After a year of planning and evaluating various options for Year 1, it’s finally done – our super-schmancy, fine-and-dandy Complete Jewish Homeschool Curriculum! Sort of. It’s an ambitious list, and I’m scared I won’t be able to do it.
Points to keep in mind:
- I’m flexible. If something doesn’t work, I drop it – period. Maybe pick up something else, or maybe drop the subject if it’s not a crucial one. I am very open to this, though I think everything I’ve chosen for the year is do-able.
- It LOOKS ambitious, but most of it is just extensions of what we are already doing. Nothing here will be a big surprise if you’ve been reading this blog all along.
- Most lessons are VERY short! Depending on the lesson itself and Naomi Rivka’s co-operation, an average lesson is about 10-20 minutes. Some subjects in some weeks will really involve ZERO additional minutes; they’re just books included in our regular family reading schedule. A typical lesson in First Language Lessons takes less than 5 minutes at this level. Math is usually something like 5 minutes of skip counting drill plus 15 minutes. If we start at 9-something, our school day will likely be finished by noon (though we are probably more likely to start around 10 and finish by 1).
- Most lessons are fun! Most of these subjects are already ones Naomi asks for, at least part of the time, if not every day. As a grammar-stage learner, she loves discovering the world’s “hidden secrets” – stuff like the names of the continents, rules for identifying geometric shapes, parts of a flower. I see this every day and love “indulging” her by sharing these secrets.
I plan to update this list if there’s anything I’ve forgotten – or if something I’ve planned doesn’t work out for us. I also plan to add links to curriculum wherever possible.
So here, without further [as they say, and it drives me crazy] adieu... The List:
Year One Curriculum
Term 1: June – Aug 2011 – Composer: Mozart, Artists: Van Gogh, Cassatt, Mondrian
Term 2: Sept – Nov 2011 – Composer: Mendelssohn, Artists: Picasso, Monet, Homer
Term 3: Dec – Feb 2012 – Composer: Bach, Artists: Remington, O’Keeffe, Hokusai
Term 4: March – May 2012 – Composers: Bartok, Hindemith, Artists: Matisse, Degas, Kahlo
* For artist/composer information, scroll to the bottom of this list.
· Limudei Kodesh – 4x/week
o Tefillah: daily davening, plus occasional copywork & translating
o Reading: Kriyah v’Od, Part 2
o Begin Chumash reading & translating/understanding
o Dinim – Shabbos, Kashrus, Yamim Tovim, other mitzvos / middos?
o Weekly Parsha – copywork, reading, 1x/week narration
· Math – 4x/week
o JUMP Math, Books 1.1 & 1.2
· Language Arts – 3x/week
o First Language Lessons, Books 1 & 2
o Handwriting Without Tears
o Finish Explode the Code 2, continue into Spelling Workout A
o Nursery Rhymes – memorization & fun w/Literature Pockets
o Reading from BOB Books, Set 4 / Dick & Jane, then into McGuffey Readers
o Keep reading our regular chapter books several times a week AT LEAST! (see list here)
· History – 3x/week
o Story of the World, Book 1
o Readings and activities from Story of the World Activity Book
o Readings from Fifty Famous Stories, Famous Men Greek/Rome
o Activities from History Pockets
· Geography – 1x/week
o Weekly readings and activities from Expedition Earth
o Various songs, mapwork, etc.
· Science – 2x/week
o Elemental Science
o Weekly Readings
o 1x/week narration
o 1x/month (AT LEAST) nature study plus narration
· Music – throughout the week
o Listen to music by term’s composer in car, at home, etc.
o Supplement with bios from Classics for Kids and other sites
o 1x/term composer biography & narration
· Art – 1x/week
o Every other week, Meet the Masters artist bio, information
o Every other week, Draw – Write – Now lessons – every week if there’s time
o 1x/month Meet the Masters practical project
· Physical Education – 2x/week AT LEAST
o Continue with swimming lessons & weekly dance classes
· Social – whenever possible!
o Weekly homeschool drop-in, shul program, and MORE
* How I chose our artists and composers:
- The composers here ROUGHLY follow the Ambleside schedule. I want to do four terms per year, though, and Ambleside provides only three, so I have picked up a “make-up” composer – for this year, it’s Bach. Well worth learning about, I figure.
- For artists, Ambleside tries to pair the artist to the period of the composer, leading to a pretty obscure list, with few good “beginner” artists (for 2010/2011 the artists were Durer, Caravaggio and Delacroix). Having failed a few times at doing art in a really compelling way, I recently bought the Meet the Masters program for 50% off through homeschool buyers co-op. This takes all the thought and most of the prepwork out of it. The package I bought covers 20 artists – more than enough for one per month – in a well-planned order.
So… your thoughts? Link up your own curriculum ideas if you’re already planning your coming year!