Thursday, July 23, 2015

New Homeschool Year!

It's hard to believe that summer is winding down. We've stayed busy by attending three Vacation Bible Schools (one being our own that we were all heavily involved in and one being in a town two hours away!), swimming at the pool, mini vacay to the beach, hanging out with friends, late night movies, and more!
But I am SO ready for the consistency that fall/winter/spring brings and I'm ready to get back to teaching my kiddos! 
Hard to believe.... Faith is going into 6th, Isaiah is going into 2nd, Mistic is going into 7th, and Aspen is going into 5th! Where have my babies gone?
Homeschooling isn't always as glamorous as one portrays on social media or on a blog. We have had a LOT of stress over the years- a lot of moving- financial problems- and it seemed like our homeschool suffered too. No, my children are not where I would like them to be, BUT.... and here is a big BUT.... they do love the Lord, they know the Lord loves them, they know their daddy and I love them, and they love us. They know how to serve others, how to love others, and how to share that God loves them. At the end of the day, this is more important than memorizing any math fact.
BUT.... yes, another but, that is no excuse to just sit back and not be diligent. My kiddos are no longer in the early years of their formal education, so it is time to become more dedicated to our studies.
Our official first day is August 3th and here is what we plan on covering for the month of August!
We strive to have daily Bible time as a family. A time where we read from a devotional book (currently Jesus Calling) or verses from the Bible and then we typically join in a circle, hold hands, and pray. And yes, they are involved at church and attends Sunday School and the worship services. But my husband and I desire more Bible learning for them. This year we are adding a formal Bible lesson on Mondays that may be dragged out through the week if needed.
I am SO excited about this! It looks like it will be a great fit for us, but we happen to really like everything we've ever seen from Answers in Genesis. For the month of August, we will learn about Creation and Corruption (part of the 7 Cs of History). What grabbed my attention was the solid biblical approach, the printables for kids, and colored student handouts!
Character studies are CRUCIAL for my family! It is much easier to teach and direct when you have something to fall back on. Like teaching obedience- listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit the first time- and being instantly obedient to your parents. This month we will cover the characters boldness, gratitude, preparedness, and security! I am SO thankful for Rachael Carmen and her character quality lessons. They are FREE!!! We print them, color them, and hang them in our hallway to refer back.
For Math, we will be trying out Christian Light Education for the first time! There are 10 Light Units to a grade and from what I can tell each LU takes approx. 3 weeks to finish (at least what I'm seeing with math). The feeling of accomplishment will be wonderful when you are flying through a new LU. The lessons aren't overly long and the spiral approach will be a benefit to my kids. We struggle in math and some need to get caught up.
Handwriting comes in the form of copy work. Using quotes, Scripture, and more the kids can practice their penmanship while being fed mentally! I will be adding weekly journaling to the kid's schedule and will find writing prompts and copy work ideas from my Pinterest board!
I struggled a little bit pinpointing the exact Science we would use. I knew I wanted an anatomy focus, but just wasn't sure from where!
We've enjoyed two other Exploring Creation books (Astronomy and Zoology 2), so I decided to stick with Apologia. Between it and my Pinterest board I can guarantee the kids and I will have fun learning!!!
And now for my favorite, Reading. We don't use a reading curriculum beyond the learning to read stage. Isaiah and I will continue to work through our Pathway reader curriculum!
Learning through Sounds contains the perfect length of lessons for my boy! We will enjoy learning to read some of the Pathway readers and yes, even BOB Books! I keep it simple with him since he has only recently started showing interest in learning to read.
For the girls, I will try to keep them rotating between biographies, history (or even historical fiction), science/nature, classic literature, and fun books!

For August, Mistic (who has expressed an interest in learning more about WW1) will read A Cup of Cold Water: The Compassion of Nurse Edith Cavell  by Christine Farenhorst. Faith will read Who was Helen Keller? by Gare Thompson and Aspen will read Who is Jane Goodall? by Roberta Edwards.
I plan on doing family read alouds as well.
 Short stories that can be read one or more at a time seems to be the perfect way to get some History in. We will do a heavier concentration on History, though, when we get through Science.

And that's where we are starting at! What about Grammar/Language Arts and Spelling? Well, some of that comes through every day life, reading, and even copywork. A more formal approach will be added in the future though, after we get a good rhythm going and am more caught up in Math. Beauty of homeschooling. 100% customizable!
What are you using this year?

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