Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homeschool Agendas

This week we are discussing our homeschooling plans for the year and a verse that has helped us as we have planned.

While I don't have the year completely laid out, I do have a rough idea on main areas I am covering. I will be teaching my 11yo daughter (6th), 9yo daughter (4th) and 7yo daughter (2nd) as well as giving my 5yo son (kindergarten) stuff to keep busy with. I am usually pretty relaxed with kindergarten, but he really wants to do schoolwork so why fight it?

A lot of the stuff I use I get from the site Old Fashioned Education. Miss Maggie (the site's owner) has put together a free online curriculum using mainly out of copyright free books that you can find online through her links. I don't go completely according to her layouts, but use the ideas as a jumping off point.

I personally try to keep all of the children learning the same history, art, music and gym and some of the same science and just give each one age appropriate work within the subject. This year we will be studying ancient history- Greece, Rome and Egypt, using books from the library, lapbooks etc.

Art and music we tend to just explore as we go. Sometimes we listen to some classical music or I will print off a coloring page of a famous piece of artwork and then discuss the artist.

I would link to the free homeschool physical education program I found, but my bookmarked sites are all on my crashed computer. It basically has the children do stretches everyday and then either has them learn about a sport or do a physical challenge, etc.

Science has always been a mix of reading books, nature study, experiments, videos, etc. I am going to have the two older children read some more reading. A few books I plan on having them read are: A Fairyland of Science and The Storybook of Science. I also want to start giving them a more solid biblical worldview of science and firm up their beliefs.

For math I have been using a program out of England by CIMT called the Mathematics Enhancement Program. This year the 2nd gr. will finish up year 1 and start year 2 while the older two will be doing year 3 and 4.

Writing skills see a lot of use and strengthening through journal writing, letter writing, stories, etc. The older two children will be doing more grammar work, possibly going through the Scott Foresman workbooks that are available for free online. They also write on their own blogs occassionally.

The older two girls inhale books as if they were air. I use their love of books to further their education by making sure they read historical fiction, biographies, classics and other worthy books. I don't mind them sitting there for a couple hours reading if I know they are learning about World War II or whatever the subject is. Oftentimes one of the girls will be talking with me about something and will remember something they read in a book that goes along with the subject we were discussing.

Last year the older two started going through a book titles Home Geography for Primary Grades, notebooking what they learned as they went. I will be having them finish that as well as having them do country studies and the like to go with it. I found a basic country lapbook that you can use for any country of your choice and will have them do a few different countries with that.

Well, that is all I can think of for now. There is of course all the home ec they will learn as they all help out around the house, in the kitchen and with the new baby (arriving after the new year). They will have devotions to do, character training and other stuff going on. I will print out some of the free lapbooks I have picked up so they can do those. If you can't tell, I try to do all I can to make our homeschooling happen with as little cost as possible. I even print all our books, etc. out at the library so as to save on printing costs (they have no limit on how much you can print for free).

One verse that has not only helped with this year's planning, but also with other life issues in the past few months has been Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs- All about me

Alright, here is the first assignment for the Homeschool Memoirs (it was suppose to be Blogger Class Mates but name has been changed). We are suppose to tell about ourselves so that everyone can get to know us a bit.

My name is Kate and I am 32 (for two more months at least! I have been married to my husband Dan for 11 years next month. We have six children (11g, 9g. 7g, 5b, 3b, 1.5b) and one on the way due sometime after the new year.

I have been homeschooling my clan ever since day one. We kindof came to the decision to homeschool about the same time we also gave up our family planning to God. I was on a wonderful list that discussing the biblical reasons for homeschooling, quiverful, courtship, etc. and it helped us to really cement what we believe on the issues (nothing is mandated in the Bible, but we have our personal believes we have been led to through scripture).

The last three years my family has been through a trial that is continuing to stretch us. In Nov. of 05 my husband fell at work and herniated one of the discs in his lower back. After a year of paying him partial wages and trying to find him affective treatment, his company declared he had reached maximum improvement and they cut off his pay.

For the past two years we have been living without any income. The first year we survived on whatever came through for us, this last year we have been using the little bit of money Dan had in his 401K. Monday we cashed out the last of his 401K and are now on empty.

My mom has been telling me how much faith it takes to live like we have been and I kept telling her that I didn't consider it a test of faith because we still had the 401K to fall back on. Now God is stretching us past my comfort zone. Through it all so far he has continued to provide and I don't doubt he will continue to do so- no matter how at ease I am with the situation.

Currently Dan is trying to start a cheesecake business as a way of bringing in some money. I am trying to take care of six children and a house and all that goes with it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Does it make a difference?

I went to church today, I think. Its a little hard to tell sometimes when I've been there. The routine is something like this- go to church for Sunday School and sit in the nursery the whole time with Ben (1.5) because there is nothing else to do with him and he wont sit still for class. Then church starts and I go in for praise and worship. As soon as the singing is over- if I am lucky I might make it through the offering -Ben starts fussing and needs to leave the room. Then I go to the nursery and sit as he wont go in there without me most of the time. Do they still do sermons at church? I can't remember the last time I sat through one! I am going to have to start listening to them online more often so that I can at least get a little bit of something for the week. Danny got something out of the sermon today, so at least I know it was a good one.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let's try this again

I have not posted anything here since April and have only posted 20 times total in all of 2008. I just haven't felt like talking or taking the time out to do any typing. I am however going to try this again. I am also signing up for another blogging assignment group as a way of helping push me to write more regularly. Maybe I can do a little better.

So, if you want to join in the fun, come over to the Homeschool Blog Awards website and sign up to join the class.