Thursday, August 29, 2013

School Summary - Getting Started... Again

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

1st Day of School
Tenor---6th grade
Soprano---4th grade
A Summary of August 5-9
I feel like summer just went by in a super fast blur. Between finishing up school and submitting our portfolios, vacationing at the beach, coming back with the world's worst sunburn, day camp, Vacation Bible School, prepping for the new school year, and a ton of other fun summer activities, the days flew by!
My original plan was to start on August 12 but then I thought that maybe it would be good to take the 1st week of schoolwork and divide it in half doing some this week and then some next to ease back into the routine of school. The idea was good but it may have been too early to start. I'm not sure any of us were quite ready.

Our 1st day started with an annual back-to-school tradition of fun new school supplies.
Horses and Littlest Pet Shop for Soprano
Star Wars Angry Birds for Tenor

Here's what we did our first week:

Things that were scheduled:
Tenor jumped in to Saxon 7/6 at the 3rd test since he finished through lesson 20 last year. Soprano got started with Saxon 5/4. The best part of this year so far is that her math is now independent unless she needs help with any particular problems or lessons. Such a break for me! I don't think she's missing the daily meeting either.
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
Tenor will start writing when we begin our My Father's World studies since we're using IEW's Ancient History and Medieval History this year. I created lesson plans to align the IEW with the topics we'll be studying in MFW.
They started all of their other L/A work though. Similar to last year so there aren't any big changes to work through this year.

The only elective they did this week was typing which will be once a week for each of them. I'm saving all other electives for next week.
My Father's World Rome to the Reformation-
To split our work in half, I'm also waiting to start MFW until next week.
So there are no extras this week.
And that was it. It was good to only have 1/2 days. But it was hard to swallow that feeling of dread when it came to grading yet another math lesson. I'm hoping we'll get into the swing of things quickly.

We did enjoy another 1st Day of School tradition... ice cream after dinner!

VBS 2013 - Kingdom Rock

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

Our church's VBS was all about knights, ladies, castles, and standing strong for God! It was such a fun theme to decorate and participate in! Even cooler, it's the perfect lead in for our homeschool curriculum this year when we go through the Middle Ages. It took a couple months to prep all the decor but we had a great set-up team and things came together very well.
We had a record number of kids this year but the leaders made it through the week and we had enough supplies. :) Here are a ton of pics of our set-up:
The royal throne
 The throne room (where we met for our opening and closing sessions as well as the elementary crew Bible lessons.)
 The portcullis entry into the throne room
 The preschool classroom
 the long castle gallery
Our resident knight I painted using my 'paint by numbers' projector method
and fair maiden
and the jester
 Chadder's theater
 The King's Kitchen
My young squire and maiden helping me to lead the singing
I made my costumes this year. The green corset only took 5 tries to get it right. Ugh! The red dress took a few attempts to get the zipper right too. They turned out okay in the end. However, I'm hoping next year's theme will allow me to just buy an outfit. :)
Craft time
Sir Wally was part of the cast each knight. The kids absolutely loved him!
 Entering the castle over the drawbridge
and the craft tent
It was a great week but totally exhausting. Which is why it's taken me two months to get around to even post pics. We've already been talking about next year... I just might need another month or two to recover!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013-2014 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Wow---we're entering into year 3 of our homeschooling journey. I wouldn't have said at the beginning that I would like it as much as I do. There are definitely less-than-rosy days but overall I'm glad the Lord has led us to be a homeschool family for this season in our lives. Only He knows what the future holds but for now, we're liking where we are at as far as schooling goes. Here's what we're planning to use for the 2013-2014 school year:

Tenor is going into 6th grade. (ACK! I have a middle schooler??? How did that happen?) He'll be working through
Saxon 7/6 and then Saxon 8/7 for math
Rod and Staff  English for grammar
Institute For Excellence in Writing - Ancient History Based Writing Lessons and Medieval History Based Writing Lessons for writing (which will correlate with our history)
Spelling is currently up in the air! I haven't decided yet if we need a formal spelling program this year or not.
(Update: I looked over Spelling Power and decided it was way too much work for me and too much to switch to after several years of Rod and Staff. I think Tenor does need spelling work of some sort so I got Rod and Staff Spelling 6 for him this year.)
We're going to continue with Across the Centuries for his reading comprehension. He will work through 3 books this year.
He has completed his penmanship work. It's not going to get any better and he has more work this year to complete so he's off the hook on this one.

Dora and Diego Homeschool Spanish Level 1 and possibly Mango: Spanish (an at home program offered through our local library)

Soprano is going into 4th grade so she'll be doing
Saxon 5/4 for math

Rod and Staff  English for grammar
Rod and Staff Spelling 4 for spelling
Queen's Copywork for Little Girls for penmanship (to refine and practice her cursive)
Across the Centuries for reading comprehension. She will also work through 3 books.
Writing is up in the air. I might incorporate IEW's Student Intensive A or just have her do some of the same assignments as Tenor using the Ancient-History/Medieval-History books.

Dora and Diego Homeschool Spanish Level 1 and possibly Mango: Spanish (an at home program offered through our local library)

Together they'll do My Father's World Rome to the Reformation.
My Father's World incorporates Bible, history, geography, science, vocabulary, music, and art altogether for multiple grade levels. We really liked our second year of the MFW 5-year cycle, Creation to the Greeks, which started our 4-year history cycle. I wasn't a huge ancient civilization fan but I liked CtG. I'm really looking forward to Rome to the Reformation as we hit the times of Christ and the apostles, the middle ages and Renaissance, knights and castles, and then the Reformation. An even bigger help, this year's science focuses on astronomy and anatomy so I won't have to do any separate health curriculum.

Science texts

Music resources
Read Alouds
Bible resources
History textbooks
Art and Vocab
Extra resources that I will probably incorporate for history and geography

To be sure to fulfill state requirements, we're going to do worksheets and activities from some different resources.
World Geography for geography reinforcement for both (We finished the first half of this book last year. They'll do the second half this year.)
Switched on Schoolhouse for Tenor and Pennsylvania: Jography for Soprano for their PA History
and a few units from for civics 
Soprano's electives: Geography, PA History, and Home Ec.

Tenor's electives: Geography and Greek
 The only other things we have to cover are fire safety and phys. ed.  Phys. Ed. will be covered with our co-op and by doing Tae Kwan Do.

We'll be continuing with our homeschool co-op group so they'll each get gym, music/choir, and an elective each semester. Tenor has chosen an astronomy elective for the fall while Soprano got very excited about signing up for a mixed-media art class.

Our field trip ideas this year include The Christmas Museum (with a terrific Bethlehem nativity display), dinner at Loxley's, a local Robin Hood themed restaurant, the Reading Public Museum (great Middle Ages collection as well as a planetarium), the PA Renaissance Faire, and The Science Factory. I'm sure we'll find some library or local conservation center programs to go to as well as concerts. We are blessed to live in an area where the arts abound, and there are lots of free or low cost opportunities.

I'd say I can't wait to start but I'm totally going to enjoy my last few weeks of summer vacation. How about you? Have you decided on curriculum yet or are you just relaxing in the sunshine?

Linking up here:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...