Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Homeschooling progress and Next year

Homeschooling has gone great this year.  This is our final week for all subjects (Read alouds, history, bible, reading and writing) except for math and science.  We worked hard and didn't take any breaks - none for sickness, weather, holidays (only Christmas day and Christmas Eve).  We have 2 more weeks of science and math and even though she finished what was required for her in writing and reading for Kindergarten we have been continuing and will continue through summer.

Reece read well over 50 books on her own this year and her reading gets better by the day.  She completed her books in the curriculum several weeks ago (27 of them over and over each week) and we have moved on to the level 1 and 2 books at the library.

We read 20 read aloud books this year.  Most of them were chapter books in which there were very few pictures and she had to work on her listening skills. 

Reece finished her first writing curriculum book before Christmas and we started a 2nd one.  She started working on cursive this week.  She has completed 50+ writing lessons this year.  And completed over 130 other worksheets for languages arts and math. 

She does over 300 sight words a week. 

In history/geography she studied 15 missionaries and learned about people and customs all over the world.

What is going on for next year?

In January I was really feeling like we should send her.  I was feeling like homeschooling was making me a bad mom.  I was all business and not a lot of fun.  I just couldn't see doing another year down in that basement.  I mentioned to my husband that I thought we should send her and he said "why?  Things went so great this year?".   While I agree, I still would be the one doing it and it kind of freaks me out a little bit.  So we discussed further and I said if I continue homeschooling, we would have to be more involved in some homeschool programs, outside these 4 walls or we will all go nuts.  Enter Classical Conversations...

Now I looked into this program last year but with being a "newby" I decided it was best to stay home for the first year and get it "figured out".  I got to talking with people, then visited the facility, then all of a sudden I was registered and had won the rest of my curriculum on ebay for cheap.  So...with just a little encouragement from my husband, we are homeschooling again next year for 1st grade! 

You can read more about Classical Conversations at www.classicalconversations.com.  But basically they learn 6 subjects one day a week with other kids at one location based on memorizing facts in music.  They do all their science and art projects there and get to be around kids their age.  At home we will have 30 minutes a day of listening to a cd of their new facts by song.  They will learn to play the tin whistle - how fun!  It's amazing the things they can memorize in a song at a young age.  They don't know what it all means but as they grow they can put it altogether with things they need to know.  So in addition to this, I will have to continue a math and language arts (writing, reading, spelling) at home.  We are going with Abeka language arts and math for this year.  This is the same curriculum that Cornerstone uses.  I almost purchased it last year, but I really wanted something that was all put together and easy to use for the first year (so we used Sonlight). 

We are very excited to start CC this year.  I can't believe all the things she will learn there!  They learn all of history from creation to 9/11 in first grade!  The first grade class we sat in the kids had memorized the distributive law of math a (b+c) = ab +ac.  They also memorized the names of all the types of clouds, linking verbs, and latin.  She loves music so this will really be fun for her and easy to remember.  This is how she memorized most of her verses for Awana this year and these songs she'll remember for life...not just to take a test and then forget.

Homeschooling hasn't always been easy but it went way smoother than I thought it would.  I am proud to say that we successfully homeschooled for Kindergarten all while I worked out 6 days a week for 6 months of it, watched several other children off and on,  attended 4 births, while running a household (cleaning, laundry, many other chores)!  We are looking forward to a little break this summer!

Peurto Rico

At the end of March, Brock and I went to Peurto Rico.  It was a business trip for him but we got quite a bit of time to be together and sight see.  It was nice to get away, but on one of the last days of the trip we went deep sea fishing which I threw up on for 4 hours.  Then for 4 weeks after that, I suffered from vertigo.  I am so happy to say that it has now passed!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

View of our hotel and pool from the beach
 View of the ocean from the hotel/pool area.
 The forts the Spainards built...it was a really neat tour

 Cemeteries in PR are by the ocean outside the fort walls because it was considered bad luck...they are very superstitious!
Got Bananas??

 Blue cobblestone streets
 The boat we were on in the ocean for the deep sea fishing...
Our volleyball team won 2nd place out of 11 teams...we played 9 games!

We snuck in a couple of dates :)

 View from the boat

 Where I laid out a few days. 

Reece turns 6!

Reece turned 6 on April 5th.  Her dad and I took her to Chicago on the train to go to the American Girl doll store.  She had saved her money so she could spend it at the store (we gave her money for her birthday along with the other money she had saved).  It was a good lesson to go through the magazine before we left so she could see how much stuff cost and make a list of things she wanted.  Once she figured out how much stuff was and what kind of stuff she could buy around here (Target and Toys R us), it was very easy for her to make a choice.  She really wanted another doll so Kit would have a friend and she wanted to get Kit's ears pierced (since she has to wait 2 more years).  That pretty much covered all she had to spend. 

We had a packed day started at 7:30am train departure.  We hit the American Girl doll store first...Reece got to take her first cab ride! Next we went to the Lego store and walked around the malls.  Then we grabbed lunch at Ginos East.  After that we got some cupcakes to-go from "Sprinkles".  Then we went to the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).  Then we went to Panera and ate our cupcakes and took a break from all the walking.  We did a little bit more shopping then made or way back to the train station...but not without hitting Garretts Popcorn!  The train left around 7pm.  Reece was a trooper...never complained the whole time!

Taking Kit to see all her friends

 Reece with her new doll Saige - Girl of the year 2013
 Willis Tower

 Sprinkle Cupcakes!
 Breakfast on the train
 Writing on the wall at Ginos

Then on Sunday the 21st, she got to celebrate with her two girl cousins that also have birthdays in April. 

Reece with her own cake on her actual birthday. 

Friday, April 12, 2013


We colored some eggs (by the way, Reece has lost her two bottom teeth)

Brody has been bugging us about getting a mow hawk...this is about as close as his dad would go.  I would have done it just for fun...He's pretty cute though if I do say so myself.

 The annual Easter Egg hunt with the cousins...
 If Websters had a dictionary next to the word "Player"...this would be it on so many levels.
 Easter gear...

 I am so glad they love each other and also love the camera.