Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thinking about next year, part 1

This is probably the first year that I have begun planning for the next school year in December; however, I've decided to start for 3 reasons. First I want to put an overall budget in place for next year so that means I need to estimate how much I spend on school. Second, I'm also hoping an early jump start will give me time to either find what I need used or come up with my own curriculum instead. Third, I feel like we need to make a few changes in our curriculum choices so I need some research time.

4th Grade for Faith
Math: Singapore is working well for us so we'll just continue on with year 4. Jessie is looking forward to only having one math program next year.
  1. Singapore Primary Math 4A Textbook ($7.95)
  2. Singapore Primary Math 4A Workbook ($7.95)
  3. Singapore Primary Math 4A Intensive Practice ($7.95)
  4. Singapore Primary Math 4B Textbook ($7.95)
  5. Singapore Primary Math 4B Workbook ($7.95)
  6. Singapore Primary Math 4B Intensive Practice ($7.95)
  7. Singapore Primary Math 4 Challenging Word Problems ($7.50)
Total cost for math: $55.20

Language Arts:
Spelling: Spelling Workout is also working fine.
  1. Spelling Workout F ($15.50)
  2. Spelling Workout G ($15.50)
Grammar: Jessie is doing fine with the Rod and Staff grammar; but even though she's getting the exercises, it's not translating into the rest of her work. I also don't see the need to continue grammar through high school, so we'll research some alternative ideas here. (cost to be determined)
Writing: I definitely want to stick with the progymnasmata for writing. We could just continue with CW Aesop. Although I found the student manual and instructor manual helpful this year in understanding how to implement the program, I believe I could make my own lesson plans and avoid the cost of the Aesop B student and instructor books. The one drawback to CW is that it doesn't seem to have a plan to get through all of the stages of the progymnasmata. I think I'll revisit my research here before making a final decision. (cost to be determined)
Handwriting: I already have the paper for next year. We need to transition to dictation. I'd like to actually schedule out the dictation in advance so I'm not scrambling for something the weekend or night before the assignment. ($0.00)
Literature / Reading: We'll stick with library books here. I'll need to do a better job of prereading and scheduling the books in advance this time. I'd like to add in some enrichment activities or book reports here. Need to research the best way to do this. (cost to be determined)

Total cost for Language Arts for now: $31.00

Latin / Foreign Language: I don't really have anything against Prima Latina, but I can't say I'm thrilled with it either. I'm definitely going to do some research on Latin programs before deciding for next year. I'd really like to get back into Spanish as well. I have an old copy of the Learnables Spanish, and the demo cd of Rosetta Stone. I think I'll try those with Jessie again before starting to look at other program options. (cost to be determined)

History: I'm happy with the way TruthQuest is working for us this year despite a bit of disorganization in my planning. I think we'll continue with it next year. I'll try to get AHYS 2 in early spring so I get a head start in planning this time.
  1. TruthQuest American History for Young Students 2 ($28.95)
  2. TruthQuest American History for Young Students 3 ($28.95)
Total cost for history: $57.90

Science: I'm really leaning towards starting science up in January rather than waiting until summer because I know once the baby is here I'll be able to come up with dozens of reasons why we can't do science today. I already have Apologia Botany which we have yet to get through, and Apologia Zoology 1 which we haven't tried yet. We'll give zoology a try and see if the girls enjoy it before I consider buying any more science books. I do need to get in some planning very soon though to start in January. (I guess that gives me my project for next week while DH is at the beach). (cost to be determined)

Art / Music: We're still struggling with art here. I just don't think I have enough art experience to use Drawing with Children. We'll need to explore some options for art. We have yet to do any art appreciation in our homeschool. Next year would be a good year to start working on this. Then in 5th grade we could link our art appreciation with our history cycle again. More research. What music we've done this year has gone well. Both of the girls enjoy the Classical Kids tapes and the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists. I guess next year we'll try to finish all of the resources our library has in this area. I also want to find something to teach the girls some of the different musical instruments with music so they can hear the different sounds. A bit more research needed here as well. (cost to be determined)

Hmm... I may need to estimate next year's budget based on what I spent last year for my budget. I have a lot more things to research and think about than I expected when I started this post. Well, at least now I know what areas where I need to spend time researching, and I can start looking for used math, spelling, and history books.

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