Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Beginning Our Homeschool Year 2015-2016

Good afternoon!  It's been a wonderful day here so far; we have finished school, household chores are done and I've had lunch with a very dear friend.  After I publish this article I'm going to go searching for a wreath in the garage, feed livestock and cook supper (tater tot casserole) before awana.

I promised a post on homeschooling so here ya go.  This is my 13th year of official homeschooling.  My oldest started kindergarten 13 years ago and graduated high school this past May.  Over the years I've become very relaxed and I have the bonus of knowing at this point what works for me, allowing me to tailor curriculum to the needs of my children. This year, Bear is in 2nd grade and Abby is in kindergarten.

As our base, we are using My Father's World Kindergarten and Adventures. I say base because we are following these very loosely and taking 2 years to do Adventures.  Really we are barely using kindergarten because I'm using up workbooks that I have here rather than buying more student sheets.  I am using the guide to pull out topics and I'm using the book list.  I love My Father's World book lists.  Abby is also rolled into the topics covered in Adventures.  We are taking those topics very slowly, adding in more reading and activities to some of the units.  We are on Christopher Columbus this week and probably next.  That should have us covering pilgrims right around Thanksgiving.

We will start using Singapore math whenever I have the funds to purchase it.  Currently we are using some worksheets I printed from Mama's Learning Corner, practicing money, time and "real life" math.  Abby is getting practice in writing numbers, counting, shapes, patterns, etc from the workbooks I had hanging around.  I'm trying to use up what I've got since this is my last kindergartener.

I love a Reason for Handwriting but as I mentioned, funds are tight, so I printed some amazing handwriting sheets for both kids from  Confessions of a Homeschooler.  If Bear finishes the ones that I have printed for him we will switch to copy work.

We use Alphaphonics to teach reading and All About Spelling for spelling.  I use letter tiles from a bananagrams game.  Bear is also reading through the reader from My Father's World 1st.

I keep a list on my table of what each kid needs to do each day.  Whichever kid is dressed with teeth brushed at 9:00 a.m. gets to start first.  Then we alternate through the list.  So today Abby did money first, then Bear choose phonics, then Abby did phonics, then Bear did money and so on.  While the one is working with me, the other has "free time".  During that time they can play with legos, color, look at books, etc.  No electronics and must leave me alone.

Here, Abby has spelled her friend's name with letter tiles (with help).  She really is just practicing alphabetical order with these right now. And yes, our cat sits on the table.  It is what it is.

During one of her "down" times Abby practices "sewing" with lacing cards.

My record keeping journal (more on that below)

Bear works on legos during his "down" time today.

"together' time

Another picture of my journal

After we get through our independent work we usually have lunch.  Then we do our "together" subjects: read aloud, Bible, science and history.  This takes place on my bed or the living room couch.

Record Keeping:
I've used lots of planners.  Lots of them.  Some were ok, some I hated, some I loved.  I just do better with a notebook.  This allows me to jot down what we have done and go on.  I do keep notes in my homemaking planner about things that I want to cover and My Father's World has wonderful lesson plans.  This makes it easy for me to keep track of what we have actually done.

We started late this year because of the move.  I usually take off from Thanksgiving to after the New year but I think we will plug along as best we can to make up some time.  I am hoping to get Bear finished with Alphaphonics this year and through AAS Level 1.  When Abby becomes proficient in her letter sounds I will move her to MFW1.  That might be this spring, it might not.  I'm hoping to get math books sometime after the new year.

We are learning though!  Lots of things.

That's what I love best about homeschooling :)

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