This will be our 4th year of homeschooling! We began tracking hours in July so we can hopefully be finished by the very end of March. This year I have added many more classic books and nature readers for my 5th grade son who loves everything outdoors. I enjoy finding great classic books that help my son stay interested in reading and hearing him talk about all the interesting new things he is learning from these "living books". When my son asks if he can stay up for another 30 minutes at bedtime to read, it always makes my heart happy. :)
Emma- 8th grade:
Math- Teaching Textbooks- Algebra 1
Science- Apologia- Chemistry
History- Rod and Staff 8th grade
Language- daily copy work, creative writing, Quizlet, Harvey's Revised English Grammar by Mott Media
Reading- McGuffey Reader- 4th reader, Set Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy, Journeys of Faithfulness by Sarah Clarkson, Daughters of Destiny by Noelle Wheeler, among many other books she will choose to read. Thankfully she loves to read as well!
French- Switched on Schoolhouse French- We only work on this a few times a week.
Music- Guitar, Mandolin
Math- Teaching Textbooks grade 6
Science- Rod and Staff, Handbook of Nature Study by Anna B. Comstock, Ways of Wood Folk- William J. Long, Parables from Nature by Mrs. Alfred Gatty, among many other nature books.
History- Homelands of North America-Rod and Staff, various history biographies.
Language- Quizlet, daily copywork, dictation, Intermediate Language Lessons by Emma Serl, Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition
Reading- McGuffey Reader- 4th reader, Trapped by the Mountain Storm by Aileen Fisher, I Heard a Bluebird Sing by Aileen Fisher, Summer of Little Rain by Aileen Lucia Fisher, My Side of the Mountain-trilogy. He loves this book so much!
Math- Abeka- Number Skills
Science- Classic nature reader books
History- Christian Liberty Press “Little Pilgrims in God’s World
Phonics/Reading- Phonics Pathways, Reading Pathways- I HIGHLY recommend these books after using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons! We are also reading from the original McGuffey First Reader and Rod and Staff Pathways- First Steps First Primer.
Handwriting- Horizons grade 1 manuscript or copywork pages printed from the internet.
I only do about 1 hour of schooling off and on throughout the day with Ellie, which doesn't sound like very much at all, but works for us! :) She went from not being able to even say her alphabet at 3 years old to now reading at a 2nd grade level within 1 year! If your child is slow at talking or reading, please don't get discouraged. They will talk and read when they are ready. Most times we make the problem worse by focusing on what they are not doing instead of praising them for the good they are doing in other areas. During our schooling we concentrate mostly on phonics/handwriting/copywork and if we have time we add the rest. Phonics/Reading usually only takes 30 minutes a day. I keep things pretty simple. The words that Ellie struggles with I just write on our large chalk board that is in our dining room and she reviews them at meal/snack times. While Ellie is working on her handwriting or coloring I usually have history audio books playing or scripture songs in the background. We used an awesome cd called Ditty Bugs to teach her the months of the year which only took about 30 minutes! Anything put to song makes things easier to remember. The only complaint about this cd is that you will find yourself singing the ditties while cleaning the house which will make your husband give you strange looks. :D
Here is a sample of our daily schedule for our 5th grader Rylan. I print off daily schedules for the 3 oldest children and laminate them so that I don't have to repeat myself a thousand times. I want the children to learn accountability and responsibility. Asking them a million times if they finished their chores or brushed their teeth doesn't help to foster these traits. :) They wont always have me with them when they are adults to ask them if their Bible is read or their pets are fed. :)
7:00- Wake up.
Have your room cleaned, bed made, teeth/hair brushed, clothes on, Bible read, dog/cats fed, BEFORE breakfast. If all chores are not done before 8:00 then you will be assigned extra copy work and will not be allowed to go outdoors until ALL is completed.
8:00- Breakfast together as family and family devotions. (During this time we read from the Bible, Daily Light devotional, and read one hymn from a book I found at a flea market called The One Year Book of Hymns that has a daily hymn and short devotional about it.
8:30-9:00- Daily Chores/Pick up house
9:00-12:00- Homeschool- Science, Math, History, Copywork/Grammar, Reading, typing, Quizlet, etc.
12:00- Lunch time
1:00- Practice banjo- On Tuesdays and Fridays we will practice while visiting Grandparents.
2:00-4:00- Free time
5:00- Family Devotions, except for Wednesday evenings. Family devotions will be at 8:00 on the evenings we have music lessons.
5:30- Help clean up supper
6:00- Free time
8:00- Get ready for bed- take shower, brush teeth.
Of course this schedule isn't always followed, but it's nice to have a daily rhythm to follow.
Blessings to each one of you homeschool mamas! I'll leave you with a few quotes I've read lately that I enjoyed reading:
Traditional schooling will fill their brains with facts, enabling them to pass tests, but it will not teach them to relate to society. When children should be developing confidence, creativity, individuality, strong bodies, and work ethics, instead they are made to cease independent decision making and march (or rather sit) in formation to the drum beat of a lifeless curriculum. If you wonder where the real men went, they disappeared into textbooks and went through puberty with books in their laps rather than tools in their hands.
Children need a mother who has the time and energy to mother them, not be a teacher who has neither the time nor the patience to appreciate them as people. Lay down your stern professor’s mantle and pick up your apron.
You can have the computer geeks and the pale faced, thin shouldered, soft bellied, bookworms. Give me a little man that can swing an ax, fix a bicycle or car, build a house, read with comprehension, and compute all the money he is making from the labor of his own strong hands.
These quotes are from No Greater Joy Ministries newsletters.