Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preparing for Next School Year

I went and paid off one of the vans yesterday, so we've got one less monthly payment now. I've already gotten my state and federal tax refunds, so now I'm planning my curriculum purchases for the upcoming school year, which for us, begins at the end of June.

For Hayden who will be going into 6th grade, here's what I've got planned:

Sonlight Core 6
Sonlight Bible 6
Sonlight Science 6
Saxon Math 8/7
Saxon Grammar & Writing 6
Houghton Mifflin Spelling & Vocabulary 8
Wordly Wise 3000 Book 7
Switched on Schoolhouse Elementary Spanish
McGraw Hill "Our World" (6th grade Social Studies we use as a supplement)
Silver Burdett Science Horizons 6 (we use this as a supplement)
Abeka Art C
Nine-Note Recorder Method for Alto
Science World Magazine

For Haylee who will be going into 1st grade, here's what I've got planned:

Sonlight Core 1 with Readers 2 Regular and Readers 2 Intermediate (at double pace)
Sonlight Science 1
Sonlight Bible 1
Silver Burdett English 1
Saxon Math 2
Saxon Phonics 2
A Reason for Handwriting - Transition
Wordly Wise A & B (at double pace)
Complete Book of Spanish for Grades 1-3 (1st half)
Harcourt Health & Fitness 1
Silver Burdett Science Horizons 1 (we use this as a supplement)
Houghton Mifflin Spelling & Vocabulary 2
Silver Burdett Music 1
Abeka Art Projects 1
Scholastic News 2

For Holden, who is now 2, I'm planning to continue taking our time working our way through Sonlight Core PK 3/4, plus adding in the Abeka Nursery Curriculum for 2's, which I've already purchased. He just turned 2 after Christmas, so we're just reading some of the stories in PK 3/4 and singing some of the songs right now. He's really eager to be read to right now, so I figured it's a good time to ease into his own special "school." It's so cute when Steve comes home and asks him if he's been busy doing school. And if you ask him "so, watchya been up to today?" he answers with "nuh-in much!" That kid cracks me up with his talking these days. He'll say just about anything. :)

I've been busy perusing the Sonlight website to try to figure out how Core 1 and Science 1 have changed since I last used them in 2005. It's nice that I only need to purchase the books that have been added and get that nice 50% discount on upgrading my teacher's guide. It looks like Core 1 mostly dropped some books and added a required resource, and Science 1 has changed quite a bit since they revamped all the science programs last year. I'm looking forward to the upgrade there. I have been busy ordering all the supplements (old PS textbooks) that we use online. I discovered I could print the activity book for her Harcourt Health & Fitness program for free, so that was good news (www.harcourtschool.com/menus/health_fitness/planning_resources.html, and includes grades K-6). I also printed Hayden's workbook for free for his McGraw-Hill Social Studies program, too (www.mhschool.com/socialstudies/2003-5/teacher/workbooks.html, and includes grades 1-6). And if anyone is interested, you can also print off free workbooks from McGraw-Hill Language Arts (www.mhschool.com/languagearts/2001/geacher/teachres/workbooks.html, and includes grades K-6 in 3 levels - remedial, regular, and advanced).

I was able to get the teacher's manuals and student textbooks I needed for just a few dollars each this year, so that was a relief.

Overall, I feel like I'm in a good place with my planning and preparations. I need to start making copies and scheduling out my supplements as I receive them. I model my schedule after the Sonlight schedule so it all flows together in my binder. I always schedule out everything we'll be using for the whole school year so there's little to no prep work once we're ready to start the new core. The copies, though...ugh! I dread the massive amounts of copies that are required. Sheesh. I've already started on some of it. It takes me a couple of months of doing it in my spare time to get it all ready. It sure makes my life easier during the school year, though, to have it all ready to go.

I'm so glad we were off school this week. I've been sick with what I fondly call "the plague." The kids have milder versions of it, but I've been totally wiped out with this thing for the last week straight. I am just starting to turn the corner in terms of getting the congestion loosened so I can blow/cough it out. Gotta love real Sudafed and Mucinex for working their magic!

The kids and I went on a field trip to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra's Young People's Concert. It was really nice. The kids were well behaved and really seemed to enjoy themselves. I was suprised that Holden started out so calm, but I guess he's not feeling all that well himself. We had front row seats, too!

I'm looking forward to my last VSO concert in April for the season, and I'm thankful I'll be renewing my season ticket for next season. It's like my respite away from the kids and the chores of home, and I feel so peaceful when I leave there. It's like my "Calgon, take me away!" moment. You know what I mean. :)