We've now been homeschooling for about six years now and by no means am I an expert or am I ever going to be one. It is by God's grace and guidance that we have made this decision every year. One of the things that I never thought to do was recap what curriculum we've used over the year, what worked and what didn't work for us. Well, after several questions from different friends and family about curriculum and homeschooling in general (they have been considering the same), I thought I would share what we used this year and maybe what worked for us and what didn't. Ok, quick disclaimer, what works for one family WILL not work for every family. I have developed a schedule for our house that works for us. My first couple of years I scoured the internet for MY schedule. Yea right. A lot of wonderful, experienced ladies had wonderful schedules and ideas, but in the end, I couldn't keep that schedule. Ok, enough of my rant. (By the way, I am a sit down and chat in person kind of girl, sometimes it's very difficult to put this in writing) ;P. Our lessons and curriculum choices for the past year were:
Bible: Foundations 2 by Anne Elliott
Last year we used Foundations 1, Foundations 2 is followed by Foundations 3 and is intended to be used over and over again beginning again at Foundations 1, there are lots of great ideas and resources for use with all ages.
Journal: For about 15 minutes everyday we have a free writing time. I give a topic of the day and they write to their hearts content (which may be very short for your little ones that strongly dislike writing). It is not graded or corrected. This is to encourage their thinking process. I can post a number of websites where I get my ideas if you would like. :)
Science: Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
This curriculum is from Apologia Science and is a creation-based science curriculum. This is a fantastic curriculum, but, yes but, I have used the Exploring Creation series from Apologia before and I feel when you have younger children I felt more comfortable highlighting and reading and supplementing with lots of other resources. The Young Explorer Series is for K-6, but I think with younger children, there is more pre-planning involved.
History/Geography: The Mystery of History Volume 1 Creation to the Resurrection
I love, love, love this curriculum. It gives you the ability to teach many different ages, which is what we like to do. History and Geography is usually after Bible time for us and is a group lesson.
Foreign Language: Elementary Greek Year One Koine for Beginners
We started this, but I have decided to take longer than the one school year or 30 week course to finish it to really let Bryson learn it well. He has mastered so much already so we will take it slow on this one.
Penmanship: Horizons Penmanship Cursive Grade 4
The language arts curriculum does a fairly decent job with penmanship skills up until the 4th grade book. I really felt like it was lacking. Bryson is writing, quite well, in cursive now.
Language Arts: (Bryson) Learning Language Arts Through Literature The Orange Book Grade 4
(Gavin) Learning Language Arts Through Literature The Red Book Grade 2
We have been using this Language Arts Curriculum for about 4 years now. We liked it except for ( to me) it was lacking in the area of spelling and penmanship. We loved the readers and the stories and everything was Biblically based which is quite important to us.
Math: (Bryson) Horizons Math Grade 4
(Gavin) Horizons Math Grade 2
I know a lot of people swear by a lot of math curriculums, but I have used this from the beginning and probably will never change. I love this. I love the way it flows. As they master skills, I usually cross out some of the problems as needed. I actually have already purchased my Horizons math for next year :).
Physical Education and Health: Homeschooling P.E. by Anne Elliot and Horizons Health Grade 4
I use some of the resources, games and exercises for kids from the P.E. curriculum or they just work out with me on some days :). I only buy one health book and we do it as a group lesson. I adjust according to age.
Art: Artistic Pursuits
This was a fairly good curriculum and I learned a lot myself. I'm not sure if I will be purchasing this one again. It does have lots of neat projects.
Ava was in "Pre-K" this year and I NEVER buy pre-k curriculum. I use several different free websites and some of my own ideas. Since she is the 3rd child I am homeschooling, I have acquired quite the Pre-K binder. Hubby says I should sit down and write my own Pre-K curriculum ;P. The one thing I have used for all of my children and will continue to use is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner. I love this book. It has really expanded my kiddos reading ability. I only bring it out when I think they're ready. Ava is flying through the BOB books now. Obviously, there are still words she needs help with, but she is so proud of herself. I also loved letting her watch Letter Factory, Word Factory, and Storybook Factory when she was really small. We love starting flash cards fairly early on and when I teach the alphabet, I usually teach the sounds first then the name. This helps with reading. This is what works and has worked for us. I feel like I'm missing something. I will posting soon about our curriculum for the upcoming school year and possibly a weekly Homeschool Musings post. Thanks for reading :). All for now.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Friday, April 4, 2014
Our Fun Food Friday for the next several months will be quite interesting. I've decided that it would be a fun part of our homeschooling to travel around the world learning about a different country every week. This week we visited Argentina. I'm not using any type of curriculum; I'm just making it up as we go. If you would like to follow along with us, just let me know and I'll give you some links with some of the resources I'm using. Our week of "traveling" ends with a meal from that country on our Fun Food Friday. Argentina was such an interesting country and the kiddos really seem to be having a blast. Our meal for tonight was Argentinian Beef Stew. This stew was good, but it was not something that I would eat again. It had a lot to do with the fruit in the stew. Not my thing. It was a little too sweet for me. Our dessert was just regular Blueberry Pie (sorry Mom). I forgot to plan an Argentinian dessert so I improvised. Not sure what happened because I forgot to take pictures tonight. The only pic I got was Miss Toot enjoying some. We had such a blast and I can't wait until next week. All for now.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
This weekend has been a test for me. My Big Man has, for the first time, ventured away from me. Ahhhhhhhh! Now that we are less than two hours from family, we are able to participate in more things with family. This weekend Bryson went, by himself, to spend the weekend with Nina, Papa and cousin Lainey. This is a first for me and was harder than I thought. He was a lot more ready than I thought he was gonna be. He said, "Mom, please don't show up at Nina's on Saturday." My mouth dropped open. I said I wouldn't, but I have talked to him every night. I think everything that we experienced with Addison makes it harder for me. He is having a blast and is excited about coming home. That makes me feel better ;P. I'm definitely glad it's just the weekend. Baby steps.
