Have i even posted about starting *school*??!!
We "officially" started last week & it was wonderful. This has to be one of my best starts ever, where there is just this peace that we're doing what is right for our family. Maybe it's partly 'cause little Chewie is home too, starting grade 1. He was at public school for K ~ just like all the other kiddies did too, but it's so good to have him home.
i'll give a little run down for posterity of how i think this year will look, starting with the oldest & working my way down the line.
Chrysalis Academy ~ 2008-2009
Cai ~ grade 7
Cai's continuing with Saxon Math this year (8/7 pre-algebra)
She's also working through Science Focus 7 & loving picking out projects for herself to do (take a look at her cute blog to see the science quiz she made up).
Her language arts has a few different angles. i got her this cute book called Language Lessons for the Secondary Child by Sandi Queen. She loves it so far & i think it's gonna be a good fit. Along with that, she'll continue with Easy Grammar Plus & her Spelling Power that she's been working on since last year. Her language arts will also cross over with history. We're going to give our first go at Canadian History this year (as a big group) ~ after we read aloud together (we're starting out using The Story of Canada as our text & then after we read, they might have a writing assignment (1 sentence /grade) or the older ones might have to write a story about something that piqued their interest. (Cai wrote a story about the mutiny aboard Henry Hudson's ship ~ so good!). We're also continuing adding entries in our Sonlight Book of Time (a huge spiral bound timeline with empty pages to fill in as we see fit... very cool... i bought it my first year homeschooling & we've been adding to it ever since ~ it's getting nice and rounded out by now!) i decided to do a group bible lesson in the morning & our read aloud in the afternoon. For bible, i'm using a children's bible story book (Molls is involved in this too) as i didn't think my little ones know enough of those amazing bible stories well enough. This will be a good review for everyone i think. We're also having a 'sharing' & prayer time in the mornings. Our first read aloud is Little Pilgrim's Progress ~ this is tradition ~ every time a new student begins grade one at Chrysalis Academy (hehe!) we read this book. It's a favourite for our family & i've never read it without crying... i want to start (didn't this week) working again on our latin/greek flashcards. Cai would love a french program, but we haven't started anything yet & i can't see it happening this fall... :( We're also going to try to be a little more diligent with fiddling in the afternoons too. i've been so bad with this in the past couple of years. i'd love to get better at 'making it happen'.
Lifeskills are a focus this year too. Cai's main special chore is to gather up all laundry (including the dirty diapers) & get 1 load of laundry started in the morning. Doing 1 load a day seems to be perfect for our family. They're not huge loads, but we're always on top of it.
On top of these activities, Cai has a list of "options" in her book to choose from if she's got the time, incling, or desire :) These include:
memorization, handwriting, bible reading (she's 3/4 of the way done her bible), fun reading (Sloan never has her nose OUT of a book), exercise, baking (both Sloan & Cai bake our bread), art, gardening (herbs etc... indoors for winter), sewing, knitting, journaling, blogging, emails, awana, & fiddling (did i mention Cai got in after auditioning for the Bow Valley Fiddlers??!! Exciting times!!)
Sloanie ~ grade 5
Sloanie's continuing with Saxon Math (6/5)
Her science this year is a continuation of a book she started last year with Peyton, they do it together, it's called Science Made Easy & it's recommended for grades 3-4 & seems to work for mostly independent study. Her language arts *for now* is Englishsmart. i've got a book on order from Cher written by Emma Serl that i think will be a better fit, but LA is a strength for Sloan, so it doesn't seem to matter what i use ~ she enjoys it. She's also continuing with Spelling Power. For history, bible, fiddle & options, see Cai's list above. Sloanie's special chore is emptying the dishwasher every time it's done ~ (with Peyton) ~ seems to be a frequent chore at our house!
Peyton ~ grade 3
Sweet Peyton! Peyton is using Mathsmart for grade 3. She's also using this website to work on math drills as she'll be writing the provincial achievement tests at the end of this year. i really believe in speed drills anyway & i think it's a great skill to master. For science, she's working with Sloan on Science Made Easy. Peyton's using Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl for LA (p-erfect fit) & is continuing with Spelling Power. She still needs to read aloud to me & for that, we're using a Spectrum book of Little Critter stories. For history, bible, fiddle & options, see Cai's list above. Peyton's special chore is emptying the dishwasher with Sloan.
Charter ~ grade 1
Charter's using Mathsmart for grade 1. i'm pretty sure that very soon, i'm going to start him with some simple drills too (he already likes the flashmaster, so i might just use that). For LA, Charter uses Englishsmart & i've got him using a Handwriting Without Tears writing program. He's reading to me using the 'I Can Read It' readers & he's already on the second one. ~ Later on in the year, i might get him started on science, but for now, he's not doing any. For, history, bible, fiddle & options, see Cai's list above. Charter's special chore is taking out the recycling to the garage & gathering up all the garbage's to take out.
Mollen ~ preschool
Molls is using scissors, crayons, pencils, paper & having fun. She's interested in her letters & numbers & likes to listen in on some lessons & stories. i like it when she does, but no pressure. Mollen's special chore is switching the laundry into the dryer (sometimes) :) She's learning...
Gage ~ baby
Gage is learning to be cute (perfect marks). Gage's special job is to remind us that *people* are most important... sometimes he derails things, but sweet boy is worth every distraction & delay he causes.
To help the children know what to do next, the 4 biggest have daytimers. In the front is taped their 'list' of things to do. If it has * after it, that means 'i need mom to do this', if there is no *, then they know they can do it on their own. Charter can only do handwriting on his own, but that's ok!! After they finish a subject, they write it down on that date in their daytimer. At lunch, we take a look at their daytimer & set goals for the afternoon (i write them in), "if you could finish up this & this, then that would be great" ~ gives them something to work towards... & if not, they can start with that the next day. This is something i'm including in their homeschool this year & it's called *time management* :) They kind of like feeling like they're in charge of their lives & education.
k, this is long & boring to probably everyone but ME!! hehehehehehe...
i'll have to make my housecleaning ideas & schedule a different post.