Mid Homeschool Year Update{2018/2019}

You’ve been asking, so here it is:

We have made it to March, which is actually pretty far past mid year. I will break things down per student/age and what we do as a family.

This is going to look like … a lot. I think I say that all the time. We loop schedule our extras, so extras are on a continuous loop that we don’t fret over doing every single day. Because my 8 year old is a very independent learner in most areas, she has a lot of independent-learning-style subjects, as you will see.

Keep in mind we do a LOT of oral learning via reading, memory work review, and research interest led learning. I have each child tell us what they’re learning about so everyone can learn from everyone, in a school house style environment.

Mid/End of Year Homeschool Learning Update

In our homeschool, like most, learning time isn’t confined to the table, so while we do the things listed below, learning expands over our entire day, our entire life.

Family Learning:

  • Sonlight Core B: History, read alouds, and Bible reading. We have LOVED the read alouds this year! (I paired up the SL read alouds with different Arrows from Brave Writer for my oldest, to make a LA program.)
  • Free Writing: We journal and freewrite as part of our family culture. All of my kids enjoy writing stories, and are especially into poems right now. Sometimes I choose something the kids have written to edit and revise together, so they can make their favorite freewrite into a polished piece. Most of these are in their personal journals or school writing notebooks. My husband often gets them journals when he travels to different places/countries, and they are filled quickly! I keep them in hope chest downstairs when they are full.
  • Science/Nature Study: We are currently working from Anatomy of Nature and Anatomy of a Farm; from these pages I choose a topic to study. We recently did honey bees and butterflies. Soon we will begin pond life, because spring is the perfect time to study from our pond! We have also touched on anatomy this year, and a few other topics as interest has arisen.
  • Handicrafts: We do a LOT of handicrafting around here. Almost 100% of it is child led-they have free access to most of our crafting supplies, so crochet, hand sewing, embroidery, whittling, wood working (simple with hammer and nails/saws) ink making, and the list goes on, are done by them during their free times. Thankfully, homeschool allows for a LOT of free time; boredom = creativity and problem solving.
  • Art: We follow a few favorites on youtube and online for art.  Our Read Aloud Revival premium access membership has live artist workshops we attend to learn to draw with wonderful illustrators and authors, these are my kids’ favorites! We also enjoy ChalkPastel.com’s tutorials, and may add their membership to our wish list next year!
  • We use the IXL app on the ipad (read my review here) for extra learning practice because they love it. Because I limit what they are allowed to do online for now, this is something special and educational for them =)
  • Games are part of our schooling and family time. We love games like 4 Way Count Down, uno, and Pass the Pigs. Any GameWright game is a hit here (I don’t do super complicated games). We add family games via Christmas gifts, birthdays, spring basket, and of course, homeschool box day!
  • Morning Basket: (AKA any time of day basket) This is just a fancy homeschooler term for circle time… you know, the thing we all did in preschool through elementary school? Calendar, read a book, learn about something new, review something, sing songs, listen to music, read poetry, do a fun activity, share knowledge, and/or handicrafts? Yep. That’s morning time basket.
  • Read Aloud Revival premium access membership: I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this resource! We missed this months events, due to illness (the flu had us sleeping/resting a LOT), but you can see the schedule

8 Year Old/2nd Grade

Lady works on different levels, anywhere from 2nd+; we still struggle with reversals but writing and spelling continue to improve with cursive and lots of oral practice. Numbers and math operation orders can be difficult with reversals, including reversing math signs. But she knows her stuff and likes oral math challenges against her little brother 😉

