Monday, January 12, 2009

The Halfway Point

Today we hit the halfway point in our year! Only 90 days to go … ;) Devin was figuring in his head if we homeschooled every day with no break we could be done at the beginning of April. I tried to convince him that it would not be easy to do.

I can’t believe all we have done so far this year, all the great memories we have created. I love our eclectic mix of Classical, Charlotte Mason and Unit Studies that we have chosen. I have worked hard at relaxing my tendency to control everything and giving our schooling to God. Trust me, we have rough days, the kids get sick, I get sick, laundry gets waaay behind, I forget to take dinner out of the freezer, and the list goes on. Overall though, I am loving having my children at home with me, where God has intended them to be. Most days, we really have a great time together!

For those of you who are interested in what curriculum we are using:

Bible ~ “Leading Little Ones to God”, finishing this book and then I need to select another devotional for us. We are also memorizing large passages of scripture. The kids just finished memorizing Psalm 23 and we have now moved on to Matthew 5. Another area we have added is working on them having more of a servant’s heart. Each week we add a new rule, they must memorize and implement in their lives. Right now we are up to four rules. When I catch them in the act of having a Servant’s Heart, they earn a dime. At the end of the week they may cash out their rewards – half of the money must be tithed but, the rest is theirs to keep.

Handwriting ~ Devin and Lexi are finishing up “Handwriting Without Tears – Printing – Grade 2”. Next week we begin “Handwriting Without Tears – Cursive – Grade 3”. Love this curriculum!

Language ~ Devin continues with “Spelling Workout”, Lexi continues with “Explode the Code”, both of them are continuing on in “First Language Lessons”. Even Ava Mae has down pretty good was a Noun and Verb are.

Math ~ Devin and Lexi are both working out of Horizons Workbooks – Grade 2 and Grade 1, respectively.

Reading ~ Devin continues on in his Grade 2 Reader from Bob Jones University – “If Skies Be Blue”. Lexi is working in Grade 1 Readers from a different company, that I have not been thrilled with. The reading level is much closer to 2nd grade then it is to 1st. We have decided to reevaluate what we are doing with her as Reading is not her best subject and it has been frustrating for both of us. So, for right now, we have gone back to Dick and Jane. We both love those stories and the repetitive nature of the book has allowed for Lexi to really enjoy reading these stories as she learns sight words.

Electives ~

Spanish – Rosetta Stone has been a wonderful curriculum. The kids enjoy working on the computer with their lessons and it is so easy for me to evaluate their progress.

Home Economics for the Homeschooler - A great series that we are just beginning. Each week we focus on one or two skills around the home. This week we are working on learning to use a peeler to peel vegetables. We will make a veggie tray. Next week, the kids will learn the proper use of the toaster, even though I think they have that pretty much mastered.

History – “Story of the World” – We took a Semester off from this curriculum but, we are enjoying getting back into it. I think it helps that Devin and Lexi are a year older. We just finished up Ancient China and are moving into studying Ancient Africa.

Unit Studies ~ One of my favorite areas to teach! We have done Unit Studies on – Thanksgiving, The Birth of Jesus, 12 Days of Christmas and the book, “Kit’s Surprise”. We have lapbooked everything we have done so far but, I think we are going to switch over to Notebooking. I like the idea of each child having a notebook where they keep all of their unit studies we have done. Right now, our unit study is – Weather – with a focus on Winter Weather and Snow. We have been reading books about families living in climates where winter is really harsh. My kids only see snow as something fun … not as something to dread.

Science ~ Nature Notebook – this semester we are going to focus on birds. We are putting up a new birdhouse in the front of our home and we plan on journaling and photographing the birds we find.