28 March 2013

Preparing to Prepare

It's that time of year again... The forums are filling up with people posting their projected curricula, asking about the latest and greatest programs, and generally trying to gear up for the school year ahead. Never mind that for most the current year is still forging ahead! The time to start planning is now! In my corner of the world, there are already emails darting back and forth regarding used book sales and homeschool conferences. One of them has even come and gone already!

I, too, have jumped on the bandwagon and have begun preparing for the year ahead. Although we school year round and pretty much begin the next level when the previous one is finished, there are big changes ahead in our school. K is going to be in 5th grade next year, and we are really going to be upping her game a bit. Math, grammar, and literature are all going to remain the same, but she is ready to move on to a more classical approach in history and science. What does this mean? Well, I'm still figuring it all out at the moment. I originally thought she was going to be using History Odyssey, Ancients Level 2 for history and Real Science 4 Kids Middle School Chemistry for science. As it turns out, I don't want to go that route anymore.

What changed my mind, you ask? I reserved a copy of The Well-Trained Mind (TWTM or WTM), 3rd edition, at the library for the umpteenth time last week. (Honestly, I really should just purchase the darn thing!) I think my original purpose was to review the time guidelines for 3rd grade and 5th grade so that I can make sure the girls aren't just rushing through their grammar in five minutes when they should be working on it for 20 minutes. (It turns out, this is the case, so now we do more than one lesson per day, at least for the older one.) Somehow, while looking this valuable information up, I found myself reading through the author's recommendations for 5th-grade history. As it turns out, I think I would prefer to follow TWTM guidelines rather than purchase History Odyssey.

So, after posting all of my questions about history and getting rather encouraging responses, I decided to look into the science chapter. And guess what? That's right! Now I want to follow TWTM recommendations for science, too! (Honestly, you would, too, if you took a peek at them! I'll blog more about that in the upcoming days.)

So, now that I think I know where K is going for her 5th-grade history and science, I have to begin the actual planning. I'm really excited about it, though. I'm going to keep gathering advice over the next couple days from others who have followed this path and start piecing together our rough plans for next year. (I'll try to keep the blog updated as things come along!)

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