Sunday, 2 September 2012

Year 3: Academic Plan

I have learnt that flexibility and balance are two key areas I want to focus on in our homeschooling this year.  While we started off with well-crafted plan last year, by Christmas it had mostly gone out of the window as we were lured away from our desk to attend numerous outside activities.  While we certainly have been exposed to many interesting areas of learning, met new people, and made a few friends at the outside classes, I feel the need to re-establish what we do best at home, i.e. in-depth learning and concentration.

Given the need to balance Tiger's interest and his non-linear way of learning, I figured the most appropriate way forward is to drop the whole idea of following a 'completion schedule', ie that he must know certain things by a certain time, and to allow time and space in our homeschool to immerse in topics that fascinate him, all the while keeping the Classical Eduation as our broad, underlying aspiration.  The areas in which we will begin to pursue exploratory, context-based study are Literature, Classical Civilisation, Science, Nature Study, Art, and History.

Below are the my plans for Year 3 (September 2012 - July 2013):
1) Language Arts (9 hours per week)
  • Grammar and Writing:  
I feel as though we had wasted two years on a curriculum that did not suit Tiger's learning style.  We barely struggled through its boring repetitions in Year 1 but I thought things might get better with Year 2 but it did not.  Tiger hardly retained anything about grammar from using the previous curriculum so I have finally learned my lesson the hard way and abandoned that approach.  For Year 3, I will use a more humourous, games-based approach to grammar study.  Since Tiger is still not an active writer, I will use this year to focus on grammar as a foundation to writing, rather than having a separate curriculum for writing.
    1. Grammar-Land with worksheets
    2. Grammar Games and Activities that Boost Writing Skills 
    3. Instant Grammar Practice 
    4. Punctuation Tales
    5. Grammar Tales
  • Penmanship: Copywork in cursive writing
  • Literature
  1. Enjoying Poetry
  2. Robin Hood with lapbook 
  3. The Travels of Marco Polo with lesson plans for grades K-2 and grades 3-5
  4. Shakespeare with various resources
  5. Drama class*

2) Modern Languages (5 hours per week)
  • Mandarin Chinese
    1. Chinese made easy for Kids Level 1
    2. Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese 1

3) Classics (5 hours per week)

4) Maths (5 hours per week)

5) History (3 hours per week)
  • World History: AD1150-1550 (topic study using various resources)
  • UK History
  1. Richard I to Henry VIII (topic study using various resources)
  2. Young Archaeologists Club*

6) Music (1.5 hour per week)
  • Instrument:  
  1. Piano Lessons Made Easy Level 2 
  2. Finger Exercises Made Easy Level 2 and Level 3
  3. My First Theory Book 

7) Science and Nature Study (3 hours per week)
  • Science: topics study in Chemistry using various resources
I'm trying out the interest-led approach in science this year.  Tiger has expressed a keen interest in chemistry, so instead of making him wait for it while we follow some arbitrary learning schedule, I've decided that we should give chemistry a go.  My research tells me that the 'basics' of chemistry mostly involve knowing topics about the states of matter, as well as atoms and molecules, so we will go with those using various resources that I have gathered, which I will be sharing on this blog as we learn through the year. 
  • Nature Study: topic study through the seasons using various resources
I intend to make nature journaling a consistent practice this year.  We have had an encouraging (re)start with nature journaling in Year 2, and I have taken a personal interest in nature journaling as part of my own sketching practice.

8) Art (5.5 hours per week)
  • topic study using various resources
  • Clay sculpture class*
  • Film animation class*

9) Sports (4 hours per week)
  • Off-road cycling
  • Karate*
  • Tennis*

* denotes regular external classes where Tiger meets and interacts with different age groups of people from diverse backgrounds.  That's socialisation taken care of!

Update: Before anybody gets too excited by this plan, you'll be wise to read this as well.


  1. I was going to come over and say hi but you beat me to it by commenting on mine first. :) Just visited your art blog...looks so good! Well done! I hope you have a great Year 3. Your plans are so organized!

  2. Thank you for posting this. I did not know the Grammarland had worksheets! We love the book but due to my ADD, I forgot all about it. We will start over again this year and follow-up with the worksheets. I haven't even considered figuring out how much time we spend on each subject but we may have to start because there are things we never even get to!

  3. Wow, I am impressed with your record keeping! We are starting homeschool in January. i will use your blog as an example framework for my record keeping; if you don't mind! :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lizabeth! I'm glad you're finding my blog useful. Good luck with your homeschooling! :-)


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