Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New School Term Update

Last week we began Term II of our new year round school schedule and I have to say, it's been one of the best "starts" we've ever had! Up until this year we've stuck with the public school schedule, beginning in August and ending in May. The pros were being with "the peers" and made scheduling easy. The cons were needing to stay on track with our days so we wouldn't miss too much "schooling" and have time for summer.

However, with my husband being in the ministry and the mission life keeping us busy and traveling, I knew something needed to change. Thus, the year round school schedule was formed. Now, we can take time off throughout the whole year- like next week when we take off for Mistic and Faith's birthday and the whole month of September when we travel back to Arkansas for almost three weeks! Plus, it takes the pressure off of me during the two weeks in June when we're traveling to California for church work. Since we do school all year, I really can just relax and let life teach!

For math, we are all using Life of Fred and are so impressed with it! We all like the story formation of it, with the real life applications!
I mentioned several months ago that we were going to give Khan Academy a test for my oldest and she loves it! Because she is so into it, I'm not taking it away. I was very skeptical about it. I wasn't sure how a free online go at your own pace math program would work for my 3rd/4th grader, but the more that she uses the more I see how it works! Occasionally I throw in math worksheets or flashcards or "grocery store math"!

We've added dictation into our life.
For the younger two girls it is simply a sentence that has a word (or two or three) that are tricky. My middle daughter, almost 8, who struggles with school was given "I like to eat green eggs and ham." For a week we studied this sentence and worked on the hard words: green, eggs. For Faith, it ended up being more than just learning how to write the sentence how it was written, it was about remembering the sentence even after it was given AND how to spell the next word after painstakingly writing the first! SHE ROCKED IT! She was the only child who did a PERFECT sentence. Aspen stumbled and Mistic had a few stumbles. It was our first week doing ANYTHING like this, but I think we're on something. It's definitely helping with spelling awareness and beats just a boring spelling test.

Major perk to homeschooling is being able to do school anywhere, but previously we had too much of a "school at home" atmosphere to really enjoy that! Another new thing was assigning independent work for Mistic. I was a bit nervous because she has always fought me in this area, but she has truly rocked it!!! She has enjoyed doing school in my bed (as well as other areas). Some of her independent studies are things like studying her dictation passage for the week, computer work like typing lessons or Khan math, reading in her literature book (and then narrating back to me), working in her Bible lesson book, or brainstorming about her creative writing assignment.

We love being able to have dad with us for some of our schooling!
He's a great help!!!
Working on note cards for Mystery of History or helping with our Apologia Astronomy notebook (we aren't using the journal, but coming up with our own).

Today's school got sent out the window when there were other things come up that needed attention. Because we homeschool, I was able to rearrange our schedule and help my husband the way he needed it! I took some of the kids school and we did it anyway- just not at home!

Just wanted to share my stair-stepped students children! 4 children in less than 5 years! 364 days between #1 and #2, 18 months between #2 and #3, and 2 years, 2 months between #3 and #4!

Yep, we're coming right along in this homeschool journey!

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Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

Good for you!! I love seeing how homeschoolers REALLY make school their own...adapting it to meet the needs of their families rather than being a slave to the public school schedule!

Our schedule has changed often over the years. Our current 3 weeks on/1 week off and every other week in the summer works best for me at this stage.

Thanks for sharing this. Very freeing!

What Joy Is Mine said...

We love Life of Fred math! My daughter does much better with that math than anything else we've tried with her. We also love Mystery of History. We're halfway through the 3rd book. With the 1st book, I made a timeline and skipped the memory cards. With book 2 & 3, we just read aloud and discuss what we've learned. I love that homeschooling flexible. Thank you for sharing your adventure and for linking up at What Joy Is Mine.


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