i don't claim to know it all. i don't claim to be perfect. i just claim to love jesus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

figured out.

as most of you i'm sure know, we homeschool, if you didn't know...you do now. :)

for those of you who care...i thought i'd share our school "plan" for the year. one. because i just finished ordering it yesterday. two. because i LOVE talking curriculum. three. because it's my blog. and that's what i feel like blogging. :)

for amelya.
amelya will be starting "adventures in my father's world" from my father's world. it's a "filler" type for those who are the oldest in the family and not in the "5 year cycle" of the my father's world curriculum. so it will probably be the only year we use it, because once the rest of the kiddos hit 2nd grade...they will join us in our curriculum that we are in. ((if you are not familiar with mfw that makes NO sense to you. don't worry it's okay. if you want to more check out the site, they do an awesome job showing it!)) adventures is about the US and the 50 states. learning history of it all. and just fun stuff. can i say...i'm SUPER excited for this!! i STILL remember having to memorize the 50 states and capitols in 5th grade and loving it. ((this isn't something that we'll be doing this year (memorizing capitols) but i'm still excited.)) the mfw curriculum will cover what we need for science as well. plus we're doing a co-op with some other mfw-ers with kiddos in adventures and 1st grade, so we'll be doing some fun science projects with them too.

mfw suggests using i can do all things for art. i wasn't planning on doing a set "art" program with amelya. we honestly never have. but i really prayed about it, and felt led to do it. she loves art, and i think this will help her build some talent in more art techniques. there is also a lot of drawing in the "normal" curriculum so an art program is really just an extra for it. ((plus amelya is constantly drawing, painting, coloring, playing with play doh anyways...but i thought this may be fun)) i will see how intensive the rest of our schedule is with things and may just slow down the pace of the art program as well.

mfw also include a small type of music program in the curric. we'll be using a cd called "celebrate america" and learn some patriotic songs. and we'll also be discussing ballets by tchaikovsky. which will be perfect for my little ballerinas.

when i was researching what to add in for language arts i really wasn't sure. i went back and forth and back and forth. i really didn't like the curriculum that mfw suggested. so i had it set on what i was going to use. but didn't feel like it was a "yes". every time i went to the site to order it, i just couldn't do it. i know that may seem weird. but i really feel like it was God leading me away from it. i never was positive that, that was "it". and i know now it wasn't. because i found "first language lessons for the well trained mind", from peace hill press. and fell in LOVE with it. i also got it super cheap from a woman selling her curric. i also got 2 levels in ONE book for cheaper than ONE of the levels cost. ((that makes me really happy)) so even though we'll be starting 2nd grade, we'll be starting level one of the book. which is totally fine. and really...not that big of a deal. ((and when comparing it to my other curric. this level one starts out with what that 2nd grade curric. started with, so i'm thinking it'll be just fine!)) i figure if nothing else, we may move faster through it and get the entire two levels done in one year. it's also a curric. with no "book work". a lot of the lessons are only oral teaching. i think amelya will do just fine with it...but i also think it will be better for breigh. she seems to be a much better audio learner. so she'll be learning right along with us. and hear it all. ((as will caitlyn and dustin)) there is some copy/handwriting work involoved. and a lot of the work is done orally from the student. there's also memorizing of poems. which honestly seems weird to me. don't get me wrong i like poetry. ((i even did it 2 years for forensics)) but i never have sat down and just memorized poems, or thought about having my kiddos do it. BUT i think it will be good. and fun....and if it's not...i still have that other curric. to fall back on to!

for spelling we'll be finishing up a reason for spelling, level b. we started this near the end of last year. partly because i loved it so much i wanted to start, and because amelya did too. i LOVE this spelling curriculum. it's a lot of fun. and they're learning scripture each week through it as well. they have a "test" to give your child on the site so you can see which level you should get for them. i HIGHLY suggest doing that test. i was just going to buy amelya level a, but she blew that test out of the water and needed level b.

amelya asked me a few weeks ago when she was going to learn how to write "pretty like you". she meant cursive. i remember learning cursive in 2nd grade. so i reasearched into it a bit. depending on what you find, some people teach cursive as the first way to write. ((since i missed that boat...i  kept searching)) mfw suggests waiting til 3rd grade. some sites say start at the beginning of 2nd. middle of 2nd. etc etc etc. basically...do what you want for your individual child. :) since amelya is showing interest i decided to go with it. and found a reason for handwriting. it's the same company as our spelling program. so i'm sure we'll love it. after reading on their site for awhile i went with the "transition" level book. i haven't gotten to see this book yet, i just ordered it yesterday, but it is set up so you can start cursive immediately (by omitting some of the lessons) or start in the 2nd or 3rd "quarters" i'd guess you say. so i'm not 100% sure how we'll start it. but i know amelya will be excited to write "pretty". ((which i think is funny because i don't think i have 'pretty' handwriting. lol.))

for math we'll be continuing singapore math. we're doing the standards editions. and will be starting 1B. we finished up 1A with a few weeks left of last school year, and i decided to perfect her math skills more before we moved on. i love singapore math. and amelya does really well with it as well. there are two different "editions" of the program and we've done the standards over the US. mainly i felt that the standards would be a better fit for us, and because it introduces more than the US ones do.

there are also some fun read alouds included in our curriculum this year. and as always other great supplement books for amelya, and the rest of us, to read and enjoy.

for breigh.
we started kindergarten near the end of last year. ((my father's world)) so we'll be working through that. i've seen her really mature over the summer and i think that she'll do better starting out. looking back, i wish i would've just waited to start K with her in "fall" instead of starting it last year. i don't think she was emotionally ready for it, and it caused some issues with the both of us. so i'm looking forward to it this year, as is she. we're going to continue learning how to read. it will be SO weird to have two kiddos reading!!

