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Planning and Curriculum choices…

August 28, 2009

How is school going for everyone?  Willow Wood Academy, the name of our homeschool,  started a few weeks ago.  I am using Ambleside Online again this year because I really like the Charlotte Mason method of learning and it really seems to fit our family well.  My oldest, age 8, has a dislike for reading….mainly because it doesn’t come easily for him.  We used Ambleside Online year 1 for him last year, but abandoned it halfway thru the year because I really wanted to focus on phonics and reading with him.  So we started with Time4Learning and stuck with that for the remainder of the year.   It was fun for him, which at the time was a necessity.  He’s made huge leaps of progress since the start of last school year, mostly I think due to maturing,  so I decided to start again with AO year 1.  But this time, I chose to combine he and his sister, age 6, and use it together.  And you know what?  It’s working great!  It’s a lot easier on me, since I don’t have to find the time to do all that reading x2!  I would suggest to anyone considering homeschooling to check out the free Ambleside Online curriculum

In the past, I’ve used Singapore Math with Aidan.  This year I decided to try Saxon and so far, I think that was a wise choice.  I love the teacher manual that comes with it.  Very thorough.  Aidan is using Saxon 3 and Lilianne Saxon 1.  We chose Apologia for our Science curriculum starting with Zoology 1.  And it seems to be a great fit as well.  If Aidan had his choice, Science would be the ONLY subject he studies.  I have Aidan read a book of his choosing to me every day for phonics practice and we’re using the 100EZ Lessons book with Lilianne.  Dad is teaching the US states and their capitals 2 nights a week for Geography.

In the past, I didn’t do a lot of planning.  Just went with the flow and studied when and what we felt like at the time.  This year, with a 3rd, 1st, preschooler and one on the way, I wanted to be a little more prepared.  After lots of searching online, I came across the online planner over at Simply Charlotte Mason.  I gave the free month trial a shot and got to planning.  Sunday marks the end of my free trial. Happily, I paid for the yearly service today.  I LOVE the way it’s set up.  It could not work any better for us.  I am the Queen of  hand written lists and this prevents me from having to change my list daily.  If you like the Charlotte Mason method of learning and are looking for some help in the planning area, I would whole-heartedly suggest you check it out.  Planning was a snap and only took me a few hours (granted they were spread out over a week!) to get the entire year “planned”.  I love the flexibility it provides.  If I don’t get to a lesson today, it simply pushes the lesson to tomorrow with no adjustments from me.  I LOVE IT!!  And, no, this isn’t a paid endorsement.  I just really do love the planner!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Daisy permalink
    August 28, 2009 4:13 pm

    Your Aiden sounds a bit like my son when it comes to science. My son would eat, sleep, and breathe science if I let him. It’s the carrot on the stick around here.

  2. August 28, 2009 6:34 pm

    I am a teacher in a small independent school in the UK and I agree planning is so important and makes life much easier. I teach Home Economics to children aged 3 – 16. I only have small groups of 8 children but I plan for the whole year and it makes for a relaxed teaching atmosphere and you are not stressed about what is coming next. I wish you well with home schooling, sounds like a perfect idea.

  3. August 31, 2009 8:18 am

    Thanks for the review of the planner – I’d been wondering about it myself. I may just give it a try!!

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