Possible plan of stretching condensed Core D&E for 3 years instead of 2?

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This post ended up longer than I expected, as I started putting my thoughts down. I hope someone can find value in this or can suggest something I might be missing.


I started planning to do the condensed D&E over 2 years with Canadian content intertwined along the way for my son who is completing Core C at the moment and will finish in a month....I am also adding my soon to be 5 and soon to be 3 yr old into  P 3/4 and then P4/5 program and also have a baby due in a, after I had laid out all my plans it dawned on me that Core 100 in later years goes again into American History but pretty in-depth. This got me thinking.....if I did the condensed Core D&E at a very paced study over 3 years then it would naturaly delay the Cores F, then G, then H a year and skip Core 100 altogether...Or if at that time I wanted to do the opposite of what us Canadians currently do, and 'add in' appropriate American History/Geography as needed I can do it then.


Some reasons why I was thinking of this slower paced schedule is because I really wanted to get to a 4-day schedule and not sacrifice any more material on this already condensed plan as well to really get a solid Canadian base for my kids...I would have the younger 2 join in for the 'core' Canadian history/geography/social studies we would study and each would have their level of everything else math, science, readers etc..the 3 and 5 year olds would most likely join in on everything else except for more Language Arts specific for the 5 year old as she is really ready for 'desk' work.


Ideas: (I have not yet ordered the material so I can repost later in a few weeks after and see if I'm on the right track with my thinking here)


- Follow the IG plan 'as is' but not week after week. Some weeks perhaps there might be a full complete focus and some weeks the topic might extend into the second week, basically after covering the IG material, then the following week or so I can match or try to duplicate as much as possible either the history timeline with the Canadian versions of what was going on around the same time. 


- We also hope to do some basic affordable road trips around Canada for the kids to get more of an appreciation and understanding for their Canadian culture. If possible we will try to do reasonable road trips into US as well as we can to extend that experience. If I collect valuable material on our trips and photos and other tidbits, this will help lay a base for future years as their Canadian/US cultural textbook that would come in handy when the baby is older.  I think doing this over 36 months is more probable as with the 5 kids, our baby will be 3 years old at the end of it all, and their ages will be 3, 6, 8, 11, and oldest at 19 and into college/university.  When the 6 and 8 year olds get to core D&E, instead of doing this all over again, I would reduce down to a 2 years stretch because they would already have gotten a lot of this Canadian enrichment by then.

- This would give me time to fit in French language learning. Also due to my own cultural background, the kids already do  Saturday morning in-class Portuguese lessons at a local school during the regular school term.


-*Alternative beginning: I was thinking I could also delay doing the IG material by 3 months and for those first 3 months of lessons, (being 13 weeks of school and we have 10+3 provinces/territories) do a full Canada province/territory by province/territory geography and social studies overview, with capital cities learning, with provincial flags review, unique landscape features, unique foods local to those regions, interesting facts and tidbits and affiliated sports teams (especially for my son - he will like that very much).  Then, we could go right into the IG material and I would add the Canadian historical equivalents along the timeline referencing the geographical locations as appropriate. 


Anyway, this is what I am thinking..any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.


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Following along...I am in the same boat.  We are going to finish Core C, hopefully by the summer.  Then I am debating on either: doing D+E (condensed) for one year and then spend a year on my own "sonlight" style Canadian history, geography etc.  or stretch the D+E (condensed) over 2 years and do Canadian history for these two years as well.

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So I delved into some Forum discussion recently posted and some moms were expressing regret for not doing D and E separately. Some indicate that D has some Canadian content in it..I find that interesting.  I am going to plot on a sheet of paper side by side what it would like to do the D&E over the 3 years as I thought versus just doing the D and E separately, but perhaps 1.5 years each still so that I can fit in what I mentioned before....decisions, decisions...I wish someone who's been there or thought similarily to me could post on this!

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Update a year later


I ended up not doing the D&E condensed and going the stretched time route.  We took a trip to Kingston, ON and Ottawa, ON to learn about the geographical/historical/political significance of these 2 cities.  In Kingston and surrounding area, we covered the English loyalist history with a visit to Fort Henry and surrounding lands which are occupied by the Royal Military College...we visited a historical school - Frontenac School and Fort Wellington in Prescott Ontario.  The forts are really worth the travel.  We observed the St. Lawrence River and it's signficance.  In Ottawa, we visited Canadian Science and Technology Museum, the Canadian War Museum, The Canadian Museum of Nature. We went to Parliament Hill grounds and watched a military inspection/parade at sunset, and had a baked snack at the historical Bytown market.  We packed this in to about 9 days and plan to go back again next year to align with a deeper history for Core addition we plan to head to Montreal and Quebec City to get a good view the French side of Canada's history.


