Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Curriculum this Year (2011-2012)

We begin our lessons again in a little over two weeks. The summer has flown by, and I'm cutting it closer than I usually do. But, all the books have been purchased and the entire year is planned day-by-day. Now our reward...SHOPPING FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES...oh, and heads full of knowledge!! Have a great year everyone!

The Discovery School
Curriculum Guide 2011-2012
(All listed are for our 4th/5th and 7th graders unless noted as PreK)

·         World History
o   Living Books (see reading list)
·         US History
·         Science
·         Reading
o   Weekly assigned readings in History, Science, Current Events, and Literature
o   Daily free reading
o   The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading –  PreK
o   Bob Books and Teaching Reading using the Bob Books - PreK
·         Writing
o   Poetry, Essay, Research, Writing for Debate (activities from education.com)
o   Cross curricular narration and dictation
·         Spelling
o   All About Spelling (books 1-3)
o   Spelling dictionary
o   Cross curricular writing/editing
·         Grammar
o   First Language Lessons Grammar 4
·         Math
o   Numbers & Abacus PreK
o   Math Mammoth Blue Series and Gold Series
·         Foreign Language
·         Engineering
o   Units from TeachEngineering
·         Nature Study
o   The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna B. Comstock (already own) and Website
·         Arts
o   Drawspace
o   Art exhibits
o   Various workshops as available
·         Music
o   Guitar
o   Beginning Piano and Music Theory (Alfred’s Basic Piano)
o   Various concerts and workshops as available
o   Lessons from Makin’ Music - PreK
·         Drama
o   Participation in Stage Left/Georgetown Community Theatre productions
o   Various plays and workshops as available
·         PE
o   Swimming Lessons
o   Homeschool Gym & Swim (Spring)
o   Hiking with Nature Study

Reading Lists
4th/5th Gr. Independent Reading List
Just So Stories, Kipling
Rifles for Watie, Keith
The 21 Balloons, du Bois
Caddie Woodlawn, Brink
Sign of the Beaver, Speare
Bud, Not Buddy, Curtis
A Child’s Garden of Verses, Stevenson
Poetry by Walter de le Mare
The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow
Poetry by Robert Frost
Poetry by Langston Hughes
Personal choices for free reading

7th Gr. Independent Reading List
The Secret Garden, Burnett
Old Yeller, Gipson
Across Five Aprils, Hunt
Number the Stars, Lowry
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Taylor
Diary of a Young Girl, Frank
A Child’s Garden of Verses, Stevenson
Poetry by Walter de le Mare
The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow
Poetry by Robert Frost
Poetry by Langston Hughes
Personal choices for free reading

Family Read Alouds (as many as possible)
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Man Without a Country, Edward E. Hale
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Sherlock Holmes stories, Arthur Conan Doyle
Rikki Tikki Tavi, Rudyard Kipling
The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy
Short stories, O. Henry
Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
Strong Poison, Dorothy Sayers
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

PreK Reading List
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel or Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott 
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer 
The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault 
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell 
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett
Curious George by H.A. Rey
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel 
Froggy Gets Dressed or Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London 
George and Martha by James Marshall 
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss 
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion 
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? By Jane Yolen 
I Stink! By Kate McMullen
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura J. Numeroff
Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber 
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
Leo, the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus 
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Magic School Bus Series by Joanna Cole 
Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh 
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
Miss Nelson is Missing! By Harry Allard and James Marshall 
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett 
Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 
Owen by Kevin Henkes
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale by Maurice Sendak
Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault
Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Tough Boris by Mem Fox
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf, by John Scieszka
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Yoko by Rosemary Wells
Personal choices for free reading

Friday, July 8, 2011


It's funny, the difference between what we are given and what we earn. I read an article once about mission workers in an African country who gave people water pumps in areas where they would otherwise have to walk miles for clean water. When the workers returned later, many of the pumps sat broken from neglect or missing pieces that were more valuable to sell for scrap. Later, this same missions group began selling the pumps for a few American dollars. Often, neighbors bought the pumps together, sometimes whole villages. When the workers returned to check on the families, the pumps were usually working and were a valuable asset to the family, group, or village.

The same is true with me and my family. I see more care taken with possessions that required a bit of effort or a delay of gratification. Items that my children have saved or worked for are prized over those handed them on Christmas morning or in the heat of the moment on a trip to the bigbox. Though I am so grateful for all the wonderful gifts I have received in my life, and there have been many, it's the things we have won for ourselves that mean the most.

Most certainly, it's the love. Twenty years ago it was easy. The love and companionship came easily. The hours of planning made it seem that we would always be on the same page, always have the same interests and goals. We were given a great opportunity at a great love. But, the reward has not been the initial gift. The reward comes in the moving away and the sometimes deep water, upstream wading to come together again. There's a comfort in what we were given. That is what makes us want to keep working through the rapids to get back to the calm straights...and we always do. That is the reward...the value is in that reward.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Love.