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I am a crunchy Christian mom to four boys and one girl ♥ We are a homeschooling Family. Our family can't stay still for long. We are always on the move. Our homeschool is inspired by The Well Trained Mind, Waldorf, and a bit of Charlotte Mason. Our lives are inspired by The Word of God, Jesus, Miracles, and sunshine when we can find it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013



I realized I haven't posted at all for...wait...an entire year. I guess we jar for busy with learning and moving. 

We live in a small town in Montana now. Still busy.  

Our 4th, she is ready to learn and points out letters she knows and tries to read. And write notes. 

This year is a year of realizations and letting to. 

The big kids have their own planners to jot down notes and keep track of work. We are keeping up with transcripts and book lists via the planners and goodreads for the iPhone. 

The younger ones are watching leapfrog videos and listening to audiobooks. We just downloaded the books from librivox for Ambleside Year 1. 

Other things we are still using:
Sequential Spelling on CD-ROM
Story of the World
First Language Lessons (although we start this a few years later than most folks.
Writing with Skill...once again this is High School level for us.
KONOS in there at some point because it is fun!!! And, we could always use some work on our character especially the parents :p
Apologia for science.  
Teaching Textbooks and Life of Fred for Math.

Life of Fred is new this year. And, it seems I be a good fit for my oldest. He has struggled with three different Algebra programs.  4th time is a charm.  He has no complaints.  He even made sure I bought the next few levels with our next tax return.  


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fall 2012

Here is our overview for the first season in our 2012-2013 school year. We are doing more family work this year.  We eliminated it for the last two years and I am not happy with it.  I feel like doing family work helps us to really come back together each day and focus on our family. 

Family Work

We are doing a family reading basket again.  I would love to do it first thing every morning.  But, as this is the year of Reality, it will be done in the afternoon.  I envision tea and biscuits :)  

::SOAP Bible Study.  If you need some explanation, Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers layed it out pretty easily.
::Reading through the Bible in 6 months. I think that will give us enough meat for the day without being too overwhelming.  I have found a few schedules online and will probably just go ahead and print one out to keep in our basket.
::Story of the World Volume 2
::Truthquest History Middle Ages
::Memory Box.  You can find a video about it here.  
::Plus, whatever read alouds we might choose to read together.  That is already a lot to get through every single day.  But, I hope it actually takes some of the load off the boys and encourages family togetherness.


 Mr. Serious

Finish Biology and Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra
Daily SAT question APP
The Art of Self-Discipline from Grace to You Podcast. It is from July 2012.
He may start into Algebra, as well.  We will just see how his focus goes.  He is definitely working towards a more College friendly schedule. He naturally works this way, so it is all for the greater good right?  Less work per Term with more time to focus on it. 


Growing up way too fast.

Grammar with First Language Lessons
Spelling using Spelling Power.  He has hated spelling.  He learned to read in a public school which used allowed kids to spell however they wanted and whole words.  I think he just never got spelling.  It is the reason he has been balking about writing for so long.  Unfortunately, we did not figure that out till this last spring.  So, he is going to actively work on spelling every day.
Teaching Textbooks for Math
Science: He wants to be a Marine Biologist or Park Ranger.  Up to this point we have tried some curriculums.  But, mostly he read the Usborne Science Encyclopedia and did a lot of science kits.  I do have Apologia General Science and signed him up for the at your own pace at The Virtual Homeschool Group.  I am going to encourage him to use that because I think it will help him to work towards his goals.



This little guy is getting big.  He has some delays.  But, this seems to be the year of changes. I have read and been told by other's that nine is truly a magic number.

He is doing really well with Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading.  We have tried two handfuls of phonics programs and they all peter out at some point.  But, we are finally seeing success.  Which I am not surprised about.  Everything my kids have used from Peace Hill Press works well for them. 
Math U See for Math
First Language Lessons
And, to his dismay lots of writing.  I notice a huge bump every single time I keep him writing. 