Here's how I'm doing it this year:

For the first 'semester' of school which in this case we started the last week of August and it took us to the week before Christmas, I combined Canadian studies material from Donna Ward/Northwoods Press along with the Core D Bible/memory verse/ read aloud was the Core D: Intro to Poetry and then math and science. My kids also have a French and Portuguese tutor on Fridays plus Portuguese school on Saturday mornings. Art and crafts are on Fridays.  They also do swimming once a week.  I found our 'semester' to be very busy with what material we had and enough of a well rounded Canadian content to work with. My kids were pleased. Even the 3 year old joined in on the Canada My Country lessons.  I felt everyone got something out of it and there was a lot you could add on if you wanted along the way.


Geography/Social Studies

Canada My Country (Donna Ward / Northwoods Press)



Courage and Conquest Bundle (Donna Ward/Northwoods Press) (This included 4 novels that I used as Readers.  I supplemented with library books as Read Alouds: Canadian Flyer Series: Yikes! Vikings, On a Canadian Day (about 3 short stories - will go back and get this book for the rest of the stories that match the timeline in Core E later), Canadian Flyer: Lost in the Snow, Canadian Flyer: On the Case)


History/Social Studies

Canada's Natives Bundle

At the end of this Native study, my son did a small research project, choosing the topic Before/After the Europeans arrived. He basically just compared how life changed for the First Nations peoples regarding food, shelter, clothing and other categories of changes that occurred for them.


So effectively, we got to about week 17 and took a 2 week Christmas/New Years' break.  Then we started back at Week 1 for the American part of history, but continued on at week 18 with Poetry, Language Arts, Science, and Math, handwriting etc.


So, yes there would be switching from week 18 to week 1, and then the following week,  week 19 to week 2 etc..but it seems to have worked for us.

My son is not very keen on poetry so it was best to keep it on schedule from week 1 instead of saving it for the second semester and condensing it for example. He rather enjoyed cursive handwriting so actually finished up that book in Semester 1.


Here's what Week 1 looked like:

Bible/Memory Verse as per Instructor's Guide


===Canada My Country Unit 1

===Courage and Conquest (book) Unit 1, Lessons 1 and 2

======Kids Book of Canadian History pgs.4-8  (this book is part of Courage and Conquest bundle)

Reader: The King's Daughter Chp 1-10

Read Aloud: A Child's Intro to Poetry (as stated in Instructor's Guide)

Read Aloud: Lawn Boy

Language Arts:

===Sequential Spelling

===Handwriting/Cursive pgs 1 - 13 (accelerated schedule)

===Wordly Wise (We used Book B) pgs 2-7 (accelerated schedule)

===Creative Expression


Math Teaching Textbooks



Here's what Week 18 looks like:

Bible/Memory Verse for the Week 18 as listed in the IG

American Indian Prayer Guide: As listed in Week 1 of the IG

History/Geography as listed in Week 1 of the IG


===Poetry as listed in Week 18

===Walk The World's Rim as listed in Week 1



A Lion To Guard Us: as listed in Week 1 (we stuck to the Regular reading instead of Advanced as I noticed the Advanced one The Corn Grows Ripe was going to show up a few weeks later anyhow)


Language Arts* as per Week 18



Science *



*Some Language Arts lessons were specific to the American History lesson being studied at the time.  For instance, a particular character study involved knowing that character in order to complete the assignment. As my son had not yet read the American history we just skipped those ones and will go back to them later perhaps.  There weren't too much of these instances.


*Science Weeks 16-26 covers the 10 weeks of plants studies including planting various seedlings and a daily observation and recording needed. I decided to move these 10 lessons back so as to align with my own annual seedling planting for the garden as make this a family project.  My 3 and 5 year old will be excitedly involved with this.  We found it very easy to bridge the Science lessons instead with continuing on with Week 27 and will continue to finish until week 36 of science then due to March Break it will naturally fall in place to allow for the Spring garden plans for planting our seedlings a bit after.  I also note that the Core A that my 5 yr old is doing has some science experiments/lessons involving plants and I have also moved those to allow for doing at the same time as my Core D now 9 yr old is doing his.


