School is back in session!!!
My 3 kiddos that are in "school".
Josiah the 5th grader
Malachi the 3rd grader
I had to add this extra picture of him...he is too cute here!
Aliyah the Kindergartner
Judah the 18 month old
So we just finished up our second week of homeschooling here! The second week was more efficient, however, we are adding more things to our normal daily routine next week. I just wanted to begin with the basics and then add the fun things such as history, science, health, geography, art, and typing at a slower rate so that the kids don't get too overwhelmed. We will begin next week with our full "planned" schedule, although we are very flexible around here. This year we have 3 schooled children! Aliyah is officially in Kindergarten now! Josiah is in 5th grade and Malachi is in 3rd grade. It is a little more complicated for me as I have to divide my time up with 3 kids and still give time to the sweet 18 month old we have in the house :) I need to get this all figured out before adding baby #5 in Dec/Jan and then kiddo #6 in another year after that. Oh what fun it is in this household! Seriously though, I'm so blessed beyond blessed here! I would love a dozen kids or so....if my husband would only agree to it...hehe!
Anyhow, I thought that I would post what curriculum I am working on with the kids this year. I have many friends ask me what I use for curriculum and to be honest, I sort of piece together different things that I like and not use one particular company. So here is what I use below.
Reading: Total Language Plus. This is an innovative language arts curriculum focused on critical thinking and communication skills. It uses classical books and takes words from the reading and focuses on using them in spelling and vocabulary so that the child can develop a broader language. It isn't just a list of spelling words that they memorize for a week but they learn in depth how each word is used and the different meanings. It also covers comprehension by utilizing questions to help the child understand what he has read. It does have a daily grammar section as well but it isn't that extensive so I add to it. It also has enrichment writing projects and fun activities that you can incorporate if you have additional time. I used this last year with Josiah when he was in 4th grade and we covered 2 books then (The Whipping Boy and The sign of the Beaver). This year Josiah will complete 4 books/study guides consisting of Where the Red Fern Grows, Amos Fortune Free Man, The Cricket in Times Square, and My Side of the Mountain. This year, Malachi will complete 2 books/study guides consisting of The Courage of Sarah Noble and either The Sign of the Beaver or Shiloh. I have also added in a Daily Comprehension book at grade level for both boys to complete, that I picked up at a Christian bookstore, but you can find at Barnes and Nobles as well. It basically gives a short passage and a few questions to check their comprehension.
Spelling/Vocabulary: Again, this is covered in Total Language Plus.
Grammar: Easy Grammar 5 . This is the first year that I'm using this program so we will see how we like it in the end. I have heard many great reviews thus the reason I decided to try it. For 3rd Grade we are using First Language Lessons Level 3. This was a great program to teach the different parts of language and how to diagram each part of the sentence.
Math: Singapore Math. I have used this math for Josiah since he was in 1st grade and since the beginning of Malachi's school year. It has been good to us as the boys have learned many concepts and do well with it. I just add multiplication flashcards with both boys so that it helps with quick memory with the multiplication facts.
Science: Apologia Science. This is a creation based science curriculum. The past few years I have used By God's Design Science, which was good(another creation based science) but not as in depth as I would like. Apparently, By God's Design has improved their curriculum and put together a newer edition that is better, but I have the old version. So this year I decided to go with something new and am very impressed with the Science books by Apologia. We Will begin with the Flying Creatures but I also bought the Zoology and Land Animal books as well. My boys LOVE science so I am excited to start this next week and see if they love this curriculum as well.
History: In the past we have used Mystery of History, however I never felt that the kids retained much of the information nor seemed to enjoy it so much. It is a Christian based history written in chronological order including biblical stories intertwined with what we are familiar with as regular history. However, this year I have decided to try something different called Truth Quest History. This history is a literature based history in which the study guides give you numerous books that you can choose from to learn about that part of history. Again, I have not used this curriculum so I have no idea what my kids will think of it, however, considering their love of books and reading, I think that this history may be what we were lacking the past few years.
Geography: I picked up a few general books on this topic from the Christian bookstore in Colorado, however I'm sure that the same books can be bought on Amazon.
Foreign Language: Last year we studied Spanish some with Rosetta Stone, however this year I will try to find information online to learn the native language of Ethiopia. Since we are adopting from Ethiopia, I would love for us all to learn some phrases in Amharic. It would be nice to speak some of the language that Selah will be used to speaking to help her make an easier transition into our language.
Writing: So I am really stepping out on a limb with a new curriculum that seems promising in this area with high reviews. It is called Write Shop. Now that I have it in hand to look at, it is a little confusing at first but does take an easy approach to writing. I will use the younger one for Malachi and Write Shop I for Josiah. I am hoping that this will give them a more concrete idea of how to write properly at their age level. I am also using a simple cursive book for Malachi and a manuscript printing book for Aliyah.
Typing: I am still looking for some free typing programs online to help the boys learn the keyboard and type. We will be adding this to our year once I find something I like.
As for Kindergarten work, I have many different reading and math skill books. I also use Signapore math for K and this year, because of Aliyah being advanced, we will be doing some 1st grade math and reading. She is advanced due to her own desire to learn and beg her brothers to teach her things over the past 2 years. Currently she is starting in a spring semester math book and a reading book I used with the boys in 1st grade since she is reading 3-5 letter words at this point.
In addition, the kids are required to have quiet reading time and I am working on putting some art projects together to teach them. My goal this year is to teach my boys to cook more complex recipes and teach Aliyah simple cooking. I also want to teach them how to do some simple sewing as well.
I plan to write another post at a later date on the reasons why I homeschool since I have many people ask me that often.
So here is to another fun year of school.....