We are getting ready to embark on year three of our homeschool journey. The last two years have been hard for me, I struggle with confidence, balance, patients and my sloth like nature. We take too many breaks and I tend to not push as hard as I should in the right places. But this year I am feeling confident to move forward. A huge help being the same similar curriculum that we used last year. I feel like for me as a teacher I am past the learning curve for a curriculum layout and format. And I just really love the product, we plan to continue to invest in for the years to come. The other thing that is really helping is the fact that there are no more babies, while I have a distant ache for a baby I feel like we are moving into a new season in our lives and it is really refreshing. The time from about pregnancy to two years old feels like all we do is survive, and there is always the possibility of more which adds to that feeling of survival, but without the possibility of more we have moved into a stage were we can figure out how to thrive as a family of 6. It really feels so good, so when I am surrounded by a ton of cute little newborns at church I remind myself we are in a different season and there are things to be enjoyed that we haven't allowed ourselves to enjoy when in "survival mode". That or I tell Troy I need a little puppy!
For our main curriculum we chose My Father's World Creation to Greeks. I think it is going to be so fun and I have committed to following the curriculum with a little extra stuff, last year I tried to add lots of extra but there was no balance and I think this year balance is key. We are using portions of an Ancient Times lapbook and a few extra notebooking pages but other than that I feel like the curriculum is satisfying and we don't have to stuff ourselves on extras! One thing I love about the curriculum is the science, a lot of reviewers called it light on science. The science involves lots of experiments, from simple to complicated that revolve around the days of creation and ancient Egyptian innovation. After looking through it I wanted to make it an activity that the kids can explore in as much depth as they would like, so I am setting up a "Science Center" where my little scientists can do their "own" experiments. They will have the safety gear, the tools, the materials to complete the weekly experiments, using the scientific method they work from beginning to end documenting their work on lab sheets. If they like the topic they can try the experiments other ways, try more or research topics they find interesting, science is only scheduled twice a week but the "lab" will be open everyday to my budding scientists. I am hoping to add a microscope and lab coats and other fun lab stuff throughout the year. We are also very excited to start celebrating biblical feasts this year, it is something I have wanted to do the past few years for Passover but now with it on the schedule we no excuses and are very excited (even Troy)!
Here is the breakdown of the rest of our curriculum:
- Intermediate Language Lessons
- Spelling Power
- Writing Strands 3 & 4
- Primary Language Lessons
- Spelling By Sound and Structure
And our newest student
- My Father's World Kindergarten
- Math-U-See Primier
- Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
We will also be using Reading Eggs (kids love this) across the board, and Rosetta Stones Latin American Spanish! We are also going to try to incorporate badge & achievement work from American Heritage Girls & Cub Scouts into our weekly lessons, as well as some sports conditioning a few times a week. I am also trying to work on some physical activity each day I was thinking of trying to have each child set a few personal fitness goals that we work together to achieve.
I am also really excited because I got on my game this summer and made all my copies, printed everything that needs printing and filed everything by week, so I feel like I can finally start our year on the right foot and early to boot!
I also had this fantastically awesome idea to help my very reluctant writers want to write! I mean it is so awesome, it will need it own post and introduction in about a week!
That is about how our year is looking and in case you didn't catch it in my post our family "theme" if you will for the year is Thriving & Balance! But more about that later ; )