Spring Fever vs Next Year Planning

I am so excited about next year.  Honestly I think I feel this way every year at this time.  I want to hurry and get done so I can devote myself to getting ready to start again.  Crazy cycle!

But I love finding all the new books for next year, acquiring them, and then finally, reading them!  I just love it!

Next year, I am adding 2 students to my day, and a few subjects too.  I will officially add the two youngest of our brood to the school table – E has been learning for years with his brothers, and I am a little worried he is going to recall so much of what he learned that he is going to breeze through some of this, but that will be okay.  I think he will do a great job narrating back and teaching A what is expected.  He is a great listener and I think that will help her understand a bit better what she needs to do.  He is going to love revisiting some of our favorite books as much as I am, I suspect!

I am excited to see that we are able to work more subjects in and still not feel overwhelmed!  We added Hymn study this January (or so), and we are loving it!  I love it when I hear one of the kids humming a hymn we are studying, or when we sing one in church that we have studied – very fun!

Next year I am working Latin in on a more regular basis.  This past year, we played with a Latin book I have, did a few work sheets, but not sure we learned anything!  Next year, we are doing English from the Roots up – and I already have built some notebooking pages for the kids to use to really learn the words and their meanings.  I found some for sale, but could not bring myself to pay for what I could make.  I know this will be mostly for the two oldest, but we are going to involve the younger two and see what they catch along the way.

For science it looks we are going to do Zoology I, in a co-op style format!  I am really looking forward to this and I know the kids will love it.  All 4 will do this together, but I will expect more out of the bigger boys than the younger 2 kiddos.  Doing this with some friends will make it so much more fun too!  Cannot wait to start this!

I am also investing in Map Trek – a book & CD of maps that cover all of history – so when we are studying a certain period we can look up a map of that time period to study the geography of that time.  I am not planning for this to be the bulk of our geography, but just a little something extra to help us understand the periods we are studying a bit more!

For Geography, we have been working on the European continent this year, and the kids are doing great, but we have not learned it completely, so we are going to stick with Europe, but add in the US and it’s capitols too.  I use Simply Charlotte Masons’s system of Map Drills – we use a blank map and label what we know.  Then we check it, and find a few more to add and try to study the ones we add and then put it away until next week.  I am planning to have a copy of the filled in map at the kitchen table to look at often and maybe one by their beds, so they can look at it and get comfortable with it a bit more than just doing the drills once a week.  The Map Drill system takes about 5 minutes each time you do it, so I am looking forward to doing Europe one day and the US another and not feel like I am overwhelming them. 

We are sticking with the Math we love – Math U See – so nothing new there.  We love this!  My youngest will start out with the Primer, next E will finish Alpha (unless he finishes this summer) and the other two will work on Delta most of the year I suspect.

I am still deciding on a Language Arts program, but looking into Total language Plus – have heard good things.

We plan to do more writing next year as well.  I plan to have the older boys write a book report each month on a book of their choosing.  Then I am going to use some writing prompts from a friend to get both boys writing more.  I hope this works, because I really do not want to buy some writing curriculum.  We will see though.  I am hoping they get more regular with their blogs as well – I would love to see them post a couple times a week about the goings on here! 

Otherwise, we are loving Ambleside and are going to start year 4 with my two oldest and year 1 with my two youngest.  Should be a fun year with all 4 schooling together some and apart lots.  I am so excited, if I could start now I think I would!  

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