Monday, July 11, 2016

Homeschool Schedule and First Week of 2nd Grade!

My smart and funny 2nd grader!!
I'm not going to write weekly posts of what we're doing this year. I honestly, just don't have time to do so anymore. However, I plan on posting highlights here and there.

I'm going to try and post a more detailed version of what we're using this year later this week. The short version is, Adventures in My Father's World for history, Bible, science, art, and music, and Timberdoodle's 2nd Grade for Language Arts, Math, STEM, and Thinking Skills. We're using Abeka for reading and a few of their books to accompany our history, science, and Health, Safety, and Manners.

The first week of 2nd grade went great! Honestly, it went even better than I expected. Last year, I taught Blue Rock M-W-F and he attended a part-time school two days a week full time. It got to be a battle some days for him to do his work with me. Sometimes school work seemed to drag on ALL DAY! Frankly, the curriculum just wasn't working for us. It was a great curriculum but didn't fit our personalities as well. Which got me to thinking, when we have the opportunity to really customize our child's education, why not truly customize it to fit them the best we can? Everyone is created uniquely by God. Blue Rock is gifted in a lot of things and his favorite subject is math. He tested as a 5th grader in math at the end of the year on his tests scores. The cool thing is, he's never been taught 5th grade math. He figured out multiplication and division on his own. Does this mean that this year I'm going to go ahead and move him up to 5th grade math? No. I decided to stick with his age and if he wants to continue on and test out of most of the year, we'll move forward. However, I don't want to over push him. I want him to be confident in his ability to do and understand math. I want his favorite subject to remain a favorite and him not to get bogged down in frustration. Will we do some advanced math as we go along? Absolutely! Some subjects are going to be more challenging for him. For example, he hates handwriting and we did grammar pages last year that were a beating! As someone who has a BA in English, I found it to be pointless for him to do these grammar pages. Does that mean that I believe grammar is pointless? Not at all! But for my first grader, they were. I really LOVE our language arts book this year. So far, Blue Rock loves it too. Also, Blue Rock is someone who picks up on things very quickly. If we spend more than 15-20 minute son a subject, he gets bored and I lose him. He can do short bits quickly and effectively and retains the information well. Also he needs time to move and get some exercise throughout the day. I do too for that matter! The thought of him sitting at a desk all day without being able to play outside makes me sad. So glad it doesn't have to be that way!

Here's an overview of how I set up this year.

Planning. The way I planned this year was I organized the year by weeks. I took apart the workbooks and put assignments into folders by weeks. I put the books we'll be using on one shelf in my office. I have a history binder, completed work binder, and a weekly binder. At the beginning of the week, I pull out the week's assignments and put them in the daily folders. I go over the assignments of what we're going to be doing and make sure I have everything we need. Then the night before, or morning of, I quickly review the day's agenda and we get started. So far this is working well but I'm only 1 week and 1 day in.

This year's assignments, organized neatly in this binder folder

I organized by week in these folders
I have 5 folders in this binder for each day of the week
Rough outline of his weekly assignments

How I Homeschool 3 Children. Several people have asked how can I homeschool with 3 kids? Especially, two of them being the age of 2 and under. This is what we do. First of all, I include all of my kids when possible. We start right after breakfast, sometimes during. When my oldest is done eating, it's time to start an assignment. My younger two take longer to eat so while they are eating, or I'm feeding the baby, I give instructions to my oldest and he gets started. Some things he needs very little instruction, others a little more. We usually start with Bible and that includes reading our daily scripture. When we sit down for lunch or a snack, I read through our Health and Safety book. My 7 and 2 year old are both gaining knowledge when we do this. In fact, my 2 year old loves answering the questions as well. History and science, same thing.  Most of the reading takes place before bed. It allows my husband or I to give our son one-on-one time to practice his reading and he's more relaxed to sit still at this time. Mostly because he doesn't want to go to sleep. I also save any other subjects or projects that need my undivided attention for when the baby is taking a nap. One other thing, my house does not remain spotless during the school week. I try and pick up at the end of the day but if you dropped by, you'd see my kids have a lot of fun. They can play with their toys and create fun things during their free time. We're inside more during the summer because of the heat and it's easy for my house to become a mess. It's hard letting go of this and I get really frustrated at times, but my children's hearts mean more to me than a small mess in the living room. We do try and all pick up at the end of the day. I also have a fun curriculum I do with my 2-year old so she has her own work to do so she doesn't feel left out.  She even has hers in her own binder. 

Praying that this year goes really well and that my children and I all learn a lot! May God be richly blessed through this. I am so thankful that I can raise and teach my children.

He took care of our neighbor's dogs for a few days and did great!

What does the inside of a space heater look like? With Dad.

Egg science experiment

Caden reminded me that we did this in kindergarten

He knew the answer but had fun doing it again anyway. :)
We made a timeline for history this year!

We have a 2nd grader!!

Most of the curriculum, minus a few books
I decided last Monday night that we'd go ahead and start the school year on Tuesday morning. I had originally wanted to start 2nd grade after the 4th of July but wasn't sure how it would work out. 

After Blue Rock telling us that he did not to go to soccer camp last week and just wanted to stick with tennis, we decided to go ahead with my original plans and start school. Since there was no tennis camp this week, we thought it would be a great time to start. I love the idea of taking June off for a summer break and December off for a winter break. Or basically Memorial Day through the 4th of July and Thanksgiving through New Years. Then taking time off here and there throughout the year. Blue Rock has been asking to start school and had a great first day and second day today! He did great jumping in and working hard. It was a difficult decision not to send him back to his part-time private school this coming Fall, but after praying about it and talking with him, we decided we'd rather homeschool full-time. It gives us more flexibility to travel, more money to do things, and I enjoy picking the curriculum that fits him best. Also he really wanted to join his friends in a co-op that meets on Thursdays this coming Fall. I'm also probably going to enroll him in an all day Fine Arts class for homeschoolers that meets one day a week as well. There are plenty of activities to do with friends and this gives us the most flexibility and more valuable family time as well as time with friends. We're praying for a fun year of learning! I'll do another blog post with what we're doing for each subject when I get some time. 

New Art program

Finishing up his spelling

Close up of what we're doing
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