Then you settle in. You start thinking of things that do not directly involve educating your progeny. You start washing again and ironing and making jam and bread and reading books and camping and bushwalking and taking holidays to Japan and Indonesia and Yemen and Bhutan. You start making time for your friends, and for your Church and for yourself. And still Ambleside Online bubbles away in the background, not sending too many challenges your way, slowly building on what you've already become comfortable with and can manage without really even thinking about it most days.
Then comes Year 4. Whammo. Kerpow. Straight between the eyes with a bang!!
You've been expecting it, of course, but not now. Year 4 is a long way away right?
Wrong. it is here.
AO 4 means Plutarch.
And Studied Dictation.
And Written Narration.
AO4 means doing things you've never done before. AO4 means getting out of your comfort zone. AO4 means work.
And AO4 is now only weeks away.
So I've started thinking about homeschooling again. Not the all consuming thinking of before, but thinking and pondering all the same.
And I've made some decisions. Which I'm going to share with you now. If you're interested that is. So this is how AO4 is looking for us:
We'll be using Minimus Latin, with the aim of advancing to the Cambridge Latin Course on its completion. Both Jemimah's Daddy and I grew up on intimate terms with Caecilius and Metella and their son, Quintus, and can't see why Jemimah shouldn't
We'll be using the wonderful Anne White's Plutarch studies initially, beginning with Poplicola. She has based this on Dryden's translation, so that's the one we'll begin with. You'll find Anne's studies at the Plutarch page on the AO website.
MTC have recently announced that they will be performing Hamlet as part of their 2011 season. We plan on attending this, as well as whatever Shakespeare play the Australian Shakespeare Company choose to perform 'under stars' over summer. In previous years this has often been A Midsummer Night's Dream, which would be a perfect introduction to the plays. Bell Shakespeare are performing Much Ado About Nothing in Melbourne in June, and Julius Caesar in September. A comedy sounds more our style, and so Much Ado it is. Because this is our first introduction to the Bard's actual words after reading Nesbit and Lamb's versions, we'll stick to attending the productions alone in 2011. There will be plenty of time for analysis in later years. To be honest, I will be happy if we manage one play in 2011, although we are planning for three at this stage.
After my mild panic over Jemimah's spelling, we introduced SCM's Spelling Wisdom with great results in Term 3 of AO3. We'll be continuing with this programme next year - two periods per week.
After much consideration we've decided to leave written narration until Jemimah is 10 in AO5. This will give her time to consolidate her spelling skills first. We'll continue with copywork and oral narration in AO4, and begin typing lessons, which will help when we do actually begin to write. I've not yet decided on a typing programme - any ideas?
We'll be using Karen Andreola's revision of Charlotte Mason's book, Simply Grammar. One lesson a week or so. No fuss.
Something else looms large on the horizon of AO4 as well: our history rotation finally arrives in the 1700s. Australia has been discovered, and with that our Australian History study begins in earnest. I'm thinking hard about our Australianisation of AO4 at the moment. We'll need to alter quite a lot of the American AO4 curriculum to make it relevant for the Antipodes, whilst still maintaining a similar workload.
I'll be planning our Aussie History and Literature choices in the coming weeks, and I'll post when I'm done...if you're interested in reading, of course.
So that's where my thinking and pondering is up to really. Maths will stay with MEP. We'll continue with French and begin some written language exercises. We'll try French narration. We'll begin a written Bible notebook for devotions. We'll do some nature drawing and some cooking and work in our kitchen garden. We'll play basketball, hockey, badminton and tennis, do athletics, swimming, dance and more - but not all at the same time and only for fun. We'll have picnics, go on nature rambles, hang out by the pool, sing songs, look at art and be a family.
Mostly we'll have fun, because that's what learning's all about in our peaceful home - AO4 will be no different there. We'll just be hanging out more with Quintus - and Cerberus the dog. That's all.
And declining verbs.