Homeschool 2016-2017

We started in August, and as it is now October, I think I can safely say what we hope to accomplish this year. The truth be told, we spend a lot of time reading, coloring, exploring interesting thoughts, or playing with legos, but most of the time we manage to get to this other stuff too.

Each year is different as our family needs change. This year, I have older kids who can work independently, giving me time to enjoy nursery rhymes and silly songs with some of the littler group. I try to teach at a basic level and assign work at the level of each student’s ability. I do teach three levels of Math and do reading one on one, and not everyone is taking every subject. My kids never have more than 2-3 hours a day of book work, but school can easily take all day if we get sidetracked researching something or building with legos.

Bible: We are reading the New Testament together, a chapter a day. We are now in Luke. We also continue to learn Psalms by singing them, and have done some other scripture memory.

History: Currently at the French Revolution, hoping to read through WWII (We are using Story of the World Volumes 2 and 3. I read out loud to the kids and ask them comprehension questions. Sometimes we find topics we want to learn more about (the Black Death, the Hagia Sophia, Vikings) and spend the morning watching youtube videos

Spelling: Each child has a grade appropriate weekly list of words. They must complete 5 spelling activities of their choice each week using these words. Gracie likes writing words in calligraphy. Maggie prefers to make posters. I really don’t care what they do as long as they familiarize themselves with the words. I have pulled the spelling lists and activity lists from free online resources.

Latin: My 3rd and 5th Grader are doing William Linney’s Latin course. I am hoping to start Wheelock with them next year.

Reading: Depending on reading levels, each child either works with me on phonics and reading aloud or reads an appropriate book for 20-30 minutes and fills out a book report when they finish the book.

Handwriting: all my elementary ages work on handwriting sheets, as I realized last year that some of them have really abysmal writing skills. (We are only doing this  for the fall  semester)

Math: Pre-K and 1st grader doing a Saxon based morning meeting and worksheet, 3rd and 5th grader working through Saxon 6/5, my older students are doing LifeSkills Math and Geometry this year

Science: Em is taking an EMT course this fall. It is at a college level and very challenging, so we have held off on finishing Chemistry until the spring. Since Science is something we do together, the rest of the crew is focusing on their Language Arts more this semester and watching Nature and science videos as a placeholder for science. In the Spring, we will finish up Chemistry with Supercharged science and I hope to do a unit on Energy and Alternative Energy, with lots of building of solar cells, windmills, and other cool stuff.

Writing: In the spring we will drop handwriting and Latin, and pick up essay writing and Grammar. Though we will use the same curriculum for all, Millie will do story sequencing, Maggie will practice writing sentences, Gracie basic essays, and Em will learn to write essays and research papers.

Music: Gracie takes weekly piano lessons. Maggie plans to start ukulele lessons in the spring. The younger kids are all also involved in choir and bells at church. The older kids have learned some piano basics.

Ag: Emily raises sheep. The kids help me garden. Hoping to build some more raised beds this week and find ways to optimize our space and poor soil. We may add goslings to the mix this spring.

Electives: Once a week, my youngest 4 attend a local homeschooling co-op for PE, Art, Geography, and further science type classes. Gracie is participating in “Mini Society”. Maggie has a Critical Thinking class and will learn about the Solar System in the Spring. In one class, Millie is learning about geometry using K’nex, and in another plant identification.

 

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