Saturday, May 26, 2012

Current Homeschooling Plan

So this ratty teddy bear doesn't really have anything to do with home school... other than he's always here and very very loved by one little boy! (Kirby)

Things have been a little up in the air due to my health issues and also due to lack of finances as my husband has been out of work since December. Originally my goal was to start Kaleb on more of a regular curriculum when he turned 5 years old in May. Last fall I bought him a few items to work on, this is what we tried:
PS: For those people who are against educating children too early, please be sure to read to the bottom of this post as I do touch on that subject.

Before Five in a Row (Mainly reading the book a few times during the week and trying to do some activities but not always so successfully)
Apologia Zoology 3 (I would just read a few pages at a time)
What your Kindergartner needs to know (In steads of being a guide on what to teach your kids, this book actually has specific things to teach them. It has a section on pretty much everything, math, geology/history/social studies, music, art, etc) - Basically I would pick something from this book and go over it a few times a week.
Reading/Language Arts - I put a LOT of focus, prior to getting so sick, into reading reading reading. My goal was to read more living books and Bible stories than anything else. I figured if I didn't get anything done in a week but to read to them, it was OK. I also got different books on tape from the library and Kaleb and Kirby both enjoyed listening to those.
Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons - To be honest 100 lessons is a lot for me and Kaleb is a smart boy, I think he could learn to read sooner so we might try something else as at this point we've only gotten to lesson 8.
Bible - For Christmas my whole family (My Dad, Mom/Step dad and Sister) blessed us by each buying one set of the Your Story Hour Cd's, we ended up with 4 sets. The sicker I got the more Kaleb was allowed to listen to these Cd's, they are wonderful and I listened to them as a child! I have no experience with the History Cd's they sell but I'm sure they are wonderful and someday I would like to be able to buy those to try out. Here's my post from a few months back on the Your Story Hour.

Once I am able to buy new curriculum we will be tweaking things a bit and adding some new things. One main thing is I have finally decided I will be teaching the boys Latin first, and then move on to Spanish as they get older. The other thing that is important to me is to teach them about classical music and composers, that's something I didn't get much of as a child and I think it is important for them.
The plan is to home school year round with natural breaks in between as life guides us. Also, Kaleb is still young and really doesn't need a formal education yet. I am trying to nurture a love for learning so even though I listed 'set' curriculum above, I go with his flow... if he is resistant, we do something else. The biggest issue is hand writing. I really feel he should be practicing writing his alphabet at this age, but he hates it. I am not quite sure yet if it would be better to drop it all together until he is closer to age 7 or until he doesn't resist it (whichever comes first). It is so important to me that my kids develop a love for learning. I also encourage and insist that they spend a LOT of time outdoors playing and exploring, which they do. Just last week my husband and I and Kaleb and Kirby were walking down the road looking for ants and other cool bugs when a local city utility worker who was apparently watching us says "Science class?" to which I replied "yes, exactly!". lol

A view of the ever important book cases - my two youngest boys sure love their books!

Now on to the subject of Kyle's school work (cringe).
Kyle, 16 yrs old and a Junior in High school:

Here is what the plan was for 2011/2012 curriculum:

My Fathers World Ancient History (this covers language arts, Bible and History)
Apologia Biology
Teaching Textbooks Geometry
Spelling (two semesters of spelling, I can't remember the name of the books at the moment)
Health Class - two semesters of online health class through Horizon
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Probably something else I'm forgetting at the moment

In steads of what you see above, what has mainly happened is the My Fathers World Curriculum and the spelling. Unfortunately due to all my health problems, Kyle has gotten behind in his schoolwork. He did start to get behind before we found out I was sick as well...staying on target is hard for him and he gets distracted easily which is a BIG reason why traditional school was not working. I think school at home actually is working better. He knows that he might be graduating late at this point, but he seems to be alright with that and I think it is better than pushing pushing pushing and making him so frustrated about graduating that he quits. Because we did not start homeschooling until his 9th grade year, the normal habits that most home school kids develop haven't quite developed yet. Such as being more self motivated.

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