Our Themes for the School Year 2013-2014 & More!

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I can't believe it's June, the final month of our school year.  It's definitely been an adventure, especially as we switched over to using a modified Montessori Method for our kiddos in February.  The positive results have been too numerous to count.

I am very much looking forward to our new school year.  Dinomite will be a 1st grader.  Bulldozer is entering kindergarten and Princess is a preschooler. This year I have spent much time developing our curriculum for the next school year.  It's proved to be quite a challenge with such varying needs and skill levels, but it's finally finished and official, having been turned into our school district May 1st and presented at CSE meetings this past week and next.

I've been contemplating the best way to share our plans for the next year, as they are extremely detailed, to ensure I'm meeting our state standards.  Below you'll see a list of our unit themes with a brief description of what the units will include.  All unit activities will be shared on the blog as we do them, so the details will come then.

We choose to home school year round due to the special needs of the kiddos.  If we continue to work on things regularly, they won't lose skills.  Also, if we use a year round schedule we won't have to spend as much time each day doing school work.  You can depend on new posts regularly.

Each unit lasts one month or 4 weeks and is divided up into 4 parts, activities changing each week or 4 times during the course of the month.  During holiday seasons, if the holiday is not our unit study theme, I will add supplementary holiday activities to the shelves.  The number of unit activities may vary because of this.

Here is our plan for the school year 2013-2014:

July
Theme:  Princesses & Knights
Unit studies will include kings, queens, princes , princesses, castles, medieval times, horses, & modern day royal families.

August
Theme:  The World Around Me
Unit studies will include an intro to land masses, bodies of water, our location on Earth; an intro to all about me, my family, my religion, and my country; an intro to the five senses; and an intro to the living vs. nonliving sciences.

September
Theme: Life At Sea
Unit studies will include continent and ocean identification; directions on  compass; intro to maps; ships, sailors, pirates and fishermen; a review of the stars, moon, clouds, & sun; ocean plant life and ocean animal life including-Echinoderms, Mollusk, Crustaceans, Fish & Marine Mammals.

October
Theme:  Halloween
Unit studies will include our body, arachnids, apples, pumpkins & other Halloween related characters, along with a study of South America.

November
Theme:  The First Thanksgiving
Unit studies will include North America topography and countries, Native Americans, Pilgrims, famous explorers, nutrition, table etiquette & preparation, and animals native to North America.

December
Theme: Christmas
Unit studies will include Antarctica, precipitation (snow), temperature, conifer trees, along with the study of The Nutcracker & A Christmas Carol.

January
Theme: Extreme Weather Conditions
Unit studies will include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, earth quakes, volcanoes, blizzards, and ice storms, along with putting together emergency kits and safety during natural disasters.  We will be studying the continent of Asia.

February
Theme:  Winter Olympics
Unit studies will include the continent of Europe and sports in the Winter Olympics.

March
Theme: Working in the Kitchen
Unit studies will include fractions, changes in matter, herbs & spices, kitchen and fire safety.  We will be studying the continent of Australia.

April
Theme:  Spring Is Here!
Unit studies will include Easter, Earth Day, flowers, bird migration, baby animals, and the reproduction system (in regards to animals).  We will be studying the continent of Africa.

May
Theme:  Insects
Unit studies will include insects, an intro to rocks and minerals, and insect eating plants and animals.

June
Theme:  Dinosaurs
Unit studies will include dinosaurs of the Triassic, Jurassic, & Cretaceous periods, asteroids, and more.

I'm very excited about this next year and the fun times we'll have!  And believe it or not, I actually have our themes for the year 2014-2015 ready to plan out in detail!  Let's just say the inspiration kept coming and so I went with it.  That, and so I'm not completely overwhelmed with the task of putting together a year's syllabus in a very short time when it's due,  I work on it month by month the year before.

My youngest daughter Sunshine will be starting preschool with us that year. I had a really fun time coming up with some fun topics that will be perfect for her and the other kiddos.

July
Theme:  Transportation
Week 1:  Planes
Week 2:  Trains
Week 3:  Boats
Week 4:  Cars & Trucks

August
Theme:  The Doctor's Office
Week 1:  Pediatrician
Week 2:  Dentist/Orthodontist
Week 3:  Optometrist
Week 4: The Pharmacy

September
Theme:  The Farm
Week 1:  Animals
Week 2:  Crops
Week 3:  Equipment
Week 4:  Daily Life on the Farm

October
Theme: Fall Harvest
I haven't figure out how to divide this unit up yet. I just keep having thoughts of apples, pumpkins, scarecrows, hay bales, pies, corn mazes etc.

November
Theme:  Our Community
Week 1: Post Office
Week 2:  Library
Week 3:  Sanitation/Recycling Center
Week 4:  Bank

December
Theme: A Cozy Christmas
Week 1:  Mittens
Week 2:  Christmas Tree
Week 3:  Gingerbread Men & Houses
Week 4:  Snow

January
Theme:  Pets
Week 1:  The Perfect Pet for Me
Week 2:  The Pet Store
Week 3:  Meeting the Needs of My Pet
Week 4:  The Veterinarian

February
Theme:  Sweet Treats
Week 1:  Bakery
Week 2:  Candy Shop
Week 3:  Ice Cream Stand
Week 4:  Carnival

March
Theme:  Fashion
Week 1:  Clothes
Week 2:  Hair
Week 3:  Make Up
Week 4:  Jewelry

April
Theme: Plants
Week 1:  Fruits
Week 2:  Vegetables
Week 3:  Trees & Shrubs
Week 4: Flowers

May
Theme:  Rocks & Minerals
Week 1:  Igneous
Week 2: Sedimentary
Week 3:  Metamorphic
Week 4:  Diamonds & Other Jewels

June
Theme: The Great Outdoors
Week 1:  Camping & Hiking
Week 2:  The Beach & Swimming
Week 3:  Fishing & Boating
Week 4:  Outdoor Games

Mind you as I plan this syllabus for the year of 2014-2015 in detail, this list of themes is subject to changes. :)  At least now I won't lose it, as it's on the blog.  It's a great starting point!  The best part is if I see items I would like to purchase at yard sales, thrift stores, or clearance racks, I now know what I will want and need way in advance.

What has been your most favorite unit of study?

9 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic! I think you will have a very good year. I'm excited for you just reading your topics! :) Cannot wait to read more.

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  2. Wow! That list looks awesome! I'm excited to see your plans in detail as the year goes on. :)

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  3. Wow so many great theme ideas! I love it!

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  4. What a great list of themes!! It must feel wonderful to have the whole year planned out! I'm going to pin this list--thanks so much for sharing it at Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!!

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  5. Wow- what a wonderful list! Thank you for the inspiration! Your blog is a fabulous learning resource- You have a new follower here!! :-)

    http://thisfineday.com

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  6. I love your theme ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I'm amazed you did this! This seems like a crazy lot of work, can I ask what state you are in? I don't think we have to do much of any thing besides signing a thig about intent to homeschool when our kids turn seven (we're in Oregon)

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    1. We live in New York State. Our district requires a complete syllabus, list of texts, intent to homeschool, quarterly reports on each kiddo, and more. It's a lot, but it definitely helps me stay organized. They also require a certain amount of hours per week in each subject area.

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    2. Wow, yes that is a lot! But I can see how nice it would be to know where you are going, especially with all the different ages. Do your children pursue special interests seperatly then? For example right now my daughter is in to horses. I'm ao curious because we're "just" in pre-school and I already am putting a lot of pressure on myself to get it right (schedule, etc.). Thanks!

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