Friday, August 07, 2009

My Homeschool

Well, this afternoon I get to stay home and wait for the UPS truck to deliver some textbooks. He/She left a note on my door yesterday that the delivery would be this afternoon. I, of course, am eagerly awaiting our shipment. It will be the first of several.

So, I thought it would be nice to share with my blog readers my curriculum choices, and write a bit about homeschooling.

My kids are in grades 10, 8, 6 and 5, so the hard part of teaching them to read and so forth is far, far behind me. All the kids are good students and I don't have to fight with them to get their school work done. This makes my life easier, because who has time for fighting? I'm usually way too busy doing other things around the house while they are busy doing schoolwork, so I also don't want to "teach" them, for the most part. I like independent learning. I do keep an eye on them, answer questions and keep everyone on track.

Last year, our school day started at 9 am with morning prayers. (Yes, I know that's late, but the fact is, usually the kids are working on at least one subject before school officially starts.) This year, I'd like to push that time to 8 or 8:30, but I really need Wes to be out of my hair before we start our school day, and he's just not a morning person. That's great, Alana. Blame Wes. Yeah. OK. I also like to sit and drink my coffee and be on the computer. Just like right now.

After morning prayers, we read the Scriptures for the day and discuss as needed. This year, I'm going to follow that with a selection from A History of the Church from the Day of Pentecost until the Council of Chalcedon by John Mason Neale, or Stories of Church History by the same author. I expect to get well through both of those books in one school year. We shall see. That, and regular attendance at Sunday Liturgies, Vespers services, and the great Feasts will constitute our "Religion" program.

We will be working together on All American History Volume 1, and I really really hope we like it. Each kid has their own workbook, and for the older girls I will expect some extra papers and research on some of the topics we cover. This will be a new curriculum for us, so I'll have to wait and see how it's all going to pan out. History has been the most difficult subject for me to teach/have the kids learn because it's such a broad subject, and because I love it so much and want to go crazy, but then get worn out.

In the past I've tried using the History Portfolios, and while nice, I felt I had to do too much work pulling the information together. Nobody but me loved making the portfolios and while it sure would be nice if they did, it just did not work out that way. I've also acquired and tried to use a Learning History through Literature Guide, but that's been difficult to implement as well because books are not always easy to find at the library. I will continue to use that guide as a resources to select supplemental assigned reading to the kids, but I need a better spine.

Last year, after ditching our very annoying and workbooky Seton curriculum, history was a hodgepodge of reading/research assignments from the Kingfisher History encyclopedia and the internet. That might work for a broad overview, but to teach American History...no way.

So, after religion, I'll go over whatever we need to go over together for History, and then give the kids their history workbook assignments.

Next, each kid will work independently on whatever subject they want, in whatever order they want. They'll have to take turns using our two computers, but that has never been a problem before, so I don't anticipate it being a problem this year.

Ariana (grade 5) will be using Rod and Staff for Math and English and Spelling, Apologia Botany for Science and continue with a Maps workbook and vocabulary book (wordly wise) that was leftover from last year. Or I just might make them play games at Wordlywise3000.com.

Eric (grade 6)...much the same at his grade level, except he'll be doing Apologia Astronomy.

Maia: Algebra 1 Teaching Textbooks. Rod and Staff English (this is basically as advanced a grammar program as anyone could ever want, seriously, it's like college level demon grammar, so we may just dabble in it, and focus on writing, writing, writing. For which I have a writing curriculum the name of which currently escapes me.) Science: Apologia 8th grade Physical Science. And again: leftover Wordly Wise and a Maps, Graphs and Charts book, and a Rod and Staff speller.

Bethany: Her primary focus will be on being on the GAPS diet and recovering as much of her brain as possible. On days when she's able to learn, she'll have Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2, Apologia Biology and of course the religion and History to keep her company.
I decided to give Bethany a lighter load because of her special needs, with the option of piling more on her when/if she recovers. Basically, last school year was a wash, academically, so I'm hoping she can move forward slowly in just a few subjects.

In addition to this, each kid will be expected to have a mom-approved classic literature selection going, followed by book report, of course.

We are still saving up to get a microscope and science kit for Biology, and our German curriculum, but in a month or so, those purchases will be made. We are going to use Tell Me More German. It's one of those interactive computer based language curricula. Next year I'll add Tell Me More French. Woo Hoo.

Although I mostly linked to the official websites in this post, many of our purchases were made at pennywiselearning.com where much can be gotten at a discount.

Basically, a good curriculum, in my opinion, is one which the kids can use to learn independently, as much as possible.

So, that's my home school for this coming year. Wooo Hooo. The public school buses are practicing their routes and soon it will be that time. PS starts on Aug. 13, and so our Home school will start as near to that as I can manage it.

For some reason, every year at this time I have to resist the urge to buy a denim jumper that has apples and pencils embroidered on it. ;-) But thankfully, I do manage to resist.

5 comments:

elizabeth said...

:) sounds good! wishing you all the best with this!

Amber said...

I'm excited just reading this, and I don't get to be in the 'class'! :)

Mimi said...

I'd love to be in your class.

Marigold said...

This is really interesting! I think I would put up with being a schoolchild again if it meant I could be taught like this!
Could you explain a little bit to someone who maybe isn't the longest-time reader of this blog or most attentive person on earth (i.e. me), why you decided to homeschool?

:D

x Marigold.

Jacob Lee said...

Dear Alana,

Can I please get your contact information so I can send you updates on FOCUS North America.

We have a new Podcast with Fr. Chad Hatfield of St. Vlad's and a press release on OYO becoming apart of FOCUS North America.

www.FOCUSNorthAmerica.org


Thanks,

Jacob Lee

Web Admin
jacoblee@focusnorthamerica.org
949-328-0122
FOCUS North America