The End of Summer and Beginning of School
So long, summer!
We officially ended summer this week. Ron returned home from a week-long mission trip on Saturday evening so we spent Sunday resting and hearing how God worked in and through him while he was away.
The kids and I really missed him while he was gone. They were super excited to find him in the church parking lot after the end of service.
The school bell rings
We began our seventh year of homeschooling on Monday. I like to start slowly, so this week we are just working on Bible, math, and language arts. Next week we'll add writing, history, science, and foreign language.
So far things are going smoothly. I think we all thrive on routine and it was definitely a much needed thing after a very fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants summer.
My biggest goal this year is to incorporate more scripture memory and Bible reading into our days. We will be memorizing scripture weekly using Fighter Verses and the Charlotte Mason scripture memory system . We go over our verses a few times every morning during our Bible lesson in school, and also again in the evenings during family Bible time. I am excited about this new system and look forward to memorizing scripture together as a family.
For Bible this year I am doing two different things. Three days a week I am using The Pilgrim's Progress All-in-One curriculum from Answers in Genesis. The kids enjoy listening to the story and following along with it in the book. At the end of each chapter I ask them them questions and we discuss what happened in the story. Then one of the kids looks up the scriptures included in the text and reads them aloud and we discuss how to apply them to our life. The other two days a week I use the Discovery Bible Study method (I use a slightly simplified version) with Z and E. Nothing thrills me more than to see my children read scripture and then understand and talk about what it says. This week we are going through the book of 1 John. It has amazed me to hear how much they've gleaned from the first chapter alone.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post we are continuing with The Mystery of History Volume 3 for history this year. We will also continue using Apologia science with Z using Exploring Creation with General Science and L and E using Exploring Creation with Botany.
For math Z is using Teaching Textbooks Math 7. I plan to keep her in TT until she graduates. I am not even sure why I ever took her out of it to return to regular workbooks because she struggles in anything other than TT. I'm so thankful this is an option for her. E and L are both using A Beka: L uses Arithmetic 2 and E uses Arithmetic 5. S is using Mathseeds.
For language arts everyone is using something different. It took a lot of trial and error, but I have finally discovered that each of my kids learns differently and I've given myself permission to find what works best for them and go with it. Z used Fix It! Grammar last year and loved it so we are continuing with that this year. She actually learned more grammar in one of those books than she ever did before. I am so thankful we found what works with her. E uses Easy Grammar and is thriving in it. Stick with what works has become my new motto. L is using something completely new to us this year. She is in Bob Jones English 2. I have never used Bob Jones with any of my kids, although I do remember using some of it when I was homeschooled ages ago. She seems to really enjoy it. It jumped right in to teaching her about subjects and verbs and different kinds of sentences and she will be learning to write a story soon. S is doing Reading Eggs on the computer. I used the same thing with E and L and they both excelled at reading by the end of it so I'm excited to see how S does with it.
Z will be using Jump In from Apologia for her writing curriculum this year. If she does well and really enjoys it I will use it with E next year.
I've always loved the Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting books so the kids will be using those for their print/cursive work.
For spelling, I will be choosing words for E and L from our Bible lessons each week and put them into Spelling City for them. This is also something new we're trying. If it doesn't work, we'll scratch it and try something different. That's the beauty of homeschooling.
Z will continue with Rosetta Stone French Level 1 this year.
I'm pretty sure that's enough to keep us busy for a while each day. Especially since there are also chores and individual reading times to mark off the list before kids can be let loose to roam free. I would love to make Fridays a day for play-dates, nature walks, and/or field trips, but we'll have to wait and see how things go next week after we've started on all of the schoolwork.
I am so looking forward to another year of learning with my babes. Even though we have our moments of crazy around here, more often than not this homeschooling journey is a blessing and a whole lot of fun.