One of the best things about homeschooling is that I can change and adjust what we are doing for school as it fits (or doesn't fit) for us. When we take a break for Christmas, I take time to reflect on what we've been doing and what's working and what's not. Even though January doesn't technically start a new school year, life seems to reset or restart in January, the new year. So, it is natural that our goals and plans for school can also.
In January, I'm going to be participating in a virtual curriculum fair. This will outline in some detail what I'm loving and what I'm leaving in curriculum for the new year.
For now, here are some overall changes I know I'm making: goals for the new year in our homeschool, if you will.
1. Start school earlier. We've slipped into a go to bed later and later and get up later and later mode. We are night people, and I don't mind a later bedtime and a later start to our day. But, I do think we need to get back to being more consistent about a start time, so that we are through with school before so late. I'd like to be starting close to 9am every morning.
2. No ipods during school time. The older kids have slipped into this bad habit also. They will plan on "just checking email," but it turns into a game played here and there and time wasted. I'm planning to lock apps on the ipods until all school work is completed.
3. Make trips/classes planned during school hours rare. I find that if we don't do school first, it doesn't get done. Knowing this, I really need to be careful not to plan to go places during the hours that we need to do school. Trips and extra activities should be done in the later afternoon when at all possible.
4. Stick to the schedule for those classes that don't need to be daily. Latin, apologetics, logic, picture study, music, Shakespeare all seem to get shuffled to the side when we are busy with other things. I really want these subjects to be done during every week. I need to ensure that it happens.
I'm thankful for a new and fresh start for the new year!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
We use and have used many great resources from New Leaf Publishing in our school. I've used the science curriculum from Answers in Genesis. I have the original A is for Adam and D is for Dinosaur books for young children. We have the wonderful Big Book of History- a big book with a fold out timeline. There are just so many great resources for encouraging a Biblical world view in my children.
I was very excited to review the new Answers Book for Teens. My children have grown up being taught a Christian worldview and how to defend their faith. And I've used many of the resources I listed above to do that. But, as my oldest children approach their teen years, I wanted to reinforce what I've been teaching with something that was cool and relevant looking but still had the same solid message.
This book has an interesting and appealing format that draws teens in to read. And authors Bodie Hodge, Ken Ham, and Tommy Mitchell aren't afraid to tackle the tough questions. They don't encourage teens to not ask. Instead, they give solid, Biblical answers to the hard questions that teens have.
The Answers Book For Teens is divided into fifteen questions. Each question is answered in an easy to understand way, but the answers aren't "dumbed down." Instead, they are sincere answers that are supported by much scripture. Throughout the answers, a Christian worldview is enforced again and again and a clear gospel message is given.
Teaching my children a Christian worldview and helping them to form their own beliefs and understand why they believe that way is very important to me. I'm happy to have this as a resource and a great addition to our library.
I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Monday: School, school , and more school. Not much else going on Monday. Hmm, maybe why we had a productive week?
Tuesday: School (I see a pattern here!) and gingerbread house making with our science group. No, there was nothing remotely science involved, but it was lots of fun! On Tuesday evening, Ashlyne had the first of two gymnastics Christmas programs.
Wednesday: Even more school. We headed to the church in the afternoon to be church mice (the mysterious little helpers that straighten the sanctuary during the week- a job we always do in December) and to have a middle school Christmas party.
Thursday: Could you guess- more school? Thursday evening was Ashlyne's second gymnastics program.
Today (Friday): Only a small amount of school. Kathryne and Charles took science tests for their last module and then made cookies for a cookie exchange tonight. Ashlyne had a private lesson at the gym. And, here we are. It is Christmas Break!
Over the break, I'm going to flesh out our plans for the upcoming weeks. Rachel has advanced enough that I can begin using the math and phonics books that I had for her at the first of the year. Woohoo! I am going to go back to Story of the World for history. It is not my preference. I really enjoy Truthquest with its focus on a Christian worldview. But, our library has updated and changed some policies and it is now very difficult for me to get the books I need through interlibrary loan and keep them as ling as I need them.
For now, I'm looking forward to two weeks of break.
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Saturday, December 3, 2011
Well, Thanksgiving is officially over, and the Christmas season is upon us. Jason and I joined the other crazies on Black Friday to get a large part of Christmas shopping done. And on Sunday we put up our Advent wreath and Christmas tree. This week, we started our Jesse Tree devotions on December 1, we had a field trip, and we had a Christmas cookie making day with friends. It was a good start to the Christmas season.
Monday- We hosted science at our house. This was the second week of a two week chemistry lab using a very neat science kit called Extreme Ooze that one of our members had. The kids got to make different polymers.
Tuesday- Charles woke up with strep. (We knew that's what it was because Jason had it Sunday.) The girls and I went ahead and went on a field trip we had planned. We headed up to Charlotte for a tour of the Operation Christmas Child warehouse. We do shoe boxes every year for the Operation Christmas Child project, and we've toured the warehouse before several years ago, but this time was quite a bit different. It was much shorter, and the kids really didn't get to do much except view the warehouse from an upstairs loft and watch a short video. It is always touching to me to realize everything that goes into this ministry. Next year Kathryne will be 13, and we can volunteer.
Wednesday- Finally, we had almost a full day at home. We had a day of schoolwork and then headed to church.
Thursday- I had physical therapy in the morning, so the kids did independent work until I came home, and we did some together work.
Friday- We got our school work finished in the morning and then headed to friends' house to make Christmas cookies.
Next week should be a little less busy (don't I say that often!), and I'm hoping to start finishing up some things, so we can take a school break for Christmas.
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