The Sacred Sprouts Schoolhouse

Archive for August, 2009

First Day Excitement!

schoolroom

Here it is, about to be lunch time, and our first day of school is officially done.  :)  It went very, very well.  Sonlight just makes it so easy!  We got up, the kids played a little, they had breakfast, and then we cracked open the big binder.  We went right down the schedule that was already made for us, adding in the math where we wanted it.  All the supplies were on hand, and the only hiccups we had were simply in getting familiar with everything.

The picture above is the schoolroom ready to go.  We really went back-and-forth between table and the living room.  We spent all of our reading time in the living room being comfortable.  Both kids really seemed to enjoy the day.  You could just tell that they were ready for school to start- they were eager little beavers this morning!  Abigail got sucked right in to all the books we read, and Zander tried his best to hang on for the ride.  He did an excellent job on his workbooks today- he worked on them quietly while Abigail and I did her math and dictation together.

Both kids really enjoy map work, so I’m already thinking about looking for some extra things that they can do with maps.  While we were doing our read-aloud this morning, UPS also dropped off some History Pockets that I’d ordered, so I’m excited to see how we can work those in to enhance our learning about the American Indians.

Anyway, the first day of school went so much smoother than I expected.  I hope I’ll be singing the same tune by the end of our first week!  Here is a picture of the kids this morning, striking a pose as they danced along to a fun song to start out our school year.

school

posted by Erika in Uncategorized and have Comments (4)

After Receiving Some Encouragement…

I’m going to go a completely different direction with Zander.

I’m working on a booklist for him that will work with Core 3.  So basically, I’m going to try doing the core with both kids, modifying down for Zander as we go.

Am I nuts? Perhaps. But I will give it a try- I figure we’ll give it a full month and see how it goes.   I will definitely be sharing my modified core for him- maybe it will be of use for someone else.

posted by Erika in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

Another Plan

This is how we are officially starting the school year.  It’s beyond exciting to see it all finally here and ready to go.  In the weeks to come we’ll be adding in an art program and also music appreciation for both kids, but this is where we stand right now for Abigail.  I can’t wait to give everything the proper reviews and updates!

  • Bible: Sonlight 3
  • History/Geography: Sonlight Core 3
  • Reading/Language Arts: Sonlight LA 3
  • Spelling: Sequential Spelling, vol 1 (with Spectrum Spelling 4 on hand if we need it)
  • Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting D (cursive)
  • Health: Horizons Health, grade 4
  • Science: Apologia Astronomy
  • Math: Horizons 4

For PE, Abigail has two dance classes during the week, and we’re thinking about the third.  The kids will also be doing PE activities each Friday with their cousins who also homeschool.  I will add in the music and art programs when we get them.

For the first few weeks, Zander will focus on his four R’s: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Religion.  He will do Bible and science with Abigail, and he has his own A Reason For Handwriting, as well as Kindergarten Health from Horizons.  Our big focus is going to be the writing and the small motor skills though.   Once we have the funds in hand, we’ll be ordering and tackling Sonlight Core K with him, and I’m really thinking about adding the Science K to vary the astronomy a bit.

Monday, here we come!

posted by Erika in Uncategorized and have Comments Off on Another Plan

Delay of Game

So we’ve decided to wait one more week, after all.  The first day of school here in town isn’t until next week, and while I was hoping to get a jump start, I think it’s best we wait that one week.  I really want, more than anything, for our home school experience to be absolutely wonderful.  I think it would not be so wonderful to have the neighbor kids out playing while my kids are stuck inside doing school.  So we will wait until next week to get the ball rolling.

Which is just as well, it gives me some extra time to form a plan for Zander for a short while.  I do need to come up with something concrete- at least for the first two weeks I think, something exciting for him to do, yet, I am also thinking about working him into some of Abigail’s core.  For sure, I’m going to try having him do Bible with us, and Science will be together.  I’m just not sure how much of the history and read-alouds will work… but we’ll see.  I’ve been pouring over the first two weeks to make sure I’m as comfortable as possible with the flow before we tackle it.

Last week was a most exciting week, as I finally was able to purchase my Instructor’s Guide.  I’ve been piecing everything else together, but it’s amazing how this one thing just ties it all together so beautifully!

core 3

Everything is clicking and making sense, and just putting all the pages into that big beautiful binder was such a pleasure.  That simple task just got me so much more familiar with what we are going to be learning this year, and I’m better able to see how this huge stack of books will work together.  The OCD that hides inside me sometimes secretly loved cutting out stickers and labeling all of our books for the year.

ready to go

I have just a few things to add yet this week, but for the most part, we are ready to go, and the journey promises to be an exciting one.  I can’t wait to begin discovering the world around us with my children- that’s the best part about Sonlight so far, is that there is a great big beautiful world out there and we get to explore it.  My kindergartner is going to know his world geography in a very short amount of time.  If I think back to my schooling, world geography really didn’t come along until seventh or eighth grade.  How exciting to be able to take my son on a tour of Asia or learn about windmills in Holland, and take a trip through the building of the Panama Canal.

