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Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to Homeschool 2014-2015: The Extra Goodies

BTH - the Extras

Now I come to the place where I don't quite have everything planned out and a lot still rolling around in my mind. I want to focus on Circle Time, though it gets call Bible Time more often than not. So here is a look at the extras. 

BTH - The extras

Four times a week: 
One time a week: 
  • Citizenship - Plutarch's Lives. I haven't been very successful with this yet, but we will attempt it again. I also may have Destini start Ourselves by Charlotte Mason. 
  • Logic - How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren. This book starts in Ambleside Online's Year 7, but I thought if I started it now we may get through it by the time Destini graduates. 
  • Composer Study - We will listen to 2-3 composers through out the year. I haven't quite figured out which ones yet. 
  • Artist Study - I have three picked out, though I'll be happy if we get to two. Term 1 - The Hudson River School: Cole, Church, Cropsey, Durand, Term 2 - Fra Angelico, Term 3 - Diego Velazquez. 
  • Local co-op that we participate in one day a week. Chantry and Delani will have art, presentation, and P.E along with some party days and they do what is called Knights (class for the boys) and Daisies (class for the girls). Destini will be in the teen group and they will be doing a Reader's Theater, a study of personalities, and Dave Ramsey's Foundations in Personal Finance
So that is a sketch of what our year will look like. Of course, many things could change. My main goal is to find a fine balance and not overwhelm me or my kids. We will start with the basics along with Bible and then slowly add in the the rest of the extras. 

Rebecca @ Raventhreads 
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey 
Mommy Dawn @ Guiding Light 
Homeschool Monique @ Living Life and Learning 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to Homeschool 2014-2015: Science Curriculum

BTH - Science 

I previously mentioned that I used many of Charlotte Mason's methods in our homeschool and if you know anything about Charlotte Mason is that she advocated the use of nature study. Since I am the poster child for "how not to do nature study", we will just be focusing on using books for our science curriculum.

In the past I have used Apologia's elementary science, but last year we followed Ambleside Online's suggestions. This year AO did add some new options and since last year went well I decided that we will keep using living science books along with a science biography throughout the year and a few more biographies listed on free read list. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to be a nature study girl, but I'm not holding my breath on it.

BTH - Science Chant 

Chantry will be doing:

BTH - Science Des 

 Destini will be doing:

Destini started this book last year and with our move it didn't get finished. I decided to have her go ahead and finish it up and after that we'll decide which direction to go. I may have her do The Mystery of the Periodic Table and The Element iPad app and just have her do it at a faster pace than her brother or I have another curriculum that I may use, but I need to do some research first.

I know many kids her age are doing tougher science programs like Apologia, but we didn't have a good experience with it when my oldest went through it so I'm really leery about using it. I am hoping by next year we come across a curriculum that works for her.

Head on over and visit these other Review Crew Blogs as they share different topics on homeschooling.

Rebecca @ Raventhreads 
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey 
Mommy Dawn @ Guiding Light 
Homeschool Monique @ Living Life and Learning 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

P is for Pictures (ABC Blogging)

Ben and Me

P is for Pictures

Caleb graduated in June and I only got around to getting his senior pictures taken one week before graduation. The photographer did send me a few to use for his graduation, but I am finally having a chance to share all of them here. We also got family pictures done at the same time. Scroll below the slideshow for a glimpse if you so desire.

Thanks to Angelina Busewell from Beautiful Moment Photography for the great pictures!

Starr_24 cropped

Back to Homeschool 2014-2015: History Curriculum (Back to Homeschool Blog Hop)

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BTH - History

History--a favorite topic in our house. This year we are taking a little a different direction for Destini and Chantry, who have done history together since they have started school. In the past I have relied solely on Ambleside Online's history selections and this year we were due for Year 6 which covered one term of modern history and two terms of ancient history.

