Sunday, August 19, 2012

Homeschooling 2012-13

I'm really excited about this school year. After much prayer and deliberation I think I've got a great plan for our family. Around Christmas last year I considered doing Christian unschooling... But I just don't think it's right for us.  I need a schedule.

I've combined our History and Geography,  Bible, Reading, and Art this year.  I'm mixing some curriculum to see what works best. We are going to follow a Classical Education somewhat but I'm modifying. We are starting with the Ancients; progressing through history chronologically over the next four years, then doing it again 3 times. I'm just not going to be doing the trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages, like CE would suggest.  For Jacob and Summer(5th &6th), I'm using Story of the World, text and Activity book, and a list of Books that I got from  I start out reading aloud, but the ones we don't have time to finish during our schedule, they are encouraged to finish on their own. We have built a cave and did cave paintings, made cuneiform clay tablets, Egyptian hieroglyphic scrolls, and are in the process of mummifying a chicken so far.  I got some Egyptian toy Toobs for Ronan(K) to play with during our reading time to get him into it. I'm not requiring memory work or narration from him though.  Joshua(9th) joins in with us for History Revealed which I LOVE. It tells history strictly from a biblical prospective. I also got Reese's Chronological Bible that we are going to attempt to read through completely. Although I do intend to skip over a lot of the laws and lineages.  It's cool to be able to turn directly to a specific time in the bible. Joshua is also reading from a list of "Great Books" I got from The Well Trained Mind. They say to shoot for 8-12. We are only doing 7 but the Iliad and Odyssey are long and I have a hard time getting him to read. We have finished Epic of Gilgamesh and started Iliad. There was a lot of groaning to start with but today he read more even though he already read the required pages for this week.

Last year everyone did Switched on Schoolhouse for Science. We decided not to do the experiments in the curriculum and I bought some kits and they took a science experiment co-op instead.  It's was fine but I want to follow the Classical Education format here as well. Doing Biology this year; followed by Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics.  Joshua is still doing SOS without the experiments. We took a six week dissection lab over the summer. I'm not using any text books. Just resources from the internet and library, home experiments, and field trips.  So far we've talked about cells and fungi. We have 50 darkling beetle larvae/pupae we are observing and we are planning a trip to find some slime mold to experiment with.  Again... Ronan is more of an onlooker.

We are also changing up our math. Last year Jacob and Summer did Teaching Text books. They found it boring, they like the interaction of having me do it with. Plus, I can give them helpful tips as the opportunities arise. Joshua did Jacob's Algebra last year and didn't enjoy it either. This year we are using Life of Fred. Some people say its not a full curriculum but others... And the company... Say it is.  So far I like it and think its plenty.  Summer, who was hating math at the end of last year, asked if we could do math everyday instead of 3 days a week. I went ahead and got Joshua the Beginning Algebra and Advanced Algebra. We are just reading through Beginning to compare the content and get a good feel for it. We are enjoying it too. I've got flash cards, videos, books, some counting bears and workbook, some blocks with a workbook, some play money, and clock books for Ronan. Very laid back.

Everyone is still doing SOS for Language Arts. Last year I took the writing assignments out and tried to give them more liberty on their topics, but that was a mistake. Then I tried three other writing curriculum that didn't work. This year they are doing the one in SOS.... No negotiation.  I have flash cards, videos, Leap Pad Phonics, teaching tiles, Bob Books, Curious George Books, and a ton of other books for Ronan. I also have Hooked on Phonics but I can't see him sitting for it... It's not near visual enough for him.

That just leaves foreign languages and computer science. I got Pure and Simple last year for Joshua for CS. He didn't end up completing it. I'm guiding Jacob and Summer through it this year; Joshua says he want to finish it when we get to where he left off. Also they learn 3D digital design through a game called Mind Craft.

Last year Joshua started out the year doing SOS for Spanish but didn't like it. He's using Visual Link Spanish 1 this year. Jacob and Summer did like the SOS and are doing Elementary French now on it.

I haven't found a good way... or the time... to incorporate music into our schedule yet.  I'm thinking it will work itself in to history but we will see. Summer has a keyboard she plays some and a guitar, and both boys have ocarinas, but no one has expressed the desire to take any kind of lessons.  I'm sure Summer would like to; I'm just not ready to commit to that right now.

I'll try to post periodic updates on our progress... every six weeks or so. Happy homeschooling!

Its kind of hard to read because I copied over from excel but our basic schedule looks like this:


 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
10:00:00 A        MA/LA LA MA/LA LA MA



11:00:00 A        F.Lang   Lunch F.Lang



12:00:00 PM Writing   Writing    


  HW/T     HW/T

01:00:00 PM Lunch Lunch Lunch   Lunch



02:00:00 PM Reading Reading Reading   Reading

H&G H&G H&G   H&G

Bible Bible Bible   Bible

Art Art Art   Art
03:00:00 PM          



04:00:00 PM Sci CS Sci   CS  




When the time "falls back" we will shift to a 9-4 schedule... this gives us more time to ease in.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Early Empty Nest

Long time no blog... I can't really say I haven't had time to blog or that I haven't had anything to blog about... I just haven't. I actually wrote a couple I never published. A lot has happened in the past year and hopefully I can get all caught up in the the next few months.

The last time I posted about co-sleeping we were still living in West Virginia so we've transitioned a few times since then.  Raiden, who was such a great sleeper before, started climbing out of his pack n play while we were staying at my moms last summer. It was really hard because Sierra was a newborn... I was very sleep deprived. My bassinet comes off of its base and the bed I slept in there had a foot board... I put it at the foot of the bed... Raiden on one side of me and Ronan on the other most nights.

After about six weeks we got into our new house, for two weeks  we slept on air mattresses until Scott could get back to WV for our furniture. We had two queens in our bedroom for me, Scott, and 3 little ones. We decided it was time for us to upgrade to a king size bed  a few weeks later. Raidens eczema was getting worse and worse. We took him to an allergist and found out he had a lot of food alleries. His sleep was awful.

Our new house has four bedrooms. Joshua and Summer started out in their own rooms. Jacob was sort of sharing with Ronan. Sierra would start out the night in her bassinet but like my others before her, once she woke up for a feeding she just stayed in the bed with me. For a while Scott slept in in the boys room so we didn't have to worry about toddlers in the bed with a newborn.

I felt bad that Sierra and I had a king sized bed to ourselves though. We started getting the little boys to sleep on the couch since it is right outside of our bedroom.

After Christmas, Sierra was rolling and crawling too much for me to fall asleep with her in my bed. I would lay her back down after each feeding in her crib next to our bed. Raiden would wake up quite a bit because of his eczema too... it was exhausting.

We then decided to get another crib and move Sierra to Summers room so we could let the little boys back in our room. I took the rail off of the crib in our room and sidecarred it with our bed for Raiden. Plus we had Ronan in there too. At first Sierra wasn't quite sleeping through the night. I spent many nights on the couch so that I didn't have to get woken up by her and Raiden all night.
Ronan is getting ready to turn five. I felt it was time to encourage him out of our bed. We got him so sleep on the couch a few nights but he kept wanting to come back in. I think part of it was jealousy that Raiden was still in our room. I decided to put the bunk bed back together in Jacob's room... and we have a mattress that goes under the lower bunk that can be pulled out like a trundle. Joshua was using the other bed... we got the futon out of the garage for him. Tonight is the fifth night the three boys have share a room and Scott and I have slept by ourselves ALL NIGHT.