I have only had one post on homeschool. Since we are wrapping up our year I thought I would take some time and discuss what has worked for our family for curriculum and what has been a challenge. I will also share some fun things we have done and a recap of the year as we draw to a close.
Curriculum: We started a new history and geography curriculum this year and my kids and I have been intrigued by all we have learned. Story of the World is a curriculum that goes over history with giving little snip-its of information that were important for the time period we are studying. We have studied the Middle Ages this year. From Aztecs to Mayans to Samari warriors in Japan to Vikings, black plague, to Martin Luther and reformation to Henry the VIII and Queen Elizabeth. This is just a little of what we have learned. Next week we get to study William Shakespeare! I am so excited…hopefully my kids will be too. I also have enjoyed the suggested extra reading material to the activity booklet which goes along with what you are currently studying. It is filled with all kinds of activities to making dishes of the country we are studying. It is also filled with reproducible maps and color pages which my kids have liked doing. It has been easy to pull out a color page as I read the history text to them. I will be doing the next one in the series for next year curriculum. I have been able to get the material from a local homeschool consignment store. Amazon is great too for buying curriculum. I like a deal though!
Math: We use Teaching Textbooks. This is a computer based fun interactive math program. It starts at 3rd grade math which is great because my 7 year old son is at a 3rd grade math level. This program has worked great for our family for independent work. It also grades everything for them and logs it in a gradebook including quizzes. I encourage them to do their best and I step in when they need me or I ask how they did on their current lesson. You can buy TTextbooks online or at a homeschool consignment store. I have had friends use the same curriculum and I can usually buy it off of them to save on costs. A friend recently gave me 5th grade! I only have to buy math for my kindergarten daughter this next school year. We do occasionally use apps on tablet and fact math cards to brush up on their math facts. Teaching Textbooks is a lifesaver because Math is not a strong area of mine.
Grammar: We have used Growing with Grammar. I have my likes and dislikes, but for the most part the grammar has been pretty self explanatory. If you are looking for a straightforward approach to Grammar this is a great curriculum. I found for my 4th grader there was a lot for one lesson for a day. I go ahead and put down on her planner what ones she has to do on her assignment for the day. This has helped and she completes her grammar no problem now. There is a test at the end of each section. There is also a review before the test. I will continue to use Growing with Grammar.
Reading: I have my 1st grader read outloud to me. We started with Bob books and now have moved to Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess. Hudson chose to check this book out at the library. Letting him choose sparked his interest in reading the book. Green Eggs and Ham is a fun one! My 4th grader reads silently and outloud. Classics are a favorite. My 4th grader is currently reading Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Costco has this one in hardback for $9.99. We do extra reading from Story of the World. Found this collection at Costco because this week we are studying William Shakespeare. A friend suggested it and bought it for her kids. My 1st grader is even enjoying these quick reads, that I read outloud.
We have already read Romeo and Juliet and now we are on to Richard III. We finished Hamlet.
My kids love the library. We are always reading. We go to many different local libraries.
Science- We have begun
My kids and I have studied birds, they have built a bird house, learned about migration, instincts, different nests…we studied birds for a long time. They have learned about bats and Pterasaurs. This study is based on creation. The science curriculum also has a journal with activities you can print off. We have done a few but keep things simple with the Try This in the narrative part of the book reading. We also use Youtube to watch things on what animals we are studying. We are currently studying insects. We are at our friends beach house so I changed things up and have been studying the beach and the tide. My little two girls got involved with painting rocks and shells. This is the part I love about homeschooling we can change things up at a moments notice.
My two older kids were catching shrimp on the beach! They found 4 shrimp!
I have enjoyed this curriculum. Sometimes it is a lot of reading so I do skip information if I lose my kids interests!
Extra Curricular Activities– My 10 year old and 4 year old girls dance once a week. My oldest is in musical theatre dance and my 4 year old is in a creative movements class. They dance at the same time which works out so well.Dance recital is in 2 weeks. My 7 year old son plays flag football on Saturdays. He practices and then plays his game all in one day. He plays soccer in the Fall. My 10 year old also takes piano lessons from our youth worship leader. We skype lessons when we are too far away. I love the advancement of technology in this case! With Summer approaching we have many campouts scheduled with friends and family going to different Thousand Trail parks for the Summer. Once we become mobile a lot of the extra curricular will probably not come as easy, but we will continue to always get outdoors.
We have done many different museum field trips. My kids love hands on stuff! There are many great museums around the Seattle area to go and explore. My Aunt just got us a zoo pass so we will be using that a lot this Summer. My 10 year old has got to see 2 plays. Brooklyn Bridge and The Sound of Music.
As I wrap up this school year in a nutshell being full-time for a year….I love that my kids enjoy learning and we can do that anywhere instead of my kids being in a classroom 7-8 hours a day and having homework on top of those hours which takes away from our family time. We usually homeschool for about 3 hours a day. Sometimes my kids get their work done quicker if they have friends waiting outside to play. A huge motivator to get their work done is friends! My kids are socialized more than ever! They enjoy playing with all ages of kids. Homeschool has not really changed so much from living in a house to an RV full-time except, I have more time with them because our 432 square feet does not take long to clean or keep up with which means more time for each other. Staying Organized with School is a Must for our family. I pass on other homeschool curriculum or books to other families or consign them at a local homeschool store.
Realizing if the day gets hard or something happens to throw us off schedule…. knowing tomorrow is a new day makes things better!
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old enough he will not part from it.”Proverbs 22:6 Constant teaching…not just on subjects, but on life skills and daily chores and how to communicate with each other is my most important job as a Mom and teacher. Happy Almost Summer!!!