It's hard to believe we will soon be saying goodbye to summer.
What a fun summer it has been!
We've enjoyed lots of time outside, fires in the fire pit, s'mores...
we got to meet up with my penpal from MA,
took a random road trip to Illinois,
had great fun bouncing on the trampoline with the sprinkler,
enjoyed the company of good neighbors,
got our dance on at VBS,
visited Madison and the capital building,
played in the dirt, harvested veggies from the garden,
the boys enjoyed special time with grandparents,
and so much more!
Still on our end-of-summer-hope-to-do list:
visiting Lake Michigan,
going up north
spying on squirrels at the nature center
I started my homeschool planning, and am over half way finished. (Yay!)
So far, it's been a lot of fun.
I'm super excited for our year,
and am determined to be an organized and dedicated teacher.
(Part of my organization involves more regular blogging)
This year, I'm blessed to be homeschooling 1st and 3rd grade!
We will continue using Answers in Genesis' science curriculum.
I believe this is usable through 6th grade; I love that it's easily adaptable.
Last year we used Bob Jones for history.
This year we will be using The Mystery of History.
This is one of the subjects I've fully planned already, and am SUPER excited about it!
Both of these books were recommended as supplements to the MOH.
We'll make movable figures to help bring some of the lessons to life a bit more.
We will also be using these fun timeline figures.
We'll continue using A Reason for Handwriting.
BW will finish his "K" book, and begin the next.
Mr. Sunshine transition from printing to cursive.
BW will continue to work through these books to grow his reading skills.
Although we will not be using this book very often this year,
it's one of the things I am the most excited about.
I know it will be very valuable in future homeschooling years.
This year, I plan to use it 1-2 times a month.
If you haven't heard of this book before, I recommend previewing it online.
It's pretty great!
I was happy to find a "less than perfect" copy at a discounted price.
A few more writing resources that we will be using.
I also plan to have the boys write and mail letters every Monday.
BW will use ETC 1 regularly.
Mr. Sunshine will use Explode the Code occasionally.
This is Mr. Sunshine's language arts book.
I purchased English 3, but after some thought,
I decided to start by reviewing parts of English 2 before moving forward.
I really love this language arts; it's very thorough, which is why I continue using it.
There are some things I would change, though.
Each lesson has "copy work" which is very good.
The problem lies in the format of the student text.
The book is small, and the binding is very tight,
which makes it difficult to keep the copy work page open.
I wish Rod and Staff would print a cheap black and white copy work workbook
or make this spiral bound.
Instead, I find myself typing each copy work lesson up, so it is easier to use...
(which is quite a bit of work for me to do!)
We used Sequential Spelling last year,
and I was very pleased with it.
Upon researching it a bit more,
I read that level 1 is often used in 3rd grade,
so we will be using it again this year.
We will use a variety of Bible study books.
We'll continue working through our Draw to Learn the Psalms,
as well as our daily Peregrina study (not pictured.)
I also hope to use our 365 Days of Celebration and Praise on occasion.
When I saw these "Wonder Stories," I knew I had to get them!
Mr. Sunshine is going to enjoy them a lot.
I plan on using these twice weekly for reading comprehension.
If you aren't familiar with these, check them out!
They're really cool and very reasonably priced.
Our biggest curriculum change would be our math program.
I enjoy finding the "right fit" for my family,
and am not fond of switching curriculum unless needed.
When I first started homeschooling, I used a curriculum called Heart of Dakota.
The curriculum was prepackaged, meaning it was all picked out and planned for me.
It was helpful the first year, because it helped my build my confidence in homeschooling.
HOD used Singapore math, and so, that is what we've been using.
There are many positive things about Singapore, however,
I felt it would be beneficial to try something new.
I spent a lot of time researching math curriculum,
but kept coming back to Teaching Textbooks.
I purchased the program a few months ago,
and Mr. Sunshine started using it right away.
He loves it!
In fact, when he saw me pull the books out recently, he got a big smile on his face.
This math program is computer based.
There is a tutor who "reads" the lesson.
(The lesson is also printed in the workbook, which is very nice!
If Mr. Sunshine can't remember something, he has easy access to that information.
I am also able to read through it with him, if needed. Love that!)
Mr. Sunshine completes the math problems in his big spiral bound notebook,
and then enters his answers into the computer.
(I love this, because it forces him to double check his answers,
before he carefully has to enter them into the computer)
For now, it's true to say, it has made math a much more enjoyable and fun experience.
(And I strongly that in the early years, math should be fun,
as children begin to really develop and understanding and love for it.)
BW is already doing really well with addition, subtraction and money.
I plan on creating my own math program that will help him continue to grow these skills.
Is this not the cutest book holder ever?!
It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but each side has two blue houses.
Underneath the houses is a metal glider that I placed the books on.
Found it at a thrift store- totally vintage! (LOVE it!)
Mr. Sunshine will continue reading through Thornton Burgess' chapter books.
He read through 5 of them this summer.
I recently researched the Lexile score for these books,
and was surprised (and happy!) to see that they score really high!
We're getting closer to our goal of collecting all of his chapter books.
I'm so happy to have them as part of our home library.
And here is the book he is currently reading...
it was a tricky one to find!
We found it for a great price,
and it came all the way from England.
Some words of wisdom from Longlegs;
Well, dear friends, this pretty much sums up our curriculum!
I hope to have my planning finished soon.
Wishing you all a blessed, fun and fruitful school year.