We’ve been a little crazy around here as of late. Lots of changes, lots of rebalancing and rethinking, lots of preparation.
I handle that with excessive planning, back up planning and excel sheets. Thus, I planned out our homeschooling year while sitting around waiting in offices and cars.
This our summer plan crafted around Kit, a six going on seven year old who is a weak reader and Kai, a hyper almost two year old. I’m going to post the rest of the year as well. It’s an eclectic plan, mostly based around Charlotte Mason style short lessons. Our history cycle is a hybrid CM/Classical style, there is some Waldorf influence in the areas of pre-writing, handwork, and art, a lot of Reggio play based ideas, and probably some stuff that’s just me. I pulled from lots of programs, curriculum, and Instagram ideas, all listed at the end of the spring term post.
I’m calling it Year 1.5, because it’s not the standard seven year old curriculum I would use with a seven year old who had been homeschooled the previous year. I suspect Kai’s Year 1 will look very different.
This curriculum does have a worldview, but probably not one that the word worldview seems to suggest these days. Our family and this curriculum are Unitarian Universalists. Indeed, both hymns and the Big Bang make an appearance, placing us outside both the world of most Christian and secular homeschooling. The whole point of designing your own curriculum is using what is useful for your kids and family, after all, so that’s what I did. Feel free to borrow anything that feels useful to you.
Summer Term – June, July, August
Summer term is a slow start for us, easing into homeschooling, especially with a child is new to us and to school at home. Everyone, including Kai as she chooses, will participate in Family Studies, while Term Studies will be set up for individual students (Right now, that’s just Kit.)
Copywork: Sensory Writing
Including sand table/shaving cream writing, walking letters, letter tracing board, and anything else I get inspired to try. Kit’s writing is currently unreadable, so we’re going back to the beginning and hoping to create some new habits of writing.
Handwork: Finger Knitting and Intro to Knitting (Goal: Knit a doll scarf or potholder)
Here we follow the Waldorf tradition of knitting as a first grade, pre-writing practice. Knitting helps strengthen and refine all the skills needed to write. I’m learning to knit right beside Kit, so we’ll see how this goes and report back.
Natural Philosophy: Herbs
We have a small potted herb garden, giving us a nice and easy introduction to nature study up close and at home. The kids and I will be keeping nature journals as we watch our herbs grow, and then use them to make tasty meals. Win-win. We will also be keeping up with our regular hiking and nature play, and I (and anyone who wants to join me) will be journaling during our morning nature time as well.
Music Appreciation: Can You Hear It? by William Lach
I picked this, instead of a composer for our first music term as I think it helps children figure out how to listen to music. The art in the book is also a bonus. We are going to be very low key about this. I’ve planned to use it once a week.
We’ll be learning a hymn and a folk song every term. I want my kids to have a musical repertoire at hand whether for singing to crying babies or for full blown performance as they so chose. All hymns come from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition.
Art Appreciation/Picture Study: Claude Monet
Our art appreciation rota is Classical/Pre-Classical or Non Western/ Modern Art/ Architecture. I picked Monet because I love Monet, and I adore Linnea in Monet’s Garden.
Art: The Art Habit by Tinkerlab (Process Art)
I think starting out with process art is a great art introduction. Without an end point in mind, process art is about the materials, methods, and experiences of art, not the product. We previously did (and loved) Tinkerlab’s Art Start Challenge, and so I decided to use their ten week program for the summer.
Physical Education: Cosmic Kids Yoga
This is a free kids yoga program where the yoga poses act out a story. I love being able to add another sensory element to understanding narratives, as well as adding some movement to indoor time in the afternoons.
Listening: Read Alouds
- Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson
- Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- The Annotated Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne
I will be doing some editing on the fly, as is my prerogative when I’m the one doing the reading! We’re doing this Charlotte Mason style, with one chapter of each book read a week, which ought to help give our weeks a nice Waldorf-y rhythm.
Lots and lots of free play, outdoor play, and Reggio style provocations and invitations to play that follow Kit and Kai’s interests.
The goal this summer is to keep anything academic under 30 minutes a day. The plan is to be out of the house by 8am and eat a picnic breakfast, snack, and lunch at the park while doing read alouds and singing. We’ll head back home for Kai’s nap, and Kit and I will work for 15 minutes on either copywork or handwork. Then we’ll do 15 minutes of clean up, and then free play until Kai wakes up. The afternoon will consist of art (while listening to our composer) or yoga for as long as they are interested, gardening and nature journaling at will.
At the end of the year (May 2018), I’ll be posting a recap of how well this all went, what we did and didn’t actually get done, and what I plan on tweaking when Kai is ready for Year 1.
I’ve also included links to the rest of the year’s curriculum:
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