Our school year will officially be underway in just two days.
I'm excited, but what makes me even more excited is knowing that the boys are excited too.
Today Ashton said, "I'm kind of excited (in a good way) to start school,"
and Bryce said, "Me too. We get to learn and it gives us something to do."
Thank you, God, for giving me these two sweet, obedient, joyful boys.
I am so blessed to spend my days with them.
This year we will be doing third grade and fifth grade.
I'd like to share our curriculum choices with you.
We will continue using Elemental Science Physics for the Grammar Stage.
I'm so thankful we found this science curriculum.
We use the Usborne Science Encylopedia (not pictured),
Physics Experiments for Children, and Gizmos and Gadgets along with this.
Reasons we enjoy Elemental Science: It's easy to use. I really enjoy the teacher manual. It's interactive and gives the option to do science 2 days a week or 5 days a week. We'll be doing the 2 day a week schedule this year. It has a nice balance of learning to use an encylopedia to research information, science experiments, learning definitions, etc.... and even includes reading through two science biographies.
(We've used Apologia and Considering God's Creation in the past. Elemental Science is our best fit.)
We have a LOT of fun Bible studies to do this year.
During the first few weeks, we will use Developing a Quiet Time by Not Consumed.
(I am a HUGE fan of Not Consumed's resources)
We will also continue using our Draw to Learn books.
What we're looking forward to: learning the importance of taking time with Jesus every day.
This will be a great habit and discipline for all of us.
New this year- we'll be adding in a hymn study, a nice way to ready our hearts for each day.
What we're looking forward to: singing! The boys LOVE to sing Jesus songs.
This book does a nice job giving an overview of each hymn,
however I will probably supplement with some "made by me" projects/worksheets.
We will continue using Sequential Spelling. This curriculum has been a perfect fit for us.
What we like: it's easy. I believe in the overall layout of this program. It's simple and progressive.
We will do spelling 4 days a week, and each day the boys will each spell 25 words.
(That might sound like a lot, but it's done in a gentle way, and is actually Bryce's favorite subject!)
We're all looking forward to studying the states this year.
What we're looking forward to: everything! Drawing the states, reading books,
and finding fun recipes that are unique to each state.
This will be our first year using Charlotte Mason for History.
We'll be studying Early Modern and Epistles.
We'll also be doing Charlotte's version of a timeline, My Book of Centuries.
What we're looking forward to: I love the layout of this curriculum. The teacher's manual is set up brilliantly. (They even remind you in advance of things you should get ready for future lessons) I love how this curriculum incorporates different books to read together. (See photos below)
In the past we've used Mystery of History, which my oldest loved, however, as we were getting ready to move onto book 3, I learned it's written more for the upper middle school level. I'm sure it's possible to cater it to younger grades, however, I wasn't interested in having to do that. I also didn't enjoy how we learned about a new person/event every day... it was exciting, but it was also a lot to try to take in and remember. Overall, I felt MOH itself was just a bit overwhelming in the way the information was presented, as well as how the book is laid out. I am looking forward to trying something new this year.
We'll be using these books with Charlotte's History.
We'll continue using My Father's World Language Lessons for Today for grammar.
We started using this the middle of last year, and love the simple, yet thorough lessons.
I also enjoy the variety of lessons.
In the past we used First Language Lessons (which we all found repetitive, and not very enjoyable...
We prefer to learn in a more creative way .
FLL was more focused on memory work and singing memory songs = not our style.)
I can't wait to get outside and enjoy exploring creation with Charlotte Mason's Journaling: A Year in Nature.
We'll continue using Teaching Textbooks for math.
When I first started homeschooling, we tried Singapore Math.
It gave Ashton a nice foundation to build upon.
Bryce used A Beka for the first half of last year, and is half way through his 3rd grade TT.
We'll finish the 3rd grade TT and then start 4th grade.
Teaching Textbooks doesn't start their math curriculum until grade 3,
however, it typically runs a year behind.
(Notice, Ashton will be doing 6th grade, even though he is in 5th grade)
What we love about Teaching Textbooks: It makes math FUN!! Yes, math can be fun!
I am a HUGE fan of the way the lectures are presented.
They are so gentle and encouraging... I find myself listening along most of the time.
We are huge fans of TT!
The lessons definitely stick, and I am happy with the progress my boys are making.
This year Ashton will start using Writer's in Residence for writing.
In the past I've used Writing Tales which was a lot of fun.
I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice writing/grammar program.
What I like about Writer's in Residence: it's so neat!
(Seriously, go check out the sneak peeks on Apologia's website!)
I love how they incorporate Christian authors.
They also do a really good job presenting a lot of information in a fun way.
The student book is jam packed with 600 pages!
My only suggestion would be for them to somehow add tabs to the edge of the book,
as 600 pages is a lot to navigate through.
He'll also start using this awesomely cute reading journal by Not Consumed.
If you've never stopped by Not Consumed's blog,
you should go there now!! Lots of good stuff.
Laying Down the Rails for Children is a double set that focuses on teaching good habits-
an expensive purchase, but well worth it.
During the first 12 weeks we'll be focusing on: cleanliness and courage.
(I love how you can bounce around and pick whatever habits you'd like to use)
Here are a few of the thrifty books I found for our read alouds:
Five Little Peppers, Bambi's Children, Little Pilgrim's Progress, Charlotte's Web,
Bambi, Little Britches, Treasure Island, Hans Brinker, and Stuart Little.
Each of the boys will also be doing a Mom/Dad and me journal.
Jed / I will write each of them a little note / ask a question or two,
and they will respond. We'll do this daily.
I'm looking forward to the year ahead, and all God has planned for our family as we seek to love him with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind. (Matthew 22:37)