Saturday, August 02, 2008

Planning for Next Year...

We use a literature based curriculum. It's history focused. We race through history in a 4 year cycle. That means our children hit each century of history as a grammar (K-5), dialectic (6-8) and rhetoric (9 - 12) student. Nolan has ALWAYS been the youngest and what he's learned has been dictated but where they older student was. THIS year I decided to put him with Zander. He will be the oldest and that will allow him more leadership in his education. It will also allow for more "inviting" books that will hopefully capture his attention. By backing off the expectations in history, lit, etc we will have more time to focus on Language Arts (which are behind due to our speech and motor skills issues).

I took that list of books for the first unit and worked it again today.

I removed all books that I already owned.

I removed all books of which I had similar titles and felt confident skipping.

I ordered all books that are used 5+ weeks.

I ordered all lit books (or made sure I had access to a copy).

Then I considered that I won't be doing school as closely with our dialectic and rhetoric students - so I wanted to be sure to pick books that would have our worldview or would warn me when they don't (as is most often the case). I have found that the library has lots of books that I can easily substitute for the grammar levels but it is harder to find books for the older students that I can "tell" will be "ok" without reading. For instance our library had ONE book on a topic I needed for the Civil Rights movement for high school students (adults). I tend to buy what the rhetoric students need.

We are going to allow Arielle to move into dialectic (6th grade) because as a 4th grader she was reading all of the 6th - 8th grade assignments anyway. ::snort:: I want the confidence that I will be warned if there are "touchy" areas in her books since she is reading and learning above her age level.

I haven't been happy with the frequency of our Socratic discussions for the older children. I ordered the evaluation CD's for the older 3. This will give them tests and such that will document what they are doing on weeks when we aren't able to fit in a discussion. This will also allow Jamin to work at his own pace, rather than waiting for ME to discuss the week's work. It will be much easier for THEM to create a paper trail this way. Currently they create and save discussion notes from each week. We'll continue our round table discussions.

I went through the library and found which titles they had from unit 1.

I noted which books seemed to duplicate each other close enough to allow 2 or 3 levels of students to use the same book (art, fine arts, music).

I noted which books the library seemed to have LOTS of choices similar to titles listed and removed things like Marco Polo, Robin Hood, King Arthur from my shopping list.

I whittled the price from $778 to $556.00. I have a $200 credit with TOG (Thanks to y'all who've clicked the link in the sidebar before shopping!). $300 of the books I need to order are used throughout the year and some into next year - so that makes the first unit more spendy. I'll need to come up with $356 at this point but that is much more manageable than the FIRST time I entered EVERYTHING for all four levels for one unit - over $1,000.

Below are books that I plan to order on Monday. If any of you are familiar with titles and can say "that one is a duplicate of this one" or whatever - I'd love to hear your comments. I know some of these will only be used one week, but our library had nothing on several topics: Johannes Gutenberg etc. Any must haves? Any clinkers? I'm not so sure about the Music Appreciation book that is costing me $76. I was bummed as our library had many books that I WANTED to buy - De Paola and d' Aulaire..... but Mike and our budget will thank me. It was soooo nice last year to just order one of everything and be done with it....but I did miss those solitary library trips....anyone local care to find a sitter and make a date of it? We could sit on the courthouse lawn, sip some lemonaide or sweet tea and watch the action.

My Unit One List - clickable links

Pop Quiz Year 2 Unit 1
Year 2 Evaluations CD for Rhetoric Students
Year 2 Evaluations CD for Dialectic Students
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Story of the Crusades
Year 2 MapAids (Redesigned Version)
Year 2 Redesign Tab Set
On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State
Discarded Image, The
Middle Ages: An Illustrated History
Faith in the Byzantine World
Vikings, The
Johannes Gutenberg: Inventor of the Printing Press
Stories of Beowulf Told to the Children
Medieval Myths, Legends, and Songs
Men of Iron
Aladdin and Other Tales from The Arabian Nights
Son of Charlemagne
Byzantine Empire, The
Story of the Middle Ages, The
Fine Print
Saint Valentine
Days of Knights and Damsels
Making of a Knight, The
Caedmon's Song
Brigid's Cloak
You Wouldn't Want to be a Crusader!
Vikings, The
Life in a Medieval Monastery
Johann Gutenberg and the Amazing Printing Press
Key Documents in Government Studies CD - Year 2
Theme is Freedom
Norton Anthology of English Literature
Famous Men of the Renaissance and Reformation
Story of Europe, The
Usborne Internet-Linked Medieval World
Renaissance, The
World Religions
Music: An Appreciation
Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions
Our Island Story

©2008 D.R.G.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks great! I seriously do not know when you sleep.

I am excited to be able to share with the kids in the community the same kinds of things my own kids hear just about daily -- that maps represent people and how they live. Look for blogs and pics.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Mel - you've not been reading long enough to hear my mantra? "Sleep is for wimps". ::snort::

I'll be looking forward to reading about your re-entry to teaching after an 18 year maternity leave. LOL

Renee said...

Not sure how you feel about online books but a handful of your needed titles are on:

Men of Iron
Famous Men of R&R
Our Island Story

I'm doing this from memory but I believe those are on there....

Renee said...

I forgot to comment on the music book - we decided to skip it. I figure the high schoolers will earn only Art Appreciation and skip the music. heck they sing at Mass every weekend - can't that count as music (if even needed)?

You don't do weekly discussions? ROFL.... that is one of the reasons I chose TOG so that I was more involved in the high school program since they self-teach math and science.....

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

You missed what I said Renee - we DO weekly discussions but we don't follow their format...this way we are free to discuss in-depth what interests us naturally (round table discussions I termed it) without following their outline. LOL

I'm not sure how we feel about online books. LOL

Michelle said...

De'Etta, did you see this FREE Colonial America lapbook?

Cynthia said...

These aren't all for the older kids... did you check the table of contents of the couple Guerber books you ordered? I think some of the books you're ordering will be briefly covered in those books and you might then be able to skip purchasing a few of these.. You probably don't have time to look at that today though... call me if you want me to do a quick comparison for you.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Michelle, thanks for the tip on the lapbook. I'll check it out.

Cindy - I plan to use Grueber with the boys as I thought you said that was the age range of your children that liked it best.

I plan to use Famous Men of Middle ages for dialectic and Famous Men of Ren is listed for Rhetoric - and I remember you specifically saying the Grueber books weren't high school level. That's why I decided to go ahead and order the FM books.

I'll try to catch you on the phone later today.