My Report Card

We’re with 2 weeks of the end of the first quarter, here in the Fiddle House of Higher Learning.  A much deserved two week respite is then scheduled for the teacher.

Along with some anti-twitching medication and muscle relaxants.

I’ve had a number of e-mails inquiring how our homeschool year is shaping up since I changed curriculum.  And by “a number”, I mean more than one and less than five.

I am overall very pleased with Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.). Mainly, I love that I’m not juggling a bunch of different teacher’s manuals.  BECAUSE THEY ARE HEAVY, Y’ALL.  All of the girl’s work is explained in one easy workbook.  And there are 12 workbooks, per 6 core subjects, spread throughout the year.  Each workbook takes about 3 weeks to complete.  And at the end, there is a test to determine if the information is sticking, or draining out of every orifice.

Along with the 6 core subjects, I also purchased the Bible study and additional computer software CD (to enhance their subjects).  Next year, I need not do this.

The 6 core subjects are already infused with wonderful Bible stories.  And our church provides an excellent take-home Bible study for the kids to work on throughout the week.  And along with Awana (which starts on Wednesday…and yes, I’m stocked with plenty of Excedrin) they are covered.

One criticism I have about the A.C.E. Bible Study is that the study is directly from scripture.  Which is awesome.  But.  They use the old King James translation.  Which I think is awfully hard for little ones to grasp.  The girls have Bibles that are N.I.V. and N.L.T.  In other words, they totally get what they are reading.

Disclaimer: this is just my personal opinion and what works best for our family.

As far as the Computer Software CD goes.  It only plays on Windows.  We went round and round with this one.  Finally, because the kids needed a school computer, we got them an inexpensive Toshiba with Windows.

Which just made me appreciate my Mac all the more.  ‘Nuff said about that.

I’m not crazy about the software.  It’s a bit stale, not that easy to navigate, and doesn’t really hold the kid’s attention.

Which is why I RAN BACK TO BIG IQ KIDS (see ad in left sidebar, and yes, I proudly state that they are an affiliate).  This is my 4th year using them to reinforce what they are learning from their curriculum.

I’ll talk a good deal more about that soon, BECAUSE I GET TO DO ANOTHER BIG IQ KIDS GIVEAWAY THIS YEAR.

One reason I think that the kids are enjoying A.C.E. so much this year is because we’ve been implementing the Workbox System.  The official website is here, and  I explain how we’re using it in this post.  We had a little Workbox discussion going on at Mom’s Homeroom, and Keeslermom turned me on to a terrific site which will give you extra ideas about what to put in the workboxes.  I could spend HOURS there.

Since A.C.E. has everything laid out for me, I have a good deal more time to add fun activities to reinforce what they are learning.  And they love finding “surprises” in their drawers.

Because I’m 7, that last sentence just made me giggle.

Another positive about A.C.E. is that the girls are seeing progress as they, well, progress.  They get a star for their Progress Chart when they complete each test, and keeping track of grades is a breeze for me.

Progress_Chart

Oh.  And since I’m all about Parenting by Bribery, I reward the girls with an extra quarter whenever they get a 100% on a test.

And because of the diagnostic testing that I was able to do before we began, I knew what needed to be covered.  (Particularly in the area of Math.)

So far, so good.  No one is in therapy, and the teacher  still stays one day smarter than her students.

In other words, I haven’t had to threaten boarding school.  In a harsh climate.

The year is still young.

How are you homeschool moms holding up?

DeeDeeSig

September 8, 2009

12 Responses to My Report Card

  • So glad you like the ACE stuff. We do, too. I wouldn’t go any other way. KJV is not my favorite thing, either. I let them do all activities other than the memory verse on the test in NIV or the Adventure Bible (not sure the translation). Having gone from 1st grade to 9th grade so far with ACE, I can say that the subjects are really getting good. I love what my oldest son is doing this year. Enjoy your two weeks off!!

  • Good for you, Dee Dee! You might feel only one day ahead, but you look pretty organized to me. Your kids are waaaay lucky to have you as a mom!!!

  • I wonder how ACE has changed. We used it some 7 years ago, and I did not like it. (But, then I didn’t have the whole program, and maybe it’s one that does better if you have all the “parts”.)

    I’m interested in the last picture of this post (progress chart). Not for me, but a friend has been commenting that she wants something similar. I think she wants / needs a visual.

    This particular homeschool mom is feeling a bit overwhelmed. . .

  • Today is the first day of kindergarten for us! I’m excited! and he was excited last night as I was reminding him that we start kindergarten tomorrow morning! In fact, he started squealing that he gets to “learn kindergarten” while eating at Chilis last night! It was so funny! We’ll see how I feel about it about 1:30 today…but then again we are going to the park for some socialization and pe time so maybe it will all work out!

  • We just started week 4 of school this year. We are doing Classical Conversations which is a big change for us. We have always done “school in a box” before. So far we like it although it is a bit more free form than I am used to. With God’s Grace and much advil all things are possible. 🙂

  • We’re also on our 2 week break. Having finished 15 weeks, this has been nice breather. I’m still tweaking a couple of the subjects–the whole speed up and slow down parts of really seeing what the curriculum is in practice. Overall though, I’ve been really pleased with the boys enjoying learning and taking some personal initiative. Light at the end of the tunnel. Yippee!

    This comment may inspire me to do my own actual blog post. Imagine that.

  • FYI you can do Windows on a Mac. You can get a program called Parallels (I think there’s another one, too), and it runs within your Mac and IS WINDOWS. I had a couple of Win programs that I just couldn’t give up when I switched to the Mac 2 years ago and have found Parallels super helpful!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    E,
    You are absolutely right, we did look into Parallels. But it would have cost about $200 and didn’t solve the problem of the kids having a school computer. (I use mine for work.) One bonus of having Windows on another computer is that it will run a lot of their old educational games that wouldn’t run on my Mac. 🙂

    There’s always a silver lining if I search long enough…

    DeeDee

  • We’re holding up. None of the “bad days” have been unmanageable and we’ve had more good surprises than I was expecting. Overall, I can’t complain!

  • I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve had your workboxes in the back of my mind for the last few weeks, but I wasn’t looking forward to trying to dig through your archives looking for info on them (NOT that it’s not a pleasure re-reading everything; I’m just ALWAYS in a hurry). So, again, thank you!

  • Day 1 and I haven’t killed anyone OR ran out of the room screaming. However the bag of M&Ms will never be the same – may it rest in piece. 😉

  • Glad to hear that things are going well. We are chugging along. Mostly going well for two reasons. 1) My parents came to stay for a week of fun and RR last week. So we unschooled for that week. 2) I just had a surprise visit from our hero and mentor-Carla. We didn’t even talk about homeschool that much and I still felt encouraged and invigorated. (; so I am making this day count!

  • Aw…thanks Brianna – it was great to see you & your girls and Nathan,too! (Sorry DeeDee for using your blog to *talk* to Brianna!) Too bad we didn’t take any pictures!
    Take care & maybe I will see you again this fall! MTDC!