It is our intention to leave no stone uncovered, and the world is going to be our literal playground. I can’t wait to start the ride.

posted by Erika in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

A Tentative First Week Schedule

The thing about homeschooling for the first time is that I really have no idea how long things are going to take.  How long is it going to take us to do daily math for example?  Or how long does that science experiment actually take to do?

I have no clue!

So for a first week schedule, I have a rough outline as to the order of the day.  To begin, it’s pretty much going to be the same everyday, except that we’ll alternate health and science, and then Friday we have gym class with the cousins.  As we get more comfortable with the curriculum, I’m also hoping to be able to make Friday a bonus day. What I mean by that is that when I look at our core curriculum pages, there are five days laid out for me.  If we are having an easy day, or Abigail feels like tackling extra work, she may work ahead within the week on a subject, to possibly eliminate that subject on Friday.  I expect she will readily do this with her reading, as I doubt she’ll want to stop with the pages that are assigned and may well read ahead.

As we become more comfortable, we are also going to be adding more in.  Music and Art are on the agenda, and we’ll also be adding Life Skills, which is just what it sounds like.  Life Skills will be (at this age anyway) an introduction to household chores.  Laundry, cooking, cleaning, organizing , all worked in to the day on a regular basis.  Of course, I also have aspirations of adding even more to our days- I’d love to learn a language as a family, and while we’ve decided to start our science year with Astronomy, I’m also eyeing up some other options to add in.  I’m trying really hard to not go overboard. :)

So here is our tentative Monday thru Friday schedule:

Monday:

  • Bible
  • Math
  • Reading
  • History/Geography
  • Language Arts/Spelling
  • Science
  • Read-Alouds

Tuesday:

  • Bible
  • Math
  • Reading
  • History/Geography
  • Language Arts
  • Handwriting
  • Health
  • Read-Alouds

Wednesday:

  • Bible
  • Math
  • Reading
  • History/Geography
  • Language Arts/Spelling
  • Science
  • Read-Alouds

Thursday:

  • Bible
  • Math
  • Reading
  • History/Geography
  • Language Arts
  • Handwriting
  • Health
  • Read-Alouds

Friday:

  • Bible
  • Math
  • Reading
  • History/Geography
  • Language Arts/Spelling
  • Science
  • Gym

This entire schedule is subject to be changed and tweaked.  AND this is just Abigail’s schedule.   As we slowly add in Zander’s curriculum, I hope to be able to figure out how best to work the two together so that I am spending enough time with each child.   We’ll likely end up doing Bible and Science together, but everything else will be a careful ballet of balancing individual schedules and needs with independent work.

posted by Erika in Lesson Plans and have Comments Off on A Tentative First Week Schedule

Baby Box Days

When I first decided that Sonlight was going to be the curriculum for us, I had dreams and visions about our Box Day.  For anyone who doesn’t know what Box Day is, it’s the day the curriculum arrives via Fed Ex… it’s a day of excitement and joy as the whole family gets to go through the box and see all the wonderful books that will make up the school year.  Homeschoolers all over celebrate Box Day, and I couldn’t wait to celebrate our own.  As time went on, I finalized our shopping list and wish list, and then prayed and sat back to wait on the funding.

But as the end of August drew closer, and our purse strings were tightened further, I began to doubt our ability to go with Sonlight this year… I’d loaded up our shopping cart online, and I knew how much I was going to need to spend, and well, I was really debating trying a different route this year.  But I really was already in love with Sonlight.

And then I decided to check out some used Sonlight materials, and found a great deal on the readers for Abigail’s core.  I thought about it for a while, and decided to go ahead and buy them.  And then a few weeks later, I found another deal on the read-alouds.  Yet another week or so later, I had a little extra in the budget, so I ordered the History and Geography portions of her schoolbooks from Sonlight directly.   Later this week, I’m anticipating ordering the rest of her schoolwork for the coming year-including the all-important IG, which is where my daily schedule will come from.  While I have had to give up the idea of a big Box Day for this school year, we’ve found the baby Box Days nearly as exciting!

baby boxAs each box has come in, Abigail has gone through the books, looking at what she is going to learn about, and she’s getting so excited.  After reading the Indian In The Cupboard, she has gone on to start reading the sequels on her own, and she totally lit up at all the books about Native Americans she’ll be reading. She thinks she is going to love this school year, and we’re looking forward to getting going.

contents

We’re anticipating starting school on the 24th of this month.   Abigail will start right up with her Sonlight year, and Zander will continue with what we’ve been working on.  After a few weeks, I will be able to order his materials, and get him underway with Sonlight.   I think this schedule will work beautifully, because it will enable me to get used to Sonlight with one child, and then I can figure out how best to add in Zander’s materials.

After the success of summer school, I think we’re feeling excited about the schooling to come.  The kids actually seemed a little sad when I told them that we were finished with summer school- I thought the month of July was plenty, and now they’ll have a few weeks to just play and be kids before we start filling their heads with knowledge.  I’m also anticipating starting to get going with reading Abigail’s readers myself, because most of her books I have never read, so if we’re to discuss, I better get rolling on them.  Wish me luck! There’s a lot of books there!

posted by Erika in Random Thoughts and have Comments (2)