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For the last several years I've participated in a "Not Back to School" blog hop in August. But I'm not finding any indication that anyone is doing one this year. I like having the "assignment" to write on the topics in this blog hop, so I'm gong to pretend it's still happening, and write about the topics once a week in August anyway . . .
And so, without further ado . . . Not-Back-to-School Week 1: Curriculum!
I feel like finally, after 9 (ish ?!?) years of homeschooling . . . we have hit our groove . . . we know what works for us, and we're happy to just kind of keep moving forward. So here's what we're doing right now:
Bible: Bible Road Trip Year 1 this is our second time through Bible Road Trip, and we're not following it exactly. In theory, Lexie and Ashlyn are doing the Dialectic level, but in some cases, we're doing all chapters instead of just those suggested in the curriculum, and since they're not a fan of "research papers", we're skipping those. We enjoy listening to Rabbi Lutton's sermons, so for the books where we can find recordings of her sermons, we listen to all chapters. Also, for Genesis and Exodus we read through the entire books, along with looking at select sections of the commentary in the Chumash and in the NASB study Bible.
The Story of the World. Now that the girls are older, we are doing less read alouds and more independent reading. Each month I compile a list of independent reading options for the next 4 chapters in Story of the World. They choose which books they want to read and I get them from the library or, if the library doesn't have them, we decide if we should buy it, or if there's a different book they can choose instead. We listen to the Story of the World together in the car, one chapter per week. We also listen to Diana Waring's CDs when they correlate with SotW. I also choose picture books and short chapter books to read to Little Bit each week. At bedtime, we are trying to choose books that all 3 girls enjoy for our longer read aloud then.
Health/PE: We are trying to be more intentional about making sure to do something active and outdoors regularly. The girls aren't thrilled about it, but we're working on it. . . when we've had dogs here it makes it easy. They're happy to play ball with the dog. Ashlyn is generally happy to work in her garden this time of year. Lexie is more at lose ends . . . Lina is more than happy to have someone to play with her, if her sisters would just play :) Sometimes we'll turn the sprinkler on or get the wading pool out for her and then she's happy to play on her own while we garden, etc. outside.
Lexie (8th Grade):
Math: Life of Fred Algebra I
Science: She wants to study genetics. We found MIT's course online, but she found it a bit advanced (being college level, and intended to be taught by a teacher, not self-taught by a 13 year old . . .) I just realized I have the .pdf of My Name is Gene and it's workbook so this week she is checking that out to see if it's a better fit.
Language Arts: Mostly focusing on literature this year. Otherwise known as reading plenty of good books :)
Music: Violin lessons
Art Appreciation: We got a series of books on various artists last year that she continues to work through.
Fiber Arts: Sewing
Ashlyn (8th Grade):
Math: Teaching Textbooks
Science: For this summer, gardening, including maintaining records of what has and hasn't worked, things to try differently next year, etc. Once we're past gardening season she will re-evaluate if she wants to continue to focus on botany, or switch to a different science for the winter.
Grammar of Poetry.
Music: Piano lessons
Art: Art Achieve Level IV
Little Bit (1st Grade):
Reading: Delightful Reading Level 3 from Simply Charlotte Mason she is LOVING this program!!! When I first looked at it, I printed out the sample lesson to do with her to see if it was worth buying. Not only did she love it, but she begged to do the next lesson the next day. I ended up e-mailing the company (after I'd ordered the curriculum and was just waiting for it to arrive) and they send me a .pdf of the teacher manual to use while we waited because she was impatient! :)
Jesus Storybook Bible: Technically we all do Bible together using Bible Road Trip, as mentioned above. But sometimes the discussions are over her head and she tends to wander off to do her own thing. So in addition, we have been reading one story in the Jesus Storybook Bible each week, and then doing at least one hands-on activity or craft to go with it. I recently "created" a Sabbath School Curriculum to use with the Jesus Storybook Bible, so this also functions as my "guinea pig" to see what activities do and don't work well before I add them into the curriculum. I honestly can't say enough good about this book! It is by far my most favoritest Bible story book EVER!!!!
Gnomes and Gnumbers: This is so fun! I'm a strong believer in delaying formal math until age 9 or 10, but these fun stories introduce some basic math concepts in a low key way AND my art-lover gets to draw pictures every week, so she's happy as a clam :) We do roughly one lesson per week.
Science/Nature: Burgess Bird Book - my original plan was to read one story per week, have a coloring page of one of the birds highlighted in that week's story, and look that bird up in a field guide so she could color it accurately. But she prefers to listen to the stories, often 4 or 5 in a row, on librivox, while she's working on other school work (like copying words for reading, or drawing pictures for Gnomes and Gnumbers. So we go with it. . . She's almost through the whole book. When she finishes it, we'll move on to the Burgess Animal Book.
Various art and craft projects each week.