Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Homeschool 2010-2011

Another school year begins!

We have blasted off into another year of learning.  We now have a 12-year-old 7th grader, a 9-year-old 4th grader, and an almost 8-year-old 4th grader.  How time flies whether you are having fun or not!  Thankfully, most days we DO have fun.

Our first day this year started on the rocks.  I made the 9-year-old cry twice, I had a ANOTHER cold, and my energy was zapped!  Not really the way you wanna kick off a new school year.  BUT, by the next week, we were settling into our new curriculum (yes, another new one) and we were ALL enjoying it.

Last year we used a program called Sonlight.  I will be honest...I really liked it.  We studied the Eastern Hemisphere countries and cultures.  We learned so much, but it was intense and we worked hard all day long!  I realized something about myself.  (It only took me six years of homeschooling to find it!)  I have a problem deciding what material to leave out! 

Seriously...I love to learn...LOVE to learn.  I could read and research all the live long day!  So, when it comes to figuring out what not to read about, I am hopeless!  I feel like I will be missing something!  (And I can't MISS something because heaven knows I can never study that subject again, right?!  Pitiful, I know, but I really just want to inhale all of it!)

So...what were we to do?  

I went into the homeschooling conference this year in much prayer on what GOD wanted for us.  I will forever be grateful for His leading us to Sonlight last year.  We learned things about our world that are vital to being selfless humans!  But, I just kept feeling this "catch" in me about continuing with Sonlight for this year.

The very last hours we were at the convention, I was standing in a booth called My Father's World.  I had heard of it before.  I had checked it out, but as I stood there, I was so drawn and knew God was telling me to talk to the workers and really listen.

Shortly after, my husband came out of a workshop and found me and starts telling me about this man he just listend to for the last hour and about the curriculum his wife wrote.  He said it sounded very similar to Sonlight, but they have shaved it down to where your days feel more manageable.  You guessed it!  It was the same program I was looking at! 

After more continued prayer and confirmation, here we are now...trucking along in My Father's World's Exploration to 1850 program...and we are enjoying it all more than I can articulate.  

I am so impressed with how it is just the right amount of information; how they fold the resources together to overlap just enough that we don't get bored, but we master the material.  

We have made a very simple timeline on the wall.  We are making a history notebook.  Everything is just the perfect amount.  We can all study history and literature and even Bible together.  We are studying the book of James, and actually, memorizing the book of James! (Talk about intimidating at first, but the boys are doing great with it.)

We focused on getting Garrison into a solid Science program this year-Apologia's General Science.  The younger boys and I are reading library books and watching videos on the same topic Garrison is studying.  We do experiments with Garrison and sometimes we just play around with our own!

All three boys are doing Teaching Textbooks for Math.  Garrison-Algebra I; Alex and Trey-4th grade.

We use Intermediate Language Lessons and Writing Strands 3 for the 4th grade; Applications in Grammar and Writing Strands 5 for 7th.

For music we are listening to some CDs that tell the story of composers lives and give samples of their music.  We are also reading the stories behind old hymns and learning my children don't hear them much in our contemporary praise service at church.  The boys have strong desires for guitar lessons, but finances will not allow at the present time.

We are hoping to be able to purchase a basic drawing DVD course by Thomas Kinkade soon, and the boys would like to take karate as well.

I believe what I love most about our whole set up this year is how we can quickly cover good material, remember it, and then have most of the afternoon for studying things the boys are interested in or for doing service projects.

No one has cried since the first day...and that was just getting over having to do work again I think!  It's nice to see smiles on the faces of my family...and know that they are getting the one-on-one help they need.

I pray that in whatever direction God has led your family, that you are all thriving and peace reigns in your home.  I wish you many blessings as you train up your children in the way each of them should go.

I will leave you with some pics of Alex and Trey experimenting with mixing colors to discover the three primary colors:

After they dumped all the colors together to realize it made brown, I suggested they taste it.  Alex, who usually is all about a crazy idea was so hesitant and fearful.  Trey was very brave, and they were both shocked that it tasted just like water!  


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