Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum

The reason you are not seeing much sewing going on right now is we have started school.  I wanted to start early because I like to play hookie!  The thing I have learned about homeschooling is there is no right or wrong way it's just what works best for your family. In our house it's about what works best for me since I have to manage everything!  We use a combination of curriculum's and homeschooling philosophies.  I love Charlotte Mason's philosophies of short lessons, living books, and nature study.  We have a huge selection of living books in the house that we read daily.  I also use living books in addition to our curriculum for Geography, Science, and Math.  I've found it's a great way to make "education an atmosphere" and keep the kids busy during these HOT and LONG summer days! 

Books waiting to get organized for the year.
Heading out to explore even with the smoke filled air.  The wild fires are really bad this year!

Feeding the birds.
For math and phonics we have chosen Horizons K.  It's a spiral math program and the phonics is very thorough.  It covers the phonics rules from the beginning with lots of practice in each lesson.  The books are also very colorful and have some funny pictures which helps keep Nate's attention.  They add weird pictures like a crazy looking guy that is named Ed, we call him crazy Ed, or purple elephants.  Nate finds this very entertaining!  Looking at the 4 workbooks can be intimidating!  My first thought was it was way to advanced for Nate but he is doing amazing with it.  It's fast paced but it's done in a repetitive manner with lots of practice so once Nate gets the sound combinations he knows what to expect with the practice activities and is moving through them with ease.  The math is similar.  It seems to be a little more advanced than other programs but is laid out in a way that is easy to learn and retain. 

For History we are reading Jean Fritz.  She is a fantastic children's author that writes American History books that are fun and interesting for younger children.  Especially boys who love history! 

For Science we are doing unit studies using a combination of living books, activities from More Magnets to Mudpies, and Let's-read-and-find-out-science.

More Mudpies to Magnets: Science for Young ChildrenProduct Details

We have a reward system in place that my dad calls "bribery".  Maybe he's right but it works so I'm not about to change it!  My kids don't get allowance for house chores they are just a requirement but they get stickers which can be turned in for money for school work.  There is a minimum that has to be completed each day to get a sticker and extra stickers can be earned for doing extra work.  Each sticker is worth $1.00.  So if they choose a toy at the store that costs $8.00 we black out 8 stickers.  They also love to go to Ollie Koala (a kids game place) so they can trade in 12 stickers for a trip there.  I use a laminated calendar for our sticker system which is how we do our calendar lessons for the year.  Nate fills out the dates each month and gets a review of the calendar ever day he completes his work and earns a sticker. 

So far things are going better than expected so keep us in your prayers with that! 

I would love to hear how you do things!!!  I'm always looking for inspiration!

We also like to play spider man hehe.....

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Thank you for your comments! It so great to hear from you and it is what keeps me motivated to create.