Planning My Own Year 1

For the most part I will be following the readings in AO Year 1 as written, so here is an obligatory picture of all my books. (You might even be able to tell I’m a book collector. Ha.)

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I’ve acquired all the free reads as well, just in case. I’m not sure I’ll get to them, but you never know. Some of them are pretty short.

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I’ll also be trying to learn Spencerian handwriting, because I’ve always wanted to. (Do I really need a reason?) I have some workbooks to try out with my new fancy fountain pen.

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I’ll also be trying my hand at recitation… this has me a little spooked, I’ll be honest. But that probably means I should do it. We’ve already recited scriptures together as a family since the day Rocketman and I got married, but I’ve noticed we tend to say the same ones over and over and over…

For math… well, I’m pretty good at arithmetic, it’s true. That said, I’ve been wanting to type-set Frank Hall’s Arithmetic Primer and make a version that I (and other families) can print out. My goal is to type up and set graphics for one page every day, and at the end of the year, I’ll have a fancy resource to share with the greater homeschooling community. (Woohoo!)

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We’ve been learning Serbian as a family, with the aid of a native tutor. We learn nursery rhymes, songs, poems, and stories. I’m considering figuring out a few Gouin series to introduce.

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I don’t want to neglect physical activity, because that’s been a weak spot. I’ve been that stereotypical nerd who doesn’t know how to operate her own body, so I’m working on fixing that. I’ll be doing lots of restorative exercises to combat all my pains and such, and of course, walking out in nature as much as I can. (Can you say nature study?!)

Speaking of nature, I’ve actually taken the plunge and instead of merely reading about nature in the Handbook of Nature Study and keeping my eyes open while outside, I actually going to start my nature journal.

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This ties into art; I’ve known I have a hidden talent for art, and I feel convicted to start actually using it. My daughter also exhibits several clear signs of artistic giftedness, and boy, oh boy, is she eager to master art. I’d like to start working through Drawing with Children with her. The few drawing sessions we’ve done have been a huge hit. Even the baby loves drawing all over everything, as you might be able to tell…

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For handicrafts, I’d love to take up wood-carving… eventually. For now, we’re starting with soap carving since that’s safer for the littles. And let’s be honest, those determined little tots would find a way to get any forbidden carving tools and wreak havoc with them. I’m not really for that, so boom! We made tools out of popsicle sticks… and of course, now the littles beg to soap carve everything.

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We’re also a heavily musical family, so I’m going back to daily piano practice, and I’m going to start sol-fa, which I’ve always been a little miffed about not knowing. Besides, I want to be able to teach it next year. Of course, we already enjoy the folksong, composer and artist rotations available from AO; recently I also helped create an LDS hymn rotation with a few other LDS CMers. I plan to use that, but being a hymn nerd, I plan to secretly (okay, not really secretly) indulge myself by enjoying Protestant hymn rotation from AO, even if we don’t officially include it in school.

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I hope to also flesh out an appropriate CM-approved LDS scripture plan for all twelve school years, but especially year 1, given that I’ll need something to assign Jadzia when she starts next year. This is quite the conundrum. We Latter-day Saints have a plenitude of scripture, which is, in fact, wonderful, but when I see AO’s Bible assignments, I just get a little jealous that other children will get to immerse themselves so thoroughly in the Bible.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to have my students read through the entire Bible narrative three times in twelve years, which AO does (well, almost), but I want them grounded thoroughly in the Bible anyway… even with the added scripture, which I want them to know just as well.

Anyway, the encouragement I’ve received with lots of prayer and reading through CM’s volumes and looking at the PNEU schedules is that CM was less concerned with how many times a student read through the Bible, but instead wanted her students to form deep, intimate relationships with scripture and God Himself. (Note to self, long term goal: also find appropriate LDS devotional reading for upper years…)

So anyway, I’ve laid myself a rich feast and I am ready to start eating. First grade, here I come!

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Jenna

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