August 8, 2012

Homeschooling Time!

Like it or's that time of year (I happen to be one of those crazy people who love it!!!)'s BACK TO SCHOOL time!   I have always loved school - well, for the most part!  Math wasn't particularly appealing in high school, but I LOVE SCHOOL and LEARNING and now TEACHING!!!  I always told the Mr. that if anything ever happened to him, I'd pack up and go back to Alma Mater and get my master's!  Hmmm....12 years and 5 kids later, I think I better come up with a different plan!

Now, I teach my own kiddos at home, and can I say one more time, that I LOVE IT!!! I am not being fake about this to give me the much coveted hero mom status!  I really do love it.  I love sifting through the endless amounts of curriculum and books and coming up with ideas that will help make learning fun and practical.  I love watching my kids as they learn new things!  There are those days when I wonder what in the world I was thinking, but the good days outnumber the bad days by far!

This is my fifth year of homeschooling and will probably be my most challenging year so far.  I will have my fourth grader, my second grader, and I am going to attempt to teach both my 4 and 5 year old (mostly in the hopes of giving them something constructive to do besides annoy the 8 month old newbie!).  I have also completely changed my perspective on homeschooling in the last 5 months.  I read the book Educating the Whole Hearted Child written by Clay and Sally Clarkson.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering homeschooling or has already begun. 

I have so many people who ask me what curriculum/books I use, so I thought I would link up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop and share what we're doing this year! I have always been a curriculum oriented teacher, and deep down, I think I probably still am. :)  This year I have used to provide a curriculum guide that is not quite so rigid and classroom style. 

The heart of homeschooling for our family is to disciple our children and help them to become more like Jesus everyday.  Each morning at breakfast, we read a chapter from The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos.  This year our Bible and History will be put together because we will be studying the history of the Bible in chronological order along with the history of the world. I think it is going to make the Bible much more real to the kids and myself to see other events taking place in the world at the same time as the Biblical stories that we already know so well.  We will be using the Greenleaf Study Guide to the Old Testament as well as some of the Veritas Press Bible Curriculum. We are also going to attempt to memorize the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5, 6 and I said, we'll attempt it! :) 

I am still using A Beka Book's phonics program for my 4 and 5 year old.  I am also using their Letters and Sounds 2 for review with my 2nd grader.  I love the good foundation and confidence it gives, and I am too much a scaredy cat to try something else when this has worked so well for us!  However, I am not planning on following the curriculum as rigidly as I have in the past.

Literature is my favorite subject, and I have become a huge advocate of reading real literature to my children and having them read whole, living books.  For both my 4th grader and 2nd grader, I am using books recommended by, Sonlight and Veritas Press.  Most of them, we will check out from the library, but I am known for having a huge weakness for book buying!  We are looking forward to reading such books as The Jungle Books, Black Beauty, The Chronicles of Narnia, Robin Hood and so many more.

Math has been the biggest change this year.  I am going to begin using Right Start.  I do not know much about it except for what I have read and researched on my own.  Everything I have heard makes it sound amazingly fun and practical!  If you use this and have any tips, I'd love to hear from you!

For our study of Science, we are using Apologia.  We will be going through their study on astronomy. I love the way this curriculum focuses it's attention on  God the Creator.  My kids have always enjoyed anything we have ever used from Apologia!

History, my second favorite subject, is also a grand experiment.  I am using  Veritas PressThe Greenleaf  Guide to Old Testament History and's Genesis through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt: A Family Study Handbook.  We will be doing a ton of reading from whole, living books.

We will also be studying one poet, one musician, and one artist every twelve weeks.  I especially recommend simplycharlottemason's Picture Study Portfolio's. They are reasonably priced and a wonderful investment in surrounding your children with true culture. 

My fourth grader will be using English for the Thoughtful Child Vol. 2 in her study of grammar, but we are choosing to focus mostly on writing and journaling.  My tentative plan is to give her two writing assignments each week having one day for a rough draft and the next to correct and rewrite.  She will be keeping a journal of everyday happenings, writing stories, plays, and her own poetry as well as copying quotes and writing out the application that can be taken from them.

For practice in penmanship (which I am stickler for and which unfortunately, my older two kiddos are not!), I have found the most beautiful books from Queen Homeschool Supplies here and here.  I think I may practice my own penmanship with these! :)

We are also going to attempt to learn two words in Sign Language each week using this amazing little book. 

So, I'm exhausted just writing about all of this.  I know that once we get into the nitty-gritty of school, there will probably be several things that we will need to change, and I'm sure some of my expectations will need to be lowered, but I always aim high to start with then we are sure to go farther.  I would LOVE to hear your ideas, hints and helps - whether you homeschool or not!  

I have spent WAY too much time on this post.  It is going to take me an hour to get my house put back together, but it has been fun to share!  It makes me even more excited to begin! But first...I. MUST. GO. CLEAN!  I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

 Not Back to School Blog Hop

1 comment:

  1. We love Apologia too!!

    If you are interested in connecting with other Apologia users, check out the Apologia Blog Roll that I host here: