My 7th grader is my Matthias. He is quite a kid, and I don't mean that in a flippant kind of way, he is as awesome as an almost 12 year old comes :) Being my only Fall baby, he holds a special place in the family. He is kind and funny and constantly amazing us with his ideas and abilities, this is going to be a great year for Matthias!
While planning for the upper elementary grades isn't that much different than the younger years, there is definately more meat to add in to the programme, and Matthias is ready for some heavier studies. (Here is a list of attainments for a child of twelve from AO.)
As with the younger lesson rotations, the older student rotations of Charlotte Mason's day used the same liberal studies concepts and shorter lessons, albeit longer than the 1st-3rd grade rotations. Here is an example of the upper grades (scroll down to the Class II & III Timetables, Matthias fits kind of in between the two). Now I'll show you how I translate this into my 7th grader's schedule.
~ Old Testament/New Testament: He will do his own readings for this year from a combination of sources including the Bible (Acts of the Apostles), The Story of the Church, The Bronze Bow, Fabiola and many Saints biographies. This will cover his Religion for the year and is correlated with his History studies. After he completes his readings he will narrate most of these orally and I will choose one each week for him to practice his written narration skills. This will fall in the Composition section (see English Grammar below).
~ Math (Algebra 1 or 2): Matthias and Violet will do either Algebra 1 or 2 together this year! Sadly I'm still in the discernment process, aargh! We thought we were going with Teaching Textbooks, but now I'm not so sure, I'm waffling. It looks like we already covered so much of what's covered in over half of the TT Algebra 1 book, so I'm leary that it'll just be alot of repeat, which isn't a bad thing with Algebra, but I want to keep moving them forward, iykwim, sigh....Stay tuned for an update. At any rate, they will do their Math lesson together with me and then work their problems at their own pace.
~ English Grammar: This will encompass Copywork, Dictation, Narration and Composition. (Please see Jen's lovely Language Arts posts for a description of how these work in her home.) Matthias has been doing oral and written narrations for the past couple of years and will continue to do mainly oral re-tellings with one or two carefully chosen written narrations or compositions. He really excelled at this combination of learning Language Arts so I'm looking forward to his writing style blossoming this year.
*In addition, this past year we started using Editor in Chief Book B1 for some superb editing practice. Occaisionally I'll have my older two work through one of their own writings to edit, but it's fun to go through these books as the selections are always somewhat humorous or silly. Great for grammar and language mechanics review! We will continue through this book and move on to the next. Also I want to include Vocabulary from Classical Roots as I think this will polish his grammar skills nicely.
~ Repetitions: Much like the earlier grades, these will include any poetry Matthias has memorized, bible verses, catechism questions, quotes from historical readings and maybe even some of the shorter works of Shakespeare. He also likes to create his own poetry which is often quite entertaining and engaging :)
~ Greek & Roman History: As mentioned in my 3rd grade plans post, Matthias and Seamus will work through this history cycle together. They are both really excited as this will be Seamus' first real encounter with Greek and Roman History and Matthias is now old enough to really dig in! I'm hoping for some great discussion and enjoyable readings together, not to mention the narrations that will ensue. Knowing my Matthias, they will be sprinkled with much humor and adventure :) Our key components will be the Men of Greece and Men of Rome books, plus scads of Historical Fiction. We will also make use of our History Scribe (mine were purchased through Currclick of which I am an affiliate) and Notebooking Pages (also an affiliate) Greece and Rome downloads for recording all those great discussions, narrations and reading. *Note: In Charlotte's schedules she also included English and French History along with Greek and Roman Lives, but we will tackle only Greece and Rome this year so as to delve deeply :)
~ Geography: Built in to the History work, Matthias will continue with mapwork and solidifying his knowledge of the physical properties of the land and area occupied during Greek and Roman rule. Should be an exciting adventure. I love that Charlotte Mason included some samples of her student's work in the Appendecies of Volume 3 School Education from the Original Home Schooling Series. During our Geography time we will also work through some question and answer periods similar to the questions she expected. It's a fun way of recalling certain landmarks or events that occured geographically in relation to the historical period. This will be right up Matthias' alley :)
*Also Note: You can view examples of many of the CM students exam questions to get an idea of what was required of students in all the different forms. Quite good reading :)
~ Latin: Rather than studying several different languages, we have chosen solely to study Latin for now. Perhaps Matthias will want to learn French or another language in high school, but we are quite happy with our Latin progression. Becuase Matthias and Seamus have the privilege of serving in the Latin Rite at our parish each week (Low Mass) they have already memorized the responses for the entire Mass. They serve with precision and reverence and it gives this mother's heart so much joy to see her boys on the altar. That being said, this year of Latin for Matthias will consist of vocabulary review, continued memorization of rules, and prayers as well as working through some simple translations in Latina Christiana II. (I may change my mind and combine him with Violet for Henle Latin early as she will begin this year, we'll see.)
~ Natural History/Science: Matthias really wants to do Chemistry this year and I think we'll bring Seamus along for the ride. I really like the suggestions in The Well-Trained Mind for Chemistry and most of the books are at our library, which I consider a bonus :) We're hoping to include this Chemistry set which will make for a really nice year of study. The books we'll try to include are: Adventures with Atoms and Molecules, The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Chemistry, The Usborne Book of Science: An Introduction to Biology, Physics and Chemistry (Saw this one at MaryM's while in Colorado and it looks good), Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY) H/T: Theresa :)
*Additionally, Matthias will continue to add to his Nature Notebook which will cover Botany and Zoology with our regular nature outings.
~ Drill/Piano: This equates to recess for us. Matthias and Seamus can do their respective music practices in separate rooms so as not to conflict, then they can have a little run around outside or a dip in the pool (until the weather gets bad on us) and be ready for the next thing on the schedule :) Matthias' advances in his piano technique and melodies continue to amaze and delight us, he truly has a gift and I thank God for him and his music everyday :)
~ Picture Talk/Art Appreciation: There really isn't alot of information in Charlotte Mason's series about Art Appreciation in the upper grades, but I do really like this A Picture Talk lesson from Volume 3, pgs 353-354. It is geared towards 13 year olds in Form III, but the principles are still applicable to all ages in my mind and consequently how we go about it here, it's nicely laid out. We'll view portions of the Sister Wendy DVD's mentioned here and refer to the beautiful tome The Story of Painting for inspiration and discussion.
Whew!! If you made it all the way through, I am so grateful! Did I leave anything out???
I hope you'll let me know if you'll be teaching a 7th grader this year and what you plan to do. I'd love any and all comments and suggestions....Many blesssings and see you soon!