Saturday, September 7, 2013

Homeschool and Mother's Journal, Sept 7

Don't I wish I was that young and pretty--my dresses so lovely!

In my life this week:
I'm struggling to find time to get our fall school and chore schedule completed. If you've made one, you know it's a huge chunk of time requiring serious concentration (i.e. no children around, preferably). Of course praying through makes it go as smoothly as possible, as with anything else. Right now I'd just be thankful for some time!

I'll have to resign myself to a few late-night sessions--sessions that don't interfere with supervising the children, making their meals, and shuffling laundry.

In Our Homeschool This Week:

We're on break for one more week, only doing reading and read-alouds. I wanted to introduce a series I found at the library last week.

We've enjoyed all the Lois Lowry books we've read, and when I came across a series called Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, I thought we'd like them. And we do!

Scholastic Synopsis: From the moment Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary School, her fellow second-graders are intrigued by her unique sense of style and her unusual lunches. So when story time arrives, the choice is unanimous: they want to hear about Gooney Bird Greene. And that suits her just fine, because, as it turns out, Gooney Bird has quite a few interesting and "absolutely true" stories to tell. Through Gooney Bird and her tales, acclaimed author Lois Lowry introduces young readers to the concepts and elements of storytelling. By demonstrating some of the simple techniques that reveal the extraordinary in everyday events, this book will encourage the storyteller in everyone.

This book really does teach storytelling elements, even to middle-grade children. I read it to the whole family and even Daddy wore a smile. We're on our second book as they're pretty short reads.

Other books in the series:                                                                                                                   

As for 2013-14 curriculum, here's the scoop.

80% of what we use comes used, through homeschool classifieds, Amazon, or ebay.

Bible: I continue my quest to have my children memorize all the significant Bible stories--the characters, outcomes, and impact on individual faith. In addition, the boys will follow the Bible curriculum that comes with Sonlight Core F. They'll also work their way through The Message, by Peterson.

All four children also participate in AWANA from September to May. I'll be helping with Cubbies again this year.

Science: All my children are doing Sonlight Science, with the girls, ages 4 and 6, sharing the Core A science package, and the boys, ages 9 and 11, sharing the Core F science package.

Writing: The boys are using Writing With Ease Level 4, by Susan Wise Bauer, and my 6-year-old is using Writing With Ease Level 1. All the children will also write in journals.

Grammar: As we have time, my 6-year-old will also benefit from First Language Lessons Level 1, written by Susan's mother, Jessie Wise. The boys and I will go through First Language Lessons Level 4.

Math: My 4-year-old will slowly (as we have time and as she's interested) work through a BJU kinder math workbook. My 6-year-old will use Saxon Math Level 1; my 4-year-old will join in for the manipulative parts as appropriate. I'll also teach my girls to read graphs and design a few of their own. Graphing is a fun activity I can incorporate into each season of the year, using all four children.

My boys will use Teaching Textbooks, which we love and have used for three years.

Language Arts: My boys are doing Core F Sonlight this year, focusing on the Eastern Hemisphere. Sonlight is the only literature-based curriculum company that provides materials on the eastern hemisphere. I will learn along with my boys, since I've never had any eastern-hemisphere education. My prayer is that my 11-year-old, who has OCD, will not have a difficult time with this curriculum. It includes information and stories depicting eastern religions, and a component of his OCD involves religious distortion, in which he worries his Christian beliefs will be corrupted by false religions.

In order to understand the 10/40 missionary window (missionary materials are included in this package), I believe we all need some knowledge of unreached people groups and their spiritual identities, so I'm willing to take a chance on this curriculum.

My girls will be doing their second year of Sing, Spell, Read, Write. I purchased the K-1 combo kit last year and I'm still very pleased.

Social Studies/History - All the boys' history is included in the Sonlight Core F Eastern Hemisphere package, along with a World Book DVD Rom.

My girls will be learning from all the content-area trade books I purchased as a first grade teacher (1992 - 2001). I have more than enough to write my own curriculum, and the library has excellent social studies-themed books as well. I don't see any reason to purchase anything for social studies at this level, especially if you have access to a good fiction and non-fiction library.

Art: We've accumulated quite a few art and drawing books. I'm also going to teach the boys, using the Internet and library books, to recognize famous paintings. I'll be learning along with them on this one too. We'll also read about each artist.

P.E. and Music: The children will participate in a Christmas Choir at our church; my 9-year-old will continue playing the piano; and we'll go to as many homeschool gym classes as our schedule reasonably allows, along with bike riding and walking. My husband is putting together some CD's for a short music-appreciation class for all of us.

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing:

Today is homeschool day at our local zoo and we're really looking forward to that! Grizzly Bears arrived this year, along with other new exhibits.

Earlier this week we met with a mom of five whom we know from AWANA. She invited us to lunch to talk about homeschooling. Her children are ages 2 months to 6 years (one set of twins). She's just beginning her homeschool journey and was homeschooled herself.  In fact, her mother began homeschooling four children back when homeschooling was extremely unusual. She did an outstanding job. This young mother went to college, knows how to cook from scratch, can her own produce, garden, do woodworking, quilt, sew, and play the piano. She was baffled, however, on how much to teach in one year. "How do you make sure you're not leaving holes?"

They have five acres, 20 apples trees, 3 pear trees, 3 peach trees, a big garden, a playground, a dog, and two kittens to catch mice in the barn.

I held the 2-month-old baby the whole time I talked. I. was. in. heaven.

I'm cooking:

I'm trying to find the time to look for new recipes, but this week it was much of the same:
baked ziti, crockpot whole chicken, chicken noodle soup, taco bake, cheesy eggs and cafe potatoes, grilled chicken breasts

Looking forward to more applesauce, soups, and chili, now that fall weather is approaching...and more that I can do in the oven without making the house feel like a furnace. Our air conditioning broke last week and we've already paid for two new parts this summer. We'll have to wait until tax money comes to have a new motor put on. No air conditioning aggravates my migraines so I consider this a need, not a want.

I'm grateful for:

~ four children to love, cuddle with, and teach

~ a Christian husband

~ four seasons

~ our Compassion children

~ fall leaves coming soon

~ that my youngest is only 4; I have a lot of mothering years to look forward to.

~ transforming words of Scripture

~ the written word

~ homeschooling resources

~ homeschooling friends

~ books to get lost in

~ faith to see me through

~ the wonder of learning

Have a wonderful week and thank you for reading! How was your week?

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Tonia said...

Love Gooney Bird Greene! That series was a hit with my daughter too.

Tesha Papik said...

I am looking forward to cooler weather also and being able to use the oven again! We started teaching textbooks this and I love it! Loved seeing all that you use.