Through the years that we have homeschooled, my style has become more relaxed. With high school, that had to change back to a bit more structure. My children's needs are all so different that doing lessons together takes a bit of modification. This year, I technically have one in high school, one in junior high, and one in elementary school. Some things we still do together, but with different expectations for each of the kids.
History and Literature: We are studying history together. Our "spine" for history this year is Rome to the Reformation by My Father's World. Our first day "back to school" I followed the suggestion in the teacher's guide and started the day dressed as a Roman slave hired as the family's tutor. We time travelled a bit, though, as we have been using the American History curriculum from Notgrass, and we continued with it as well as our ancient studies. Time travel is actually woven into the History of the Western World by Brimwood Press, and the lessons about Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar blended almost seamlessly with our other lessons. As I've recently joined the review team for A Child's Geography: Explore the Classical World, we have been comparing the maps included with that resource to the lands we are learning about. We have also been able to add related literature from Heritage History. I'm enjoying learning history as I teach the kids. We are doing too much history, if you compare to traditional school, but we are all enjoying it as we learn together so that plan is working for us.
Bible: We have been working through the National Bible Bee lessons and verses this summer and will continue that through the end of August.
Science: The science lessons built into our MFW plans this year include human anatomy as well as astronomy. I'm also incorporating some of the great resources from Masterbooks with those lessons.
Electives: Formal music lessons with our teachers of the past four years have just ended. Music practice, though, just might be going stronger than ever (except for right before a performance.) There are little murmurings that the kids may all have a chance to join in a band with others in our homeschool group this fall. Each spring they look forward to joining the "All State Orchestra" the weekend of our homeschool convention. My 8th grader also joins the choir that weekend and occasionally sings at church or for friends and family.
Home economics: Is that even what it is called any more? Both of the girls have a love of sewing, and we are blessed to have my aunt both teach and share resources with us. We are looking forward to a quilt class in a few weeks and have been told that we will each complete a quilt in six hours. They are also both learning by necessity about cutting back on sodium in our cooking.
Two things are completely new formats for my son this year-- math and science. My youngest daughter used Teaching Textbooks 4 years ago and it is still on our main family computer. All it took was a call to the company to reset it, and it was completely refreshed for him. For science, a friend made a fun suggestion a few years ago and we finally tried it. A plastic bin is filled with experiment books and supplies, and he is going to be able to independently try out experiments and learn from mistakes, too. He started the week with exciting science magic tricks and shared them with the rest of us each night after his dad returned home from work. He has also been making plans with his dad and his Pappy for building a greenhouse.
We started an online program for language and math this year, which is a bit of a change for us. We are reviewing Time4Learning, so I'll share how she does with that in a few weeks.
Science: She is completing her Apologia general science class started last year, and we haven't solidified our next plans for her science studies after that.
Bible: My eighth grader has started a lovely study on beauty by Doorposts.
History and Literature: last year, my high school daughter used My Father's World's 9th grade plan for history and literature. Instead of so closely following their plan for 10th grade, we are all learning about the time period together. Some of her related British literature selections include Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales, and even some by Jane Austen.
Science: She is still working to complete Apologia's Chemistry which she started last year, then wants to move on to Advanced Biology/ Human Anatomy and Physiology.
Math: We borrowed Math U See algebra II from a crew friend, so they are all three fairly independent with math lessons.
Electives: Music, as I mentioned above, is changing a bit for us this year. My oldest daughter has now taken over teaching her little brother's piano lessons. I love watching all of the kids make music together. She is continuing to practice violin and piano. Drafting is another of her electives. I first thought of it in terms of pattern drafting as she enjoys creating her own patterns. When we saw an engineering drafting book at our homeschool convention, she expressed interest, and we purchased it.
|just a little peek at some of what we did our first day "not" back-to-school|