Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's been almost TWO YEARS since my last post...

THAT will tell you how stinking busy I have been!  ;)

I'll have to update the family later, because right now I'm posting to join in the Not-Back-to-School-Blog-Hop 2012!

It's the first week and I'm here to share curriculum choices.  After slaving over these things for week, months and even years (yes, that would be my history choice), it's nice to be able to share and possibly help another homeschool mom at the same time!

Wow, I miss blogging...

Well, it's a BIG year coming up for our family.  Lots on everyone's plate, which means even more on Mama's platter!  This year Sid the Science Kid (9) is doing 5th/6th grade work, Princess Pea (7) is doing 3rd grade work, Angelica Pickles (6) is doing 1st grade work, BooBoo (4) is doing Kindergarten work and Miracle (2) is doing her own kind of work with physical, occupational and speech therapy!

I have actually been looking forward to this year for a long time.  This is the year we start Tapestry of Grace Year 1!  I have been drooling over this curriculum for over three years now.  No joke.  I had some stuff I wanted to do with the kids before I jumped in, but it's been on my calendar for 2012 since before 2009.  We did some early American History with Adventures in My Father's World in 2009-2010 and then I put together my own curriculum for studying the continents, countries, world religions, major ecosystems, famous landmarks, and famous people for 2011-2012 school year.  We loved both those years of history/geography and can't wait to start Tapestry next week!

But, that is not all we have on the calendar this year...

For science we are using God's Design for Life by Answers in Genesis covering Plants, Animals and the Human Body.  We have used Sonlight science in the past, and I'm more of a living books kind of teacher, so I'm adding to this curriculum to make it what I want it.  It's great information and I love the Creation-based information throughout it that I can't find elsewhere, but I miss the books! So, I have picked up a picture book and/or video for almost every chapter of Plants for this fall and I think I have exactly what I want for my kiddos!  Plus, BooBoo and Angelica Pickles can do science with us and it won't be completely over their heads!

For Bible we are doing a number of things- and I'm loving how they all complement each other!  Sid will continue with the Studying God's Word series with book E studying Genesis through Ruth this year.  This goes right along with our study in Tapestry of Creation through the fall of Rome and Church History.  As a family we will start out the year studying the 10 commandments in detail with a curriculum based off THESE videos.  Our Character Training studies are usually based off of great books like In Grandma's Attic, Storytime with the Millers and A Hive of Busy Bees, but for the first part of the year we will be reading through Susan and Richie Hunt's Discovering Jesus in Genesis.  Are you starting to see a theme here?  I promise, it wasn't all of my doing.  Even the girls' dance program with the Christian dance troupe Restored to Glory is portraying the story of the Israelites traveling to the Promised Land!  So, I'm just running with it.  When we are done studying the 10 Commandments we will be using Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum for Kids for the rest of the year.  I'll have books and books for Character Building, but I'll decide on those later based on what exactly my children need  to be drilled into their minds encouragement in at that time.  Each child has their own age-appropriate devotional they do daily, we do daily family worship in the mornings (or sometimes just in the car when we are on the go) and we use THIS Charlotte Mason system for verse memorization.

Those are the curriculums we do together as a family.

Sid the Science Kid (9) is always one step ahead of me.  I teach him something and he often adds to my teaching, already knowing more than what I've taught.  He reads SO MUCH, though it's slowed down a bit this summer with his interest in Baseball.  But, the boy usually devours nonfiction, biographies and realistic fiction.  He is working his way through The Chronicles of Narnia currently, reading each one more than once.  If only I had that much time to read...sigh.  So, he's a bit of a challenge curriculum-wise.  I need to cover the material he doesn't know without boring him, repeating too much and giving him some challenges along the way.  He took the Stafford this spring and his average grade equivalency was 8th grade 9th month, getting post high school GE on a few subjects like math and reading.  Yeah, a challenge.  So, here is his line up this year:

Bible - Studying God's Word E (finish Queen Homeschool study Honorable Boy, also)
Math - Horizons 5 (scope and sequence more like a 6th grade math text)
Language Arts - Character Quality Language Arts (CQLA) Red Level A includes copywork, writing, dictation, grammar and editing but we skip the spelling
Spelling - All About Spelling Level 3 & 4, I'm keeping Sid and Princess Pea together and we are halfway through Level 3 and LOVE this program!  Sid hardly ever spells anything wrong, so this is just foundational teaching as far as I see it.
Reading - Reasoning and Reading 1 - reading skills and word relationship in the context of reading
Drawn into the Heart of Reading - character, plot, setting, climax study with living books
Vocabulary - Wordly Wise 5 and Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 & 5, I just found this program and can't wait to teach him Latin and Greek roots without taking a college course in it myself!
Poetry - Institutes for Excellence in Writing Poetry Memorization unit
Extras - piano lessons, soccer, swim lessons, co-op and church choir
I am also reading the Cooper Kids Adventures Series by Frank Peretti to him.  I think these are a little dark, so I wanted to be there to explain some things as he read them.

