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!

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