Friday, July 29, 2016

Back to School! August Plans

We had a nice, long summer, but it is time for us to hit the books again. We knew that the kids would be in a dance intensive each morning of our first week of school, so a couple weeks ago, I started slipping an hour or so of school every day so we will already have most of our hours recorded for the first week. Consequently, we really only need to do math and science each day next week.

I never put up a post about what we are using this year. Each time I went to put up a post, I felt overwhelmed. It is not that I don't know what I am doing -- rather, it's because there is so much going on this year. I have two kids to homeschool, yet I am teaching three or four different grade levels, depending on the subject. My daughter is a seventh grader this year. My son is doing eighth grade and a few classes from ninth grade. He really wanted to be in ninth grade, which is his proper grade by age; but I really did not feel that he was ready across the board. So we compromised. He is taking a few ninth grade classes that are strong subjects for him. This will open the door for him to graduate "on time" like he wants -- if he is willing to work hard and do some doubling up on schoolwork for a year or two.  We also have a more intense dance schedule this year. Anne is now in Junior Company and will have 10 hours of dance lessons each week. Dean is a guest in Junior Company and will be taking four hours of dance. Dean is also planning to take a robotics class.

Here is our plan for the month of August ~

We will be following a schedule this year (shown below). Some of the kids' classes are still combined.We are also moving school start time to 10 am and end time around 2 pm. We will also be doing family reading in the evening that will be history or literature for 45 minutes to an hour.

Lessons ~

CNN Student News

Morning Basket ~ 1 per day
  • Fallacy Detective
  • Manners Made Easy for Teens
  • Grammar drills
  • Editing Adventure
English (studying separately) ~ 

  • Writers in Residence
  • A Reason for Spelling
  • MaxScholar
  • Reading and cursive
  • MaxScholar
  • Spelling Power 8th grade
  • Cursive
  • Spectrum Writing 8th grade
  • Reading
Newberry books for English (studying together) ~ For the most part, we will be using Newberry books for family read alouds this year. We are starting with Anne of Green Gableswhich I am sure would have won the Newberry Award, if it had been written after the award was invented.

Math ~ (studying some together and some apart)

Geometry for Every Kid (studying 2 times a week together)
Life of Fred Fractions (studying 3 times a week together)

Teaching Textbooks 7 and Math U-See Epsilon Fractions Anne
I am still debating what to do with Dean. He will be starting out with review workbooks.

World History ~ Three days a week for the month of August (studying together)
Story of the World Vol.3 and activities

We will also be working our way through New York City History for Kids

We will be alternating three days of world history with two days of science each week one month and then rotating three days of science with two days of world history the next month.

Science ~ Anne and Dean will be doing some science together. However, Dean will be doing more and have added textbook reading. We are still waiting for some of our books to come in for the year. Our spine is Real Science 4 Kids. I have created a Physical Science curriculum using many books from the Real Science 4 Kids books. Physical Science is a combination of chemistry, physics and geology. Sometimes astronomy and meteorology are added. We are starting off with 12 weeks of chemistry.

This course will count for Dean's 9th grade Physical Science credit. He needs 150 hours to complete the course.

Art one time a week ~ Art projects will be counting for Dean's 10th grade classes.
Sewing projects ~ Anne
Art with Grandma one time a month

Studying Independently ~

Music Appreciation ~ Anne
Anne will be working her way through Zeezok Publishing Music Appreciation. This month she is doing Bach. She will also be doing a musical each month with me. We are starting with A Chorus Line.

Musical Instruments ~ Dean 9th grade course
Dean will be continuing with guitar this year and adding piano lessons. He needs 150 hours to complete the course.

American History I ~ Dean 9th grade course
I am a little bit concerned about Dean doing world history with us (8th Grade) plus American history for 9th grade credit. We will see if he starts getting confused. He is strong in history and already knows a great deal of it.

The Complete Book of United States History ~ This is really below his grade level, but I want him to get used to reading and completing discussion questions/activities all on his own.
A Young People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

I will be adding more to his history course, such as research papers. Remember, this is just what we are using in August.

Well, we are ready for a fresh start! Our dance classes (besides the intensive) don't start until September so they are not represented here. Also, Dean will be working on hours for a few other 9th grade classes that he is not starting in August. I will be writing a post soon discussing how I intend to record and help Dean complete high school credits.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Lots of fun items! Looks like you have great choices for your kids.

  2. That does look like an ambitious curriculum. Looks like so fabulous choices!

  3. That does look like an ambitious curriculum. Looks like so fabulous choices!

  4. This looks great Dawn! Very personalised for each of your children. I hope you have an exceptional year!

  5. Many blessings on your year ahead! I'm quite far behind blog visits. I look forward to reading about year as it unfolds.

  6. Sounds like a great school year with a variety of topics.

  7. Sounds like a great school year with a variety of topics.