Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reinventing The Wheel

I'm busy reinventing the wheel. AKA developing a Charlotte Mason/Well-Trained Mind secularly-oriented curriculum.

Why? Because it gives me something to do other than check the state Board of Nursing website 50 times a day to see if my license has gone through yet. And homeschooling the kiddos, of course.

I'm taking booklists from a number of different sources - AO, Tanglewood, Sonlight, Beautiful Feet, Mater Amabalis, my own memory - and trying to integrate them appropriately. That's a ton of books. No way is anyone in their right mind going to use them all. But so many of them are *good*!

So what I'm thinking:

SOTW is the spine for grades 1-4. For 5-8 I hope to find something that follows roughly the same schedule so that families with multiple children can work together easily (OTOH, built in review is useful). However, I also want something more comprehensive.

Each 14 week trimester will have an associated "classic" focus, to be read slowly over the course of the trimester, CM-style, and this will be the focus for geography.

In addition, there will be a bunch of free reading/read-aloud choices each week.

US History:
This is something I'm kinda mixed up on. I understand doing US history only in the context of world history (as it is in Story Of The World). I understand doing it parallel, as it's handled in most CM-based curriculums. Doing it within the context of world history makes the most sense to me personally, but I can't help feeling that this leaves kids woefully lacking in US history for quite a while, especially those who need to follow state standards or do standardized testing (though I don't think the lower Elementary tests focus much on US history, so presumably this isn't actually an issue).

Really undecided. I keep going back and forth on this. If I do it parallel, it will probably be something like 1st grade - Native Americans, basic US facts, 2nd - explorers through Revolutionary War, 3rd - Everything else, 4th - State History to be determined by the parent (coinciding with many state standards). That's not actually far off of the WTM rotation, especially since elementary US History doesn't really seem to go much past the Civil War and westward expansion.

Most of the existing literature-based curriculums include Bible study. I plan to replace this with a focus on World Religions, hopefully tied into history in some meaningful way. Possibly a 2 year rotation.

Up to this point, we've primarily unschooled science, and I'd like to work out something more organized. Primarily a living books focus for 1-4, roughly following the WTM rotation? Actually, at this age, I think a 2 year rotation might make more sense.

Composer Study starting in 3rd, tied to history

Life Skills:
Handicrafts, cooking, survival skills, etc.

Foreign Language:
To be determined by parent. We plan to do Latin all the way through, and probably start another language around 5th or 6th grade, and hopefully another before graduation.

To be determined by parent. Maybe make some living book recommendations.

It would be fun to integrate scout badge/pin/belt loop requirements/4-H stuff (if applicable) into all this.

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