Back to School! (And Our Curriculum Plans)

Wow! Today is the first day of 6th grade for Andrew. I can hardly believe it. I keep telling him to stop growing up but he doesn’t listen. LOL!

First Day of 6th Grade

1st day of 6th grade!

I am really excited about this year. It is our first year going *all in* with the Mother of Divine Grace program. Andrew already had his orientation classes for the Latin, History Book Club, and Fine Arts Appreciation courses. They look like they are going to be a lot of fun.

For religion, he will work through the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism and read through the Gospels of Mark and Luke. He will also go to CCD again this year. I love the program at our church and it is a good supplement for his spiritual development. (It also gives him another opportunity to be with other kids and participate in the Living Stations of the Cross put on every year by the 6th-8th graders.)

For Math, he will continue with the Right Start Math Program. He is halfway through Level E. I love that this program is level based, rather than grade based. He can work through the program at his own pace and it has lots of manipulatives which Andrew loves.

For English, he will use the Lepano (Voyages in English) books. Most of the lessons are done orally and has a *Catholic flavor* I think I will like. He will also be diagraming sentences with this program.

He also starts Editing this year. He will use the book, The Great Editing Adventure, and for each lesson he will use a dictionary and thesaurus to edit and rewrite a paragraph or two.

For Spelling, he will continue the All About Spelling program. He is going to begin on Level 4.

For History/Geography, he will be learning about ancient Egypt. He will be constructing a timeline and using an Atlas. This class meets online once a week. He will meet online every other week. He will also be reading The Old World and America and several historical fiction books.

For Science, he will be using the Concepts and Challenges in Science books which are exclusive to Mother of Divine Grace. Because I had been doing my own thing up until now, we are using the 5th grade books so that he can get in line with their science sequence (just don’t tell Andrew!).

For Latin, he will be following the online program specific to Mother of Divine Grace and meet online once a week. I love how these books show how Latin is the basis of many of our English words and the connections between the two languages.

For Fine Arts (Art Appreciation) he will meet online once a week and they will learn about various art periods and terminology, look at and discuss pieces of art work, and listen to different music pieces. He will also be responsible for writing a short paper for this class.

For Poetry, he will spend the year memorizing three or four poems from The Harp and the Laurel Wreath focusing on one stanza a week. The first poem he will learn is “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Lord Alfred Tennyson.

Finally, for Typing, he will continue to practice his typing skills using typing club.

Mother of Divine Grace also encourages all 6th graders to read for at least 45 minutes a day.

Whew! I know it looks like a lot; however, several of the subjects only take 10 or 15 minutes a day, such as the poetry memorization, typing, and religion. Even the history, Latin, and editing classes should not be more than 30 minutes to complete so his work should be quite doable. 🙂

I hope these give you some ideas if you are looking to home school. Or, if you do homeschool, what books/programs do you use?

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What Does it Mean to Trust God? (A Little Random Thought)

That’s a hard question and I don’t have an easy answer to it. It is something that I struggle with which is why I think the Lord lead me to make “trust” as my focus word for 2013.  I clearly need the practice!

The scripture that stands out most to  me in regards to trust is Proverbs 3: 5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; in all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make straight your paths.”

(Saint Joseph Personal Size Edition of The New American Bible)

This quote convicts me and encourages me in my faith and trust in the Lord. I don’t know about you but I prefer to rely on myself a lot of time rather than on God, thank you very much! I want things to happen on my timetable and my way. I don’t want “wait” for an answer, either, I want what I want when I want it! This makes me sound like a two-year-old or something doesn’t it?

Right now we have a lot going on. We are looking for a place to live (after staying with my in-laws for a while), we need to get an extra car for me so I can get to school. I have to figure out who will watch Andrew every Tuesday for my early morning class that is starting in two weeks. Finances are tight. I’m homeschooling and have projects piling up. I’m feeling a little stressed to say the least.

For me, this is where trust comes in. I need to have the faith to trust that God will bring us to the right apartment that we can afford, that he will provide a car or transportation for me to get to my class and he will arrange for a sitter for Andrew. Yes, I have to do my part, and calmly look for that new apartment and car, but I have to quit stressing over it and trust in the Lord. That’s not easy.

Trust means that we rely on God and believe that He is invested in our lives. It means giving up our illusion of control and allow God to work in our lives – even in the details of our lives like finding a place to live. To me, trust means letting go of anxiety and knowing God is God.

Do you remember the 1980s sitcom, Charles in Charge starring Scott Baio? (You can see free episodes on Hulu.) Sometimes when my IRL friend Anne and I talk about stuff and remind each other to trust God we say, “God’s in charge, NOT Charles!”

That’s what I am going to try to remember for 2013 – to let God be in charge and not try not to interfere with God’s plan for me.

What about you? What does trusting God mean to you? I’d love to get a conversation about this going, so leave your thoughts and reflections on trust and what it means for you in the combox.