The Start of a New Year!

We survived our first day of homeschooling!

Admittedly, it was an easy first day! We spent most of our time decorating lapbooks for all of the subjects we’ll be doing. Or, at least, all of the subjects I know we’ll be doing, as of now.  

I’d originally planned to teach health for science, but the boys wanted to learn about astronomy and the Missouri Department of Conservation happens to be hosting a talk/walk at the end of the month where we’ll be able to observe the supermoon. With that in mind, I decided to switch gears and go ahead and start off with astronomy.

I’m utilizing some videos on YouTube, a couple of TEDTalks Space Trek videos from Netflix, a few sections from Khan.academy.com’s Cosmology and Astronomy Course, and a couple of fun hands-on activities from Pinterest.

We’ll pop into the Science Center, at some point, and spend time at the planetarium. We’ll also try our hand at using the telescope to observe the night sky.

For math, we’re doing the Life of Fred series.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not entirely sure how this approach will work. It came highly recommended and the books retain their value so I can always just sell them if they don’t work out. We may well end up supplementing with Khan Academy math.

Language Arts was easy to pull together this year. Gabe has a workbook that he’d started toward the end of last year. I’m putting Luke through a grammar book I already had on hand that looks fun and easy. I also found the book Help Your Child with Language Arts at the library. Luke looked at it and thought it looked fun so we’ll see what we think of that.

I found a couple of writing prompts, ideas, etc, on Pinterest, too, that we’ll be using here and there. Also, each boy will be reading a children’s classic, monthly/bi-monthly. Gabe is starting with Stuart Little and Luke is beginning with The Bridge to Terabithia. I wrote up a vocab list for Gabe and found one online for Luke. Plus, they both get a stack of books of their own choosing, once or twice a week during library visits.

For Bible, they each have a devotional book to read each morning and then I also purchased a copies of BJU’s Bible Truths. My bestie raved about this series for her kids last year so I made a point to look over the curriculum at the homeschool expo and liked what I saw. It is a workbook, but it’s only 1-2 pages per day and looks informative and fun.

I’m also trying to integrate Scripture into every nook and cranny possible. As I’ve been reading the Bible and doing my own devotions I write down any verse that stands out to me that would pertain to something we’re going to be learning about! My goal is to saturate them in the Bible.

History will be a continuation of learning about the U.S. Presidents. Of course, we learn about what was happening in the U.S. and around the world as we go through them, one by one. We visited Wilson’s Creek Battlefield over Labor Day Weekend and we’re going through another NPS series about the Underground Railroad. That will conclude our Civil War studies and we’ll be able to move past Lincoln, finally! 🙂 My two consistent resources are the President Worksheets from Great Peace Academy, and these Presidential Worksheets from About.com. I also scour the library each week for books about those Presidents, the times in which they lived, etc, and I usually find a pertinent YouTube video or two. My goal is to try and throw in as many field trips as possible to make learning History more fun!

Both boys are taking private music lessons this year. Gabe is learning drums and Luke is leaning toward keyboard.

I also signed both boys up for DaySpring’s Homeschool Enrichment Program. Luke is taking Art, Acting Skills, and BizTown while Gabe is taking Art, Magic Treehouse History and Lego Engineering.

Luke is also in Boy Scouts and is really passionate about earning merit badges. He’s been learning chess, which means, of course, we’re all learning chess! Lots of learning opportunities there!

As for a foreign language, the boys and I are going to go through the Switched on Schoolhouse Spanish CD. They did a good portion of it last year, but I quickly realized that because I wasn’t doing it along with them, it was really hard for me to know what they were learning so I could reinforce it. This year I’ll learn along and we can play games, read books, etc that help us retain what we learn.

I’m excited about the new Homeschool group I joined because they are great at setting up field trips. We’re touring Busch Stadium next week and I’m actually looking forward to it! They have a bunch of other things in the works, too, and there are some longstanding opportunities like homeschool days at the History Museum and the Magic House.

Looks like it’s going to be a full and fun year!

 

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2 Responses to The Start of a New Year!

  1. Genevieve says:

    We LOVE Life of Fred! Be prepared for the boys (and you) to get so wrapped up in Fred’s story that they don’t want to stop at the one chapter – they want to keep going! The only complaints I’ve ever heard come from those who are used to pages of workbook practice for each concept and a steady progression from addition of single digits, subtraction of single digits… addition of double digits, subtraction of double digits – you get the picture. LOF is NOT like that! We did some Khan supplementing last year (but then R would get distracted by their version of Minecraft and things got off track).

    For scripture this year, I’m doing this… at least, I have the box, the dividers printed and laminated and cut out, and their cards printed on cardstock. I’m not overly thrilled with some of the translations they use (and we number the commandments differently – us crazy Lutherans 😉 ), so I’ll be changing that and adding catechism memory work as well: https://simplycharlottemason.com/timesavers/memorysys/ (there’s even an e-version of it, but I’m doing cards): http://www.scripturebox.com/

  2. Jenn Nolen says:

    That is so cool! I’d never heard of LOF until just a couple months ago. The boys think it’s really cool that you guys are doing it, too. So far they really like it. It’s one of their favorite subjects!

    Love that scripture memorization idea! I’m going to do this!!

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