So to continue with yesterday’s curriculum discussion:

5. Science (3 hourse a week)
My goal for Science this schoolyear is to brush up on topics covering Life Science and Earth Science. Mica has already learned some in grade school but I want to give her more exposure on these topics without overwhelming her with lots of facts. Books we’re using are Usborne’s Complete Book of The Human Body and Reader’s Digest’s How Nature Works, How The Earth Works, and How The Universe Works.

We have just finished learning about the human body (the Usborne book has internet links, some of which Mica found really interesting) and are working on topics and experiments in “How The Earth Works”. I will post some resources for experiments next time.

6. Foreign Language (1 hour a day)
I asked Mica what foreign language she wanted to learn first and she chose Italian. We use Rosetta Stone – good for quick word to image recognition and to get pronunciations right but it doesn’t teach formal grammar. To supplement Rosetta Stone, I use a couple of online resources. I found this free and very informative site where I get all the grammar lessons I need. This online dictionary has proven to be invaluable. And here are some easy Italian readings for beginners that Mica and I will be working on deciphering. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to borrow Italian books from the library from time to time.

7. Reading (at least 1 hour a day)
By “reading”, I mean literature and not textbooks. The love for books is in our blood so it’s not hard to encourage Mica to read a lot. She’s actually a fast reader. She read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in one day.

I choose a book that we read out loud – usually something that’s related to what we’re discussing in Social Studies. For example, we were discussing Ancient Egypt in Social Studies and her read-aloud book was The Golden Goblet by Eloise McGraw which is set in Ancient Egypt. We usually do the read-aloud before going to bed.

Aside from the read-aloud, she gets to choose a book that she wants and reads it on her own for at least 30 minutes a day.

Mica is currently reading L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables in the Kindle. If you have a Kindle
, great sources of free ebooks are Feedbooks and Project Gutenberg.

8. Art and Music (at least 1.5 to 2 hours every Friday for each subject)
I divided Art and Music into art/music appreciation and art/music skills.

To develop Mica’s music skills, I teach her how to play the piano. (I play the piano so I am able to teach her.) We use Piano Adventures by Nancy and Randall Faber. For every lesson, we go through a theory book, a technique and artistry book, and a lesson book. Aside from those, I give her piano pieces to study. For example, she’s already learned a simplified version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and Mozart’s “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”. She is also required to practice her piano for at least 30 minutes everyday.

For music appreciation, we listen to this Classical Music CD for a few minutes every Friday before her piano lesson begins. The CD includes a pamphlet that is meant to be read while listening. It briefly discusses the different classical periods and composers and explains a little bit about the musical samplings on the CD. I intend to take her lessons in classical music further when she learns about the Renaissance in Social Studies.

Our art program is less formal. For art appreciation, we briefly discuss art styles and architecture in whatever period we’re learning in Social Studies. I believe this would get more formal and involved once we reach the Renaissance in Social Studies (which would be next schoolyear, if we’re still homeschooling). To develop her art skills, we’re currently working on exploring watercolor painting and charcoal drawing.

9. Technology (30 minutes every Friday)
Troy is currently teaching Mica how to use MS Word. We also have the Meavis Bacon Typing software that Mica will use to learn how to type efficiently.

10. Health (30 minutes a day)
We’re currently learning about food and nutrition and for that we’re using Food and Nutrition for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave

11. Physical Education
This is where we’re lacking. Mica started taking dance classes last year but because of conflicts in schedule, we have yet to enrol her back. Hopefully, she can resume this week. I’m also encouraging her to do Wii Fit at least 30 minutes a day – hey, it’s still exercise, right?

As a closing note: one of my favorite things about homeschooling is that I learn together with Mica.