Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homeschool Update

Every year has been different as we enter our 5th year of homeschooling we now have 3 children in school and two infants to manage.  First,  I feel much more comfortable homeschooling and less stressed about small stuff.  The second difference is the twins. As I am not a Mama who usually schedules her baby, instead I have tended to go with their natural ebb & flow. They wake up I feed them , when they are awake we  play with them, set them up to play and carry them and then they go back to sleep. So our school days have been a bit elongated with a distracted Mama & students tending to twins. The second difference is that we are not doing a literature based homeschool this year. We had planned on doing My Father's World but due to the baby wrangling we decided to use textbooks this year. This year I simply do not have the time to sit down consistently to get a literature based study done with the kiddos.

This update is going to be about our kindergarten with a few comments about our overall homeschool thus far. Although we are generally a CM/Classical unit study family this year we are a textbook using family. But our kindergarten is still slightly Charlotte Mason.

We use Teach your Child to read in 100 Easy lessons (TUCR100EL) to teach reading. This year we are using Adventures A (from Christian Liberty Press) Phonics workbook along side of it. We have already taken a week break from it because TUCR100EL because it was just rough going. I was not being kind and gentle and she was having great difficulty blending her sounds. Though she is doing very well learning her sounds.  Now in previous years we would have chucked TUCR100EL  and started an entirely different phonics program but instead we are adding  Abeka's Blend Book  & the CLP Adventures in Phonics Workbook along with our lessons to address the students weaknesses. I have always felt less then adequate to teach reading even though the one I taught to read is a great reader. Still I am always concerned I will teach them the wrong sounds, so I purchased Adventures in Phonics: Phonics Sounds and Teaching Tips. The CD has all correct pronunciations of each of the sounds and blends.The $3.95 I spent on it is worth it to me for peace of mind. We restarted phonics this week and we are still pressing forward however Mama is pressing forward with a meek & quiet spirit this time & Sugar pie was smiling!

Science is very exciting in our kindergarten as Sugar pie is studying ants so we have restarted our ant farm. I ordered ants, dirt & ant food from ants alive. Why did I order ants well when you spend $6 on ants you don't want to kill them with Texas clay! The ants live above the piano and they have already provided all of us with lots of entertainment as they dig their tunnels. I am going to check out a bunch of books on ants for her sister to read to her. Her big sister Park-e-pine is reading Abeka Science K to her on Tuesdays & Thursdays.  

This week we started our letter of the week. So this week is "A".... surprise! We are using Alphabet Patterns . I choose this curriculum because it was simple and it was not dependent on certain books. I can do anything or nothing and I can pretty much just pick it up and go. All I have to do is make copies. The book has color sheet for each letter,  cut out, letters to color, an activity & suggested book. We are doing the extra activities as we have time and most of them she can do on her own.  We are putting all of the appropriate phonics pages behind each letter plus extra letter craft projects such as: stamping letters, make macaroni (bean or rice) letters, nature letters from sticks. I decided to do this because I wanted to add more fun to her kindergarten.

This year our math and read alouds for Kindergarten are tried and true. We use Alpha Omega's Horizon's Math for our K-3 . Pearson is just trucking along in Math and I have been pleased with her progress. As for read alouds, big sisters and I are reading a truckload of books from the Ambleside Online Year 0 to both sugar pie & the twins.Some of the books include: Roxenboxen, Oxcart Man, Little House, Mike Mulligan & Steam Shovel...

We spend no more then an hour and half on kindergarten though we normally finish it in 45 minutes to one hour.  If you'd like to see what we are using in our homeschool you check my sidebar and hopefully by the time this posts it will be complete with links.

I just wanted to remind everyone (especially myself) that  it is:

 "...the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge
and understanding. Proverbs 2:6.

All we can do is be faithful to teach and instruct but it is the Lord that grants knowledge and understanding. It is the Lord that has to work in the heart of this child. With this in mind it becomes clear that my prayers for each child are much more important then my 'method' of teaching? Just as the word calls me to do I must always keep my eye on the Lord and strive forward toward the prize.

Be encouraged Ladies, it is the Lord that grants wisdom! I hope you are all having a successful and joyful year training up your children in the way they should go.

Schooling in His Sovereign Grace,
Rooster Hill Academy!

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