09 May 2017

Planning for the 2017-2018 School Year {Part One}

We only have eight days left in this school year, as we are wrapping up early to do that whole moving-across-the-country thing. Even though I haven’t been writing much in this space, I have been doing a lot of planning and thinking and perusing of materials. We will be taking a seven-week break before tackling sixth, fourth, and second grades, which is a lot for us. {Typically our “summer” ends up being more like two to three weeks off to “reset” before we get bored, ha.} 


Currently we spend the first part of our morning school time on written work, and we will likely continue that schedule as we start our next year. Even though they work on different levels, it’s helpful to have everyone at the table at the same time doing the same subjects {primarily math and language arts, but we do include some written work on other subjects as well}.

All three Agents LOVE the Brain Quest workbooks. I don’t know what it is about them, but they are all super excited to start them again. We even bought the new “summer transition” ones to take with us on our travels next month. We are also planning on utilizing the Star Wars workbooks for second and third grade, as well as many of the Brighter Child and School Zone publications we’ve used in the past. We decided to throw in a few Dover coloring books as well, for topics such as the 50 states.

After that, we typically transition into morning reading time, which is when we read together any math, language arts, or mythology texts {we just finished up Greek and we’ll be moving on to Egyptian} we’re in the middle of. I’m thinking of adding poetry to this as well. We will probably re-read all the Sir Cumference books yet again, as well as the Brian Cleary grammar books and the relevant Basher books. Last year we added in several of the alphabet books from Sleeping Bear Press along with selections from the You Wouldn’t Want To . . .  series. 


We also do Spanish in the mornings. After trying several different programs with mixed success, we’ve found that we all enjoy listening to the Coffee Break Spanish podcasts. I would like to introduce more written Spanish this year, though, and I’m eyeing the Spanish Skill Builders workbooks to help in that regard.

It sounds like a lot (times three Agents) but honestly “morning school time” only takes us about an hour to an hour and a half total. We do as much as possible as a group, so that helps. Of course, now that Agent E is moving into sixth grade, she will start doing a few “extra” things on her own in addition to what we include her fourth and second grade siblings in. She is especially looking forward to delving into the Big Fat Notebook series for middle schoolers. 

So we pretty much reserve mornings for math, language arts, mythology, and Spanish. Afternoons are when we cover everything else. Right now we have a “Monday Wednesday Friday” routine and a “Tuesday Thursday” routine, but I think that going forward we will likely combine subjects in different ways {which will be part two of this post}.

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