Sunday, October 16, 2011

In the past, I have cared very little about how much we accomplish accomplish day by day, even grade by grade at times. I have not stuck to a strict daily, weekly, yearly schedule. Even distinctions like the grade levels on the covers of books don't really matter to me as long as Norah is progressing at a steady pace and doing a reasonable amount of work everyday. I am even fine with Norah working out of a first grade book when she is in second grade, etc. especially because many of her books are advanced for her age to begin with.

But there is a certain amount of material I'd like for Norah to have finished (or almost finished) by the time she gets to "middle school." With that in mind, I decided to go ahead and break it down subject by subject and see what adjustments, if any, I need to make to progress at a better pace toward our goals.

In math: I'd like Norah to be ready to do Math U See's Pre-Algebra in 7th grade. This way she will be free to master the upper level maths from 8th grade through the end of high school.

She is almost done with the Alpha book (First Grade - Addition and Subtraction). In fact, she's on Lesson 27 out of 30. I'd like for her to finish the Alpha book and also complete the next book, Beta (Second Grade - Addition and Subtraction with Double Digits), by the time she begins of third grade in September 2012.

She has approx. ten months to finish all that work by the time the next school year comes around. We will have to do math every single weekday (instead of three-four times a week like we have been), but I think we can do it. We are well on track to be in Pre-Algebra by 7th.

In history: I'd like to finish all four Story of the World books by the time Norah starts fifth grade and cycle through these four books again two more time by the time she graduates high school.

We have some real catching up to do and I don't think we can afford to get further behind at this point, so we will need to do two books in the course of one year or three in the course of two years, but I think we will be able to catch up eventually. We need to pick up the pace and probably even work year-around on history, if nothing else, for a while.

As it stands, we are on Chapter 12 out of 42 in The Story of the World Volume One: Ancient Times. I'd like to finish that book and get into the next book, The Story of the World, Volume Two, Middle Ages, by the beginning of next school year.

Right now, we often stretch a chapter of history over two or three weeks because we have so much extra reading to do on the topics in that chapter. This is the problem with our pace. I plan to begin starting the next chapter even when Norah is still reading books about the previous one. I think she can read about old topics while learning about new ones without being too confused. In that way, I hope we can stick to the pace of one chapter each week until we catch up.

For grammar: We're on Lesson 52 out of the 100 lessons in First Language Lessons - Book 1. I'd like to be through Book 1 or almost finished with Book 2 by the the beginning of the next school year. I think we can do it if we do a lesson every single day of the week and quit skipping grammar as much as we do now. It isn't our favorite subject because it's kind of drab, but it's a necessary evil and we get it done in less than ten minutes anyway so we really have excuse for falling behind.

In handwriting: Norah's on page 26 out of 165 in her current Zaner Bloser workbook. The goal is for her to finish that book by the time she starts the school next year, so if she keeps up her current pace, she will finish in plenty of time to start the third grade workbook at the beginning of next year.

In writing: Norah is working out of Writing with Ease: Level 1. There are approx. 150 lessons in this book. I think it's realistic for us to assume she will finish Level 1 in time to start Level 2 in the third grade. She will continue to progress through the four books in the series from there. She may need to do some catch up eventually, in order to start the more advanced books for middle school when she ought to, but I'd like for her writing skills to improve before I push her to do more than one lesson a day.

In Science: I still have a lot of thinking and reading to do in order to set long term goals for this subject. I am not happy with my curriculum choice for this year. It's very advanced. I feel certain Norah could use the book later down the line. But I have to decide what I am going to do about science and decide quickly.

In Spelling: We have just started All About Spelling Level 1. We are still learning all the phonograms. We plan to progress through all seven levels of this program at Norah's pace until we finish them, hopefully sometime in late elementary or early middle school. By that time, Norah will need to spell in order to write reports, etc. so it should all flesh out at about the right time.

In Reading: Norah is in second grade, but she is flying through the books on Sonlight's third grade readers. She has two books left before she starts their forth and fifth grade readers. In this way, Norah is so, so advanced! She reads a book that's meant to be read over weeks in one afternoon!

In music: Norah is learning about the orchestra, classical music and famous composers using several resources. She is also learning how to read music and keep time by playing the recorder. She will eventually start piano lessons and do that for at least two years, but we are waiting until we feel she is old enough to take responsibility for practicing and better appreciate what she is learning, etc.

In art: We have the book Discovering the Great Artists but we (meaning I) have yet to open it. I've got to find a time that works for me. It may have to be Saturday morning because art just seems to fall by the wayside during the school week (especially such a messy art program).

No comments: