Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back-to-Homeschool Curriculum Planning

Here’s a rough outline of the way I’m thinking we’ll go this year.  No idea how I’m going to schedule it all just yet… and I won’t know until I see how the extracurriculars are going to be slotting in.

ENGLISH / GENERAL STUDIES / לימודים כללים:

(* = ordered today from Rainbow Resource; eta = forgot these!  added Sept 2)

  • Handwriting – continue Handwriting Without Tears / Letters and Numbers for Me
  • Handwriting – begin to introduce copywork of simple, relevant verses (none in mind at this point)
  • Reading – continue with the *next level of Bob Books Readers, add variety of reading material as she grows more comfortable.  Begin/continue Dick & Jane compendium:  Fun Wherever We Are (found at Value Village).
  • Reading – continue with Starfall phonetic reading and online games
  • eta Phonics – continue with Explode the Code, Book 1 – used successfully last year
  • Reading together – continue with Little House and other “living books”
  • Math – continue Funtastic Frogs Cards for patterns, lacing etc.
  • Math – begin *Miquon Orange (Level 1) with Cuisenaire Rods, which the kids already know and love
  • eta Math – Telling Time with the Judy Clock – plus Judy Clock, bought last year
  • Science – continue exploring weights and volumes with split peas and other fun stuff
  • Science – begin *Living Learning Books Level 1:  Animals, Human Body and Plants
  • History – ?  Still stuck on this; it’s one of my weak points!
  • Geography – continue maps and map skills (no text at this point)
  • Geography – begin reading and researching Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Geography (once I find a good printed edition!) (have pdfs; will print them myself at Kinko’s)

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JEWISH STUDIES / לימודי קודש:

  • תפילה/Tefillah – resume, then increase our daily davening (scroll down here to see what we do), adding tefillos to our own siddur… and perhaps eventually “graduating” to a more formal one (Artscroll Children’s Siddur?)
  • כתיבה/Handwriting – continue block print writing; haven’t tried too hard with this, so we must do more this year.  Perhaps obtain Migdalor’s Ktav Yad, somehow, which seems to teach some block printing – despite the script writing on the cover.  Begin copywork using basic pesukim – none in mind at the moment, but I think I made up some sheets last year.
  • קריאה/Reading – obtain and begin reading Kriyah v’Od, somehow, through Israel’s or Shy Publishing.  Continue with easy readers:  Mirik Snir, Smadar Shir (the “Yuli” series), Yael Arnon (Or Shoelet…) and whatever else the library has to offer.
  • Reading together – continue with easy Hebrew kids’ books from the library, music CDs, etc
  • חגים/Holidays – Perhaps begin the Chagim book from Migdalor (if they would ever return my $#!% emails… aargh!).  Continue reading Round and Round the Jewish Year – especially if I could find the Elul/Tishrei edition (Volume One) in stores anywhere around here!  We have a book called Chagaynu, but it’s for older kids, very dinim-focused and not all that wonderful, anyway.  Lots of help from chinuch.org in this area.
  • דינים/Laws – mostly holiday stuff at this point.  Later on in the year, Brachos, Kashrus and perhaps something else, probably with help from chinuch.org. 
  • חומש/Chumash (Torah) – Torah stories in easy Hebrew.  Bought this one called HaBriyah, and it turns out there’s a whole series by Shulamit Tzarfati of Tanach stories in simple language.  If anybody gives us money for GZ’s upsherin/bday, it might be worth purchasing the entire one-volume Tanach book (I’d check first to make sure we were able to read it).  I also bought the Migdalor Lech Lecha so we can start more in-depth study.  I like the way this book introduces lots of vocabulary, and how it shows the Biblical Hebrew alongside a modern Hebrew “teitsch.”  I also love its many gorgeous full-colour photos of idols!
  • פרשת השבוע/Weekly Parsha – continue reading My First Parsha Reader and watching the weekly “Jono” (The Parsha Report, on Chabad’s site) and/or G-dcast video (aka “Temima’s Parsha”).  Weekly craft tied in with the parsha, sometimes, from ChallahCrumbs.  Continue writing weekly parsha poems to share with the kids.  Search desperately for something better than My First Parsha Reader.  Hope fervently that Torat Imecha, Zemira Ozarowski’s fabulous weekly parsha story books, come back in the fall – or ever.

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And then there’s…

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY / EXTRACURRICULAR:

  • Ballet (Naomi Rivka only)
  • Swim (both kids)
  • Some type of singing and music class for GZ…
  • I’d like to find a good kiddie yoga class, too, because Naomi tried it on Sunday and loved it
  • More details here once I sign us up for City of Toronto programs…

So:  there we go!  A year in my kids’ home education!  And what a year it’s going to be!!!

(p.s.  Just checked to see when my last curriculum update was:  back in February.  Guess we’re due for one, and this year looks FAR more rigourous…)

7 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    It was great to read your plan for homeschooling this year. You are so much more determined and organized than I am, it impresses me. I linked to this post on my Jewish Homeschooling Resources, and I invite any of your readers to come and submit a description or link to their plans for this year's homeschooling in the comments section.

    Is it alright for me to try to promote what I'm doing in this way?

    Thanks,
    Shira

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  2. LOVE all the interesting info here. I was looking for something like the tanach in easy hebrew books. We have a Tall Tales in Biblical Hebrew (from Behrman, I think) which is fun to use too. I think I'll have to get the other books!

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  4. @Shira: I beat you to it with a whole post about your site!

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  5. It was fun to see how similar our curriculum choices were. You might like Geography which is based in Charlotte Mason. I am going to look into the living book science you are using.

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  6. I just checked out the Behrman House site based off your recommendation and love it. Most of the Hebrew resources people suggest are too hard for us because I do not know enough Hebrew to read to Froggy. This however we can use and learn together.

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  7. @Michelle: If you wait, I'll review it or at least mention whether it's at all good. I haven't seen it and am a bit nervous about buying the books (teacher's guide & workbook) sight unseen... under $30, but still; hold off if you want more info!

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