Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ramping Up!

I worked on the girls' schedules today and got their binders organized.  They organized their school benches a few weeks ago and cleaned them out.


I am having serious thoughts of simplicity.  I am such a curriculum junkie.  Every time I read about something, it sounds so good and I think I have to have it.  But seriously, the only thing I've ever been really happy with and have worked consistently with, is Sonlight.


I always feel just a little disloyal when I am using something else.  Thinking about just sticking with the SL IG makes me feel like I am coming home. 


I was reading some threads on the SL Forums today comparing SL with other curriculums, particularly those that are hands-on.  The opinion that most struck a chord with me was that it is easy to add in a few hands-on things to Sonlight.  I have plenty of activity books, there are ideas all over the internet.  To choose a different curriculum just for the hands-on and then supplement with SL seems overkill.


I think Pepper will do just fine with Core 3 this year if we go straight Sonlight.  That she was so young was the major reason I was looking at other things.


So I'm thinking of going at the regular pace with Core 3 until we're finished, then jumping into Core 4.  I think we must be about at Week 15 in Core 3, so that leaves us with 22 to go.  That would be into about February and we should be able to finish Core 4 by that same time the following year. 


That would put Pepper at just-turned 9 when we begin Core 5 and that will be all right for her, I think.


Does anyone know if we can list and sell books on our blog?  My guess would be that it is not allowed--I've never seen it done.  But when I read the fine print, I couldn't decipher whether that was a rule or not.  Please let me know in the comments, if you know.



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Thoughts About Fall

I think I've settled on what we'll do for Bible, at least to start out.  Last year, I had purchased My First Catechism: An Illustrated Version of Luther's Small Catechism.  A few weeks ago, I was browsing the Concordia Publishing site and found a workbook to go along with it.  I've decided to have Daisy and Pepper work through the exercises together.  I think discussing the answers and taking turns filling them in will be more valuable than having them each fill in a workbook.  Plus Pepper is just a little young for this.  Working with Daisy, however, I think she'll be able to do it.


For Banana Boy, I'm going to continue with ABC Bible Verses and a new book I found for him at the half-price bookstore:  His Mighty Warrior: A Treasure Map from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd.  I love this little book!  It is written as letters to a little boy from God, includes a bible verse and a prayer.  It is very sweet and very empowering.  You can see an exerpt from the book on the CBD website at the link above.  BB and I are also reading through  The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.  I also LOVE this book.  It is a fairly typical children's story Bible (except that there is some really funny parents-only-are-going-to-catch-it humor) but every story points out how every part of the Bible points to God's plan for salvation.


For science, I found a little book at Concordia Publishing called Even the Sound Waves Obey Him.  The subtitle is "Bible Stories Brought to Life with Science."  It is for grades PreK-2, but I think the object lessons are well-done and perhaps the Bible point is even more valuable than the science concept in each lesson.  For example, the first lesson is Genesis 1-2, God creates everything in his own image.  The science activity is to look at your reflection in a metal spoon.  You talk about reflections and the concave/convex concept.  The upside down concave image reminds us that sin distorts our image and we no longer resemble God.  Plus, as Science Losers, I'm sure there will be lessons we haven't done!  There are only 44 in the book, so we should be able to finish this in one semester and then tackle something else.


Banana Boy is all signed up for Kindergarten.  His class eats lunch at 11:40, so he'll get dropped off at the office on their way to lunch and I'll pick him up.  This way, he won't be leaving in the middle of an activity and won't stand out so much as being different.  Plus his best friend will be attending half-days, too, (yay!  We can carpool!) so there will be two of them leaving before lunch.


Here is what he is missing in the afternoon:



Rest time



Free/Play time


Instead, he'll be at home, bonding with me! 



Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summertime and the Homeschool is Nonexistent

The reason I haven't been posting about our homeschool is that what you see is what you get.  There hasn't been much of it lately.


We went on vacation and that was educational and fun.  You can read all about it here.


I think a bunch of us played a math game one day.  Daisy and Rose Bud have been having fun getting in on the math games.


All three girls have become even more staunch bookworms than before.  Most afternoons you'll find two on the couch and one in the recliner with their noses in the books.  Daisy is re-reading The Year of Miss Agnes and has Understood Betsy on deck.  Rose Bud will read anything and everything she can get her hands on (unless it is medieval--ewww!  Bleh!) or boring or that she's read too many times already or one she has read but didn't like (she is narrating over my shoulder here, can you tell?)  Her latest forays have included Fox Trot cartoons, Henry Reed, and her Brio magazines.  Pepper is pretty much still into short chapter books, but she lately really enjoyed the Boxcar Children and is on about the tenth one.  She also loves Garfield cartoons and the Family Circus.


Banana Boy worked through an entire Grade 1 addition workbook I got for $1 at Target (RUN to your local One Spot!  They had lots of cute schooly things for only a dollar each)  I'm not saying it was rocket science, but for $1, he became familiar with the notation used for addition and practiced some simple addition facts.  And I couldn't tear him away from it.  He worked 5 or 6 pages every night on vacation.  I also bought a phonics book he practiced in.


Sunshine is once again in Potty Training school and doing fairly well.  He's taking himself to the potty about twice as often as he is forgetting, so I count that success.    How come nobody opens a publically funded, no-child-left-behind school for getting out of diapers?  How come we're EXPECTED to homeschool our kids into underwear?  In my mind, this is way harder than teaching kids to read or borrow and carry!  I'd gladly pack him on a bus every morning and let someone else remind him every 3 minutes to go potty and shake the poop out of his underwear!


I know.  I'm supposed to cherish every moment, and I do!  I just wish there weren't so many of them.


Anyway, that's been our summer!  School starts in a month and then we'll be hard back at it.  Banana Boy got his teacher assignment in the mail today and found out he's in the same class with his best buddy, Little Hey, which is great, since they'll both be attending only half-day.