School Bells Ring, Are you Listening? {The Plan: 2012-2013}

School is now in session!

T is an official 1st Grader. Wow.

Mr B isn’t officially in school, but he’ll be tagging along for a lot of what we do.

We started last Monday, and we had a great{!!} week. I’m thanking the Lord for that blessing. I wasn’t sure if it would be a struggle at the beginning, but I think the boys were ready for a routine {and I was too!}.

So…maybe you’re interested in what curriculum choices I’ve made for the year, and maybe you’re not.

If you are – this post is for you!

If you’re not – feel free to come back tomorrow. ;)

But mostly, I want to record this for myself and where I am in this homeschooling adventure.

I have a feeling I’ll be posting more about our homeschool experience as the year progresses. It’s just such a big part of our lives. But, you never know, I might surprise myself and never really talk much about it here on the blog!

So N.E.WAY!

Here’s the homeschool scoop for the Qu abode!

These are the things we will be doing everyday:

Sonlight will be a big portion of what we do. It’s literature-based, so lots and lots of reading which the boys love. It includes history, geography, social studies, Bible, art, and all kinds of good things. We are doing Core A which is kind of an overview and broad look at cultures around that world. I’m realllllly looking forward to doing Sonlight!

We are continuing with Alphabet Island’s Phonics this year. I love their slow, reinforced, fun multi-sensory approach. T’s been doing great reading! Can’t wait to see this area develop even more for him this year.

Because Alphabet Island is a phonics program and not a reading or writing program, I am incorporating Sonlight’s Language Arts 1 for the reading and creative writing aspects. Sonlight makes it easy with I Can Read! books, Copywork and, Creative Expression exercises that are just the right amount of work while still being fun.

I chose Math in Focus this year for math. It’s a Singapore approach math curriculum. This particular curriculum is very pricey, but I was able to piece it together through eBay and other used sources to keep it pretty reasonable. The text is bright and fun and engaging without being over-stimulating. They are starting slow and building, which is so good for T who can get overwhelmed. I’ve also noticed how “real life” and practical they’ve made it – love that.

Last year I did Building Thinking Skills with T, and we really liked it. The progress was slow – starting with recognizing basic colors, straight lines and curved lines, and ended with more complex patterns and “what happens next” kinds of things. It was easy for him because the pace was slow, but I really liked that I felt like it did sharpen his thinking. Mr B is doing this book this year. So far so good. He loves that he has his very own “school book.”

For thinking skills for T this year I am going with Developing the Early Learner that I bought at Timberdoodle. Again, it starts slow, and each exercise is kind of “easy” but I’m pretty certain that it’s going to continue sharpening his thought processes and listening skills.

At T’s request we are doing science this year. I’m actually really, really excited about this! I love learning about science-y kinds of things, so I think this will be fun for us.

Three times a week, we’ll be delving into science. I chose to go with Answer’s in Genesis, and I think we’re going to love it! The books are so pretty. :) The year’s worth of curriculum comes in three books. So for the year we are studying God’s Design For Life: Plants, Animals, and the Human Body. I love how the curriculum is set up for use from 1st grade-ish through about 8th grade. They have each lesson broken down into segments that build on each other. Since we’re in 1st grade, we’ll just be doing the simple first segment, but an 8th grader would do the most advances segments. Each day has some kind of hands-on experiment to do as well. I know the word “experiment” can strike fear in some of our hearts, but from what we’ve enjoyed so far they are simple, use household items, and don’t take a lot of time. I particularly love that they have a strong, strong Creation-based mentality. You hear about evolution everywhere you turn, I really want to give my kids a strong Creation-based worldview. So…science should be fun!

Then we have some once a week/elective/if we get around to it kind of things:

Latin…We’ll see how this goes. A friend suggested a program called Song School Latin {Amazon link} and it looks fun and simple! T loves music {he’s very auditory}, so I think this should go over well. The lessons are short without tons of bookwork, which sounds good to me!

Handwriting…I wasn’t going to do this, but I had T evaluated in July and the evaluator mentioned that I should work on his handwriting. Ugh… I ordered an older copy of Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 1 {Amazon link}. They use a one stroke method for the letters which is what the evaluator suggested. We’ve done a couple of lessons. So far they are easy, so I’m hoping with a slow pace, it will be fine and his handwriting will improve.

In September that boys are finally starting a sport! I’m sooooo excited about this! T will be playing “modified coach pitch” {I’m not really sure what the “modified” means, but we’ll find out soon!}. And Mr B will be playing t-ball. Softball was a big part of my life growing up, so I’m really excited to introduce the boys to baseball. :) It’s only on Saturdays {practice and games} and it’s only for about 2 months. I’m looking forward to being a soccer baseball mom. :)

And I think that about covers it for the formal curriculum for the year! We’ll see how it goes….

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