Plans for Our 2015-2016 Homeschool Year

Today we officially embark on a new homeschool year. Since I have to provide a grade level to the state, we officially but unofficially working on 7th, 5th and 1st grades during the 2015-2016 school year. Having a first grader in the mix has made family learning a little trickier, but to those who say you can't teach all your kids together, trust me, it can be done.

Before I share what will be using and learning about this year, here is what our days and weeks generally look like.

6:00 am - I'm up enjoying some much needed quiet time. I blog, I read, I try to conquer an island in Tropico.

7:00-9:00 am - The kids wake up, have breakfast, are totally cranky with each other for NO apparent reason.

9:00-11:00 am - Free time for the kids. This is when they play minecraft, code, paint, draw, make a survival camp outside, research, read or whatever their little hearts desire that day.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm - Play a game, work on a math art project, I'll introduce a science activity, we'll do trivia, write, drawing lessons or take turns picking a new educational video on Amazon Prime to watch.

12:00-1:00 pm - Lunch and depending on what we were watching the kids beg to continue while we eat or they ask to turn on our latest audible book.

1:00 - 2:00 (longer depending on what we are reading) pm - Read aloud books, either Audible or I do it. While we listen we color in Dover coloring books, doodle or take notes.

2:00 - 4:00 pm - Matt heads up to his room to read or get on the computer to practice math. He usually spends most of this time researching new to him science concepts. Ema is either working on an art project, begging to bake or practicing math. Ali can be found playing with her dolls, aggravating the older kids to no end or playing on Reading Eggs or Mathseeds. I call this time my workout because I run back and forth across the house, up and down the stairs, helping them all out and joining in as needed. 

4:00 - 6:00 pm - Daily chores followed by some outdoor time while I cook dinner, crank up a random playlist and watch the kids roll their eyes at my ridiculous lip sync and dance skills.

6:00 - 7:30 pm - Dinner and family time

7:30 - 9:30 pm - Free time for all

9:30 pm - You don't need to go to sleep, but you need to be in your bed. Most night you'll find Matt with a stack of books and Ema with a notebook and pen for drawing.

In case you haven't read any of my homeschool post in the past, we are very unschoolish, but I need to make sure a few topics are covered so the kids are caught off guard with the grade level specific content on the test needed at the end of the year for our state home school laws. 

This year, that means making sure Matt needs to focus on the Middle Ages and Early Modern times and that Ema needs to focus on American history. So I've enlisted the Year 2 plans from Tapestry of Grace that I bought (eons ago) to help me pick books for Matt and pace them throughout the year. I'm also going to toss in some of the geography for all of this kids.

We are continuing with the A History of US series from Joy Hakim for American History, tossing in the Liberty Kid videos for Ali. We are also continuing with her The Story of Science series. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the conversational style of these books.

As I said above, Ali is using RedingEggs and Mathseeds, play as she calls it. Matt and Ema are using Khan Academy again this year for math along with all of our real life math, living math books and games.

I'm continuing to implement a Brave Writer approach to our homeschool and will toss in some discussions from copies of Arrows throughout the year. We are currently listening to, and really enjoying, The Forbidden Library. We have so many books on our To Read list though, that there is no way I could actually put a plan in place for the year. We will go where their interest lead us, even those interest involve KISS. In addition to the suggested books in TOG and interest led books, some that I do hope to get through this year are, either together or independently, are

  • The Eagle of the Ninth
  • Some books from the Horrible Histories series
  • Shingaling: A Wonder Story
  • The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story
  • Pluto: A Wonder Story
  • Some books from the Time Warp Trio series
  • Swamp Angel
  • American Tall Tales
  • Time of Wonder
  • Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beast
  • The BFG
  • The Once and Future King
  • Blood on the River
  • The Last Wild
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • The Lost Years of Merlin
  • The Lost Track of Time
  • Cambridge Hall: The Inventor's Secret
  • House of Robots
  • A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
  • Greenglass House
  • Inside Out & Back Again (I still need to preview this one)
  • Rain Reign
  • The Sasquatch Escape
  • Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
  • Ungifted
  • The One and Only Ivan
  • Kenny & the Dragon
  • Out of My Mind
  • Stella by Starlight
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
  •  Animal Grossology
  • Outstanding in the Rain
  • Dear Hank Williams
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
  • The Apothecary
  • Georgie
  • The Night Gardener
  • The Humming of Numbers
  • The Willoughbys
  • The Rough-Face Girl
  • The First Music
  • A Story, A Story
  • Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

Will we get through them all? NO WAY, but we will have fun trying!

The only thing that may actually resemble school in our home this year would be some live classes from CurrClick. The kids really enjoy them so I've been eyeballing a few for the fall semester, including Instruments & the Orchestra and MathArt: Ancient Mathematics History and the Golden Number.

So there you have it, our plans for the year, as planned out as they can be. What do you plans for the year look like, loose like ours or have you penciled the whole year in your favorite planner already?