'm interested in where the co-op is held? My kids are a bit young still, but I have been looking into local options.

  2. It's in the Chippewa Valley, WI. Are you local? If so, feel free to message me via the contact form and I can share the details. Thanks