School Blog Hop. Did you stop by all the other blogs during the first week?
This week is all about sharing some of those resources we plan on using over the course of the year. For some of us that is easy, we have our year all mapped out and know exactly what we will use for each subject area and when we will use it.
For others it simply isn't like that, for others life is learning in the truest sense of the word. I do hope we have some of our Australian unschoolers join in this week as I'm sure there are many of us that would love to see how they go about planning for the year ahead.
We here, at Our Worldwide Classroom, often seem as though we are simply just doing our thing. We do use planned curriculum, unit studies and the like but we never ever allow them to own us. There are no schedules or sheets with lists of do this lesson next, or next week on Tuesday we are going to be learning about XYZ. Oh no that simply doesn't work here, far too inflexible for us. Now sometimes I wish it would work but I think it is far better to embrace what doesn't and to go with what does, rather than fighting an uphill battle.
We are very relaxed in our approach and allow equal amount of downtime/own time/free time as we do more formal structured learning. We've ditched many a curriculum because we simply weren't all that into it! If it doesn't move us, engage us and want to keep us coming back then most generally out it goes! We're kinda picky like that.
Anyway, if I keep rambling this is going to be one very long post. I guess what I am trying to get across is that we invest (and I spend a great deal of time researching) in good quality materials and resources that we make work for us and not the other way around.
Let's get on with it shall we.
You could say that we right in the thick of Math U See these days. This is our preferred mathematics curriculum. With three kids, all very different ages and very different ability levels we are utilising a large portion of the MUS range.
I'm not sure if we've ever had a year where one of the kids has started a book from lesson 1 and completed the book at the last lesson by the end of the year. Like I said earlier that's not how we roll. We simply pick up where we left off the next time we do math or maths depending on where you live right now!
So I have one child finishing off Zeta (decimals & percents) and about to begin Pre-Algebra, another in the middle of Beta (multiple digit addition/subtraction) and may or may not get to Gamma (multiplication) later this year and one coming to the end of the Primer and will start Alpha some time soon.
As a supplement to the MUS range, things to do together, on the computer, in the book basket or when we simply want a break from MUS.
We have on hand Targeting Maths Lab PC games and activities, Life of Fred, Skwirk Maths, various mathematical puzzle type books and we are going to give these Geometry books a whirl this year. These were gifted to us and are definitely old school, but some of the activities look pretty cool. So will see how we go.
Finally I always include mathematical picture books as part of our book basket morning routine, these vary depending on if I am trying to introduce a concept, help solidify a concept or to simply read just for fun. Arithmetic Village will probably get a good work this year with my youngest.
With two children still heavily working with phonics, learning to read makes up the bulk of our Language Arts time. We use a variety of resources, websites, computer games, board games but there are certain staples that we use consistently.
They are The Fitzroy Reading Program, Bob Books, Explode The Code, and we are really enjoying Julia Donaldson's range of readers. They really don't feel like readers at all.
***Apology for the remainder of the post as there are no more images to follow. One of my children broke their arm on Thursday and so I haven't had time to complete this post in as much detail as I had planned.***
Other resources we are also using for Language Arts include (these are across 3 kids so not everyone is using each of the items listed):
Logic Of English - phonics, spelling, grammar
Fix It Grammar
Spelling You See
Cover Story Writing - my eldest will complete this with a small group of kids his age, should be lots of fun working through this together.
Reading/Writing Response Activities - the youngest two will do these activities with our co-op
Writing With Skill
Skwirk English Lessons
Plus we always read aloud every day, me to them, them to me, audio books and we spend time on quiet independent reading.
We are covering the Renaissance period this year. After one day of history we knew we had to do things differently around here, even though we had chosen new world history programs for the year we realised very quickly that they just weren't rocking it for us!
I was so excited when Homeschool In The Woods agreed for us to show you all around their Project Passport pack, after completing the Knights LapPak last year I'm very confident that DS 13 will enjoy using this. So stay tuned for more on this resource, I am busy printing and sorting it all out now.
For the younger two I am considering doing our own thing probably with a focus on Famous People of the Renaissance, but I'm still processing all of that given that we only made the decision the other day to not use the program we had intended on. They will also join in on any appropriate activities from the Project Passport pack.
We will be exploring this with our co-op family this year. The older crew have their plans all laid out by one of our very clever teacher mums and the younger ones will be exploring the history of Australia via picture books and hands on activities.
We will also utilise Skwirk here.
This is another co-op subject for us this year. Our co-op worked so well in 2014 we were all keen to ramp things up a notch this year.
You guessed it, co-op again,! We are covering Chemistry this year. Although DS 13 will be studying Physics here at home, we are doing our own thing and have chosen not to buy a program. We have a great Encyclopedia and will use that as our spine. Skwirk will come into play again with science.
We will be covering some art and art appreciation with co-op. We also have a lovely art teacher coming to us this term for an 8 week block of art lessons, general art for the younger kids and perspective drawing for the older ones.
We will continue to keep up our morning drawing challenges and when the kids want to they will participate in Sketch Tuesday. We've also begun Art Journals this year, let's hope we can keep them up.
Drama is on the list again this year, which involves weekly lessons and participating in plays at the theatre. We always see live productions throughout the year.
Everyone let go of keyboard but we may have an opportunity to start that up again, will just have to wait and see.
Technology & Design
With the amount of Lego in this house I am never concerned about this subject area. There are always plenty of opportunities here and I am sure DS 13 will continue to keep up with some coding fun. The kids are all building superbly creative worlds in minecraft these days and we will take a closer look at one of the sites available for homeschoolers and minecraft.
Gee, did you make it this far? You did really well, thank you for reading. You know it really seems like a lot but because we are joining forces with 3 other families this year we won't even realise how much we are covering until we get to the end of 2015 and look back over the year.
What about you? What resources do you have planned to use this year. Link up your posts below.
Be sure to stop by and visit Every Bed of Roses, our joint host for this years blog hop.