For the first time in a long time I have a few moments to spare before 11:30 at night.
And, since we near the end of a week, I figured I would wrap up what we have done with our schooling as that consumes many of our waking hours.
Tomorrow we will finish our second official week back at school. I should take a few posts and share about our new schedule, curriculum choices, and other changes we made for the brand new year, but we'll see . . .
Here are some of our highlights so far, in the order they typically appear in our daily routine:
Bible -- we continue to enjoy this book entitled Big Truths for Young Hearts. It tackles really weighty topics (like, why only Jesus can save us from our sins) in bite size chunks using kid-friendly language. It offers many Scripture passages to explore and a couple questions to check kids' comprehension. We also are working on memorizing Proverbs 3, but for some reason I keep forgetting to pull it out and work on it together.
Worship -- Nathan loves this part and won't let us miss it. He says, "Mom can we sing One Way? We have to sing it because it is my favorite and I really want to worship the Lord!" His enthusiasm and sincerity always make me smile and get the rest of us in the mood. We often sing three songs: one hymn, one contemporary worship song, and one kids praise/action song.
Faith (4th grade) -- This year I broke my day down by child so I spend a half hour or so with each one going over work from the day before, teaching new concepts, and assigning new work. Faith is especially enjoying All About Spelling level 2 and doing more independent work in her other subjects.
Blake (8th grade) -- Lots of new stuff this year. More reading, more writing, more math, more work. He's adjusting, but this has been a big challenge, for both of us. I will have to share more about the literature we are using another time -- Literary Analysis.
Paige (6th grade) -- Loving to read on her own. Great memory and perception as we read and discuss our readings. Ready to start Saxon 8/7 after taking the final test in 7/6 this week. She is also teaching Nathan to read which saves me some time and gives them some good time together. He was already over a third of the way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, so she is just picking it up from there.
Brooke and Nathan (1st and K) -- I find it easier to work with them together since they are fairly close in age and ability. The are both amazing readers compared to my other kids which makes teaching them much easier. We use All About Spelling Level 1 and they have caught on much quicker than I expected. We all love, love, love this curriculum. They have also spent a lot of time typing lately with Talking Fingers. This is a review product right now (reviews are getting posted on my other website, the Chicagoland Homeschool Network), and they are having a great time with it. Wish that was around when my oldest was learning to read.
PE -- This has often fallen by the wayside in previous years, so this year I turned over some of the planning to my son. He comes up with ideas, and I flesh them out and implement them. We take walks, jog a bit, play soccer, and practice Presidential Fitness tests. We all need the activity and having him help in the idea searching has made this a more practical part of our day.
Study time -- I love this time of day. :-) I never had this specifically in our schedule, but now the kids have two times when the older ones need to determine their own course of action and tackle their assignments. This has worked well and gives me time to help little ones, nurse the baby, or pop around to each of the kids to answer questions as needed.
History -- Continuing with Mystery of History 3, which we started part way through last year, we are spending two weeks on each week. This gives us a week to really review and dig into the information. We studied Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I, and John Knox these weeks. We are loosely related to Lady Jane Grey, so of course we needed to learn a bit about the "Nine Day Queen." We took a pretest to see what we already knew. Blake quipped, "So, if the pretest comes before hand, then the protest comes after?"
Science -- Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day has given us a great jump into the school year. I splurged and bought their notebooks as well. Zoology, conversations about dinosaurs and extinction. A great year so far for all the kids together.
Nature walk -- Great time of year for this. We found caterpillars, lots of plants and bugs to identify, ripe soybeans (in the farmer's field) an interesting feather, and more. We check it out, talk about it, compare it to other creatures we've seen, and go home and look it up on the computer to find out even more.
Drama club -- we have started a drama club that meets once a month. Our first meeting seemed to go well. Using scripts adapted from Christian Scripts, and ice breakers and games from here, here and here.
In evenings right now we have soccer and AWANA which keeps us plenty busy, but still gives us time together as a family a few nights a week. Busy, but wouldn't have it any other way. Full, blessed, and enjoying my six amazing kids that keep life interesting.
Amazed at how well this year is rolling along already. Even as I type this at 9:00 at night I realize that I will need to tear Brooke and Nathan away from their Language workbooks soon and send them to bed. They love working together and helping each other when they get stuck. I feel like I hardly need to teach them!
That's the way to wrap up a couple good weeks of schooling, more wrap ups at Weird Unsocialized Homeschooling.