Ok, so spending a lot of time in books and prayer lately:) Here is what I've come up with for a complete overhaul of our schoolday. I will note: the kids are not gonna like this! lol. Remember: lessons should not be fill-in-the-blank, lessons should be predictable week by week, and lessons should be mostly independent. It also should not take me a huge amt of time to pull together. I think this will meet this criteria, although its gonna take some time and patience to learn the new system (its called "fill in the blank withdraw")
We have not been consistent in spelling at all. I've really ignored this subject. We'll use Natural Speller (already own).
Day 1: copy list of words. Divide into syllables. Underline phonetic groups (phonograms).
Day 2: write words with any prefixes/suffixes that can be added or word changes (ex: buy, buying, bought). Double check the dictionary to see if you are right.
Day 3: alphabetize spelling words.
Day 4: write sentences for spelling words.
Day 5: test.
Shortened week: Day 1, 2 or 3, and 5.
First, we're going to work through Paragraph Editing 4th Gr (already own), mostly focusing on Capitalization and Punctuation. We will not finish the book, just want a month or two of practice. Then I want to work through this document in my own order (easiest first). This will not be independent and will be a few minutes each day on the white board. There is another nice document that shows good examples here.
A half page summary will be written 3-5 days per week, using other subjects. Once in awhile, we'll edit a summary, rewrite it and illustrate it. I may also begin teaching the 5th grader how to do really simple outlining using other books.
I'd like to use up our BJU science books for this year. Read a section. 1-2 times per week write a half page summary. I've also read that BJU books are perfect for practicing outlining because everything is already set up in titles, subtitles, and bolded words. (note: ditching the workbook)
Finish our SOTW 3 this year. 1-2 times per week write a half page summary.
I'm combing the internet right now to find good-quality, must-read books for the kids. Not sure what list I'll end up with yet, but would like to pull in stories that sort of match our history (things like Sign of the Beaver for SOTW 3). Once a book is finished, a book report or summary should be written. Science or History write ups will be cancelled for that day:)
Continue with daily speed drills. We'll keep on with Addition, mostly because it is a good way to reinforce the idea of working speedily (10yo NEEDS this) and dealing with disappointment (8yo NEEDS this, lol). I don't want to call it "failure", but the 8yo desperately needs working on acceptance that some days she won't perform as well as others, and that hardwork will pay off over time (its not always going to come easily or quickly, and you have to work through it). This should be borne out by tracking our times, where we should see a gradual increase in our performance and the skills we've mastered. It's a hard lesson for the 8yo to learn, let me tell you! After addition, we'll move on to multiplication. Next year, I hope to hit the cycle again with adding, add big numbers, subtracting, sub big numbers, multiplying, mult big numbers, and dividing, div big numbers through timed drill.
I also will pull back out our BJU book and begin working on that again.
Dh will probably request that I bring back the Bartlett's Familiar Quotations again. This was a good book and only took 5mins of our day. I'd like to get this under our belt first, and get AWANA finished for the year (this takes a large chunk of our day).
AWANA finishes in April. 10yo will finish before.