Saturday, September 30, 2017

Back To School, 2017/2018!

  I believe my earlier back to school post was a bit premature.  So I decided to create a new post!  We have been in school a couple of weeks now, and are finally finding ourselves in a groove!  So here's a more updated Back to School post!
   First our exciting news!
   We finally have a school room!!!
   I'm telling you, we haven't had a school room in YEARS.  Last year we were in a 2br Apartment! and we have honestly spent most of our school years around our dining room table, which has been fine.  However, at this season in our lives we find ourselves in a big enough place, so I wanted to share our school room!

I'm very excited about this room!  

I'm also pretty exited after a couple of weeks of trial and error, to finally share what we have decided on using this year...

We are using a lot of things from CLE this year, and so far they have been great!  Al three of the big kiddos use CLE for Language arts and the girls use it for reading.  They are really enjoying it, and working through it well fairly independently.  I'm working a little more closely with Big Brother but he's learning a lot from the program!  Big Brother and Big Sis are both using CLE for Bible as well, and Little Sis is hoping to switch over to CLE instead of BJU.  She really thinks it looks more appealing!  

All About Learning Press has still decidedly been our life saver for Reading and Spelling.  Both the boys are using their respective All About Reading levels, and little Sis is using All About Spelling.  It's neat to see that all of the rules that I've read about in All About Spelling surface in the language arts books!  I keep shaking my head and wondering where this was when I was growing!  Somehow I know how to tell on some of the rules, but I never knew why until these programs. So I've learned a lot as well!

After a long week of struggling with Math, Little sister and I settled back on Math-U-See.   We went over and reviewed some of the ones where she had left off before, and she was excited and bounced back into it.  I hope in this post you can literally hear my sigh of relief about the fact that I didn't sale all of these when I was going through and getting some old curriculum out from under us!  So so thankful!

For handwriting, I ended up getting a handful of books from Amazon.  I really wanted big sis to work on her print handwriting, as she is still working through the C book for A Reason for Handwriting.  I also want to go through a more instructed handwriting for Big Brother before he starts ARFH, just because I think I didn't do that with Little sis, and that may be why she's a little less strong there.  They also do daily copywork, and think that's fun...  they have no idea that's learning lol.  I let them copy from library books, which we exchange every couple of weeks, so that makes it even more fun!

Now for that part that everyone thinks I'm a failing homeschool Mommy lol!
   When you see people list their curriculum choices, nobody ever lists Time4Learning.  I've used it off and on for years, and always felt really strange about telling people that I was using it.  Almost like it's a cop-out, that you weren't really a homeschool Mommy if you didn't stand in front of your kids and teach them every single day.  Like they do in school, because 'homeschooling' is really just school at home, right?  *smirk*  I digress.  We have been through a LOT of change in the past two years, and I recognize that in my children.  They have made two BIG moves in the past two school years.  It's been an adjustment for all of us.  I love familiarity, because this is a big adjustment for me.  It's hard being this far away from family.  It's difficult settling into a new place.  I'm trying to give my kids the benefit of the doubt this year, and go easy with them, but at the same time, I don't want to risk them getting really far behind!
    Time4Learning has helped me a LOT during the moving/catching up phrases of school.  The girls have always hated it.  Hudson has always loved it.  So this year, my benefit of the doubt is letting him use it, as his core for math, and as a supplement to Language arts, Science and Social studies.  This gives him some computer time, and independent work, which he thrives with.  He really looks forward to his Time4Learning everyday, and it helps him stay focused on his other subjects knowing he's getting to do this.  I do intend to slowly introduce things, such as math worksheets, daily addition and subtraction flash cards, and other thing that I feel important to a 2nd grader.  But meanwhile, he's happily doing fractions on Time4Learning, and that makes me happy!  
   Also, Sawyer is learning on Reading Eggs in addition to his All About Reading lessons, Trace Handwriting book and helping out on occasion in Science and history.  I credit this program to Hudson's really strong reading skills, because I know although All About Reading is solid, Reading Eggs played a huge part in moving him along.  So I was happy to buy this for the little one this year!  

    Our History and Geography curriculum is my favorite :)

   I spent a LOT of time determining what we should learn this year.  For the past three years, we have studied different aspects of American History.  From Native Americans, to Revolutionary War and government, its been so much fun.  We have used the American girl stories loosely, while learning so much from youtube videos and other various books.  I purchased Story of the World and was planning to start World history this year, but as I pulled out all of our homeschool stuff, I saw SO much unused American History curriculum, so I decided to jump back in!  
   We are going all out with the American Girl study this year, and going from start to finish!  We had several books from the series of Kaya, Rebecca, Addy and Felicity.  I have already picked up more Felicity, Josefina, Caroline, Samantha, Marie Grace and and Cecile!  I plan to go through the beginning girls that we have already studied at a faster pace, then when we get caught up we will start slowing down.  I have already shared some of our history study on my blog, but I intend to remake those studies and give you a more in-depth view of study for them.  Hopefully they will serve to help others on down the road!  My sweet girl turns 11 this year, and is in love with American Girl.  We are also working on her dollhouse, and since my other upcoming historian is in 2nd grade, I can fit in enough for him to learn this year without having to turn in a lot of work...  so it will be the perfect year to really focus on the American Girls, and hopefully I will have some great memories to share with my middle child on this work!

    My oldest daughter is taking English at home, but she is taking some classes at the local high school.  It makes me so sad to see her grow up, but I suppose a part of me always knew it would happen!  She really enjoys school and wants to begin fulltime in the spring semester.  I'm proud of who she has become, and am praying hard for her each day.  It's been an adjustment for all of us, but she loves it, and I want her to be happy.  
   Hubby has tried to help her incorporate by being a part of the school system himself.  He prays with the football players before the games and attends the FCA pole prayer meetings weekly.  It's a difficult gap to bridge between homeschooling and public school, but we are learning lol.  It's a very small school system, which makes it much easier.  Lots of prayer, lots of adjustment, and lots of grace.   That's the recipe for a successful school year, no matter where you're learning.

My preacher man with the high school mascot, lol one of our church members sent me this from the schools facebook page, haha!  

I'm praying for your school year!  Please in in prayer for ours!