All for now.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Almost all things are unpacked and so far we have put everything in its place, except for the school room. It's a little bit of chaos right now, which is driving me crazy, but its not so bad that we can't do school. Speaking of that, we jumped right back the week after New Year's which some dreaded (Gavin) and some welcomed with excitement (Bryson). I'm hoping things will start to settle down soon and our routine falls back into place, we'll see. We've taken a few walks around the neighborhood and so far there are several kids (Yay), but the conversation we overheard amongst them is not something our kiddos would fit into. (Why would you buy a white I Phone 5c when you can get a white IPhone 5 for the same price, duh) or something like that. I'm not quite certain that I even understood it. Of course, Pess (my social butterfly) wanted to make sure that all those kids saw her so she kept walking down to where they were skateboarding. We already have our new library cards and soon we will be looking for a new church. We had a partial FFF last night, but soon they will be back on schedule too. The meal last night was Creamy Beef and Noodle Combo (kinda like a homemade hamburger helper) and sauteed Okra with Vanilla Cupcakes for dessert. Our movie was Paranorman. It was pretty cute, well, what I saw. I crashed. In the recliner with the Toot on top of me. She, by the way, is growing like crazy. She started rolling over almost a month ago and now she moves herself in circles on her stomach. She is starting to sleep really well at night, but we haven't quite figured out the nap situation during the day. Oh Yea, and she HATES being in the car. So, if I haven't gotten to your house for a visit; you understand. Here are just a few pics.
All for now. :)
Friday, January 10, 2014
If you remember last year's review, I hoped and prayed our 2013 would be a year of joy. It was more joy than I could have hoped for and God has so truly blessed us this past year. Throughout the year as we continued to mourn Addison, God blessed us with two big events, the birth of our #5, Hannah Michelle and a move to Florida (we finally got to go home). Here are a few pics from our 2013. I hope you enjoy.
Me, pregnant with little miss Hannah back in March
I Love You
Me and my hubby on our only date in 2013
He sure knows how to make us laugh :P
This is what we got right before we moved south
We celebrated the birth of little miss Hannah in September.
Hanging and playing with friends in Louisiana
I Was Inspired
I loved these colors and patterns so I made Hannah a quilt.
I'm definitely going to miss having this bush outside my front door in the spring. It was always so beautiful.
Travel or Vacation
In May we traveled home to see my little brother get married. So happy for him and his new bride. :)
Summer is not complete without a pool day
A Day in my Life
Definitely going to miss the beautiful colors of Kentucky.
Family or Home
Love this bunch of crazy people ;P
We welcomed a new family member in 2013, Hannah Michelle Frisk
Let's Do It Again
We remember our Addison Grace.
I Miss You
In December, when we moved, I had to say goodbye to an awesome friend and neighbor who helped me through some rough times. She will have to go on vacation to FL ;P
I had a hard time deciding so I picked 3.
My handsome big man likes to dress up.
The mini cupcakes for Pess's birthday
Our family Christmas pic, pj's and santa hats
One of my favorite pics from this past year
Don't Ever Change!
The most amazing husband and father
Just Because.......So There!
Hopes and Dreams
God has so richly blessed us in 2013 and I pray that as we start anew in a new city that we will continue to see the blessings of 2014 (like being closer to home for a while :)) and cling to God when the storm blows. I'm looking forward to this new year and hope and pray to be the best wife and mother to my family. All for now.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
YAY! It's actually Wednesday. Time usually gets away from you when you're meal planning, homeschooling 3, keeping the house in some sort of order, taking care of an infant, creating handmade items for Christmas, oh yeah, and getting ready to move. Phew, just saying it makes me want to take a nap. Back in May, I was doing a purge clean in the boy's room. I was fed up with all the small containers we had the toys in so hubby and I got together and he put this together for me.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I know, I'm late again. Yesterday was a challenging day, but I am determined to show off my hubby's beautiful work (and maybe a few things I have made ;P). The piece I'm showing off today was another brain child of my hubby. I, for several years now, have wanted a grandfather clock or at the very least a chiming clock. Well, they are quite expensive if you've ever priced one. So hubby said, would you like me to make you one. I said sure. He went to the garage and Voila, he came back with this very beautiful clock. The routing on it is fantastic. He did such an awesome job.
I'm absolutely in love with it and the fact that every hour (except at night) it chimes a beautiful song. I hope you love it too. :) All for now.