Princess Pea (7) is following very closely in her brother's path.  She doesn't devour nonfiction books like him, but she does read a lot and she's probably around 4th grade reading level.  She loves learning and is an easy one to persuade to do one more chapter or one more lesson.  She is ahead of her peers but doesn't mind being challenged, so I take the liberty of doing so.  Here is her line up this year:

Bible - Finish Leading Little Ones to God, Personal devotions with I Am Loved by Sheila Walsh, SOAP method or Veggie Tales Obedience devotional
Math - Horizons 3
Language Arts - CQLA Red Level A, I could have put her in PreA but it seemed easier to have her doing the same lessons as her brother and just adjusting the lessons for her level if I need to
Language Lessons for the Elementary Child 2- I'm using this for reviewing grammar from last year and learning to write poetry. It includes narration and pictures narration that CQLA doesn't have.  She will also being doing extra copywork to improve some sloppy handwriting she's developed.
Spelling - All About Spelling Level 3 & 4
Reading - Beginning Reasoning and Reading & Drawn into the Heart of Reading
Vocabulary - Wordly Wise 2 & 3, we are finishing up 2 and moving on to 3 in the fall
Poetry - Institutes for Excellence in Writing Poetry Memorization unit
Extras - piano lessons, dance with Restored to Glory, co-op, swim lessons and church choir
I will be reading Laura Ingalls and probably some American Girl Doll series books to her this year. We will start with McKenna since she just purchased the doll in Chicago all by herself after saving since last October!

Angelica Pickles is, well....Angelica Pickles!  Don't you remember her from Rugrats?  Antagonistic, bratty, I'm-an-angel-when-I-want-something attitude?  Sigh....this is my 6 year old little girl.  I love her to death, but she will be the death of ME someday.  She is definitely my challenge, both in parenting and schooling.  So, we will be taking school slowly so as to enjoy learning and avoid as many battles as possible, while still moving forward and accomplishing my goals for her.  Here is her loose line up:

Bible - Finish Leading Little Ones to God
Math - Horizons 1, she is excellent in math but doesn't like the repetition so I'll be adjusting the lessons to be less work while still knowing that she's learned the information
Language Arts - First Language Lessons, we love this 1st/2nd grade book and it's gentle and oral
Language Smarts B- we LOVE this large, colorful book and it complements FLL well, filling in where it misses some stuff and we will probably do this into 2nd grade also
Spelling - All About Spelling Level 1 & 2, we are halfway through Level 1 currently
Reading - while waiting for All About Reading Level 2 to come out in September we will continue with Language Lessons for Little Ones 3 for reading instruction, thought it isn't my favorite book
Phonics - Explode the Code 3 & 4, all my kids love this series and I use it for review of concepts
Handwriting - Copywork daily
Poetry - Institutes for Excellence in Writing Poetry Memorization unit
Extras - dance with Restored to Glory, co-op, swim lessons and church choir

BooBoo is 4 but he's already started his Horizons K book and is reading some words.  So we will be working slowly through Horizons K and All About Reading Level 1 this year.  Then we will be reading books from the Sonlight book lists and maybe some Five in a Row books together. I have blocked a full HOUR every morning to spend with him and I'm very excited for our time together!

I think that's it!  Our checklists, binders, lesson plans and workbooks are all ready to go for Monday, August 6th!  We won't do every subject the first week, but by week two we will be full blown into the 2012-2013 school year.  We are doing a new schedule this year, taking a break or catch-up week every 5-7 weeks throughout the year.  That way I don't feel like I'm 'behind' all year long!  This gives me 6 full weeks to get behind and never really be behind.  Then, I also have June to fall back on if needed.  Hoping it works out!

Looking forward to reading more posts at www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com!


Shanna said...

So glad to see you back in the blog world! I've often thought about you and sweet Mia and wondered how you all were! I took a hiatus from blogging for a little over a year as well, but started back a couple months ago. :)

Dawn said...

Nice to meet you. It looks like you all have a great year ahead. I read in your sidebar that you are interested in fostering and adoption and that you have a special needs child. We have lots in common. I hope you have a very blessed journey.
blessings, Dawn

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