Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Planning 4: Curriculum for Social Butterfly

Wow, I was on a roll with the planning posts then I took what I thought was going to be a short break from thinking about school (something I force myself to do every summer to avoid burn out) and now here we are, it's almost time to start, and I have to hurry to get the rest of the planning done!  Social Butterfly's is really the only curriculum I haven't talked about yet and her's is pretty easy.

While Jetter's curriculum required lots of deviation from the Mother of Divine Grace recommendations,
Social Butterfly's is right in sync with them. She's a lot like Night Owl was in that regard - sort of your classic, classical learner! I have made a few changes, based on what I already have that works, but most of it is straight from the syllabus.

Here's the short and sweet form:

Religion ~ Social Butterfly's Religion curriculum changes a bit this year.  Instead of doing the Catechism / Bible History / Saints Studies trio, she will concentrate more on just the Bible.  She will still use the Baltimore Catechism but her focus will be on the Gospels of  St. Mark and St. Luke.

Math ~ Social Butterfly will continue in the Saxon series for Math.  She will be working from the 7/6 level this year.  Saxon is a good fit for her.  The transition, which usually happens in 4th grade, is a bit difficult beause the child goes from what are primarily work books, to more of a text book format.  I like the text book for Math because once I have it on my shelf, I don't have to buy it again!  The difficulties come in the fact that now the student has to write her answers on paper instead of directly in the book, and the instruction is given in paragraph form.  In order to understand the day's lesson, the child must read about it.  This is a bit difficult at first, but I think it is a good discipline.  I'm always there to answer any questions and help the child if they don't understand the lesson, but I always have them try on their own first.  Night Owl was well prepared for highschool using this series so as long as it works for my children's individual needs, we will continue on with it.

Science ~ Social Butterfly is really looking forward to science this year.  I have to admit, it has more to do with the idea the she will be doing the science lessons with a friend than with the actual content of the lessons, but I'm hoping this social aspect will be a great motivator.  Social Butterfly has never really been that interested in science so I was a bit concerned that the TOPS science kits she will be using would be a flop.  But then a friend and I got the idea to let our daughters work together so I think now it will be a big hit.  Social Butterfly will be using the kits for Electricity and Magnetism.  In the syllabus, it is set up in such a way that each lesson will take two days.  The first to read and gather materials, and the second to actually perform the experiments.  The girls will do the "reading days" at home, then meet at one of the two houses for the "experiment days".

Latin ~ Social Butterfly will continue with Latina Christiana I.  This year will be a greater focus on the grammar of Latin, while continuing with the vocabulary study.  I've purchased the Latina Christiana I DVD's that we will watch as part of her lesson.  I learned with Night Owl that some things have to be learned along with the student and Latin grammar is one of them for me!
Because she is such an auditory learner, I will also be adding Lingua Angelica as a supplement this year.  This program is really based on learning beautiful Latin songs and prayers.  I'm looking forward to using it and I think she will enjoy it as well!

Language Arts - The series I'm planning to start with Social Butterfly this year is Easy Grammar.  I've heard both good and bad reviews, and I'm hoping this will be a good fit.  I found Voyages to be a struggle with Night Owl at this age, so we're trying something different.  Social Butterfly seems to pick up grammar concepts pretty quickly so I think the simplified approach of Easy Grammar should work out. ... We'll see.

For Spelling and Editing I have deviated from the Mother of Divine Grace plan.  Both resources are published by the Institute for Exccllence in Writing.  The Editing resource we will use is called Fix It.  I used this with Night Owl and it is a great learning tool.  For Spelling, we will use the Phonetic Zoo.  This program is also developed by Anderew Pudewa and seems to be geared towards auditory learners (although I'm sure it will work with any child).  Social Butterfly is very auditory, so I'm giving it a try.  Spelling is not something she excells at so I'm hoping this will help her learn some of those concepts that she struggles with.

History - Social Butterfly will change directions a bit in History this year.  Instead of continuing with American History, she will begin a study of Ancient History.  The text she will use is The Old World and America, but like other years with Mother of Divine Grace, the text is mostly a spine and there are many books recommended for supplemental reading.  This link will take you to that list of living books that will be included with the Ancient History studies.  It is a bit long for individual links.  Of course, I have added a few fun activities for this study of Ancient History.   I think Social Butterfly will enjoy the artistic component of  Paint Your Own Papyrus and these Punch Out Mummy Cases.

Geography will coordinate with history this year.  Social Butterfly will be studying maps of Egypt and the Ancient Near East.

For Music, Social Butterfly will continue her piano lessons and the study of classcial music.  I deviate a bit from Mother of Divine Grace because all my kids study the classical pieces together.  This seems to work best for us.  One of the best ways I have learned to do this is to pop the cd in while we are driving to piano lessons.  I have a captured audience then and they can listen with attention.

For Art, besides the extra activities I have purchased to go along with her history studies, Social Butterfly is very excited to begin learning calligraphy this year.  We will be using the Calligraphy First Steps book.  She has been really looking forward to this so I think she will enjoy it.  We will also continue our study of classical art which we do every year.  I normally use the "picture study" method, a Charlotte Mason approach to the study of art, but this year Social Butterfly will be using a text on her own for this.  Art 7 For Young Cathoics is a book published by Seton that I hope she will enjoy.

That wraps it us for Social Butterfly and all the kiddos.  Now I just need to get the school room in order!

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