Thursday, August 27, 2009

What This Year Looks Like.

Of course things are always subject to change, but this is how our school year looks for now. We like to start in August just to get a jump on the school year, and often we take a week off to go camping in early September. It's not happening this year, but we do have another type of learning holiday in the works. This year we're starting a little slower and building up as the weeks go by. I find that the children are usually ready for some structure at this point in the year anyways.

First the ages and grades of the children:

Bub will be thirteen next month (Eeks! A teenager) and is in grade eight.

Peach is eleven and is in grade six.

Beans is nine and is in grade five. (She managed to work herself a whole year ahead the year we brought them home. She was in kindergarten).

Squirt is six yet -- will turn seven in December, and is in grade one/two. She struggles -- not because she can't do it, but because playing and imagining are far more fun!

These are the subjects we do together:


Mom reads aloud -- novels, special interest books whatever. Last year we worked through the Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett

History. We are going through the Mystery of History this year. We're using the second book in the series. I am excited about it, but at the same time leery because although I can look and be very organized on paper, my head is often far from it.

Science. (Except for Squirt). Considering God's Creation. We have done this curriculum before and all of us love it. It is interesting, creative, and even my unorganized brain does very well with it. Bub will be doing lots of extras with this program as it is really only meant for up to grade seven. With the extras though, he will get lots of practice researching and writing.

We are not doing a formal Bible curriculum this year as I could not find one that I really liked and I find that the both the science and History programs we're using are very good at incorporating the Bible into them and we will be learning lots about God's wonderful world.

Journalling. Mon, Wed, Fri is for their written journals. Tue and Thu is for their nature journals for as long as the weather holds out.

The girls all do penmanship. The A Reason for Handwriting series.

Likewise, the girls all do grammar with the Easy Grammar Plus series. When I discovered this series three years ago, there was no looking back. I love it!! Explanations are clear, amount of work is very reasonable, and if you have kids who struggle with the mechanics of the English language (I don't -- yet), there are extra booklets to help guide them. The teacher's manual is excellent for referring to as well.

Peach and Beans are also working through a vocabulary book called Vocabulary Smarts by The Critical Thinking Company and Writing with Ease by Susan Wise Bauer. Both these books are new to us, so no reviews about them yet -- except to say, so far so good. We are all enjoying them.

Bub continues to work through the Write Shop curriculum by Kim Kautzer and Debra Oldar. I love this one with the exception that I have a hard time keeping organized on what he has completed and what he hasn't. It is certainly great for teaching him good writing skills and is preparing him well for future education.

Squirt does phonics using the Plaid Phonics series by Modern Curriculum Press and we have picked up the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book again.

From day one we have used Math-U-See. It works very well for us, and me being the math dunce that I am I really appreciate the instructional DVD.

For art we use various books by Barry Stebbing. Peach is currently working on one about drawing horses. Bub and I are working through an art curriculum by Alpha Omega Publishers. I am excited to learn more about art media and getting to practice it too.

I'm sure there are a few more books, subjects, topics, etc. that we will be working on through the year, but for now that is good portion of what fills our weeks. It should be another fun year full of learning!

Next will be to get them into their chores routine again. Argh! This one is a tough one!


  1. It's really neat to see what other homeschoolers are doing. I need to get on the blog ball and post some things before it's October!

    We are doing/have done many of your choices. Some I've never heard of, so it's neat to know some new names.

    What I'd really like to see is a post in June to know what you actually stuck with (I don't know if that's a problem for you, but it sure is for me!) and what worked/what didn't. :)

  2. I've used Easy Grammar Plus! It IS easy and clear! Sounds like you will have a wonderful school year!


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