New School Year

The last few weeks have been very busy here. I have many posts floating around in my head. I will try to get them out there in the next week or so.

I have been putting the last touches on starting our school year. Picking out curriculum, turning our playroom into a schoolroom, and painting our craft cabinet and stocking it again. We started school a couple of weeks ago. And then we had to stop because Gymnast’s gymnastics was moved to mornings until public school starts next Monday. I decided to start early for a couple of reasons. First – the weather was so nice in May we decided to quit schooling and spend more time outside. Second – Since we haven’t done school since the end of April the kids are driving me nuts without some resemblance of a schedule. Third – It is way too hot outside to leave the house. Fourth – I am due Jan. 5. So who knows what January and February will bring. However, I decided to start slow. We are not working at full pace yet. We are just trying to figure out what works. From how it went last year I will probably be working on that all year. I also got a great tip from a friend. She schools 3 weeks on 1 week off. I was going to go 6 and 1 but I like her idea a lot better. I think I could definitely live with this.

So here is what I have planned to accomplish this year…

Bible – Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos (the big kids)

– The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth Taylor (Little Bit)

Language Arts – Writing Road to Reading (Gymnast and Karate Kid)

Math – Math U See Alpha (Gymnast and Karate Kid)

Little Hands to Heaven – Preschool for Little Bit

Science – Living Learning Books Level One – Animals, Plants and Human Body (All Three Kids)

History & Read Alouds – Sonlight K (Gymnast and Karate Kid)

It looks like a lot. I listed them in the order of my focus. If it’s a bad week we won’t make it through the list. My main focus is Bible, Language Arts and Math. The Science is only done once or twice a week. I love science and math and think the kids are going to get more out of that than history at this age. I wasn’t going to focus on history but was able to pick up Sonlight K from a friend used. It turns out that it isn’t all that much reading. So far we are probably reading less than we were reading last year. But Sonlight provides me with a guide of what to read each day and the books are on my bookcase, not at the library.

I wanted to spend about 30 minutes or so with Little Bit first thing in the morning. I thought that if she had my attention then she would be willing to play on her own for me to do school with the big kids. Using Little Hands will give me a guideline of what to do with her everyday. And it uses my two favorite preschool resources, ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt and Kenneth Taylors Bible. I am just focused on having fun with her. I would also like her to become familiar with her letters this year. The big kids are having a lot of fun with it as well. They are going to help her put together a alphabet notebook this year. (More about that in another post).

My gymnast appears to be a little more prepared and ready for more structured and consistent language arts teaching. I am using Writing Road to Reading again this year. However, I decided to spend the big money and order the teacher’s guide. So far I am very pleased that I did. It was worth every dollar. I actually know what I am suppose to teach everyday instead of wandering in the dark. This lends itself to a lot less guilt than my methods for last year. I am also using this with Big man but we are focused mainly on learning to write his letters this year. He will sit in on some of the reading and writing (grammar) instruction but I am not focused on him this year. I wasn’t even going to worry about schooling Big boy but he almost cried when I told him I didn’t order a math book for him. And he has shown some initiative to learn how to write. I will just plan to let him set his pace and work when he wants to.

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