sharing from my heart to yours
It's getting to be that time again!
My majorly nerdy self gets to have all kinds of fun planning, printing, laminating, and organizing! :D
I know not all of your are interested in our homeschool journey, but because I love to share, and some of you like to read about it, I figured I'd do a quick (or not so quick) update on what we're planning for the '17-'18 school year.
Actually, we really don't follow the traditional school calendar, so might not be scheduled quite like that. We've been pretty relaxed so far... well we sure should be! Rystin is really just going into 1st grade and Vayah into Kindergarten! But at these younger ages, I'm not worried about getting school in every day, as long as they are doing well, enjoying it, and progressing. We take breaks here and there for things like vacations, holidays, or special events, but overall, we just keep doing school at least a little bit throughout the entire year. So far, we don't worry about trying to complete a book by a certain date, or start a new grade during a certain season. When we finish something, we move onto the next thing and keep going.
This will be our third year of homeschooling, just because Rystin loved to learn so we started early. Vayah has been doing 'school' for awhile now too, and Janae jumps in wherever and whenever she can! But technically we'll be doing 1st grade and kindergarten this year with them. I'll share with you what we're using for learning this year and I'll add links where I can so you can check it out if you're interested.
Rystin - Age 6.5
We are moving ahead with My Father's World (MFW) again this year. We have loved the 'God's Creation from A-Z' kindergarten program, as well as the 'Learning God's Story' 1st grade program. That is what we mainly used the past two years, adding our own things in, and leaving things out here and there. It's a teacher friendly program that is very well laid out and does an excellent job laying a foundation for those little years. I also highly recommend a program like that if you're just starting out, as it's much less overwhelming than trying to piece each subject together separately. That being said, I have learned more about our homeschool style and how things work for our family. I tend to add some extra things in or replace things with my own twist, so I'm not sure if using a box curriculum really is worth it in the long run. I'm slowly moving towards a more eclectic approach and discovering some other things I like outside of MFW.
Back to the the topic at hand... we plan to slowly work through MFW Adventures in U.S. History throughout the next year or two. I'd like to take it slowly since it's generally done with kids a little older, and I'd like Vayah to join in when she can as well. We'll mostly do the history, geography, Bible, and possibly some of the art and music. They'll be studying the 50 states, and Rystin is really excited about it!
I haven't been as impressed with the science portion of MFW. So far, they mostly just read 1-2 pages each week from an Usborne book and then can do an experiment listed. It just wasn't very engaging, and Rystin loves to dig in to that kind of thing. I realize science isn't anything necessary for these little ages, and I don't want to push concepts on them that are over their heads either. Rystin has been saying he really wants to learn about animals this year. I purchased a unit study on bugs from The Good & The Beautiful, but I think we will be putting that on hold for now and starting with something else. We all love to listen to the audio books by Thornton W. Burgess, and they are rich, living books about animals. They are fictional, but you learn a ton about each animal as you listen, plus they're entertaining. I decided to put together my own 'curriculum' using The Animal Book for Children. We'll be studying about each animal, and I'll be assigning a character quality to study along with each one (since the stories bring that into play as well). So for example, when we study about foxes, we'll also learn about honesty. I have several books and webites we'll be using to tie everything together, so let me know if you want more details on that. We'll be doing some outside nature studies and journaling as well, so that will cover science.
My Father's World doesn't cover Language Arts or Math after 1st grade (though we've used our own math from the beginning).
For Language Arts, we're starting a new path this year, and I'm really excited about it (as I've shared with many of you!). I ran across a curriculum called The Good & The Beautiful. They are a new company developing programs for language arts, history, science, handwriting, and more. They are very inexpensive and I love the way things are laid out. I got LA Level 1 for Rystin to start. It covers grammar, spelling, phonics, literature, art, punctuation, vocab, and writing. I'm looking forward to seeing how we like it!
For math, Rystin will continue through Singapore and work on finishing workbook 1B. After that we will either move into level two, or possibly look into starting Teaching Textbooks.
We also do a lot of different things for Bible. There are a few books we read out of, scripture memory, and a lot that ties in with both MFW and our science.
Those are the main things for Rystin. I have other fun things I'd like to add in here and there such as cooking, castles/chivalry, health, and so on.
Vayah - Age 5
We have been doing some PreK/K type of learning with Vayah for awhile now. She is in the last half of the MFW God's Creation A-Z program. I don't think she'll be ready to jump into Learning God's Story yet when she's done with that, so I plan to work with her more using The Good & The Beautiful PreK and K programs. That will cover mostly phonics, as well as beginning the other language arts topics.
For math, she recently started Math Lessons for a Living Education, and has really enjoyed it so far! I did this for Rystin too, but it wasn't his style. I pulled it back out for Vayah and she loves the story-type learning. She is much more into history and story type of learning, instead of the science type topics that Rystin loves. It's amazing the random things they've each learned on their own, and how different they are in that!
For science, she will join us in the animal and nature studies.
I like to cover most of our topics as a group so we can all learn together. Janae (3) will join in with us as well when we wants to, and I may do a little bit of PreK with her from TGTB, since she usually insists that she has to do school too! She's my artsy one, so anything with coloring, stickers, and painting gets her attention quickly.
So far, I've never regretted our decision to keep our kids at home to learn. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and am excited to start another year. Occasionally Rystin comments that he'd like to go to school, but only because he wants to go play on the playground at recess. Once I explain that he'd only get to do that for a VERY short time every day and that they 'do school' all day instead of just for an hour or two, he figures it wouldn't be so great after all ;) I have loved having our family together, learning and growing, teaching each other. I'm sure I've learned more than my kids have!
This year will be an interesting one since we are moving to a new state (YES!! Just a short time after this post, our lives took a sudden turn and we are now preparing for a move! I'll share more in another post soon.) Rystin finished up a lot of what he was working on during this past month, so we'll be taking a break while we pack, move, and settle in to our new home. I'm learning about the new state guidelines, since each state has different rules as far as homeschooling. There is a large homeschool group in the area, so I've been enjoying connecting with them a bit already! We may get involved in some outside classes through that group.
We just returned home from a vacation west to visit friends and family. We had an amazing trip, but it's always so good to be home. I'm wrapping up some of the loose ends of planning before I jump into packing, and thought I'd share some of our plans with those of you who are interested. If you homeschool, I'd love to hear what you use - I'm nerdy like that! If you're interested in more posts about our learning journey, let me know and I'd be glad to share (or more likely, overshare!).
Thanks for taking the time to peek into our day to day!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I'll be back soon to share about how God has called us on a new path.
Hello and Welcome!