Planning Your Week

We made it through our first few weeks of school! I am so glad that I started early. This next week is when our fall extra curricular activities start, and I really wanted to get into a routine with our academics before we added more stuff.

 As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I try to map out a weekly schedule so that I know exactly what is a regular occurring activity throughout the week. It is important to me to build in a few days at home so we can work on our farm, as well as plenty of mornings at home to focus on schoolwork. This might mean that we have to forgo some really cool activities, but it gives us a buffer so that our home environment and relationships don't suffer.

A few of the activities that we are involved in this fall;

Monday-Choir. I am hoping to get my youngest boy involved as well, this will give him an opportunity to develop some skills learning from other adults. I also have an older son enrolled in an Algebra 2 class at the local community college on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Thankfully both of these activities are in the evenings so I can have the first day of the week to focus on school.

Tuesday-Home Team. This is a P.E. activity that is hosted by my homeschool private school. It requires me to drive nearly an hour one way, but it is with people that we really love, and it is run by a wonderful local man who is teaching my older children the basics of many sports. While the older kids are doing Home Team, my youngest two and I are running a parent participation Nature Study Club. I am super excited about sharing our love of nature with some other local families.

My oldest children also have a small youth group that they go to on Tuesday nights, and will be working with a local family to improve their worship leading skills. This is an answer to prayer that I am very excited about!

Wednesday-My oldest daughter is teaching an English class to local teens, including my two oldest students on Wednesday afternoons. I am so happy to be able to outsource this subject to my daughter, and I am also excited for my boys to have the joy and challenge of learning with such a sweet community.

Thursday-We have set aside a couple hours for music lessons, but otherwise we are keeping Thursday  through the weekend open for family time, farm work and hospitality.

Sadly, I don't have a history co-op or book club set up for this year, but my kids and I are planning a middle ages party this fall, so hopefully we will get some of our projects done then.

There are always new events popping up that we need to fit in somewhere, so keeping our schedule reasonable is a huge stress reducer.

When I prayed about school for this year, I really felt that experiences with my children were going to be something to focus on. This is another reason why I am resisting the temptation to add more activities to our schedule. So far we have enrolled in Tinker Crate and built some cool little machines, pressed our own grapes for a biology/chemistry experiment that will hopefully result in wine, found a local source for beeswax so we can dip our own candles, and learned new skills with bread baking, metal working, and jewelry making. We have also already gotten through a few of our middle ages literature selections.

All of this creativity is made possible in part because I am limiting computer time through our Circle device. If I wasn't taking authority over time spent on computers, there would be no time to pursue these creative endeavors. Because I am able to set individual time limits on each computer in my house, I can make sure that even older children who need the computer to work (even adults such as myself) aren't just wasting the day away on video games or social media.

I want my family to have the opportunity to develop as many skills as possible, and love learning, while they are in my home. I've got only one chance to pour into these children, and I am so excited about learning with them!

If you are looking to create more experiences with your preschoolers, check out my new collaboration, The Peaceful Preschool. This literature and project based curriculum is perfect for early learners, and is offered at a special introductory price until September 15.

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2016/2017 Curriculum Plan

The number of years that I have been homeschooling seems to escape me. I started my oldest out with preschool, and then followed with K-12. She graduated at least 3 years ago, plus she took a gap year, so I think that should add up to 17 years. That should make this my 18th year, although about every 6 months I give myself an extra year, so occasionally you will find me saying that I have been schooling for about 30 years.

If you hear me say that, set me straight.

Mostly these have been great years though. Some years we have simply scraped by, between various crisis, we didn't get tons of schooling done, but we have always had lots of books being read, and I think that contributed to the progress of my older students.

My third child graduated this spring, and is taking the last class he needs for his AA this summer. His teacher in that class tells him that he is a great writer. This is despite the fact that I assigned very little writing to him until high school. He also worked for a contractor through his high school years, and only did school a few days a week. He has a high GPA and graduated with honors from the PSP he is enrolled in (no, he was not the only graduating senior.)

That means that this year, I will only have four students! This is incredible to me, for the last several years I have had at least 5 students, often with a baby or toddler as well. I am excited to see how it goes, especially with the happy fact that my youngest is beginning to read without me having to cajole him.

Without further ado, this is the budget friendly curriculum that I have pulled together for this year. Budget friendly because I owned most of it already, had it given to me, or purchased it used.
It's called networking.

2016/2017 Course of Study

10th Grade Boy 
(I was going to have him move into 11th this year, but when I did the math on how old he would be when he leaves home for college, and about how efficient it would be to get as many JC classes done while they are free in high school, I decided to have him do 3 more years of high school)

New Testament Survey (Read New Testament, write verses, memorize, and participate in Bible studies.)

British Literature Class, My daughter is teaching this to a group of Jr. High and High School students in our area.
English 1A- This will be a Jr. College class he takes online the second semester of school
Wordsmith Apprentice This is an editing curriculum. Ethan has his second book, The Fire Trolls, available on Amazon, so the extra editing practice will be helpful for him.

Abeka World History (I owned it and will let him read through for an overview.)
Middle Ages Literature Selections
Adventures of Robin Hood
Son of Charlemagne
Men Of Iron-Howard Pyle
Joan of Arc
The Little Flowers of Saint Francis
Morning Star of the Reformation

Apologia Chemistry, followed by a Chemistry class at the JC

Algebra 2 at JC

Spanish (online at JC)

9th Grade Boy

Studying God's Word book G (New Testament Survey)

British Literature Class
Rod and Staff Grammar

European History
Studies in World History-James Stobaugh (Part B)
Middle Ages Literature Selections (See above)

Apologia Physical Science

Teaching Textbooks Algebra

Computer Programming
Tinker Crate

4th Grade Girl
(My experience with my college students inspired me to rethink the grades I had my children in. I started out homeschooling with the idea of getting my kids through with school and on to life as soon as possible. However, if life involves a college education then it makes sense for them to be a little older in high school so that they can manage the demands of junior college, and then be a little older when they leave home for university.  In our state, dual enrollment students do not pay for classes. Although I love the freedom of private homeschooling, I also love the help that community college classes provides me and my students. for this reason, you will see that a couple of my students are doing the same grade that they did last year. This is the beauty of homeschooling. We are free to have our children on an educational track that most benefits them.

Studying God's Word
Daily Bible Reading/Verse Writing

Writing With Ease, Level 3
SWR Spelling
Jr Analytical Grammar and Mechanics
Prescripts Cursive

Math U See Delta

History of the Middle Ages-Watts
Greenleaf Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Timeline/Geography work, Book Club
Literature Selections- The Door in the Wall, St George and the Dragon, The Dragon and the Raven,
Pilgrims Progress (abridged version) Men of Iron (Audible),

Nature Study
CLP Nature Readers

Wild Explorers Club

2nd Grade Boy
Hooray, he is reading! The first couple days of school, he has sped through his work, and read without complaint. This is a big change from last year. Sometimes our students just need a little time to develop.

Rod and Staff Readers

Explode the Code
Spell to Write and Read
First Language Lessons
Prescripts Cursive

Math U See Beta

Middle Ages Book List

Nature Study
BJU Science 1

Wild Explorers Club

I am so excited about this school year. We get to go back up to the creek for nature study, and my older kids have a sweet community of friends who all love to worship God.

If you are looking for help with homeschooling in the early years, please check out my new curriculum, The Peaceful Preschool, you can download a free sample of the curriculum, and the rest of the manual will be available on August 15.

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