2011/2012 Learning Plans

Victorian Schoolroom at Shugborough Hall

Well, ‘school’ is just about upon us – in fact we started back this week. Gently of course. I like to ease the girls (an myself) back into the swing of things. This new academic year sees some changes in our choices of resources, so I’m sure it will take a little time getting used to.

I introduced you to my ‘Planner’ a bit earlier in the month. Now let me walk you through the Plan and the Nitty Gritty.

Our Core

We have chosen Sonlights Core G as our core programme of study. It encompasses History, Geography, Bible (which is looking great this year!), all our readers and read alouds and poetry. All the work is done for me which is just what I need in this season of life.

 This year we kick off with the Ancient world and travel through time to the middle ages. I have had some fun creating notebooking pages for the girls narrations. The Sonlight books are just beautiful and I can’t wait to get stuck in! I have created a little book display on Ancient Egypt, the girls have spent time taking books down to read, so by the time we get down to the scheduled reading they will have a good feel of our time period of study.

Just a note on my book display: These are additional books which are beautifully illustrated and are enticing to the children’s eye. They are not on the Sonlight booklist, they are for ‘free’ reading and enjoyment. I do not insist on my girls reading them, they are simply there for their interest. They never seem to be ignored and are inevitability browsed through. My eldest DH has really enjoyed our Ancient Egypt display and keeps me informed as to what the Egyptians were like ;o) She is quite taken with this culture.


Apologia Botany is our choice for this year. I am hoping to get through two Apologia books this year, but we will take it step at a time and see how it goes. I am also using ‘150 Great Science Experiments’ as my girls love hands on science. So for a little fun we will be having one hands on science day a week. The girls can choose any experiment they want to do from this book. I want to instill a love for this area of study. I remember hating science in school. All those boring textbooks and theories just drove me to despair! Yet now, as I look at it, it seems so much more interesting. I realise that of course it is fascinating, but the way it was ‘taught’ in school was boring – it certainly does not have to be that way!

Nature Study

Ahhh, we love this! We will continue using Barbs Nature Hour as our guide. Each of my DD’s has a new nature journal – which they are itching to make a mark in – and we have plenty of lovely resources and inspiring examples of beautiful nature journals on our shelves (See my sidebar).

 I intend to display the relevant pages of ‘Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady’ throughout the year. Living in England it is totally relevant to our nature observations.


We will be following Ambleside Online’s Artist schedule this year. Each Friday is our Art and Nature day. Sonlight and book work is set aside for these areas of study. In addition to our Artist study, we will be choosing art projects that introduce us to various mediums and techniques. I glean my ideas from various websites such as Crayola, Family Fun, and Enchanted Learning . I print out the project and place it in my Sonlight file behind the relevant week. I will also set out some seasonal crafts that I want to do with the girls just for the fun of it. I will print these out as well, but we will do these crafts on quiet afternoon during the week sometime.

My eldest is art crazy and wants to hone her skills in this area. So this year she will be doing a course through The London Art College. We will continue through various courses of interest to her for the remainder of her ‘school’ career. She will have assignments that she will complete and send back to the college for grading. Upon completion she receives a diploma or certificate (depending on which course she is doing). She is very excited about this and I am thrilled to have found such an excellent course which will help her in her goal to becoming an artist.

Language Arts

On my weekly subject schedule I have the heading ‘Literacy Arts’. This encompasses various different things and this is the focus area for my little one. Each DD has her own Llatl book (Learning Language Arts Through Literature). Both have a spelling programme, I use Christian Liberty Press’s ‘Building Spelling Skills’. Then little DD (must find better names for them ;o) has a copy work assignment each day. This year I have decided that our copy work will be taken from ‘Favourite Poems Old and new’ – soaking her in poetry, and of course scripture.

I write a stanza/verse each day on the blackboard. She copies it and once the full poem has been copied, she can illustrate her work. Having really battled with her reading due to spatial planning difficulties, she has two reading practices a day. In the morning she will read two or three pages from ‘Turbo Reader’, a wonderful programme that steadily leads them down the phonics road, gradually introducing more difficult words to decode. In the afternoon, she will read from a book we have decided on together. Yesterday she read a Paddington Bear book. She has good reading days and bad reading days, but overall we are making progress. With this year making this our focus area, I am hoping to bring her up to her 6th grade level.


We simply L-O-V-E Math-u-see. It is so easy to work with and has plenty of review throughout the course which is essential. We switched to Math-u-see a year ago when I found that my eldest DD could not remember what to do in her fractions when asked a question a month on from learning the fact. This was due to little review built into the programme as well as not enough time to practice what she had learned. With Math-u-see, she is now flying along (we are having to repeat fractions! I am hoping to fly through the course so that we can start her pre-algebra sometime in the new year).

I have also bought a foreign language programme for my eldest DD – I feel youngest DD has enough language things to focus  on at the moment. To add a foreign language would be too much for her. I’m still trying to figure it our myself so have not scheduled it in yet. I need to get to grips with it. Feeling a bit daunted by it as the only ‘foreign’ lanuage I know is Afrikaans which is really only useful in South Africa, and even then it is said to be a dying language! So to tackle spanish is leaving me in cold sweats at the moment – lol.

Thanks for visiting…

(3) Comments

  1. Mrs. H says:

    Thanks for sharing. After several years of Ambleside Online, I am considering Sonlight this year. With 4 in school and 1 toddler I am getting burnt out making my own schedule!


  2. Shirley-Ann says:

    I hear you Olivia! That is precisly why we decided to choose Sonlight. I simply could not teach and write my own lesson plans. I've had to let go the way I used to do things and take on something new. It was actually quite a painfull process! Wishing you peace in your changes.
    Shirley Ann

  3. Mrs. H says:

    Thanks! No peace yet, I think I change my mind every hour 🙁 but time is running short! Gotta make a leap soon.


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