Years ago when I went through Year 6 with Caleb I felt there was a lot of ancient history (the Bible) that was missing. Yes, it is covered a little in AO, but I want my kids to see the big picture. I think it is very easy to just treat the Bible as its own history (which isn't bad), but I want them to see what else was going on in history at the same time Bible events were happening. So we will be using a different history book for our spine, Mystery of History Volume 1

BTH-History 

I will probably be using Mystery of History as a spine only and not as it is written. Destini and Chantry will be doing written narrations and I am mulling over a time line or Book of Centuries. If I do a Book of Centuries I may have Destini start it now (this is one option I'm seriously considering) and wait until Chantry is older. Decisions, decisions! 

BTH-Free Reads 

You may ask what I did with the modern history covered in Term 1, well, we have slowly been working our way Story of the World Volume 4 over the summer. I also left all of the suggested free read books that cover modern times on their list to read through, along with books that cover the ancients. My kids won't mind since many of the free reads are set during World War II and honestly, we could study that period all of the time, everyday.

 Genevieve Foster's Augustus Caesar's World  is a book that we will read during the year for history, since her books are favorites in our house. 

In an earlier post I mentioned that my focus with Delani will be reading, writing, and math. I don't have a specific history book for her, except a Bible story book. I'm sure in the course of the year she will be exposed to many history tales.

BTH-Geography 

Geography will included finishing up A Child's Geography of the World by V.M. Hillyer. We started this last year and it didn't get finished due to moving. I have really enjoyed this book though it is outdated, but with Google at my fingertips it is easy to look these places up and find out the updated information. It is also a book that is easy to map.

After finishing A Child's Geography we will then head into Complete Book Of Marvels by Richard Halliburton. I'm not sure exactly how I will have them fill out a map for this yet, but I think we will do notebooking with composition books. My main map resources will come from Map Trek and WonderMaps.

Mystery of History Volume 1 also has a geography component with it, which I will use in some way. I don't want to overload us in this area and will start out tentatively until I strike the right balance.

Head on over and visit these other Review Crew Blogs as they share different topics on homeschooling.

Rebecca @ Raventhreads 
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey 
Mommy Dawn @ Guiding Light 
Homeschool Monique @ Living Life and Learning 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to Homeschool 2014-2015: Language Arts Curriculum (Back to Homeschool Blog Hop)

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BTH - Language Arts 

LA-Delani 

This year I will begin to teach Delani to read. I am going to admit that teaching reading is not my favorite subject to teach. I used Phonics Pathway with Destini and Chantry and while they did learn to read I wanted more of a writing component to go with the reading portion. So after doing some research I have settled on Memoria Press First Start Reading. Since her oldest sister needed vision therapy, I will be watching her closely to see if see if she has any struggles in this area.

My other focus with Delani this year is to do a lot of read-alouds. I haven't quite sorted out exactly what I'm going to use, but I'll will be referencing Ambleside Online's Year 0 list and I am also seriously considering investing in My Book House Set. (My local library carried these books and I went to check one out to start reading to her. To my horror I discovered that the library got rid of them so they could add in piles of twaddly early readers. Ugh!!)

We use a lot of Charlotte Mason's methods in our homeschool, but I found when it came to grammar and writing I needed (not the kids) a more rigid method. So this year we are adding Rod and Staff grammar and composition to the mix. I think this will really help me keep them on the straight and narrow, though I do want to find the right balance and tweak it where necessary to make it work for us.
LA-Chantry

Chantry will be doing:
  • Grammar & Writing - Rod & Staff English 5. I think it will be a good fit for him. He will also start writing one written narration a week and for my writing phobic son this will be plenty.
  • Spelling You See - I reviewed this earlier this year and Chantry preferred it over what he was using. We will finish the Americana book and decide from there where to go.
  • Handwriting - He will be fine-tuning his cursive handwriting. I bought a couple of Christian Light Education Pentime Cursive books for him to work through and then we'll transfer over to copywork where he takes a typed out portion and writes it in cursive. 
  • Literature - This will include Bulfinch's Mythology - The Age of Fable and Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace. He will also join our Shakespeare readings on Sunday evenings. Normally we have two to three literature books, but I know that our third term of school tends to be busy with other things, so I am just going with Ben-Hur. I am hoping the extra time can be given to other read-alouds such as finishing up Swallows & Amazons Collection and a few others I have been wanting to read to him.
  • Free Reads - Ambleside Online Year 6 free reads. These are books based off of Ambleside Online that he will read or listen to throughout the year. He won't make it through them all, but the list gives him plenty of options.

