Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Ever so many changes,

Our trip to France provided the perfect opportunity to test drive homeschooling for our wee family and now here we are half way through our first year on this new adventure. Our summer was full of the usual blessings of Bible school, cottage and blissful days spent playing and reading and exploring together. After the monkeys would be tucked into bed Mummy was busy reading homeschooling books, reading curriculum reviews and then taking the plunge and clicking the order button!

We decided a slow and gradual start to this first year. Our first week (which was a week before regular school would start) we began with our family devotion and Bible reading time in the morning, English and math. I think that this suggestion from other moms who have been on this journey for many more years then I was really perfect for us. It meant that the afternoons were still in full summer mode and it helped me to have slower intro to being teacher to three different children, with three different strengths in three different grades! oh and the toddler to boot :-)

Then each week we added a subject, science first and french and then after a mth, and much dithering on my behalf our Tapestry of Grace arrived and we dived straight into history and we love it!

So what are we using;

Monkey is in K5 and because I know it works and have seen it at CHC, we are using Abeka language and phonics for her. Math U See Primer for math - and she is nearly done that for the year already so Alpha was ordered and is sitting on a shelf in the study for when she's is ready to move on. Monkey also joins in with our social studies, science and of course Bible studies. Listening to the lesson and read alouds and then doing an activity for the Lower Grammar age group in Tapestry of Grace (TOG)

Helper is in grade 3 and since I was familiar with Bob Jones Press that is what we choose for her English. It has gone really well, and she is able to work nearly independently in both English and math. She is also using Math U See Gamma and is ahead by 8 weeks - so there is another book waiting for her on the shelf as well - I'm such a mean mom!

Mr Magoo is in grade 5 and also working in Bob Jones Press and Math U See Epsilon. His ability to be an independent worker is amazing, though mummy is always here to help, and he actually suggested it. He is loving the writing aspect of BJP and starting this week is also working on WriteShop with the three year program as he is only in grade 5 and that is the youngest grade they recommend it to start at. Oh and french!

For History we are so thrilled to have discovered Tapestry of Grace, I will have to do a stand alone post on it. It has been a real blessing in our home and the children and I are loving every minute of it. It is living book based and not textbook which means lots of cuddle time while reading! We recently finished reading Tirzah and I was in tears trying to choke out the last chapter, such a great book and only 3 little issues with it - which made for good discussion with the kids as well.

Answers in Genesis is our Science and the fact that I can teach all the grades up to 8 at the same time makes this a huge time saver in our week. We are currently finishing up the Our Universe book and will go on to either Weather or Our Planet - the kids will decide. The experiments are great and well thought out and everything is literally at home, I have yet to have to buy anything for them! a bonus for sure! Mr Magoo is diligent about reading his extra info and sometime Helper wants to as well.

An Auntie comes every Friday to give the children a 2 hr Hebrew lesson (while I catch up on laundry) and the kids are flying with that. She has had them labeling the house, making flash cards, started small conversation and related so much of it to the scriptures :-)

They have a 2 hour (or more) Revelation class with Gran and Grandad, and Monkey has a K5 Co-op on Thursday mornings at meeting before sisters class. They joined in the swimming with CHC and we plan on doing that again in the spring and skating in February so it is all busy and happy and great!

For gym, as well as the above with CHC, they have taken up long distance running with Daddy and all competed in a 2km fun run in the fall, placing in the top 3 for each of their ages, Mr Magoo was actually the 4th overall out of 40 kids and 2nd in his age group which was great for him. Right now weekly sledding with their cousins and outdoor skating are keeping them active above the usual amazing snow games they make up outside.

Well that's our update for now. Hopefully I will figure out a way to get photos up - we are using a loaner computer right now and still in search of a replacement for our Acer - that dies twice!

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