Wednesday, September 7, 2011

And Now....School Year 2011/2012!

So yesterday we started our 2011/2012 school year.
We are up against a pretty challenging workload, but I know these guys can pull it off.

John has started High School, so he is working to build his transcript. That means that he has to work hard for those credits!
He is doing Saxon Algebra 2, which is a handful, but he has a "Teacher" DVD to use as he tackles new concepts. He did well in Algebra 1, so I am confident that he will get through this math text with no problem.
English is Warriner's Third Course, which the girls did when they were in ninth grade! Right now it is just going over parts of speech and grammar, but as he goes on he will be doing lots of different types of Composition. This, I like!
Literature is going to follow history, so right now he is reading a book called "The Hittite Warrior", then he will be starting a series on the Roman Empire. Each book will be followed by a report. 
Science is going to be High School level Earth Science, and I bought a syllabus from Mother of Divine Grace for this one. It starts with Geology, which is something he enjoys.
History is "Light to the Nations" from the Catholic Textbook Project. This is a 9th grade world history course. I bought the workbook CD to go with it, and I really like it! I can print out the worksheets I want and I don't have to have the whole book. I wish more workbooks came this way.
There will be a test at the end of every chapter, and these will be what he will be graded on. 
For Religion we are starting a series of four books. This year we are doing "Catholicism and Reason". John is finished with Religious Ed, except for Confirmation Preparation, so we are moving into this series, because we can!
Art, health, PE, Music, and a couple of other subjects, will fill out the electives.
It is going to be a lot, but I know John can pull it off!

Brendan is in 7th grade, and his load is going to keep him busy, which is a good thing for an 11 year old boy!
He is doing Saxon 8/7 for his Math. I really like the Saxon books, because they reinforce the concepts each day, and we can pick and choose how much of each lesson to do. There are plenty of practice pages, for extra help with concepts that are eluding them, but usually we just read the lesson, do the lesson practice and most of the lesson itself.
Brendan has the same language arts program that we used last year. He is doing Seton English 7 and Seton Spelling 7, which has lots of exercises for vocabulary, phonics, alphabetization and spelling proficiency. I have used these books every year for a long time, and the boys are mastering these skills very well.
Writing is going to get more structured for Brendan this year. We are using Writing Strands Level 3, and I am hoping that he can learn to enjoy writing as much as his brothers do.
I am going back the old "Faith and Freedom" readers for Brendan and Paul this year. I used various books last year and did more of a historical fiction theme, but these books have exercises at the end of the stories, and I think both the boys need to think more carefully about what they are reading.
For History Brendan is doing "All Ye Lands" Which is a world history/geography program. I am really pleased with these books. They provide details and reinforcement that help the kids remember the times, places and people of the past.
Science for Brendan is "Concepts and Challenges in Earth Science". I LOVE this text! It is perfect for Brendan. He likes Earth Science, so it should be a natural, so to speak.
Brendan is also doing a standard health book this year, from Seton. I like it because it has a very nice section on pre-born life.
Religion is the 7th grade "Faith and Life" book. He is going to be doing the activity book as well. 
Art this year will be "Art 7 for Young Catholics", an excellent book on great art and how to interpret it.
Music will be piano. The boys' teacher is still on Summer break, so they are practicing what they learned in the middle of the Summer.
We haven't picked an official PE yet. These guys are so active all the time, that it seems like they get enough exercise, but I would like to find something that they can do that will help them learn teamwork.

Paul is doing Saxon 6/5, which is 5th grade math. He should be fine with that as long as he can learn to write neatly, line things up, and read his problems carefully!
He is also doing Seton English and Spelling for 5th grade.
He is reading a 7th grade "Faith and Freedom" reader, and doing the exercises. 
His history this year is "Sea to Shining Sea", which is an American history text. He is also doing a geography notebook of all 50 states. We use the "Trailguide to US Geography" and it gives a good background as we work through history.
Science for Paul is the Apologia, Young Explorers, Zoology 1. "Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day"
There are a few issues with it, but it's a solid program and I think he likes it. There are enough experiments and projects to keep him interested.
Paul is doing Seton's Health 5 as well.
Religion is the "Faith and Life" book for 5th grade. It covers the creed. The activity book that goes with it is excellent.
Art is also the Seton book for 5th grade.
Music will be piano lessons.
PE, well, we have to decide on what we are doing.

The boys are also going to be participating in a co-op on Fridays. John will be doing Shakespeare again, and the other two are going to be doing a drama workshop.
We have several field trips planned in the near future.
I am PRAYING for a smooth year with few interruptions. I have cut out almost everything that took me away from school activities in the past few years. I am going to try to stay as hands on as possible, and be available for the opportunities that arise.
I want our family life, especially in the evenings, to be more consistent and predictable.
I need to be teacher during the day, and then still have time at night to be wife and mom. Too many nights out means that I am not present to the people that God has given me.
Tim is so patient and he would never complain about my being away, but I can't spend time with him if I am never home, and just saying "I love you" as I run out the door isn't what marriage is about.

So... God willing and with us, we will journey through this school year with Faith, Hope and Love.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I wish we were close enough to share the World History and Shakespeare. Miss you all.