Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here We Go!

My littles working on their science lesson…

September 13, 2012 005

We are four days into our seventh year of homeschooling!  Woohoo! This year is a whole new ball game for us, as our son is now a freshman in high school! Sigh… The years are going by far too quickly! Our daughter is right behind him in 8th grade, so I’m still combining many of their subjects.  It is just easier for me that way!

This year I made some changes in our curriculum choices, and I am very happy with those changes so far.  Here is what we are doing…

History/Literature/Bible ~ A friend brought a wonderful company to my attention called Notgrass Company.  I find it very similar to what I have read online about Sonlight.  It is a literature based curriculum, so the kids will be reading a lot of classic literature this year.  We chose the American History package this year, and as I said, it includes an English/Literature lesson, as well as a Bible lesson.  We are only four days in, but already I LOVE this curriculum.  We will be reading many famous speeches, essays, poems, hymns, etc. as well as the classic literature I mentioned before.  The kids will be writing a history research paper every month (maybe every other…depending on how things go), and studying the Bible as it relates to our history.  I am SO excited, I can’t even tell you!

Science ~ We love the Apologia science curriculum, and this year we are working on Biology.  I took it myself in high school, but didn’t do well at all.  We are only just beginning, but already I am enjoying it so much.  I am really loving learning all of this stuff over with my kids.  I remember certain things, but much of it seems new to me.  The kids are really enjoying science so far.

English ~ Rod & Staff grammar is hands down the best in my opinion.  I have never seen any reason to change.  My kids are learning things that public/private school students are not even touching anymore.  I don’t remember learning half of this stuff myself, so I’m THRILLED to be learning it now with my children.  It involves a lot of writing if you decide to go that route.  My kids prefer to do their lessons orally, so I only make them write if there is an accompanying worksheet with the lesson.  I love R&S grammar and will probably continue to use it as long as we home school.

Spelling ~ I am making my kids continue spelling as long as it is offered by Rod & Staff, because it is so important.  I was always a really good speller, and I really want my kids to be too! I am appalled by the spelling I see on blogs/Facebook, and it has just impressed on my mind how important spelling continues to be all the way through school.  So we continue…

Copywork ~ This is another “extra” that could be left out, but like spelling, I think it’s important.  My kids have extraordinarily beautiful handwriting, and I want that to continue…even in an age where most writing is done on a computer.  I have done copywork with my kids from the beginning, and will continue all the way through.  We found a lovely curriculum called Queen’s Homeschool, and it has a real Charlotte Mason feel to it.  Lots of copying speeches, hymns, famous quotes, Scripture, etc.  I really like it.  This year we chose a book based on nature, and so far it is really lovely.  This week my kids are writing the old hymn “I Sing The Mighty Power of God”.  I love it, and I love to see it in their beautiful handwriting.

Math ~ MATH U SEE all the way baby! I’ve used it from the beginning, and probably will not switch.  Mr. Steve teaches the lesson for me (a terrible mathematician), and then the kids do a practice sheet/test depending on how they have mastered the concept.  My kids “stink” at math just like I did, so we are able to go at whatever pace we need to with this curriculum.  I really like it.

Typing ~ One of my kids’ favorite things to do in their free time, is to play on the computer.  They play games, educational games, make/edit movies, skype with bestie cousins, etc.  I really wanted them to learn to type properly, so I bought a Mavis Beacon typing curriculum.  We’re only doing it a few days a week, but already the kids are doing great with it, and are being rewarded by getting to play fun typing games when they get 100% on a lesson.  They really like it.

Extra-curricular ~ Morgan will be taking piano lessons from a friend from church twice a month, and I will also be working with her to develop the “ear” she inherited from her momma :):):).  I love to hear her compose pieces already, and she catches on very quickly when I teach her something new.  Parker is interested in the cello, so we are looking into possible lessons for that.  He didn’t take much piano, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to do the cello without much knowledge of reading music. 

We’ll be looking into some art classes, graphic design (for Parker), gym related stuff, and other extra curricular as we go.  For now, I’m concentrating on core subjects, and starting to keep track for transcripts and credits.  Neither child is a big fan of sports, and that is just fine with me.  I will help them develop their other interests, and will never have to sit in the rain/cold at a game! :):)

We are really enjoying school so far this year, and are looking forward to sharing more with you as we go…including pictures!  Have a great school year everyone!!!


Jackie P said...

Your choices for the year look great. We have used Notgrass (for our state history) and Apologia before and liked the both.

My daughter is in high school now, so I am right there with you. Luckily I found a neat site, Let's Homeschool High School, that has helped me greatly. They have a FB page and a web page full of great articles, motivation, forums and more. They even have stuff for the teens. I know I sure need all the help I can get with high school. LOL

Best wishes to you this year.

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Anita Johnson said...

Just stopping by to say hello! My first thought was this, "they really aren't littles any more"! Your son looks so much older....always littles in our hearts though. I laughed at your comments about sports. As an ex-hockey mom, I say "amen" to that...I was never a huge fan of the game. Have a great fall!

Kathryn said...

Anita, you are not the first person to tell me that "littles" might not fit anymore :). I've started to call them my lovies, and that will always fit :) I have friends with several kids in sports, and it seems like their lives revolve around games. For now, I'm glad we don't have to do that! So good to hear from you! Hope you have a great fall too!