i think to save me some sanity we will probably combine our science as much as we can. and throw in the K stuff for fun learning stuff. the science is included right in the curric. so it's not a lot of work for me to add in anything.

breigh will also finish up her singapore math. she is on book b. ((like amelya finished book A near the end of last year, and i decided to just wait)) i love the kindergarten math books from singapore too. i really have been extremely happy with singapore.

i bought an extra set of paint/marker cards with the art curric. so breigh will most likely follow along with that, i haven't seen it yet, so i'm not sure if it will be above her level or not. if so...we'll just save the cards for next year or the year after.

that's really the 'core' of breigh's school. she'll be there listening into our language arts lessons. and US history. and so on. so i'm sure she'll catch a lot more than what we'll be focusing on. which is an awesome thing about homeschooling to me.

for caitlyn.
i'm not huge on having a 'set' curric. for preK. i don't feel it's needed. a lot of what they learn is learned through play. so i bought her a book to work through yesterday at sam's club. i also supplement with some worksheets and fun stuff like that. but i've found that it makes them feel "important" when they have their own book to do school in as well. and they're generally under 10 bucks, so not a huge investment at all.

for dustin.
i'm not sure how much he'll be sitting in with the "school" stuff. i know he'll be there for 'story time'. and probably art, at least some of the times. and i'm sure i'll do worksheets for him as well. i also will have small motor skills things for him to do. lacing cards, lacing beads, peg board, and some awesome fun games from discovery toys. *busy bugs is one favorite here!*

for evaleigh.
ummm. not much of anything of course. just playing. exploring. living. you  know typical baby stuff.

i love that i've been called to homeschool my kids. i honestly love spending each day with them. sure some days are crazy. but i love not having to send them away from me for 8 hours a day. in the whole scheme of life i only get them for 18 years or so maybe a few more at home, but not a lot more, i think ;). that really isn't that long. so i'm enjoying each moment of these 18 (give or take) years i have with each of them. i remember that someday i WILL miss this crazy stuff. so i'm making a choice to enjoy it all. even the not so fun stuff.

i also don't want to seem like the type of momma who won't let her kids away from her. i will. i do. but i also like having some control over who they're with. :) we do our homeschooling co-op WINGS, (which is three hours of classes they're in), they are in dance class, and we'll be starting our MFW co-op this year, and of course random play dates with friends. i like that the activities they are a part of include a whole range of children with different ages. to me it's important to get them "out" but to also get them around different aged children. older and younger. because in life, you deal with people of all ages, not just the same age as you. so i figure if they're always around older or younger...then it's just the "normal" for all their lives.

i also want to take the time to take them to a nursing home. my grandpa is in one, and i know that older people love seeing little ones. and i want my little ones to see the joy they can spread so easily. it's just me being "strong" enough to take them. ((my grandma was in a nursing home, and ever since she passed away it's been hard going back))

i also would like to get my kids involved somehow with special needs people. i have a real heart for special needs people and want my kids to spend time with them. i think this may have to wait until they're all a bit older, so it's easier for me too. but it's something i've been praying about for a long time on how to get involved.

so there you have it. if you've made it this far...i'm proud of you. especially if you're not a homeschooler. i can't imagine it being any sort of interesting if you're not. :)

ps. i tried to remember to link to all of our stuff. but if you have questions...i'd love to answer them...because i love to talk homeschooling to someone who *wants* to hear it!! :)
pps. another thing i really like is homeschooling resources...check out this old schoolhouse's "wipe out" sale for a great deal on some great resources!!

6 loving words from you.:

Ashley said...

obviously we don't homeschool at our house, but i found your post fascinating! just reading about all of the new things you are going to be doing is exciting! i'm totally a type A personality and so getting all of those new books and going through them and organizing a schedule for the coming year is music to my ears, hehe! i may dread going back to class each fall, but i LOVE ordering my books (minus the cost), getting them, and organizing my planner before the semester starts. its the dorky geek in me, lol! hope you and the kids have great school year whenever you decide to start!

mittelmommy said...

How fun! I enjoyed reading it...so miss talking to you, honestly and sharing all this stuff. So it was fun to read. praying you guys have a wonderfully blessed school year!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

We don't homeschool, but I always love seeing how involved you are in making sure you kiddos get a great education! It sounds like you have a great year planned out!

Lindy said...

So very interesting. I'm excited for you. I wish homeschooling was what we were called to do. My baby and I would be great at it. My preschooler and I...not so much. We're too similar. I'm hoping he'll at least let me do some preschool things with him next year to supplement his actually "school" time. We can only afford one day a week so that leaves me some time with him!

Kristin said...

I love to read about what other people are doing in school. I'm nosy, I guess. :-) Anyway, we are trying out A Reason For Handwriting this year, too. I used the K book with my son one year, but then we moved on to something else. I'm thinking this will be perfect for my 2nd grader daughter, though.

prettybyrdie said...

This sounds awesome! I am so in awe of you, I get tired with just my one little easygoing boy at home. I have been reading about different homeschooling and education theories and am determined to try it. Charlotte Mason rocks (MFW is based on some of her ideas, but I'm sure you know that). I hadn't heard of the "reason to" books, I'll have to look into them. I'm sure you are so busy, but I for one would love to hear updates about what works for your family, how the different learners respond to different curriculum, etc. It's seriously so helpful to get first hand advice about this stuff, it can be really overwhelming!