I am amazed I already have a second post listing out curriculum for the coming year.  That means we’re entering our second school year with this blog.  We have so much to learn, and I have such relief when I consider that we are going to be moving to a longer school year so that we can take plenty of breaks and extra time for projects.  It’s very exciting to not have to rush it this year!

I’ve taken a good, hard look at what Sonlight Core D and E have to offer in the coming years for American History 1 and 2.  After Core C (which we will be doing this year), the reading level jumps quite a bit in both comprehension and depth, as well as time involved and the overall level of expectation.  I do not believe Jaelah and Selah are emotionally mature enough to start Core D next year, even though they are more than ready for Core C this year.  Upon finishing Core C, they will be 8 and 7, which gives us plenty of time to supplement before jumping into Core D.  I try to follow the suggested ages listed for the Cores, and Core D has a 7, 8, 9, 10 age stamp on it.  We will not be missing anything if we wait awhile.  However, we can’t just sit around and forget all the history we’ve already learned.  My quandary is to figure out how to supplement without too much repetition.

I have been looking for ways to fill in any gaps and make Core C last longer than 36 weeks.  I love that Sonlight covers the major topics, but I don’t see any reason why we can’t go back and add a little more into some of the ancient civilizations we’ve studied this year even though it’s still fresh in our memories.  Core B ends with the fall of Rome.  We already own the Story of the World history volumes and I like them infinitely better than the spine that Sonlight uses for Cores B & C (A Child’s History of the World).  In browsing through Well Trained Mind forums, I see that most parents use the four SOTW volumes well before 5th and 6th grades (corresponding Sonlight Cores G & H, when all four books will be scheduled over two years).  With the activity books and supplemental reading lists (many Sonlight books already included here, which is very encouraging to me), we can easily spend four years covering SOTW if we wanted to, though I do not plan to take that long to cover them.  The Sonlight Cores and SOTW can easily be dovetailed together, so I think it makes sense for me to start integrating them now.

We’ll be moving through SOTW Ancients first and at a quickened pace since we’ve already read all the Core B books that cover these same historical times.  Other than SOTW spines, I’ll also use the encyclopedias recommended by Well Trained Mind which are Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, both of which are used by Sonlight in Cores G & H.  They are written at a higher level than the girls’ understanding at this point.  However, both books are beautifully illustrated and will answer more in-depth questions we might have throughout the year.  Following SOTW Ancients, we’ll move to SOTW Middle Ages and slow down so that we may also include all the Core C books, which we haven’t yet read.  The activity books for SOTW are right about at the girls’ level, so they are going to really enjoy the hands-on stuff this year.  This plan will give me plenty of time to work through SOTW Early Modern Times and the Modern Age along with any Core C books that detail time periods after the Middle Ages before we gear up for American History.  I would like to wait until the girls are 8 and 9 to begin Core D so we can wring it out for all it’s worth.

Chavah is going to be listening in both to Core C and Core P this year, but my emphasis with her will be language arts, reading, math, and some handwriting.  After talking to some Sonlight advisers, I do not relish the idea of trying to attempt 3 cores in the same year we’re having another baby.  I will eventually have to do 3 cores at one time, but not for awhile.  We’ll probably start Core A with Chavah when she is 7 and the twins are 5.  This is barely a two year gap, and Sonlight cores are designed to be taught in this way.  We’ll have to fill in for Chavah with other literature in the meantime, but we have plenty of books to make this a reality.

The twins will be going through Core P this year.  I love the preschool Cores because the books are so much fun, and the older girls always join in for reading time.  In truth, we can’t even really call it a school day for the twins, but they love to be read to so much that I just have to schedule it in to my day. Even though they are going to be 3 in May, I will not start them with All About Reading Level Pre-1 until after the baby comes and I have recovered for a few weeks.  I am becoming more of a believer in classical education’s recommendation to get kids reading as quickly as possible and save writing letters for later when fine motor skills have developed.  There is no reason to frustrate them when they cannot properly hold a pencil.  On the other hand, there is no reason to wait to teach reading when they can understand the letters and words mean something.  The babies show a lot of interest in books and letters, so we’ll see if they can possibly be reading CVC words by next year.  Even if CVC words are a bit of a stretch, they will benefit from the preschool time we spend together.

I think a twelve-month year will be more than sufficient to cover everything here, even with a new bub arriving this summer.  Anyone else get that strange feeling of over-the-top excitement when looking at all the year’s new books?  It’s nice to lay it all out and see what the big picture for the year looks like.

Jaelah & Selah
History/Geography/Literature – Core C, SOTW Ancients, SOTW Middle Ages
Readers – Sonlight Grade 4 & 5 Readers
Math – Math U See Gamma, Life of Fred as much as the girls want because it’s so fun
Science – Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 & Notebooking
Bible – Sonlight Core C, read through the gospels and first six apostolic letters, Sing the Word: God Our Provider
Family Devotional Studies – Apologia What We Believe Volumes 1 & 2 (Daddy is thrilled about teaching this!)
Spelling – All About Spelling Level 4
Grammar – Rod & Staff English 3
Composition/Writing – IEW Writing Lessons All Things Fun & Fascinating and Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales
Handwriting – A Reason for Handwriting Cursive C
Greek/Latin – English From the Roots Up (continued from last year)
Drama/Speech – IEW Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization (continued from last year)
Piano – Alfred’s Basic Piano Prep Course Level B & C
Art – finish up Atelier Level 1, then Homeschool Connection one day per week beginning in the fall

Chavah
History/Geography/Literature -listen in Core P & Core C
Readers – All About Reading Level 2 and 3, Sonlight Grade 1 & 2 Readers
Math – Math U See Alpha
Science – sit in on Zoology as interested; join experiments
Bible – Sonlight Bible A, Sing the Word: A to Z
Family Devotional Studies – Apologia What We Believe Volumes 1 & 2 companion coloring book
Spelling – All About Spelling Level 1
Handwriting – A Reason for Handwriting Level A
Drama/Speech – IEW Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization (as interested)
Piano – Alfred’s Basic Piano Prep Course Level A (begin in the fall)
Art – finish up Atelier Level 1, then Homeschool Connection one day per week beginning in the fall

Hosannah & Noah
History/Geography/Literature – Core P
Reading Prep – All About Reading Level Pre-1
Math – Mighty Mind, Pattern Animals by Puzzles for Pattern Blocks
Bible – Sonlight Bible P, Sing the Word: A to Z
Family Devotional Studies – Apologia What We Believe Volumes 1 & 2 companion coloring book