I can’t believe how quickly the summer break passed! I had originally planned to start back homeschooling after Labor Day and then one Friday, thought, “Why not? Let’s just go ahead and start in August.” So that’s how I decided all of our curriculum choices, planned the first quarter and gathered all necessary curriculum in only three days. Needless to say, I had very little sleep that weekend. But when Monday rolled around, we started our new year.
I’m a little late on posting this but to say life has been crazy around here is an understatement!! I have some big news possibly to share soon which will explain much of my stress and reason for really streamlining our studies for this first semester. But you have to wait until I know more. Fun, huh? To catch you up to speed, I held back Jared a year. And I bet you thought homeschool students never repeated a grade? Anyway, he had some medical issues that we discovered was attributing to his learning challenges and I wanted to really focus on that and then give him a chance to do better in high school. Last year, we did ninth and tenth grades. He worked through much of the summer and after this semester, I really have to sit down and do a hard evaluation of where we really stand, what his plans are after graduating and what state requirements are needed. Of course, I did that a few years ago but let’s just say it’s going to be necessary to look at that again. For those that really need a “grade”, I will consider him eleventh for now. He’s still pretty much all over the place. We will concentrate on basics and trying to get him leveled up this semester and then go from there. Jeremiah is starting fourth and that’s much easier. Especially since I’ve already done that four times with the other kids!!
Math – Jeremiah is doing Math Mammoth right now to fill in a few gaps. I will see how well it goes as he is flying through it right now. We also use Life of Fred to add some fun and lots of games and living books. Jared is doing Life of Fred. I am watching closely and might need to add more to it. He has used online courses before and it really depends on whether he likes it as to how well it works.
English/Language Arts – Still working through Logic of English’s Essentials. I also am teaching Jeremiah cursive this year and having both boys do copywork in cursive to improve their handwriting. There’s lots of writing assignments in their history course and I am using Daily Grams right now for grammar review. It’s just the easiest for me. I am thinking of going back to IEW in January.
Science – We trying something totally new this year. Jeremiah is doing Christian Kids Explore Biology and Jared is using Apologia’s Biology. We rotate experiments but I figure since they are both doing biology, they will benefit either way and it’s easier on me. (Do you see a theme going…this semester, I’m opting for EASY.)
History – I received From Adam to Us for a review from Notgrass (detailed review coming soon) and absolutely love it!! The kids requested doing this. We actually started it over the summer and so we will finish it up. It’s a little too easy for Jared but I have plenty to supplement it with for him to be a little more challenged. After all, I have pretty much all of Notgrass’ full line of curriculum so I will have him do some of the Exploring History line with him. Probably next semester, he will do that on his own but for now, I will teach them history together. Next semester, I think we might pick up doing another state history unit. Oh, and we are also doing Government and Elections since it’s that year again.
Electives – I’m trying something new this year and will focus on one elective per quarter. To begin, the boys are wanting to do some computer programming and graphic arts. I haven’t quite decided yet for the remaining quarters but Jared will most likely decide on what he is interested in and do something to compliment that. Also, I want to add learning to play a musical instrument and sports. Jared has developed an interest in optical illusions (thanks to Now You See Me 2) and has been working on card throwing. Jeremiah has been designing and building medieval weapons. They both have a renewed interest in Mabanogi and that’s one game that they can actually learn from so it’s mom-approved.
They are both being involved in some real life experiences too. We harvested (is that what it’s even called??!!) some of our chickens. It will cool to see the progression of egg development in the hens. I’ve put them both to work in some odd jobs (we’ll help deliver phone books soon…math/map reading/finances). And most of all, learning to be flexible and trusting in God to whatever is in store.