The Sacred Sprouts Schoolhouse

Archive for July, 2010

Well, Hello There!

Look what showed up on my front stoop today!

There’s no turning back now!  It’s the most important part of starting our new school year, our Instructor’s Guides from Sonlight.

Abigail will continue ahead with the second half of US History while Zander gets a look at world cultures.  They’re both going to love school this year.

I’ve decided that our first day of school will be August 30th.  Which means I have until then to assemble all the bits and pieces we need to get school rolling.  The binders are assembled and on the shelf, and now I need to acquire all the books and tools we’ll need yet.  Zander is very excited to get his own Book of Time this year where he’ll start his timeline.

And of course, since I last posted, what, a few days ago, I’ve already changed my mind again about something.  Figures.  I really, really like the look of the science materials for Real Science 4 Kids.  And I really want to do them.  The thing is though, I will have to buy books and teachers guides for both kids, and THEN I will have to go hunt down all the individual components for doing the experiments and activities.  Just thinking about doing that every week makes me want to break out in hives!

So I’ve already changed my mind and decided that we will, after all, go with Sonlight for our science needs as well.  We get the best of both worlds then, because Sonlight does use some of the Real Science books in their program.  But even better? I won’t have to run all around creation hunting and gathering what is needed for the experiments.  Sonlight does that for me!  When I order the complete Science programs, they come with all the tools and items needed for the experiments and activities.  I love that.   For certain I will be doing Science K with Zander, and I’m deciding between a few sciences for Abigail.

I wonder what else I’ll change my mind on yet in the next four weeks… 😉

posted by Erika in Curriculum Choices and have Comment (1)

Clicking “Purchase”

That can be a scary thing in the life of a homeschooler!  Because when you click purchase, you’re really, really saying a prayer that what you are about to purchase is going to work for your child.   I’m slowly making purchases and decisions about the coming school year, and it’s time to really assemble and start working out how our year will go- and it’s time to pick a start date- that I haven’t committed to yet.

And don’t ask me yet how I’m going to intertwine two cores together.  I know we’ll figure it out, but our school days are definitely going to be longer.

Right now, for Zander, his day will look something like this:

Bible: Sonlight Core K

Math: Horizons 1, Singapore 2A

History/Geography: Sonlight Core K

Reading: Sonlight Readers 2

Language Arts: A Beka Language 1, Spelling and Poetry

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting “A”

Science: Real Science 4 Kids Pre-level 1

For him for math, I’ve decided that while the Singapore method is working brilliantly with him, I also want him to learn to do math more traditionally, so we’re going to combine the two math programs.  He’s so incredibly fast at math anyways, hopefully by using the two programs together, I can make them stretch to last the whole school year.  For language arts, I had a heck of a time finding 1st grade LA that did not include phonics.  I was very happy to find the A Beka workbooks, and when he saw them come in the mail he was very excited about them. His handwriting will only last for the first half of the year, and then I’ll need to make a decision about where to go for him.   I’m also adding in for both kids a map unit this year, because they really enjoy studying maps.

Abigail’s day is shaping up to look like this:

Bible: Sonlight Core K with Core 4 personal devotions

Math: Teaching Textbooks 6

History/Geography: Sonlight Core 4

Reading: Sonlight 4

Language Arts: BJU Press Grade 5

Spelling: Sequential Spelling

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting “E”

Science: Real Science 4 Kids, Level 1

I feel like I’m missing something there, on both lists, but I’m drawing a blank as to what it is.   The Real Science 4 Kids I’m excited about, because I think that by using the two levels, I can still teach them together the same subjects, just Abigail’s will go more in-depth.  I’m hopeful that’s how they will work anyway- it may take a little tweaking on my part.  I still have to order those, as those are some of the more pricey pieces of our curriculum.  They may be arriving dead last just before school starts this fall.

A piece at a time.  Can it be we’re already in the home stretch of summer vacation?  That back to school is coming soon?  Crazy, just crazy.

posted by Erika in Curriculum Choices and have Comments (2)

Summer Vacation

Summer vacation has not been as much of a break as one would think.

Oh, we’ve set the actual schoolbooks aside and are taking a break from mathematical concepts and sentence diagramming, but the learning continues.

We’ve had more physical education in the last month than we’ve had in a year!  The kids have taken an interest in tennis, so we’ve spent a bit of time at our tennis courts, trying to get a volley or two together hitting the balls over the net.  That’s actually been pretty fun.

We’ve also tackled swimming lessons.  We’re so excited to have a nice pool here that we can do that at.  The lessons are broken up into two week sessions, and we did the very first one of the year- lessons are every day during the week.   After the first session, Abigail was promoted to level 2, while Zander was kept in his level to hone his skills further.  So we signed up for another session.  Abigail has improved amazingly- she went from sorta knowing how to swim, to yesterday, she jumped off the diving board into the deep end of the pool.  I’m so excited, because both kids are really grasping swimming well.  We’re going to sign up for one more session when this one is over.  I suspect Abigail may move up to level 3 yet this summer, but Zander may well be in level 1 again.  That’s okay- but then again, he may surprise me by really digging in and perfecting that front crawl.

In addition to tennis and swimming, dance has been back in full force.  Zander has decided to try dance and is having a blast so far.  Abigail is up to four classes now, with the addition of tumbling to her regular dance like-up.  Her goal is to reach the splits and her back walk-over this summer.  We’ll see…

We’ve also been learning a lot of earth science this summer.  The kids each planted their own gardens and have been watching firsthand as the seeds sprout and grow into mature vegetables.  We’ve also been watching the animals in our yard very closely- we love seeing the birds with their mates- both the cardinals and the mourning doves come and go as a couple.  We have three kinds of squirrels and of course rabbits that come and go.  We all love just sitting outside listening to the cacophony of sounds they make from day to day- it’s just like camping, without having to go camping.

Reading has also exploded.  Both kids signed up for the summer reading program at the library, and are having a great time meeting their goals.  Abigail’s selections to read have been getting harder and harder as time goes on, and they both really enjoy those times where they are both curled up on furniture- absorbed in a great book.   They’ve been getting some really cool prizes for their efforts, and while I normally don’t encourage rewarding their reading- for the summer it adds a little something and helps them broaden their reading selections as well.  In addition to measuring the time read, they also have extra challenges to meet- like reading a book about the sea, reading a non-fiction book, reading a graphic novel, listening to an audio book and reading a magazine.

We’ve also been reading aloud every day as well.  What a difference a year makes!  It was last year at this time that we pulled out a chapter book to read aloud together, and they both were disappointed with it.  This year- well, I can’t read fast enough.  We started with Little House In The Big Woods, and I had intended to read that one in the series, and maybe the second one- and then they could read further if they wanted.  Well we read the Big Woods in just two weeks, and then picked up Little House On The Prairie and read that one in just over two weeks- sometimes reading four chapters a day!  Well, we got to the end of that one the other day, and Abigail was just beside herself that the Ingalls family was moving yet again and leaving all their hard work behind.  So both kids begged me to move on in the series.  We skipped Farmer Boy, since that’s about Almanzo (and may come back to that), and have moved right into On The Banks Of Plum Creek.  Both kids are just LOVING the series, and for me it’s a trip down memory lane- I read these books so often growing up, it’s been really fun reading them with my kids- who are hearing them for the first time.   Although I really had hoped to make a dent in the Narnia series this summer… We’ll see how far we take the Little House books.  As long as they are literally begging me to keep going- how could I not?

Anyway, just wanted to share a bit of our summer.  I hope everyone is enjoying summer as much as we are!

posted by Erika in Just For Fun and have Comments Off on Summer Vacation