  • LA/Writing: We are using Brave Writer Arrows for copywork, and supplemental focus areas (in grammar and spelling), as a literature based approach. We are finishing a Narnia Arrow, because we read, The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe together this winter, and will continue the series through part of spring. All of my kids have just loved this, as have I (since I never read the whole thing as a child-fantasy wasn’t my favorite).
  • Reading: Along with the Arrows that go to read alouds, we are also working through AAR 3. This is not something we do often, because she is such a great intrinsically motivated reader. She needs more emphasis in spelling, so we do way more spelling practice than reading at this time. She does read aloud to me throughout our daily life, a LOT, so we call that reading =) We mostly use AAR when we “do” reading, because she really likes reading the readers to me-haha. At this point, the Arrows from Brave Writer are really enough for her reading and copywork.
  • Spelling: We are using AAS Level 2 with resources from Level 1
  • Vocabulary: We really enjoy the Wordly Wise books, especially their crosswords puzzles and activities found in them. She has learned a LOT from these.
  • Grammar: Along with the grammar topics discussed/pointed out in our Arrows, we are using Easy Grammar. Lady does this independently, without much help from me. We apply what she learns when writing spelling sentences, journaling, freewrites, etc.
  • CLE Math: Lady is working through grade 2 CLE math. We use Saxon math worksheets as a supplement-FYI-I do NOT have her do every page from Saxon. We use the even lessons, sometimes skipping some lessons between. Saxon and CLE are similar on levels, but each approaches their questions and answers differently, and I like this! I feel like it gives her a different way to approach math, and Saxon is good about reminding us to get our hands-on learning things out for practice! Sometimes we don’t even use the worksheet, but just set up hands on learning activities that fit what’s on the paper. It is really just a jumping off point for me, as well.
  • Extras: We loop extras throughout the week. Lady uses CLE’s geography and science workbooks. I am not a huge advocate of workbooks, however, the CLE books are very nice! The illustrations are simple, and very … nature study-ish; they’re lovely and fun to color with pencils if you have a art lover on your hands like I do. She is a visual and audio learner, so reading is one of her best learning super powers, however, she needs practice writing, which the CLE books provide. They bring us both joy, so we stick with them. I also find they are great for her to open on her own when I need to work independently with another child; I love hearing about what she’s learned in these!

Regarding workbooks– These are going to depend on your family’s learning style. Each child is different; some will be bored to death with workbooks! My 4 year old loves them, my 8 year enjoys them, my 6 year old is reading independently enough to do his math alone, and some language arts, but isn’t in love with workbook style learning (with the exception of CLE Bible 1). I am 100% okay with that, so for his age and development we keep them to a minimal.

6 Year Old Boy/Kindergarten

  • Language Arts: We are using AAR Level 2 for his reading. He just finished level 1.
  • LA Extras: We are using The Good and The Beautiful Level 2 for him as well. This is a beautiful curriculum that includes grammar, spelling, and reading, however we don’t use it that way. I will try to make a video on how we implement the program, but we use their spelling list for sight word spelling/common words, and enjoy their readers for extra practice. I really LOVE their practice pages and the grammar concepts covered. This is working better for him than Easy Grammar, at this point. Easy Grammar is a bit more dry and fill in the blank (again, my 8 year old begs to do this!), and that just isn’t Mister’s jam.

**I do not believe there is ever such a thing as too many books or readers at appropriate levels-hence me using so many different ones. Variety is the spice of a nurtured reading life haha**

  • Spelling: He is doing AAS 2 with his sister. Mister is a natural speller, and things that are harder for my 8year old (due to dysgraphia symptoms) are easier for him right now, so they’re actually in the same level.
  • Math: He is using CLE math 1. Math is super easy for this boy, he flies through his books and often asks for more than 1 lesson. He loves dictation word problems, writing math problems, and speed drills.

4 Year Old Girl/PreK

  • This one tags along, and we are slowly going through AAR 1. She can read CVC words pretty well.
  • We use Handwriting Without Tears; next year she will move into A Reason for Handwriting like the others have.
  • Math is Math Eggs K, she loves this book.
  • We also are using Rod and Staff Preschool Set, because *I* love them. They’re so simple, much like the CLE books we use, but they allow her some independent style work, which she likes.

The toddler tags along, of course. As summer creeps upon us, I won’t be doing as many “extras.” We strip down to basics when the weather is nice to allow lots of outside play-we have a farm that is blooming into spring and full of life, so we need to enjoy it while it lasts!

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