Wednesday, June 21, 2017

End of year review

What worked? What didn't?  What did we keep?  What did we abandon?  Well... it was a pretty good homeschool year.  We abandoned less this year than many years, but we still made some changes.

 For Nik, (11th grade)  we quickly discovered that he did NOT have enough time to get all his subjects done, so we removed James Madison Critical Thinking, (an area that's a strength for him anyway) And we removed The Power in your Hands, because we discovered that History Odyssey had a very large amount of expository writing and doing both was not going to be manageable.   The school year went well.  Nik functions a lot slower than the average child so he was not able to complete all his curricula this year, so I dropped what was not necessary, modified what was left, not counting Latin, which needs to get done without modification so he can continue with Latin 2 next year, And he'll continue his work through the first part of summer.  No, actually the later part of summer since VACATION is coming up at the beginning of July. 

Elliott had a good year as well.  The workbooks got kind of old.  we made it a little over half the year with those before loosening up with them and not doing every subject every day, except for spelling.  We also added more read-alouds and some hands on work.  We bailed on Bookshark science and did science more organically.  I learned SO much about Elliott this year, about what works and doesn't work, and what our days/weeks/year should look like.  Despite several changes we still had a great year!

Summer is upon us! Tomorrow is the last day of school for the school kids, and Nik, Elliott and I will be celebrating the end of the year by visiting the library where the "lizard man" is going to be.   Our plan for the summer is to intentionally avoid unbridled screen time.  To do so, we will be limiting screen time to an as of yet not determined time block. They will have 1 hour per day, more on weekends.  Schoolwork for the 4 youngest (worksheets and reading) will be done from 10-12.  The older kids will just be reading during that time.

Sooo... that's the latest update! I hope to post end of year pictures tomorrow.  But we'll see if that actually happens!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our Curriculum this year:

In our homeschool, we'll be using mainly secular materials.  This is a pretty big shift from past years, but as I'm secular, and i'm the teacher, it makes sense to teach from my heart and not to pretend to be something that i'm not.  Its important to me that we learn (I alongside the kiddos) about evolution and other solid science that we've neglected in prior years.  This is exactly what they will be learning about in college and I don't want them to be at a disadvantage, particularly if any of them decide to pursue a scientific path.

Back to curriculum, this year, as all years, I bought what I needed for school back in February when the tax return arrived, And since that time i've refined, rebought, and replanned.   i'm not great about sticking with stuff and curriculum in no exception.   So here's what we have planned- the (hopefully) final version 

Nik-11th grade:

Math- One on one work with his math tutor.

Life of Fred financial choices-














Language Arts-

Easy grammar ultimate series grade 11-





Literature-  This year he'll be reading one book every month, (in addition to his normal reading)  including a mix of classic literature:  Flowers for Algernon, The Book Thief, The Old Man and the Sea, The Great Gatsby, 1984, The Odyssey, The Chosen, And Then There Were None.

Writing-  Is included in his history curriculum. (nonfiction writing)

Foreign Language-

 Visual latin 1 














History-

History Odyssey Level 3 

History Odyssey is AMAZING.  I hope Nik is able to rise to the challenge because this is a very rigorous curriculum. I think he will.  He's incredible at both History and Language arts so i think this is a very good match.














Science-
REAL Science level 2 biology













Life Skills-

Health-

Intellego Health unit study













Planetary Stewardship-  I found Global Village School and absolutely fell in love!  I lamented that my curriculum was all purchased, but when I saw the Planetary Stewarship course, i knew that we had to make room for it.   Nik's in the home stretch and this is one of those critical "life skills" sort of classes that are of great benefit to him.

Critical thinking-  We are tentatively planning to use James Madison critical thinking course hesitating only because Critical Thinking is a strength of Nik's and we think it might be information already covered.  And lets face it.  He has a LOT on his plate this year.  So we might start out with it and see how it goes. 

And Finally-  Art.  Nik's favorite.  And I'm embarrased to say, we haven't quite figured out what to do for art yet.  I have a few ideas and will likely piece together a drawing course, but so far Nik is trying to decide if he wants to work on drawing the human anatomy or take a generalized course in drawing objects. 


Elliott- 2nd grade

Math- Mathematical Reasoning level C













Language Arts- 
Language Smarts level C















Spelling you see




Italic Handwriting




He'll also obviously be using a variety of readers and we'll be doing a variety of read alouds as well.

History-

History Odyssey


Geo Puzzles (or as Elliott calls them- G.E.O puzzles)


Blue Planet Puzzle


Science-
Book Shark level 1 Science this year is filled with amazingness.  We'll study Animals, astronomy and physics. I love how the book shark set is complete with all the experiment supplies and books and everything!  We were fortunate to have won this set last year, and i'm excited to try it out!!





STEM- 

Qbitz




Engino-  The one i've been taunting poor Elliott with since February... hahaha....




Art-  I've got a few doodling books and a fun art set from Timberdoodle, but the main part of our Art curriculum is Home Art Studio.   WOW.  So blown away by this curriculum.  I can't WAIT to get started!!!


SO,  I believe that's about it!  Feel free to post if you have any questions.  And if you have your own post about what curriculum you are using, please link it to me in the comments! I love to see what others are doing!!



Monday, August 15, 2016

Hello!

Greetings!  My name is Rebecca and I'm a mom to 7 children ages 21,17,15,12,10,7 and 7.  We used to exclusively homeschool, up until a few years ago, when we ran into a few issues that made homeschooling really hard.  Right now I'm homeschooling Nik, my 17yo and Elliott, my 7 yo.  Chloe, age 15, Anna, age 12, Leif, age 10, and Asher, age 7 are all in school.  As the url to this blog might have clued you in, we evaluate our educational options on an each child, each year basis.

Personally, I love homeschooling.  I think that it is the ideal, but there are certain things that keep us from pulling them all out of school.  Namely that each of the school kids is doing so incredibly well in school.  Each, other than Chloe who just chose to go to school, was put in public school because they had special needs that became overwhelming for me to meet at home.  Asher has fairly low functioning autism, so him being in school is necessary for everyone in the house's mental health.  Anna also has autism, but less severe.  She has pretty severe learning delays and her needs are being so well met with an extraordinary special ed teacher.  I failed to mention that Asher's teacher is AMAZING.  She blows me away with how much energy she has and how much she invests into the kids in her care.  She's one of my biggest heroes.  Leif has ADHD (though i'm pretty convinced its actually Aspergers, now called autism) and just plain does better when someone else is his teacher.   I'm over taking it personally.  Alex just graduated from SU and is currently looking for a "real" job.  I'm so excited for him!!

That leaves Elliott and Nik who are both homeschooled and thriving.  I'll post later when I get a chance about what materials i'm using with each of them.   Right now is such an amazingly fun time of the year! I get to sleep in, (as much as Asher will allow!) I get to prepare for the upcoming year... its such a great time of the year.  I'm loving it.  I'm looking forward to the fall, though dreading the early mornings, and am excited to start a new school year!

Thanks for reading!  I'm going to be posting our experiences as well as some hopefully inspiring bits here and there.

Many Blessings,
Rebecca K.