My best friend inspired me to name my homeschool. So after some thought we decided on Greenhouse Learning Academy. I chose the picture of a greenhouse because it really described what I wanted my home to be. A place where children can grow in a gentle and nourishing environment.
I will have two students enrolled for the upcoming year. There is Janelle, 3 and James will be 17 months. I'll mainly follow the Charlotte Mason (CM) approach to education and what she recommends for this age group.
Our set learning times will be a table time during breakfast and a classroom time after breakfast. I got the idea of table time here, but she calls it circle time. Table time will only be 5-10 minutes long and our class time will be 45-60 minutes.
Because both of the children are in the same stage of learning as CM lays out, the following curriculum will be presented to both children. Although Janelle may have more commentary to add, I do not underestimate James' ability to learn and retain the information.
All of this is presented very gently and there is no examination or narration required from the children. It may seem like a lot, but we're not doing all of this every day.
Table time: 5-10 minutes
Bible - Daily
I will be reading through the book of Psalms. One Psalm a day unless it is particularly long in which case I'll break it up. In the case of really short Psalms like Psalm 117, I'll pair it with another short passage.
Memory verses - Daily
Another idea I got from Stacy at With Great Joy is to have a running list of memory verses for the year. I chose for Janelle some verses in Psalms to compliment our Bible reading. We will say the verse and reference everyday until she can say it on her own without any prompting. When she can say the verse on her own she gets a star on her memory verse card, and we go on to the next verse. Fridays will be our review day when we pick a previous verse to recite along with the one we are currently working on.
Spanish - Daily
My Spanish program is vey simple. My brother-in-law who speaks fluent Spanish has agreed to translate some simple sentences for me. We will work on three or four sentences a week. I will not translate them into English, we will just try and memorize the sentences. This is how Charlotte Mason taught Foreign Language. The sentences are placed on the back of a picture that illustrates what is happening in the sentence. I haven't finished making the cards, but I'll post pictures to give a better idea of what I'm doing. We also listen to Spanish music and I plan to learn some simple phrases to say to the children that we can use everyday.
Catechism - Monday
For catechism I'll be using the Children's Catechism found here. We're going to cover one question a week, but if that seems to be moving too slow we'll move it to two questions a week. I will ask the question and give the answer as well as read one of the supporting scriptures given in the outline. Daddy is going to also go over the question of the week at dinner time.
Old Testament books - Monday
For Old Testament Books I will simply sing a song of the books that I learned as a child. There are many of these songs on YouTube, but I haven't found one better than the one I plan to use. I will sing through the song once, unless they ask to sing it again, and that's it. The song will also be on their term CD which I will talk about later.
Hymn study - Tuesday
For our hymn study I chose 9 hymns to learn for the year. I chose hymns that have simple language so that there woundn't be a lot of "what does that mean". Each hymn will be printed out with some clip art to help illustrate what is being said. We will sing each hymn for four weeks and then we will place it in our family hymnal and move on to the next one. On Fridays we will look through the hymnal and pick one song that we have learned and sing it. I tried to pair the songs with the seasons, so I have For the Beauty of the Earth and This is my Father's World in the fall, Away in a Manger in December and Fairest Lord Jesus in the spring. All of the hymns will also be on their term CD. The hymns for the year are:
For the Beauty of the Earth
Holy, Holy, Holy
This is my Father's World
Away in a Manger
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Trust and Obey
All Creatures of our God and King
Fairest Lord Jesus
Presidents - Tuesday
For the Presidents we will cover 15 a term, so 5 every four weeks. I plan on making picture flash cards with some facts on the back. We will keep the pictures, along with a map print out of the US in a white box with the White House on it. Every week will go over the five for the week, each week learning one new fact, so four facts for each one. We will find where they are from on the map which will be one of the fact learned. I will also read aloud The Buck Stops Here, a book that covers all of the presidents in rhyme. I will only read the section that we are cover at the time, but I will put the entire book on their term CD.
Picture study - Wednesday
For picture study we will be reading three of books from the I Spy series by Lucy Micklethwait. We'll go through one book each term. We will read only one or two pages a week looking at the picture and learning the name of it. I also had 4x6 copies of the pictures printed which will be laminated and used as flash cards.
The books we will be using are:
ASL - Wednesday
For ASL or American Sign Language we will be learn through song. I will chose 3 children's songs for each term and we will learn them in sign. This is a wonderful way to retain vocabulary and its fun too.
Manners - Thursday
For manners I will be using A Little Princess in the Making. We will focus on one each week and find ways to empliment the in our daily lives.
States and Capitals - Thursday
For States and Captials I'll be using States and Capitals Songs. The songs are broken down into regions so we'll just focus on one at a time. While listening to the song we will follow along on our map. Each region will be colored in as we learn the capitals.
Classical Music - Friday
For our classical music study I'll be using Carnival of the Animals. A book and CD set that tells a story of each animal while representing that animal with an instrument. I though it would be good to start with something like this so that there would be a greater appreciation for orchestra music and to train the ear to listen for particular instruments. I haven't received the book yet so I'm not sure how I'm going to break it down for the year.
Poetry - Friday
For poetry I will read a few selections each week from A Childs Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. I got a free copy for Kindle on my iPad, so I'll read to the children while they eat a snack.
So thats what I have for now. I'll post soon part two of my curriculum.