Thursday, November 15, 2007

What our Home School Looks Like.....


We have a new schedule around here for our schooling, and it is working out wonderfully. We start off our day with our Bible study. Right now, we're reading through the book of Genesis, and afterwards I pick a subject where I think we could use some help in the Instruction in Righteousness book from Doorposts. We read the designated verses and then have discussion. If you're not familiar with that book, it lists areas where parents may have discipline problems and directs you to specific Bible verses to deal with those problems. It also offers suggestions for discipline. I think it is a wonderful book of reference.

I used to save history and science for our last subjects of the day. We would often be tired and our brains would be too weary to understand what we were reading or we would just skip it if time did not allow. I know we're not alone in that predicament. I've spoken to several moms who have a hard time getting those two subjects in. Now I've placed these subjects second in line, and it is really going well. Our minds are much fresher in the morning, and we move through these lessons so much more quickly than we ordinarily would have in the afternoon. I alternate these two subjects. For history, we're using All American History. We really like this curriculum (it's Madison's favorite). Right now we're still working through all the explorers, and we'll soon be getting into the colonization of America, which I think will be even more interesting. We read the lesson together, and then each of the girls has a workbook where they fill out an information sheet for each explorer. Sometimes it takes 3 days to a week to get through a lesson as there are several explorers within each lesson. When that lesson is complete, the next day we'll start on a science lesson. For science, we use Considering God's Creation. We have found that we like this program also (this is Cari's favorite). It includes Bible study, vocabulary words, projects, worksheets, and ideas for further study.

Next and in no certain order and in each of their grade levels, we work on grammar using Easy Grammar, math using Professor B, spelling using Dr. Aardsma's spelling drill on CD-ROM, and handwriting practice. For writing, Madison uses the WordSmith Apprentice workbook. Once a week, they work on a computer typing program, and on Tuesday and Thursday of each week, we have piano lessons. I am teaching them as far as I can with piano and then we will move on to lessons with someone more knowledgeable. (I play the organ at church, but it's nothing fancy. I never really learned the more difficult cords, etc.) Once a week, we do art. I have an art book that teaches basic drawings, but for the past few weeks, we've been doing something quite fun. I received some free art instruction from Nature Magazine as a result of a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. You basically free-hand the drawings as they are demonstrated on the paper, and we have a good time comparing our end results. I'm doing this with them, and I'm having fun with this as I had no idea I could draw anything but a stick person!

When their schoolwork is complete, they have 30 minutes of required reading time in the afternoon. When all of their chores and schoolwork are complete, they are allowed 30 minutes of computer time to email their friends or work on their private blogs. I have found those two things to be good writing exercises. It may be taking some of the fun out of it (although it doesn't really appear so), but sometimes I'll proofread their emails and make corrections before they send them. I think it's a great way for them to enjoy writing and also get extra practice on spelling, punctuation, etc.

That's basically what our homeschool looks like. It doesn't really take that long to accomplish all of that either. We used to have to do some school in the afternoons, but with our new schedule of doing history/science second, we are usually finished with all the book work before lunch. I'm enjoying our school year this year (this is our seventh year), and I'm pleased with the curriculum that we carefully chose through much prayer and consideration. I'm already seeing where we'll probably make changes next year (as always), but this is working well for now.

1 comment:

Cari said...

Hey, Rhonda. i love, the blog and it's perfect for you!
love, cari