Getting Ready for School

It is August and for me that means setting up our schedule for the new school year.  Froggy is in first grade this year and we are loosely following the Ambleside Year 1 curriculum with some serious modifications. On Ambleside I found a nice planner which I am using to organize and plan our weeks.  It is basically a checklist for the week so I can mark off what I have done and so I can look ahead and see what I need to print or gather.

Here is what our year looks like following the suggested Ambleside schedule with personal modifications:

DAILY (that we do school - goal is four days a week)
  • Penmanship / Copywork: Handwriting Without Tears, homemade parsha copywork
  • Math:  Singapore Math Level 2
  • Foreign Language:  Hebrew, using Migdalor L'Gan  and Berhman House Ulpan
  • Bible (=Chumash)
    • Bright Beginnings materials
    • Worksheets from
    • homemade worksheets from both me and Adventures in Mamaland
    • may also add L'shon HaTorah in later in the year. (edit - I just ordered this.  Paid as much in shipping as the cost of the book so I really hope it is good)
  • P.E. - I have added this to our daily schedule this year to make sure we do it more.  Some days it will be easy since it will be a formal class (gymnastics/swimming/dance).  Other days it will entail going for a bike ride or a hike or playing catch.  Froggy is still significantly delayed in her gross motor skills so we are making a more conscious effort to work on them this year. Bike riding is our focus for the Fall.
WEEKLY (but we do some more than once a week)
  • Art:  13 Artists Children Should Know & Draw Write Now
  • History:  Story of the World, century book, maps, additional activities / readings
  • Handicrafts: basic needlework with plastic canvas and linen
  • Nature Study - not sure how  quite yet but we will do something.
  • Music Appreciation - Mozart, Mendelssohn and piano lessons
In terms of specific books, here’s what we’re using, grouped by the same headings Ambleside uses for its Year 1 booklist:

History: early history, focusing on people rather than events
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea by C. Holling- Great Lakes / Canada Geography.  I have a great guide that goes with it.  It guides one through the story on three different levels: economic, societal, and ecosystem.
  • The Seven Little Sisters - This offers an overview of the continents and world geography.  There a few different guides/maps I can use and not sure which I will use.
Natural History/Science
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Now We Are Six/When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne
  • A Child's Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa,
  • The Aesop for Children by Milo Winter
  • Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit
  • The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (as well as selected stories from other books in the series)
  • Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (done)


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