LA-Destini 

Destini will be doing:
  • Grammar & Writing - Rod & Staff English Grade 6.  Destini hasn't done a lot of grammar so I am starting a little lower for her. If I see it is too easy then she can jump up to Grade 7. She has done Rod & Staff's spelling for the last few years and really has thrived with it, so I am hoping the grammar and writing will be a good fit. She will also be doing written narrations for history and science.
  • Spelling - Rod & Staff Grade 7. I can't begin to say how much I really like this spelling curriculum. The best thing is that it works. She is applying what she has learned to her writing.
  • Typing - This year the focus will be on picking up speed.
  • Literature - Same as Chantry's. We do this all together.
  • Free Reads - Ambleside Online Year 6 free reads. I usually put the more challenging books on her list since she is older.
Head on over and visit these other Review Crew Blogs as they share different topics on homeschooling.

Rebecca @ Raventhreads 
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey 
Mommy Dawn @ Guiding Light 
Homeschool Monique @ Living Life and Learning 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to Homeschool 2014-2015 - Math Curriculum (Back to Homeschool Blog Hop)

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BTH - Math 

For our 2014-1015 school year I will still have three students, though I am swapping Caleb, who just graduated, for Delani, who will "officially" be on the schedule. (I attempted to do things with her last year, but finally gave it up. My hat is off to the moms who can homeschool more than 3 at once!)

A little background on my students:
  • Delani is 6 and I am considering her Kindergarten. In our state you do not have to register for  school until you are 7 and then it can be 1st grade. So this year our focus will be on math, learning to read, and reading aloud a lot of good literature.
  • Chantry is 12 and is in 6th grade. 
  • Destini is 14 and could technically be in 9th grade but due to the above state law is registered as an 8th grader. She is happy as an 8th grader, though she will be starting to work on some subjects for high school credit. 

Our math of choice is Math-U-See. Caleb worked through it from Alpha to Algebra II and he also did Stewardship. My other kids have done very well in it and this is one area that I feel very contented in and don't feel a need to change.

Delani - 6

Delani will be using the Primer book. This is the first time I have used this book. She already has a few lessons finished, so we are going to pick up where we left off. If I see that she has a good grasp on these concepts I will probably just have her jump into Alpha, which is already sitting on the shelf.

Chantry - 12 
(LOL! He is in agony because the book is purple.)

Chantry will heading into Zeta. Math is his strength and I don't see him having any problem completing this book this year. Zeta (decimals) is much easier than Epsilon (fractions). He will also continue to do Math-U-See's online drill page. I love, love, love the drill page--no more flashcards!! Chantry drills all the math functions at one time and is required to do three sets of drills. I also may resurrect Xtramath's drills which we did a few years ago, thought I won't use both drill features at once.

Destini 14 

 Destini started Pre-Algebra in the middle of last school year. She made it about 1/3 of the way through the book. This year she will pick it back up and continue through the book. My main goal is for her to finish this book and start Algebra 1, but we will take it one day at a time. Mastery of the concepts she is learning is the most important thing. I let her out of math drills last year, but I think I may have her work her way through Xtramath's drills. I'm sure I'll get some flack, but I don't think you can go wrong with keeping math facts fresh.

So that is what math will look like around here. We don't do a lot of supplementing unless we see the need. If I added anything to this it would be the Math-U-See Manipulative App for the iPad.

Head on over and visit these other Review Crew Blogs as they share different topics on homeschooling.

Rebecca @ Raventhreads 
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey 
Mommy Dawn @ Guiding Light 
Homeschool Monique @ Living Life and Learning 
Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Starting Monday - Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

On Monday I will be joining up with other School House Review Crew members for the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. I will be sharing our homeschool curriculum for the 2014-2015 school year. Hope to see you then!

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