Thursday, July 24, 2014

Planning for our 2014-15 School Year

I've been busy trying to put together a general lesson plan for each week of the coming school year. Sean will be entering 6th grade. 

I'm using the Montessori Upper El curriculum I found at last year. It covers 4,5,6 grade, and I feel that it has given me everything I need to make sure we are on track.  I will go over the general idea of why we need a lesson plan, and discuss the freedoms he will have within the parameters of those lesson plans. Last year he did a work plan every day, and we will continue to do that, but I will require certain subjects to be done more days than others.

Here's what we will be doing this year:     
Language, History, Math, Science, Physics, Reading, Geography, Biology, Botany, Writing, Drama/Storytelling/Music/Art, and current event study.

 We will be using Montessori grammar symbols, going deeper with the parts of speech, and some online sentence diagramming for Language.                                                                                   
For History, I use Passage of Time A Textbook for ICSE History and Civics. It's a series of books from India, so there is quite a bit of focus on that part of the world, but I find that it gives a LOT of what we need. I just skip over what we don't need right now. Last year I bought Passage of Time 6, which covers first humans through ancient civilizations. We're finishing up Greece, Rome and ancient Native Americans before we dive into the 1,000A.D to 1865 that I have planned for the coming school year. I will combine some of Passage of Time 7 and 8 for this work. (And there will still be some left for Middle School work-yay!) I hope to take him on a field trip to a Medieval village near where we live, and he will have the opportunity to do some research projects of his choosing. We could possibly be visiting some of the US sites we study, if our plans pan out.

Math will be a fluid, ever-changing journey,  at least in the beginning. Our private instructor, who is Montessori trained and awesome, has a different work schedule starting in September and can't help us this year. So I will follow the Upper El curriculum, but I will pull from various resources. I'll look for presentations from albums that I have, and one resource that I'm looking at seriously is Khan Academy. 

Science is overlapping botany and biology, and we will use a lot of Montessori 3-part cards and booklets. We will begin with animal and plant cells and move through to human physiology for biology and plant life for botany, but we will look for some science experiments that require the math we will be using. I hope he will also be attending our local YMCA camp for homeschool days once a month.

Reading is going to include a lot of choice within parameters. I will be reading aloud, and I'm hoping to encourage him to choose books from a list included with the curriculum, which will enhance his understanding of history, science, and the other subjects. I also want him to read for pleasure, but we shall see. He hasn't been very excited about reading chapter books.

Geography/ Physics will be a lot of hands-on projects, beginning with simple machines and moving to more complex ideas. We will be looking at old maps of the world, comparing them to current ones, making maps, and using them to track our route on one of our trips.

For writing I will have him do journal entries, reports and projects. We will explore all of the various types of writing, including newspaper ;-) (I used to be a reporter.)

He is already taking piano lessons, and we will focus in on drama for a while. I've already got us scheduled for plays at the Seattle Children's Theatre, and I plan to have him write about what he liked and learned during those performances. I'll be looking for some storytelling resources in our area (something easy to come by in the South, but I haven't seen a lot of it here) and I hope our local art alliance will offer free homeschool art classes again. 

I have ordered Time for Kids to keep him informed on current events, and I will have him read some newspaper articles. He will be asked to choose one topic from a source to discuss. And we will study which sources are true journalistic sources, and trustworthy, and why.

When I look at this list it looks like a lot. I've done a rough draft and I'll be refining it, but this is the general outline. 


  1. This sounds fantastic! Looking forward to reading more about your year to come. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Tearri! I have been so busy I just now saw that I had comments on this post. Busy summer, and enjoying every bit of it while it lasts.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you for the sweet comment. I have been so swamped I just saw that I had comments on this blog post.