Well okay. School for us never really ends. Because all of life is education and we are all always learning something. But there is a necessary end to subjects and a necessary beginning to the next. We choose to start them as a family and go with the flow of society by beginning in September. After Labor Day. The Tuesday after Labor Day. (Yes, I know that those last two “sentences” weren’t really sentences, because there was no subject/predicate thing happening. It is called “artistic license.”) I am certain that you all have been waiting with baited breath to see what curricula I am going to use with my brood. I won’t make you wait any longer. I would hate to be responsible for any brain injury that such breath baiting might cause. So, without further ado (don’t you just love that word, “ado”), I unveil: The 2008-2009 School Year at Harvest Home Academy! (Mild applause)

All the Nutts
Bible: Bible Study Guide for All Ages – We don’t use the worksheets that they sell, just the teachers guide. We all love this program and are learning tons from just reading the Bible and answering the questions. The kids also enjoy the little memory games that we play.
Language Arts: Institute for Excellence in Writing – I’m watching the Teaching Writing With Structure and Style right now. Mr. Pudewa is certainly a very engaging speaker. While enjoying this video program, I’m hoping to learn how to better teach my children to write well. (How was that for a clausal opener????)
Teaching the Classics – This is another IEW course, from Adam and Missy Andrews. The goal of the course is to teach me to teach the children literary analysis. I’m so excited about this one. It uses the Socratic Dialogue to lead the reader in understanding the structure and content of a story. We won’t use it for every book or story that we read; once a month is plenty of practice for us.
Grammar by the Book from Fortunately for You Books – This is a wonderfully simple concept which I’ve always wanted to do, but could never really figure out how. Simple cards with directions are used as the children are reading their books, and they learn real grammar with real books. I have to admit, my children know woefully little about grammar. F1 was forced at no-dessert-point to do some grammar in Harvey’s Elementary English Grammar. He hated it. I hated it. Hate is a strong word, isn’t it? It is incredibly accurate in this case, though. Some people get into that fill in the blank with stuff that doesn’t apply to real life at all thing, but not us. F3 was exposed to a bit of it, too, but I wised up much sooner with her. Again, with Grammar by the Book, we will only do it with one book a month, not every book. Just enough to get their feet wet and adjusted to the idea that grammar and real life reading and write do intersect.
Copywork or Dictation – F1 is going to start dictating a paragraph to F3 and helping her correct it. Good for him, her, and me. He likes the idea, she is okay with it, and I love it. He will start doing copywork again, but the topic will be of his own choice. He’s forgotten how to write in cursive semi-neatly and needs a refresher course in it; the copywork will fill that bill nicely. F2 is still in need of working on making his printing legible and being able to follow lines of text and keep his place. I’m going to let him choose his own topics as well. F4 will be working on copywork as well.
Oral Recitation – Yeah, I know. Recitation. We’ve never, ever done this. And it shows. (Yes, I just started a sentence with “and”. Here’s my knuckles…crack them with the ruler. I’m still not deleting it.) I’ve decided that it needs to happen. They will all memorize pieces of literature or history that interest them and recite their pieces to the family. If they like it, they may do it at the local homeschool group’s show and tell night.
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Yes, I know you all remember last year’s debacle with the missing Mavis. But she is right where she belongs now and shouldn’t offer up the same difficulties as last year.
Science: Nature studies with The Outdoor Hour and The Handbook of Nature Study

Now, on to each individual’s plans.

F1, 13 years old, eighth grade
Math – Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra, first sememster. Begin Teaching Textbooks Algebra, second semester.
Logic – Traditional Logic 1, first semester. Begin Traditional Logic 2, second semester.
Science – Apologia General Science, first semester. Begin Apologia Physical Science, second semester.
Middle Ages unit study by Hip2Homeschool (very revised to include a lot more literature and activities. I hope to make it stretch out the whole year. As of now, it is only 26 days long. I’ll probably combine it with All About Knights unit study by Brandenburg Studies.)with:
F2, 12 years old, fifth grade
Math – I don’t know yet! Yeah, I know. Either Saxon 3 or Math Mammoth 2. Haven’t decided yet. Sigh.
Phonics – Still. But he is reading much, much better right now. We’ll continue to use TATRAS, but he’s reading at the point now that he can read real books in short snatches. Because of that (all you IEW users, did you notice that because opener?), I’ll alternate days with TATRAS and real book reading. I think he’ll like that.
F3, 10 years old, fifth grade
Math – Same as F2.
Spelling – An informal program of learning the rules for the words she misspells in her writing.
Beautiful Feet Horses unit study along with:
F4, 6 years old, first grade
Math – Math Mammoth 1 (I think.) I might use Making Math Meaningful. Or, I might not and start over with Saxon 1. I just don’t know yet.
Phonics – TATRAS. I really like that program. It is nice and gentle in its approach to learning to read, no pressure and plenty of room for my own little additions and subtractions.

Phew. I’m tired now, just thinking about it all. Right now, I’m working on getting materials organized for the unit studies. F1 will be doing most of the reading aloud with F2 and F3 will be doing that with F4. I am mostly just supervising their work and letting them enjoy. We’ll see how it all works out once the fun begins. Day after Labor Day, here we come! (wild, raucous applause)