Thursday, September 15, 2011

homeschooling & homeschooling curriculum

Our Biblical Motto for why we homeschool:

Psalms 119:97-105:
"O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine.
I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.
I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

in laymans terms: "to train children in God's law so they can govern themselves, be wiser than their enemies, have more insight than their teachers, and understand more than the aged."
Meditation on God's law yields the highest wisdom.

who doesnt want that for their children? who doesnt want that for themselves? anyway, on that note i am going to post what we are using/doing for our homeschooling year, in regards to curriculum this year. this week has been actually a very busy week for me with younger women asking me what curriculums i use for a certain subject, or how to get started, or help in certain areas. also a few blogs that i read have posted a list of what they use with their different children, so i thought i would too - especially considering i'm still sick & didnt really have much else with which to post. I am also going to use this particular post to refer any more questions to that i might get concerning what curriculums we are using. it might be easier just to get it all down for future reference. now if i can remember to label the post when i am done!

Rachel is in 11th Grade this year. She has a very heavy load. We decided to go heavy this year because we are actually anticipating her being completely dual enrolled at TCC (Tidewater Community College)next year. But even if she isnt, then she will have a lighter Senior year. We also anticipate her getting a job of her choosing sometime after she turns 17 or working part time in her dad's office. Either way, we all decided it would be better to have a lighter year her Senior year.

Rachel attends the local KEYS (Kingdom EducatingYoung Scholars) co-op here in Chesapeake. All of the teachers have bachelor's degrees or master's degrees in the subjects they are teaching. we pay monthly tuition for the privilege of the classes & Rachel has to keep a B in all classes to be allowed to stay in the classes.

At KEYS she is taking the following 2 days a week:
Algebra II (McDougal Littel Publishers, Ron Larson Author)
Geometry (McDougal Littel Publishers, Ron Larson Author)
Speech & Debate (Glencoe/McGraw Hill Publishers, Clark Author)
Guitar II

At home she is taking the following the rest of the week & weekends also (she is very busy this year):
Sonlight Core 400 which includes:
American Literature

Rosetta Stone French
Apologia Chemistry
National Institute Driver's Education (online book instruction & parent led behind the wheel instructions)

She is also taking outside the home with private instruction:
Karate (she is studying for her 2nd Degree Black Belt)
Piano (A Bastien Curriculum)

Elizabeth is using a mix of curriculums and is really between many grades. By age Elizabeth should be in the 7th grade this year. But with her disability she can not work on that level. Dont get me wrong. She is quite capable of hearing the history & science & literature on a 7th grade level. by hearing i mean it can be read to her & she understands it & does comprehend what she is hearing & learning. the retaining of information is a bit sketchy as well as the keeping up the required pace of a 7th grader would be nearly impossible for Elizabeth. Some of the curriculums (which i will asterisk) are being used by both, Elizabeth & Abigail, just on the different levels they each understand. Elizabeth isnt quite independent with her learning disability & might not ever be in regards to her school work, but that's ok. She needs me checking her work more frequently to keep her on the right track.

Math-U-See: finishing up Beta, moving into Gamma, & hopefully at the pace she is keeping up, will move into Delta by the end of the school year in May. Possibly even Epsilon as she has been moving at a quick pace & has been retaining & passing all of the test with high scores. Math was her best subject in the public school when she attended & she is basically reviewing & refining her math abilities so it goes much quicker for her.
Easy Grammar (Grade 4, Red Book) I wanted her to have an overall understanding of Grammar that she did not get her last year in public school. I think they hurt her more than helped as they gave her crutches and didnt make her actually learn the materials. So she is moving quickly through most of her curriculums. Clay gets quite flustered when i hand him a bill for new materials when we just bought some - but i am making Elizabeth work & work & we dont take much of a break. She is playing catch up.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Grade 5, Purple Book). Again, she is moving quicker than i thought. She should be done with this book by Christmas and will move into the 6th Grade book.
*The Story of the World, Book 1 (this is our first year with this curriculum. We have been using My Father's World & may go back to that if they hate The Story of the World. I just like that The Story of the World starts out with "In the beginning, God....." Elizabeth really needs that understanding of the beginning of History. All children do.
*Apologia Exploring God's Creation: Astronomy
*A Reason For Handwriting (that's new also. We also use Handwriting without Tears)
*Story Starters (it's a story writing curriculum that isnt forced, but fun)
*Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum Edition
Sequential Spelling, Book 1.
Bible (mainly her own devotions & some bible verse memorization from Karate.She actually follows the adult bible reading chart from church & at my urging keeps a journal and writes down the main points that she takes away from the daily reading.)
*Listening to Your Story Hour CD's. We have tons & will eventually get through with them. They are good supplements to build character. Jenny borrowed them & her children listened to them & loved them so i figured i would actually start using them rather than looking at them all pretty in their cd cases. (some of my ocd comes out when i purchase homeschooling materials...i buy more than i need & the whole sets of some things & then just look at how pretty they are...but honestly I am much better than that now & really only buy what we will use. And I am keeping most of what we use to re-use with my younger kids). (Asher & Esther will be listening also and gaining knowledge as well!)
*Watching the Nest Entertainment DVD's that pertain to our lessons that include Animated Hero Classics (History), Animated Storys from the Bible both Old & New Testaments. There's about 75 DVd's all together. (Asher & Esther both love these as well & get principles out of them as they watch)
Karate (she will test for her 1st Degree Black Belt in April)

Saxon 2nd Grade Math
Finishing up Phonics/Reading Pathways
Explode the Code
Spelling Power
The items with * from Elizabeth's list, but on her own level.
Karate (Abigail should be testing into her Orange Belt by the end of November. She is at the completion of her 2 year Little Dragons Program and should receive the black belt in that program by the end of October.)
Bible/Memorization (Abigail's memory is amazing so she is learning some A-Z memory verses)
Draw Write Now Series (Abigail loves this series & is making a book of all of her pictures)

Explode the Code: Get Ready for the Code Book A, Get Set for the Code Book B, Go For the Code Book C for Phonics awareness.
Math-U-See Primer (it's basically the PreK math to get children ready for actual math.) Asher can count up to at least 20 and recognizes some of the numbers. I really think he will do good at this.
I have purchased him several PreK workbooks that will get him recognizing letters, practice his handwriting, and help with his fine motor skills.
Big Skills for Little Hands: I Can Trace!
Big Skills for Little Hands: I Can Cut!
Big Skills for Little Hands: I Can Paste!
Big Skills for Little Hands: I Can Fold!
Big Skills for Little Hands: I Can Draw!
Big Skills for Little Hands: I Can Color!
(I bought those at Sam's Club & used them with Abigail. I might even get Esther involved with those books as I know she wont allow us to leave her out!)
Leapfrog Dvd: The Letter Factory (plus a lot of their others are on Netflix Instant play & they are wonderful at helping with the basics of phonics & number recognition.
Karate (He is in the Little Dragons program - just starting out.)

ok thats it in a nutshell. busy kids, busy mama!!!

No comments: