Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer and Next Year Homeschool Plans

I’m almost done planning for next year, Praise God! I’ve been blessed to find some great products that I like and the children love, so for the most part we are going to continue using those with a few new additions. I plan to still remain as hands-on as possible and keep simple yet fun.

This summer we’ll participate in the Harkins Summer Movie Program and the local library summer reading program and weekly shows. I’ve also complied a list a craft activities to provide some indoor entertainment. We’ll also have a scheduled pool day. The Arizona summer is no joke and bored is a bad word in my house.

Here’s the line up for next year:

Quran/Islamic Studies
We will continue our study of the Prophets of God through the summer. Memorization work will include Surahs 108, 110, and the Refuge Prayer for the start of next year.

Copywork will resume through the summer and next year. Amir will begin cursive writing instruction in September. Yasina, if she is ready, in January. I plan to use Handwriting Without Tears to start Amir off. I’ll use Zaner-Boser for extra practice and copywork when he’s ready.

Explode the Code is still working well, and I have no plans to stop that train. I’m ordering the last 4 books next month. We discovered Real Kids Readers at the library and the children really like them because the pictures are of real children. The twin’s reading skills are progressing nicely which is more important to me than anything. Reading truly is a gateway skill. Also, both children read aloud to me every morning.

I also plan to add the Beyond the Code workbooks series to our routine next year. The product is published by the same company as ETC, but focuses on reading comprehension skills.

We are currently reading Stuart Little by E.B White aloud. When we finish we’ll watch the movie. I haven’t decided what we’ll read aloud next. Amir and Yasina want to read The Complete Collection of Winnie the Pooh, but I wanted to save it until Sana is a little older so I don’t have to read it twice. Honestly, I really didn’t appreciate the importance read alouds until we read Charlotte’s Web. Now I’ve read more picture books to my children than I can count, but reading a story in chapters forcing the children to first remember what happened, then make deductions about what will happen next. Also the influence of quality literature on their vocabulary and my children’s speech patterns is simply profound.

We’ll keep using Natural Speller which provides you with lists of words with the same spelling patterns for Grades 1-8. Instant pudding test and spaghetti noodle practice have made this subject a fav in my house. We also use letter tiles to practice and keep a spelling notebook where we record words.

We’ll continue using Growing with Grammar, completing book 1 and moving on to GWG 2. We’ve been doing this orally for the most part and have been enjoying it. I’ve found this curriculum to be very well thought out and logical. The exercises are age/grade appropriate and provide plenty of practice.

Math U See is still working for us. I’d like for us to have the addition facts through the 9s memorized by the end of the summer. We’re currently working our way through the Alpha and Beta levels, taking a break here and there to concentrate on money, time, and measurement. Our current routine looks like this:

Counting to 1000 in increments of 100

Skip Counting with Number Snakes 2s, 5s, 10s

Fact Review--I say 2 + 2 is . . . , they scream 4 or we spread out printed numbers on the floor, I call out a problem and they run, jump on the answer, and say it out loud. The Math U See website provides an online drill. I’m looking into some more computer games for review.

Math U See lesson/worksheets (usually 1, sometimes 2 a day)

Next year we will be studying the human body using two experiment, hands-on activity based books, Head to Toe Science by Jim Wiese and Easy Make & Learn Projects: Human Body by Donald M. Silver, Patricia J. Wynne .

We’ll study 10 more countries next year. Traveling the world one country at a time is so much fun.

After our study of the prophets, we’ll begin a formal history study rooted in the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I plan to utilize The Theology of Time lecture series heavily. I found this DVD series created by an FOI that I may use as a spine for our study.

Latin Roots/Vocabulary
We’ll keep studying roots words and most our vocabulary words are taken from our readings.

Foreign Language
Spanish and I have a love/hate relationship. I really want my children to learn Spanish, but I can’t find a curriculum that suits me. I need something inexpensive, but open and go, so I don’t have to do a lot. Know anything that could fit the bill?

Fine Arts
I smell piano lessons on the horizon. I haven’t blogged a lot about it, but our artist and inventor studies will continue.

Lastly, I would like to add some computer software from The Critical Thinking Company sometime next year. Now that reading skills are established, I really want to focus on problem solving, reasoning skills, and critical thinking. I'm already sold on the Editor-in-Chief program, I'll let you know what I decide upon.

Ok, let's hear it, homeschoolers what are your plans for summer and next year?


  1. Good question - so much to accomplish this summer. I have a 3rd and 5th grader and I definitely want to see them review their math, spelling and writing. I went through the web and came up with some great websites that offer free math worksheets and interactive multiplication web sites. To keep them together so my kids wouldn't wander around the web distracted, I put them in an online binder so all they have to do is open the binder and print out the worksheets or answer the questions online.

    We are also going to be creative with projects in the garden and writing journals on kids blogging sites.

    here is the 3rd grade math word problem binder:

    the 5th grade math word problem binder:

    and here is the 3rd ad 5th grade binder for spelling review:

  2. What a wonderful resource! An online binder, I didn't know they exisited. LOL I'm definitely going to try it, because if I put mine on the computer, PBS Kids and Star Wars are first things they go for. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Feverishly taking notes....------>
    Great job as usually Momma!

  4. Oh, I'm thankful you found this helpful.