Friday, December 11, 2009

School's Out!

Today was our last day of school until January. We were going to do another week, but we're totally on track yet to finish in early May (which is a little too early, I think).

We're still working through Volume IV of Hero Tales by Dave and Neta Jackson. The kids and I love this series! We're missing Volume III as it's out of print, so I think I'm going to have to look for it on *bay as we would love to read it too. We've also been reading Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery (She wrote Anne of Green Gables). I'm glad I'm reading it aloud to them, as I occasionally have to change a word here and there. The kids usually get a good chuckle out of the crazy antics of the characters of Cloud of Spruce.

We are finished the first half of the Mystery of History and the kids are loving it. (They've already asked to do the next book in fall 2010). I think next week, we'll work on one of the term projects. I know that Bub wants to build the siege tower, but we'll have to see what we have for supplies and if we can get them all.

We're over halfway through our science curriculum, Considering God's Creation. This is my absolute favorite science curriculum!! I love the scripture, the evolution stumpers, and the beautiful notebook that the kids have when they're done. The kids really enjoy it too. Bub and Peach work on extra assignments that are written out in the teacher's manual.

The three oldest continue to work on their writing skills, while Squirt works on phonics and continues with regularly reading to me. I can finally see some progress in her reading. I was really beginning to think that I might have to have her tested, but suddenly she seems to be improving. I think she is simply lazy. Everyone else in our home reads voraciously, so she can always find someone to read to her. Who needs to learn to read when everyone else will do it for you? The other thing that she is suddenly doing that I saw with the others much earlier, is voluntarily drawing pictures and writing about them in that cute phonetic spelling that they first do. I love it, and I think she's pretty pleased that I can read it, so she keeps doing it. Today she filled two sides of a lined sheet of paper with short stories (and no pictures)!

Here are two written verbatim. Can you figure out what she is saying?

to fogs wro swiming in the se. win a sharc cam allo. the sharc was swiming towos a dady fog. mammy fog bit the sharcs tal. the sharc oms at dady fog but mammy for savd him.

A cat was tocing to a girl. win the cat scrachd the girl.

What I can't figure out is why her stories almost always have injuries in them??? The tamest one was about her sister not liking samwijs (sandwiches).

I still love their Easy Grammar curriculum too and Peach who is usually pretty "fly by the seat of her pants" with it, had really done well this year.

For math, Math-U-See continues to work well for all of them, and they're all continuing to work above their grade level.

Despite much enjoyment and success with the curriculum we're using, I am considering incorporating a good chunk of Sonlight curriculum into next fall. Have any of you used it? What are your thoughts? I would like to keep several of the programs that work well for us, but I really really like the aspect of the books in Sonlight. I still have to do more research on it, but it sounds very engaging with a style that all the kids and I will enjoy.


  1. You are SUCH a good teacher, Deborah!

  2. Sonlight is absolutely fantastic! Of course, I'm more than a little biased [smile]. But I loved it as a kid growing up and it's only been improved since then.

    Granted, it sounds like you're not planning on getting a Core so this may not apply to you, but Sonlight's Love to Learn Guarantee is reason enough to at least give Sonlight a try: A half year of curriculum to try and if you don't like it send it back for a full refund? You can't really beat that. [smile]

    Be sure to check out the Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight if you haven't already.

    And if you have any questions about what materials may be best for your family, be sure to chat with a Sonlight Advisor.

    May you find the resources that are best for you and your family!


  3. You can find volume III on


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