2008-2009 School Year Plans

We’ve started our 2008-2009 school year!

Here is what Otter is using / doing:

Core program:
WinterPromise Children Around the World – Our “core” subject that incorporates geography, some history, art/crafts, etc.
I’ve added in a lot of extras like movies, additional recipes, activities and more in my world geography curriculum I created for his older siblings.

Otter’s Science – A year-long tour of the human body I designed for both of my sons.

Language Arts

First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind Level 3 (grammar, sentence diagramming, etc.)
Sequential Spelling (Finishing up level 1 and starting level 2 in a month or so)
Handwriting Without Tears Level 4 (cursive)
Barton Reading and Spelling program for Dyslexics Level 3 (soon to be in level 4) – 2x a week
Writing With Ease: Strong Fundamentals Text

Otter is reading a variety of books that correlate with our geography and science studies for “reading”. I’ve also ordered him a boatload of Usborne books because he really likes those.
Here are some of the titles:

I’m really thrilled at how much he loves Usborne books. We’ve ordered some in the past and Mr. Reluctant Reader has pulled out his copies and read them over and over. They are really nice, high quality chapter or informational books that come in a variety of levels. The series about different people in history even come with a satin bookmark “built in”.
We are also making huge use of the library and our own personal library that takes up over 70 linear feet!

Vocabulary Cartoons (not on a regular basis)
Usually we just cover vocabulary on the fly and on an as needed basis. As I read, I often pause to explain a word. Dad also uses a pretty big vocabulary and so Otter has really picked up a lot over the years. I haven’t found it necessary to really expand into workbooks at this point since he’s getting what he needs mostly from his day-to-day living. When he’s older we’ll start delving in deeper.

Right Start Math Level E
(decimals, percents, fractions, short division, geometry)
We also supplement with Singapore Math Level 4.

Otter is learning piano and trumpet. We are waiting for a program called Do Re Mi Soft.

Extras: I sometimes have Otter work from a critical thinking workbook and we have lots of art materials / books/ goodies in our school closet. Otter also sometimes uses learning software or gets out his snap circuits.
We’re also going to be doing some more official nature study and maybe some studies of artists.

Here is what Bear is using / doing:

Core Program:

World Geography and Cultures – This is the program I designed to accompany Children Around the World.

Language Arts:

Analytical Grammar
Write Guide
Literature program I created to accompany World Geography & Cultures


Big Otter’s Science (Anatomy & Physiology)


Thinkwell Calculus (finishing up) and then ??

Foreign Language:

Komm Mit German Level 1 taught by big sis Emily


Online Visual Basic and C++ programming class from Keystone High school
Volunteering at a local skilled nursing center
Computer club – Bear fixes up / builds / repairs donated computers and then donates them to senior citizens and other local community members in need.
Bear is also teaching others how to use computers – like one of the nuns at the skilled nursing center and some peers in an online.
Helping mom teach Otter science.
Lots of cooking projects!

Emily is using/doing:

World Geography and Cultures
Dual credit sociology class at a local college
Literature program I created
German 4 – basically a homemade program where Emily will be reading German novels, continuing to work on her grammar and watching movies & programs in German.
Health – another “homemade” program
Art 2 with some training from Lynda.com

Volunteering at a local skilled nursing center
Tutoring – Emily is teaching her brother German and may also teach a local homeschooled 6th grader art. She is also “teaching” an online class to her peers on creative writing and has projects going like sewing, knitting, etc.
Next semester Emily may be taking more classes at the college, but for now she’s just getting her feet wet. 🙂
Tutoring / teaching Bear German.

So there you have it….that’s what my kids are doing. So far everything is going really well and the geography studies we are doing together as a family is the highlight of the day. I’ll write more about that soon.