Friday, October 05, 2007

Hits and Misses for this School Year So Far

Math is going well. Luke is plowing through Teaching Textbooks 7, Abel is in the Delta Math U See book, Hope is working through Teaching Textbooks' Algebra. Annalise is about half way through Miquon's orange book and I've been using a lot of other resources with her. A favorite is the Noble Knights of Knowledge progam. Most of the time we take Friday's off of the regular math work and play math games.

For the first time we have accomplished some regularity in the subject of Current Events. This year I purchased God's World newspapers for Annalise, Abel and Luke. Hope reads from World magazine. All I do is call them to the livingroom, hand out their papers and set the timer for them to read. At the end of 30 -45 minutes, I ask everyone to take turns telling about interesting things they have read. This method has two ingredients that are important to me: it's simple and it works.

We just started using Mark Kistler's Draw Squad and we are loving that. I make sure this is the last thing of the day so I don't have to hurry anyone away from the table when they want to keep drawing.

The Thinking Toolbox is something that everyone is enjoying once a week. I read this aloud and we do the exercises orally. I can't believe I'm teaching my kids how to argue. Like they really need any help in this area! Annalise always asks about when we are going to do this. She already acts and thinks like the older kids already so I hope I'm not creating a future monster. :)

We are still coming along in our Apologia science books but I put them aside when we have real life nature studies. We'll probably make more headway with these when it's too cold and nasty to go outside. I'm also planning on finishing up our Kamana One this winter. All we have left are some lessons in the Resource Trailhead, which mostly entails making nature journal pages for different topics. By Spring, I'd like to be ready to order Kamana Two.

As is usual with me and foreign languages, I haven't been making the time for our Latin study. We did one lesson and then haven't picked it back up. I'm planning on trying again when we begin Term 2 because the wedding will be past. Planning the wedding is my excuse and I'm sticking too it.

Somehow we've been interrupted on some of the days when we are supposed to do our US Geography with the book It Happened in America. We're still working through this book from last year. We have done a few this year. The last state we did was Minnesota and that evening we even made the Minnesota dinner from the recipe book Eat Your Way Through the USA. The dish was a tater tot casserole but we can't use tater tots because Ford is allergic to the preservatives in them. I just used our own home grown potatoes after I fried them up. The cookbook has been a great addition and I hope we will be successful in making time to use it with each state study. These two resources along with a state map coloring book have been rounding out that study nicely.

Kezzi is really enjoying Sonlight's Civics/American Government course . So far, it seems to be the perfect amount for her senior year since she's working part time down at Ford's shop learning how to do the office work.

Once again, I've been in the old debate with myself of whether to study history all together or separate. Separate is currently winning out. I'm planning on letting Hope begin Sonlight's Church History course as soon as we finish our Ancient Rome studies. I like that the planning is all done, the booklist looks good and the writing assignments are tied in with the reading. I was going to continue studying history together with Hope, the boys and Annalise but I don't think Hope is getting challenged enough and I like the look of the things she'll be diving into regarding Church History. And if we had continued on chronologically from Ancient Rome that would mean going into the Middle Ages. When it came down to it, I couldn't bear to do that again to the boys. They've spent years in their elementary grades in the Middle Ages. They really need to learn more American History now so I'm going to take them through the 1700's (they went up through the 1600's last year) and the American Revolution with a combination of Ambleside Year 4 and Sonlight's World History Part 2. Hope needs a review of the Middle Ages and I think she'll get that with the Church History course.

Nothing that we have used this year has turned out to be a dud yet. It's too early to tell about the Latin program but ask me later and we'll see how it goes.


DW said...

Thanks so much for the update. I always get some new idea!! DW

islandgirlshell said...

i'm a reader of just a few weeks (found you by following Ambleside links & fellow bloggers) and I would just absolutely love and appreciate it if you could share with me how you choose your curriculum and any encouragment you can offer to another homeschool mom. I love the way you homeschool and it's what I want for my family. We are in California and my kids are in public schools but participating in independent study programs. It's my dream to bring them completely home and get out of the "system". Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless,

MamaLion said...

Hi Shelly.

I'd be glad to help in any way I can. Please feel free to email me at

I'll try to find some time to squeeze in a post about choosing curriculum soon because the answer is more than I can probably fit here.