 Untitled

This silly little girl picks up big words with ease.  She recognizes numbers and letters already.  This is a first for me.  All my boys read "late".  All my boys didn't want to "learn" till 9 or 10. Which I didn't expect when I started this journey because I read "early", loved sitting still, and learning.  We are going to give a gentle introduction to Math U See primer, Letter recognition, and maybe form drawing a try.  She is going to have a small break with each of her older brother's each day, as well.  We have lots of fun educational things like puzzles, starfall, leapfrog videos, pattern blocks, lacing beads, and more to learn with them.  

Havoc

This little guy is just plain crazy.  He climbs, tears stuff apart, throws good stuff in the trash...just the general ole drive mama crazy type of boy.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Planning for 2012






I am not planning too much.  The last few years, I had to plan because we belong to a public school program.  My planning this year consists of just a few steps:

1. Talk with the children.

2. Come up with a pile of books and see which ones they want to work on for the next few months.

3. Accept  that they all have a difficult time seeing an entire years worth of work. They are all content to see what they are going to work on right now. 

4. Print out logging sheets without dates.  I like the build your own schedule sheet at Simply Charlotte Mason. I think seeing what we actually accomplish each day feels good for everyone.

5. Consider everyone's weaknesses when picking work that they "must" do.  Each child has a so called weakness.  Math, Reading, video games.  I consider making plans an opportunity to work on our weaknesses.  None of these weaknesses are bad per se.  I am not throwing out all of our TV's. But, a certain child, who shall remain unnamed, will need to prioritize his work if he wants to get to his play.  We are considering a move this year to a state which has ridiculous homeschool laws.  I am, personally, concerned about certain weaknesses that may cause a child to test poorly. 

6.  Don't write anything down unless it is something fun that I need supplies for or should be done on a certain date.  Those things can go on the calendar. For the most part we use curriculum now, read lots of books, journal, draw, and create.  There just isn't a lot to plan anymore.  Plans seems to ruin the creativity around here. Creativity is important to us. 

7.  No dates.  We have plenty of time to finish things.  We don't need to date everything and then have to redate everything when we are a day off because we wanted to go bowling or chocolate hunting.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

YEAR 10

I was inspired by Golden Grasses to count how many years we have been homeschooling. I cannot believe we are going into year 10. I had planned on homeschooling, but I was having a hard time parenting my oldest. So, he attended a 9 hour a week preschool that was amazing and only a 5 minute walk away from home. He then attended K and a part of Grade 1. By that time, we ended up moving out of state. We chose to homeschool. We have had a short period back in school for our oldest. He went to the first half of Grade 4 which I hoped would make it easier for me while I went to the University. Our second child was attending and had a wonderful kindergarten experience. So, we thought we would try Grade 1 and Grade 4. Turned out the experience wasn't so lovely and they came home. We have been homeschooling ever since. My third son has never attended school except for speech therapy. I pray the next two can be homeschooled, as well.

We have unschooled, used KONOS unit studies pretty mildly, a light version of TWTM, Waldorf inspired with Oak Meadow, and now back around again. We are taking a wee break this summer and looking forward to the upcoming year. I completely respect the input of my children. We need a balance of what they like and need AND what I am able to do and give. I won't label us. I just cannot. This is our journey. I assumed that meant we were unschooling if I read John Holt correctly. But, I could be bashed by curriculum haters. My children and I discuss what they learn. They fashion their days. I am here to guide and discuss with the older two. My third son has some delays and therefore we do his learning together. It isn't always rosey. But, he needs guidance. Curriculum helps us get there.

This year I am going to accept that we are late starters. I am going to accept that. We feel better if we get some lounging and a walk in for our morning time. I am going to trust that our educational journey is a beautiful representation of our personal family. I am looking forward to learning more about each other. We have some plans that we want to work on, goals that we have set together. But, this is the first year that I am going to stay I just want to watch our story unfold.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Learning

We really should be learning all year long. We used to when we were more relaxed. Our VA program keeps us a bit on track. But, we miss our natural learning.

::We plan to have fun this summer.
::We plan to not waste away the summer on video games.
::We plan to listen to more good stuff like the The Daily Audio Bible, finish Story of the World Volume 4 on CD, Start Story of the World Volume 1 Ancients...


Today we...
::played crazy eights
::played monopoly
::listened to the Audio Bible
::listened to SOTW 4 CD 10