Friday, September 2, 2011

"He leadeth me...."

I love seeing God work in our lives so obviously. I've said before that I don't believe in coincidences or luck, just His hand and blessings. I haven't really been too nervous about homeschooling because I truly feel this is the path I'm suppose to take and He keeps making it blatantly clear. I was looking for something Christian based for American Government and for some reason wasn't able to find exactly what I wanted. A few days later I got an email about a DVD series called American Heritage that hit the nail on the head. I called Scott and told him, "I think God just emailed me!" The next instance came after I had been telling Scott that I was pretty sure I wanted to try Hooked on Phonics for Ronan next year. A couple of Saturdays ago I was looking at their products online. Sunday, I decided to go to the consignment store to see what they would give me for my Moses basket I never used. As I was checking out, I looked to my right and saw the HOP k-2 kit sitting there. It was only $10!!! It retails for over $200! I've been doing some more reading on different homeschool styles. I really like the idea of doing Unit Studies to add some fun to our curriculum. So far what we've been doing is very structured, which I really like, but can get boring for the kids. We use mostly Switched on Schoolhouse. It's all computer based. I set up a calendar within the program and set what days I want all the subjects covered.  It sets up the lesson plan and does most of the grading.  The kids can read or listen to the lessons then do the problems, quizzes, and test. Joshua and Summer are pretty independent with it. Jacob needs more one on one. I read through the lessons with him, and help him take notes  and make note cards. Summer does it with me sometimes too but she doesn't need it, she just doesn't want Jacob getting all the one on one time:) She doesn't like taking the amount of notes I like though so she does a lot on her own then just asks for help on the questions she doesn't get. We use this for History & Geography, Language Arts, Bible, Science, Health, and Spanish. Jacob and Summer use Teaching Textbooks for math, it's computer based too. Joshua uses a regular textbook though. We are also doing an art curriculum, some handwriting and typing, and some supplemental science and the American Goverment. Joshua is doing a cool Computer Science course on video game and web design. Plus Jacob and Summer do a co-op on Mondays. They are taking Earth Science, Medival Culture, and PE. Then on Thursdays Joshua has a PE co-op, Jacob has Science Experiments and Summer has Gymnastics. Unit studies are an indepth study of one subject from every aspect. We are calling them Life Projects. When something comes up, or one of the kids have an interest in something, we will study it all together. Our first one is about bees. On the fourth of July, Ronan was stung at my brothers house. Scott was stung while putting up our trampoline. We discovered a hive in our backyard we had to get rid of before Ronan and Raidens birthday party. Then Summer was stung the other day. Joshua has been stung by wasps before but not bees, but he's still has a fear of them. I was telling the kids I thought it would be a neat thing to cover and maybe we could find a beekeeper to visit. At first, Joshua was like no way! PBS kids was on TV, and at that moment, a short segment on bees came on!! We said, "Sorry Joshua, God says you have to!" We watched a documentary about Vanishing Bees, we are going to watch a Magic School Bus and Sid the Science Kid episode on them. We got a non fiction book from the library as well as a fiction, it's about a little girl overcoming her fear of bees. I found a scriptural lesson with a bee theme. We'll do some online research on local bees. We are going to go to the farmers market to purchase some local honey. We've got some bee themed math work, some bee kids music and poems, experiments, baking, and crafts planned. Plus we are going to listen to and research about the Flight of the Bumblebee, classical piece! We'll end the study by watching The Bee Movie and the big kids will chose a type of paper to write. It can be a factual report, a how-to on honey collection, raising bees, or pollination,  a book report, or a persuasive piece on buying local or organic. Today, while studying about, Sydney, Australia, Summer and I were talking about ferries and about how she has never been on a boat. I said that maybe we could do our next Life Project on that and take a field trip to the Belle of Louisville. Well, I opened my email tonight and found out the Belle is having a homeschool event next month!!! So now I have to decide whether to make it just about steamboats or different types of boats. I definitely see some model building in our future!! I can't wait to see what God has in store for us next!

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe in coincidences either, which means that this whole entry amuses me. I've been slowly looking into homeschooling options over the last few years, and lately, my husband and I have both started considering it as a real possibility more and more. I emailed an online friend who homeschools her son yesterday, and now you post this! Very cool. I love hearing what God's been doing in your lives, and I really like seeing how you handle homeschooling!

    I hesitate to mention it, because different groups have such different personalities, but have you looked into an Society for Creative Anachronism group in your area for your medieval culture studies? I absolutely hated history while in school, but being able to immerse myself in hands-on, daily facets of life in 14th-century England (my focus) has turned into my major non-gardening hobby. The La Belle Compagnie is much more...well, correct and historically accurate, really, but they're based in the NoVa/DC area rather than all over the world. I'd highly recommend checking into them, too. I have some really great, accessible books and lots of gear if you're every in this area again and would like to borrow them. Not trying to be pushy with recommendations or anything--like I said, medieval studies have become my "thing" for the last five or six years.

    - Mallery

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