I am going to have Junior next year! Somebody wake me up. There is no way that he can be a Junior. Wasn’t I just pushing him around in a stroller listening to him count and spell words? And my daughter is going to be a Freshman! A Freshman! Impossible. Let’s just go ahead and round out the circle of misery and tell you that Freckle Face is going into 5th grade. It is over. The days of fingerpaint and playdoh are over.

Wait a minute. The days of fingerpaint and playdoh are over! No more picking playdough out of the carpet. No more washing fingerpaint out of brand new t-shirts. Color crayons are not on my school supply list. I think I may like this stage of the game. Life is good!

Schedule for the Junior

MathSaxon Advanced Math. I think we are going to go ahead and try and complete this in a year. I know some do it in two, but he is now thinking that he may want to study math in college (subject to change, of course). I think it is important to get him to Calculus. I still like Saxon. I have no regrets.

LatinHenle Latin 2. This is officially his third year of Latin. His words, “I may as well do another year since I have already done two. Why waste it?” Why waste it, indeed? I am in full agreement. He is still ahead of me by about a month’s worth of work. I did a lesson the other day. My vocabulary stinks and it really slows me down. He says that he loves being able to translate Latin that he runs across. It makes him feel smart. Whatever works for him, I say.

ScienceGiancoli’s Physics. This is going to be tough. He picked it. I begged and pleaded with him to do an advanced Chemistry course instead. I secretly think he picked this because he knows that I hate physics. He also asked not to use Apologia. This text looks tough. Fortunately, it is algebra based physics, so at least I know I can do the math. I will help him as best I can. Again, his choice. We are not doing this as a lab class. If he runs across a lab he wants to do, he can do it, but I am not going to make him write them up. Maybe that will bring some joy back to the labs.

Material Logic– I blame Melanie for this one. I waffled a bit. No, a lot. He doesn’t care. He enjoyed the Traditional Logic courses. Maybe he will enjoy this one too. I don’t know.

History– US History using Patriot’s Guide to US History and a book of primary resources. Read and write is the name of the game here. I don’t plan on having my kids take any  mulitple choice or fill-in-the blank tests. I have some essay questions from college exams that I plan on using.

English-American Literature. This is to go along with his History course. Again. Reading and writing. I don’t have the book list made yet. I need to do that. I really want him to solidify his essay in MLA format. He knows the format, but this year I would like it to become easier for him. We will also be working on timed essays for the SAT. That blasted essay portion of the SAT. Lame.

Fine Arts-He wants to take some more piano lessons from me. Yay! He played Freshman year and took last year off. I am glad he wants to start back again. This is his idea. It won’t be for credit, but I hope that he plays a lot. He has such a nice touch on the piano.

An elective-Yet to be decided. Perhaps a computer course or something. I don’t know. Neither does he. We discussed a creative writing course. That appealed to him a little. It would be nice if it was light and fun.

My Favorite Girl

MathSaxon Alg. 2 I think she is ready for this. We may have to go slow every now and then, but we have time. Currently, she wants to study Meteorology (subject to change, of course) in college. She is going to need a lot of math.

Science– Biology. We are going to use the Apologia book because she seems to like them and I already have it. I am more comfortable with it and know where it needs a little supplementation. We will be meeting with friends to do the labs. That makes it more fun. She already knows how to write a lab. For the most part these labs are just ridiculous to write up. It is fine. I love dissecting. Going to try to locate a better place for specimens this year.

Latin2nd half of Henle 1. I just need to make sure that I stay ahead of her.

Traditional Logic 1– because I am a mean mom and it is good to know. Her brother liked it. Maybe she will too.  

History-US History (see the Junior’s above. She is doing the same thing with a bit of geography thrown in.)

English-American Literature. She is also going to focus on writing an essay this year. I picked up Essay Voyage to help with this. There are some good writing samples in there. She really needs work on academic writing. She is great with creative writing. In her words “I don’t like to write what people tell me to write”. Hmm. Going to have to get over that one, sweetie. However, she has become my reader. It surprises me the writing that she enjoys. She won’t touch Twilight with a ten foot pole. (That’s my girl. She makes me proud.)

PE-she is taking PE at co-op and will do some other running and stuff to get in the hours. She also participates in Track in the spring. Honestly, I care as much about PE as I do the pine needles that have ground their way into the carpet of my car.

Fine Arts– I am going to force her to take piano from me again. She is not a happy camper. She wants to stick with the flute. I said, “Great! You can do both!” That was not what she wanted to hear.

Don’t know what to call this class yet– This is a half credit class for the year. She will read Spirituality of the Cross, Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, and Luther’s Large Catechism.  It is to get her thinking.

Last but not least, Freckle Face

Math-Saxon 6/5

Latin-Latina Christiana 1

Grammar-Rod and Staff 5 with Spelling 5

Writing and ReadingWriting with Ease 3. He struggles with writing. This is about the right speed for him. I am hoping that we can concentrate on it this year and I can get him up to speed. He has also been my reluctant reader. That needs to change a little. I don’t care if he doesn’t love reading, but he needs to get more fluent. I know he is at grade level, but I have been so spoiled with the other two that it is hard for me to let it be. I noticed that he has been reading more science books lately. I am just glad that he is reading.

Piano-This is a battle right now. He doesn’t love piano. He loves his teacher. (It isn’t me.) He loves having 30 minutes of one-on-one time with her. He melts down when I suggest he doesn’t take piano next year. I am not sure what we are going to do.

Science-Very light. I think exploring and learning about what he wants to learn about is much more important at this age than a formal science curriculum.

History-I am going to be blunt and throw myself out there. We barely do history at this age. It takes all my effort to get the other stuff done and frankly, history is always there. We watch documentaries. We google when we have questions. We can read historical fiction. I think it is more important to teach him to write in so that he can write about history in high school. Since the older two are covering US History, he will probably do the same just lighter.

 Now that I know how hard it is to home school the high school level and what is really important at the elementary level, I have relaxed a lot. Math, reading, and writing is key in the elementary grades. Everything else is easily made up in junior high and high school. If I have anything to say to people just starting it would be to not burn yourself out in the elementary grades because you are going to need your fire in high school.

One month until we start school. I wonder if I will be ready?