Monday, August 12, 2013
The 13/14 School Year Curriculum Post
Our core Montessori manuals are from KHT Montessori. This is our Montessori base. This year both Elora and William are adding Classical Conversations. CC will help add structure to a number of areas especially history, geography, science and fine arts. It also adds Latin, which is something new for all of us.
We will continue purely with our Montessori albums from KHT Montessori.
CC will dictate which topics we cover. For Cycle 2 we will explore Ecology, Astronomy and Physics. I have KHT specific manuals for each topic as well. I will select work that lines up with each weekly theme. I am also anxiously awaiting the Cycle 2 package from Montessori Print Shop (here's the previous cycle). I'm uncertain what it will contain at this point but I will use it as often as possible.
This year I am introducing the Dwyer Method to Elora for reading. William will continue with basic letter sounds and transition to this as well once he's ready. I also plan to introduce the grammar farm. For writing, we will continue with the Montessori basics of the sand tray and green boards. I am also introducing ReadyWriter activities. While we went with the less traditional approach (Montessori-wise) of starting with print, I am going to introduce cursive to both. We will start with the sandpaper letters and sand tray. I also plan to incorporate the CC created program, PreScripts. I always find Language to be the hardest to plan and execute.
We haven't tackled geography as much as we should have in the past. I hope to correct this. I intend to present two works per week from our KHT geography manual. In addition, we will practice our CC weekly maps which focus heavily on Europe for this cycle. We will also pick one country each week to explore deeper through the book Window on the World.
The CC weekly history statement and timeline study will be our primary history focus. I will occasionally pull from our KHT albums for this area but overall, CC goes so wide and deep that it will most likely be enough.
Traditional Montessori (Sensorial/Practical Life/Grace and Courtesy)
Yes, we will continue these areas as well. For the most part, I will use our KHT Montessori albums although I tend to intersperse other ideas that I find online too. I go back and forth about adding the Grace and Courtesy book by Beth Phillips. I hope to add a movement shelf at some point. At the very least, we will explore the Yoga Kit for Kids.
Elora and William will once again attend a German immersion school program on Saturdays. They love it! We have strong family roots in Germany so it's fun to watch them explore the language and culture. The program is offered through the language department of a local university.
Music is a very important topic but I have struggled to find something good given our young ages. I will begin with a CD from Boomwhackers, which is essentially a few games. It is basic and I hope will be engaging to all three. Once we are finished with it we will start Music for Little Mozarts. I think this is the type of program I've been looking for (fingers crossed). We haven't actually used it yet so I can't give a real opinion on it. We will continue with basic music appreciation as well. We have been longing to introduce classic hymns. I recently stumbled across the book Then Sings my Soul. It gives a brief history of 150 hymns. We are going to focus on one each week, both learning the history and singing it.
The first six weeks of our CC Fine Arts focuses on drawing techniques. Once that is completed I will start on the art curriculum from New Child Montessori. I bought the manual years ago but have never been able to get on top of it in the past.
The list of items I want to address in this area is long. The only thing I know we are addressing this year for certain is Our 24 Family Ways, which I'm very excited about. We are going through this study as a family. I had started to write out my own list of what our priorities as a family would be. When I first stumbled across this book and read the list of "ways", it was like someone had already written it for me AND found a way to eloquently teach it.
My husband and I are from the school of thought that learning to write code is now an essential skill; even when you have no intention of pursuing a career in information technology. Without going into many details at present, coding teaching critical logic skills. Elora will spend time with the app Light-Bot on the Kindle as well as learning to use Scratch from MIT. William is probably a bit too young yet but if he shows an interest with any of these, I will pursue it.
The last item on my list is actually for me. This will be Elora's last year of Primary meaning that next year we need to transition to Lower Elementary. While I have read a bit about Lower Elementary, I do not have any training on this range, nor do I feel like I have a good grasp of how to approach it. I'm not 100% certain on which albums I'll use but I am leaning heavily towards Keys to the Universe at the moment. With that program, I have the option of an 8 month or 16 month online course. I also hope to find time to observe the Lower Elementary classroom at the local Montessori school towards the end of this school year.