This is what will happen when we get to Week '37'


All the IG material that was consecutive from Week 1-36 will be completed.  That means that Spring time will be a continuation of Week 18 for the following subjects:


American Indian Prayer Guide:

History/Geography as listed in Week 1 of the IG




These can then be condensed as my son loves history and reading. We may do condensed school every other day in June/July/August..but I haven't thought this out yet either.

We will also be able to do other Bible study programs available to us.


Also with my 3 and 5 yr olds...they are both on the cusp of turning 4 and 6...the 5 yr old had completed another reading program: Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, all the Developing the Early Learner books and the A,B,C primer books for the Explode the Code series from Sept to Dec.  She started Core A in Jan and will also be in sequence with her older brother in Core D to do a more condensed program this Spring.



For Core E, I plan to have a grade 4 level of the Canadian Donna Ward books for the first Semester as modeled by the Core D set up listed here.  I will post what that means later this year.


I hope this helps someone!






Note:  Earlier on I had noticed that to do an extensive study of Canadian and American History the way I present it using Core D and Core E separately would take about 3 years taking the usual school breaks or just over 2 years if you do year-round studies. We are moving to a year-round schooling and experimenting with several options such as 6 weeks study, 1 week off, due to the 36 week plan.  Sometimes it won't be 6 weeks, but instead 10 weeks for example from Christmas break until March we have several birthdays from Feb - May, this adds up to about 6 more days as the kids are getting the equivalent of a whole week off during this time we opted to go 10 weeks straight until the next break. 


I am also beginning to consider doing a 4 day week with having Mon/Tues school, Wed break, Thurs/Fri school...though right now we have Mon-Thurs full school and Fri light load with tutoring and arts/crafts..I don't know yet how/when to transition over and experiment with that idea.  Maybe for Core E?

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===Wordly Wise (We used Book B) pgs 2-7 (accelerated schedule)


was really supposed to say Book B

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Thanks for sharing.


I had been hoping to add Canadian content to Core D+E in the form of A.C.E. paces, but my son didn't engage in Core didn't connect with him, and we didn't even start the paces. I really do need to make up a Canadian SL-styled Core. I haven't done too much with it because I'm quite busy with my big family and working Core F and a few other cores. I expect that it'll take two years. So my son will be in grade 8 when he does it. Just collecting info right now, so I appreciate you telling us what you are doing. 



Edited by mimosa

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Hi Mimosa,

I am starting to think about the Canadian content for grade 4 to coincide with Core E...but it's a bit early to order anything...the little one will be 1yr old in exactly a month and I found some of my overall vision had to be curtailed due to the busy-ness of it all...that being said, for sure things will get better on my side over time and I *may* end up changing things as I go along. I'm just not one of those moms that can keep it all together when pregnant and's do you do it with all your kids? Ok, I see that you have older ones...does that help? All of mine are small except from my very older one who is 17, but he is on a different path life-wise and school-wise and doesn't spend any time at our home.  There's a major gap between him and the other 4 who are now 9, 5, 3 and 11 months.  I was working nights and homeschooling during the days while pregnant, so I think I just never had that break and it went straight from busy-ness to another form of busy-ness...that's probably my biggest issue....I often find myself saying aloud..I don't have time to think! ;)


Anyhow, despite all that...when I came home from my shifts, I started piecing together a study plan.   I did find putting that plan together using the Donna Ward books to work for us and I am really happy to go back to continue for the next level.  As I too was trying to mimic a SL style Canadian Core, I basically decided that all the non-American specific stuff that SL has was going to stay in...the Bible lessons/memory verse, Language arts and all other subjects as actually removed a lot of stress for me because then I had a hole to fill for all the social studies: geography/history, etc..the Courage and Conquest pretty much starts at the Vikings arrival to Newfoundland and go forward in time, so you have that chronological approach like SL.  They even have timeline characters too, but the characters are much bigger and cannot be added as is to the TimeLIne book, so some modification will be necessary.


I am even thinking that closer to summer I will order some summer reading material packages for the grade 3 and 4 levels and get the links for the Canadian videos to bridge all the learning we have done and are approaching.  Some things are available in the library...what I appreciate about Donna Ward is that she has indicated in her spine books what other books that are referenced if they are still in print or not..that totally saves us busy moms from chasing a book only to find out it's not in print at all. 



I hope this helps!

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