Loving The Little Years

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I had seen the book, "Loving The Little Years" by Rachel Jankovic on book lists but hesitated to purchase it for two reasons; reason number one is that I am terribly in love with the little years and realizing sadly that the little ones grow really fast, I haven't wanted to make myself feel more sad about that fact. The other reason is that even though I love the little years, I also realize that my life is much different now than it was when I first joined MOMYS, with 5 young children. Although partly that means that I have much more help with household work, and I can actually take a shower without having to take an infant in the bathroom with me, it has come to also mean that I almost don't qualify for needing encouragement in parenting a bunch of tiny tots.

I did buy it though because there is someone in my life who most certainly does qualify for being in the midst of the "Little Years". That person is my sainted sister Jody. Due to a set of painful and yet God gifted circumstances, her family has been blessed with three small children all around the age of 2. She has trekked down to see me a few times with one of her older children and the three toddlers, and what an adventure she is having! Three adorable little faces to wash, diapers to change and six chubby legs to chase after. And chase we did, because with that many little ones, chances are they are not all going in the same direction.

Rachel Jankovic is a woman who is writing to this situation while right in the midst of the excitement. Her own crew includes twins, an infant and nary an adolescent. Pure little. She is still in the years of sleepless nights and showers which are a luxury of quiet. I wish I had seen her book when I was a young mother. It contains very good advice on parenting a large brood, simple things like not becoming angry over childish mistakes, just because there are so many at once. Finding a balance between being orderly and letting those little ones into the kitchen to help, realizing that their efforts aren't supposed to be perfect, they just need the chance to try. Our little ones are precious gifts and I appreciated Rachel's encouragement to me, my sainted sister, and all moms out there to savor the gift of parenting these little people.


A New School Year

I have spent many hours today preparing paperwork for the private cover school that we use instead of filing our own private school affidavit. Part of this paperwork is a Course of Study for each student.

My oldest student who has struggled with a learning and communication disorder will be in 11th grade (I graduated my first in 2011).  She does have an interest in college though, so I am careful to follow the advice of American Christian Academy to have her subjects line up with state requirements for high school graduates.
As you can see, we are very budget minded in our curriculum choices.

Bible-Studying God's Word, Christian Liberty Press (from a friend)
Math- Pre-Algebra, Teaching Textbooks (borrowed from my sister)
English- American Literature, Abeka Book (I got these from a friend or a used book sale)
English Composition- Institute for Excellence in Writing, Fairy Tales, Myths and Fables. (purchased, composition and math are my daughter's biggest struggles, but I.E.W. has helped a lot.)
History- U.S. History, Carson, A Basic History of the United States (from a friend)
Science- Biology (Apologia, purchased at a used book sale)
P.E.- Running, Pilates
Music- Piano
Electives-Fine Art (beginner drawing at 4H
                Sewing (4H also)

Second student, 10th grade is doing all of the same curriculum as my 11th grader except that he is in Teaching Textbooks Algebra , Bob Jones Spanish 2,IEW Bible Based Writing Lessons, and Martial Arts for P.E. Also, for him, no sewing but he does have a drawing class at 4H.

7th Grade Boy

Bible- Long Story Short, A devotion which I purchased and do with all the children for morning Bible. I love this devotional. He is also copying the book of Proverbs.
Math- Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. I am doing it with students 1 and 3 so that when they get to Algebra I can actually help them!
English Grammar- Rod and Staff 5
Writing- All Things Fun and Fascinating, (purchased from IEW).
Science-Botany (Apologia, from a friend)
Keyboarding-Mavis Beacon
History- America Land I Love (Abeka Book, used book sale)
Latin- Latin's Not So Tough (borrowed from my sister) I would usually do Spanish instead of Latin because of our ministry in Mexico but this child is interested in a career in science so it makes sense to me to give him some Latin.
P.E. Martial Arts

5th Grade Boy

Pretty much the same as the 7th grade boy except that after re-reading The Trivium Pursuit's information about math and realizing that he is after all, only 9, I am letting him finish Teaching Textbooks Math 5 which he started last year. I am also doing Story of the World Volume 4 with the younger three, and he will supplement with some time-period reading.  My readers don't need to be asked to read, the 9 year old is reading The Lord of the Rings, so although I try to make a book list of books I want them to read, I am not worried about them reading enough.
We will do co-op activities for both our science and history to make those studies more interesting for the children, and to get science experiments done. I find it easier to do projects when I am doing it with another family.

1st Grade Girl

Her history and science are the same as the 7th and 5th graders, tailored to her level.
Math- Miquon, I like Math U See better, but Miquon is cheaper so we did that this year. We do a lot of counting as part of our day.
English- Spell to Write and Read, owned it for years
               Explode the Code, book 1 and 2 (purchased new)
               Classically Cursive- book 1 (purchased new)
               Bob Books, owned for years
My favorite thing I am doing with her this year is reading The Little House on the Prairie series aloud. It has been a happy memory to read these to my children every few years.
She and her younger brother also play dress up and listen to stories, play with play dough and paint. I believe very strongly in young children having enough time to develop their imagination and learn motor skills, subjects not well served with work books.

So far, school is going well, using the I.E.W. writing curriculum and Teaching Textbooks have made a big difference for us.