I can scarcely believe that I’ve been homeschooling my children for 7 years. And further, I still wallow in disbelief that I’ve taught two of them how to read. Plus a whole bunch of other stuff like how to diagram sentences and reduce a fraction to its lowest term.
Because that little ability COMES IN HANDY.
I officially have a 6th, 4th, and 1st grader under my tutelage this year. Adding that 3rd student (especially since it’s JENSEN) has really stretched my patience and teaching abilities to the limit. It is a good thing that he came last in the lineup, otherwise they would all be in military school. In a harsh climate.
I love being able to share what our school year looks like, as well as get an insight into what other harried homeschool moms are doing as well. Over the years I’ve used a number of different curriculum, finally in this last year landing on a combination that works well for our family. This school year will not look all that different than last year. Except that the teacher is a good deal more twitchy.
We are still loosely using a year round schedule. This will be our 3rd year doing this and I absolutely love it. Basically, we start school in the middle of July when it’s too hot to make it to the mailbox and back without danger of heat stroke. We work for 9 weeks, take 2 weeks off in the Fall, and then go another 9 weeks. This puts us at the doorstep of December, wherein we take the entire month off.
We start our 3rd quarter right after New Years, work 9 weeks, take 2 weeks off for Spring Break, and then work another 9 to 10 weeks, depending on if we need a buffer. We end our school year at about the end of May. Then we have about 6 weeks off during the summer.
Which is just enough time to limit the inevitable event of all the useful information learned the prior year from leaking out of every orifice. Like a sieve.
One difference this year is that we’re having to work a full 5 day school week, instead of 4, because I don’t want everyone to be rushed trying to get everything accomplished. And as my oldest student would tell you, SIXTH GRADE IS HARD.
Last year was my first year to use My Father’s World, and we studied Exploring Countries and Cultures. I am now a My Father’s World convert. My sister-in-law, Trish, used Adventures in My Father’s World last year, and in an effort to save money, we simply switched curriculum this year.
Adventures in MFW is a basic study of U.S. History geared to 2nd graders. But since I already have amassed a wonderful library on U.S. History, I knew that I could use Adventures in MFW as a guideline and will add on as needed to make it challenging enough for Emme and Cailey.
I love doing a unit study approach for geography, history and science. It’s a great opportunity to bring all my little students together to learn. While keeping the bickering to a dull roar.
Speaking of roar (because I am all about the seg-way), we’re using ROAR, which is a Christian family guide to studying the Chronicles of Narnia. I’m reading a chapter per day (starting with The Magician’s Nephew) and we go in depth to discover all of the wonderful nuances that Lewis intended when he wrote the Chronicles. There are plenty of scripture references to delve into as well as real life practical applications to discuss. ROAR is authored by Heather and David Kopp. I found mine used online at Amazon.com.
We’re also starting Awana again this year, and will be working within our Awana books to memorize scripture.
Math/English/Word Building (Spelling)
This is our 3rd year using the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum for these 3 subjects. There are no teacher manuals, as everything is explained within the workbooks. Each subject has 12 workbooks to cover the span of a year. We work at a rate of about one workbook every 3 weeks. This curriculum has really helped to develop independent study habits for the girls.
I’m able to use Big IQ Kids to reinforce spelling as I can modify the lessons to include their weekly spelling list. I also use the Big IQ Kids math program to help drill the dreaded multiplication tables into their heads. They actually look forward to review work. Go figure. And don’t forget the Big IQ Kids giveaway going on here.
Jensen – the first grader
I have to keep things loosey goosey with my son. I never know with his skin issues if he’s going to be able to sit still and concentrate. I have a variety of activities and worksheets available on the fly. I’m using A Reason for Handwriting, A Reason for Spelling, Spectrum Math, and an Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. When he’s especially wiggly, I let him trace (awesome for eye/hand motor coordination) and draw freehand to his hearts content. And of course he joins in when we’re doing our Bible Study and family reading time. Although he’s usually standing on his head.
We are involved in a whole bunch of extra stuff outside the house to make sure that mommy stays socialized. 🙂 The girls are in swim team technique lessons, swim team practice, Awana, American Heritage Girls (Christian scouting), Friday park day with our homeschool group, and Homeschool P.E. & Art Classes.
I still use the workbox system with all 3 kids to help keep their work organized. This has been so helpful because they know what is expected of them each day, and they can easily access what they need to be working on.
Also, I have a homeschool page set up especially for awesome resources.
We’re off to a great start this year and are just finishing up week 5, with our first 2 week break in sight. And so far, no one is in therapy. Which, really, is more than I could have hoped for.
Your turn. If you have a blog, you can post your own curriculum round-up post, and link that post up below. Be sure and include a link pointing here within your own post, because the more the merrier.
If you don’t have a blog or post, just tell us what you’re doing this year in the comments section.
Have a stress-free year, everyone! (Which is easy for me to say since Fiddledaddy just found me hovering over a leftover can of coconut pecan frosting, sprinkled with Hershey’s Chocolate drops. That’s the kind of day I’ve had…)