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Thursday, January 10, 2013

MIA: Where have we been?

       It has been awhile since my last post, and a lot has happened.  First of all I have to admit that blogging seemed to become more of a chore then for fun, so I have decided to stop posting every little thing about the little ones schooling. They don’t seem to mind because they were getting a little camera shy. Plus making and posting all of our Collections were getting in the way of other things that should have been happening instead, so I decided to put those off for a while also since Lady Jey is really not using them any more and Lady Bells will not use them in full until maybe next year.

     SANY0500On my last post I posted about Lady Jey’s first book, since then she has read many more and is doing good. We have completed the Math U See (MUS) Primer and decided that MUS is just not for us and have moved on or rather back to BJU math, only because it is what Princessa used and we already own it. We also finished the BJU science we were working on, so I am in the process of looking for something for her to do. We are still doing Sonlight but I am not really happy that Sonlight does not introduce sight words in a “normal”  way, so I have decided, that we will add in the You can Read curriculum that we started last year and finish it up. Although things are going to change up a little Lady Jey is doing really well, kindergarten is NOT as stressful as I thought it would be, that summer before we started.  I am really enjoying teaching her, and I am really glad we went for a more laid back approach.

SANY0499 As for Lady Bells, “school” has kind of slacked off a bit. She is really not into doing worksheets or her notebook everyday. She still reviews the letter sounds at least once a week and we do some counting and she listens to Lady Jey’s stories but that is all the school she is up to doing these days. This does not alarm me in the least, I have since come to realize that all of my children are different and sometimes it takes different levels of maturity to be introduced to certain things. So things that she just didn’t get this year will come automatically next year. I have also decided that I will probably wait to start official kindergarten with her, the year she will be six, it  just seems that things are easier to grasp, for them at this age. But we will see!

      SANY0498Princessa has since finished her study of the human body using the Answers in Genesis curriculum, and is now doing The World of Animals.  I really like this curriculum because of it being from a young earth perspective but using Sonlight has turned me on to the the use of living books, so I am on the fence as to rather or not I will continue with AIG. Princessa seems to like AIG so I guess for now I will continue with what we are doing and maybe use Sonlight science over the summer?  As for math, we have done away with MUS at this level also. This decision was not taken lightly because I did love the approach of MUS and Princessa was doing really well in it. I made this decision based solely on the struggles that Prince was having in math, more of this below, and the drive to get back to simpler things. I decided to go with Rod and Staff to meet our needs. Not only is this curriculum VERY cheap it is simple. Simple for me to teach and they really get the concepts easily. Fourth grade at this stage has been a breeze for Princessa, no real struggles and I pray it will continue to be.

 Prince is finally catching up in math, YAY!  As mention above MUS was just not working for us partly because he did not learn the concepts needed in public school to complete the level of math expected  of his grade level. We tried everything! After much tears from him and lots of prayers on my part everything came together when a neighbor introduced me to Rod and Staff.  Not that I have not seen it before, but I dismissed it as old fashion and boring, what with all of these new math curriculums out there how could it even be remotely compared. Boy was I WRONG!  Prince instantly caught on! I don’t know, maybe it was all the distractions of the previous curriculum, not just MUS, that was holding him back, maybe it was the one on one teaching he needed, I don’t know. But I truly have to say Rod and Staff was a Godsend!  The spiral approach is what he needed not the one concept approach of MUS that I thought would help. Rod and Staff is how I learned to do math so that helps when trying to teach him something he doesn’t understand. I say to any of you out there that have little ones who struggle in math, Do not overlook Rod and Staff as an option! It is simple and basic and does the job! without the higher price of the “newer” curriculum. As for science, he has finished his Creation or Evolution book and is still excited when he can discuss these things with anyone who is willing to listen, so of course that makes me excited that I went with my gut in picking this science for him to do. He has now started on his upper level science, and is doing Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science, he was VERY excited to start this because of all the experiments he will be doing, I was excited because I DON’T have to help Winking smile.  I am not a very hands on learner and just reading about the experiment does it for me so thankfully these experiments or pretty straight forward and he can do them himself plus they offer a companion CD that explains the experiments.

SANY0497, One of Prince’s first experiments with his new science. Using water, corn syrup, and oil. With a grape, a small pebble, a piece of cork, and an ice cube.

        Our group studies have been very pleasing, we are ALL loving Sonlight history, everything from the read-alouds to the readers. There have been a couple of books that we did not get through, such as Walk the Rim and Lawn Boy, which came highly praised, but there have been others that we truly LOVE such as Sign of  the Beaver (I also recommend the movie based on the book Keeping the Promise), Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans and Landmark History of American People some of these being ones that others said were difficult to get through. At first, I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this curriculum, “how could we learn about history by just reading books” again I was wrong to think this, we have learned SO much, even me a self proclaimed history buff!  The Holzmanns have weeded out all the nonsense books and have truly given a blessed history curriculum in Sonlight! 
We have finished the Armor of God Bible study we started in the Summer. This should not have taken so long but we had some interesting discussions that came from these lessons, so all in all I am happy with it. After much searching on my part for our next  Bible study I decided on Apologia’s Who is God? because it offers in it’s reviews what I am wanting for my children, a way for them to “ discern among competing ideas and stand in the truth”. I am excited about this and can not wait to start it.   We also started the series What’s in the Bible, starting with Why Do We Call It Christmas over our break and continuing on through the Bible Series. I am excited about these also, and can’t wait to dive in!

December marked our halfway point and in all this year has been our best year, of course last year I felt the same! We have been blessed beyond what we deserve, and I can not thank God enough for giving us the blessed opportunity to homeschool.  I look at my little ones everyday and do not regret the decision I have made, I truly feel blessed to be a part of this experience with my children, to have them with me each and everyday, to know exactly what they are doing and what they are learning, that is the job God gave me as their mother and I can, with my whole heart say I am doing my part!
Until next time!

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