Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homeschooling is Going Great!

We are using a variety of things. I have several *favorite* things and the first one is My Father's World which is a small unit study that includes Bible, History, Science, Music and lots of read-alouds. We are using Year Four, Exploration to 1850. One of my favorite things about My Father's World this year is that we are studying old hymns and their history, who wrote them and how they came about. We begin each morning singing praises to our King and then move directly into the bible study. We are studying James and doing a lot of memory work. I'm very excited about what I see transpiring in the girls even in such the short time of a two week period.

The first hymn we are studying is actually called My Father's World. It was written by a young man named Maltbie Babcock. We have studied how Maltbie was a very well liked young man, he was very talented in most anything he done, including music and sports. He stood up for what he believed in and he confronted others when their language or behavior was not appropriate. He was very aware of the beauty of God's creation and he spent a lot of time enjoying it. Observing the wonders of this world is how he came to write the song My Father's World.

I had never heard this hymn before and I have very much enjoyed becoming aquainted with it. I found a neat little book called Hymns for a Kid's Heart that includes a great version of My Father's World. In the My Father's World curricula they add a new hymn every two weeks. The girls and I decided to add a new hymn to our studies this week. Meadow chose 'O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, written by Charles Wesley. Charles was also homeschooled, and his mother used the Bible as their text. He wrote over six thousand hymns in his lifetime! I thought it a good idea to go ahead and cover all of the hymns included in this book, even though it only has three of the hymns studied in My Father's World.

Once we finish in prayer we begin our history. I love doing history as a family. I love studying U.S. History. I didn't pay a lot of attention to it when I was in school so I missed out on a lot. The girls don't love it as much as I do but they are learning and remembering so much. They are both creating art pictures several days a week of what we cover that day. They are drawing explorers, ships and other things. These make for a beautiful notebook.

Then we break for lunch and come back to work separately. Sky is using Teaching Textbooks grade 7 for math. It has truly become a huge blessing in our home. She can work completely on her own and the program even grades each lesson for me. You can see examples of how it works by visiting the link. She is using Phonetic Zoo for spelling and this has proved, thus far, to be a wonderful hit. I love finding things that make my job easier and learning more fun for the girls. For science Sky is using Apologia General Science. My Father's World has conveniently created a schedule that makes Apologia General Science easy to implement in our studies.

Sky is also using the recommended curricula from My Father's World for English and Writing. I have another Writing program that I hope to move her into soon but just getting started out I haven't had the time. I will be sure to share when we do.

Meadow is finishing up Sing Spell Read and Write with only a few more steps to go. This program has been my all time favorite for teaching kids to read. Its catchy and loads of fun with the music, games and prizes. We have also moved into Primary Language Lessons and Spelling by Sound and Structure by Rod and Staff. Somedays we have enough time and stamina to complete all of these and other days we alternate. For math Meadow is using BJU Math 2. I used BJU Math with Heaven all the way through school and I love it. However since finding Teaching Textbooks once Meadow reaches the fourth grade level we will be switching over. Teaching Textbooks is just to easy and fun and I have to say the price is much better than BJU's dvds.

I'm hoping to add in God's History of Art and Rosetta Stone Spanish as funds allow. Our days are full and eventful. I feel so accomplished when our work is complete. I praise the Lord for leading us back home and for continuing His work in me. I look forward to sharing more of our days soon!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Zoo

Our field trip with my dad Wednesday was great. We had a blast and I was very impressed by what the girls learned. I must be a woman of few words today. I'm on a schedule and I only had time to load pictures. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unplanned Day

Today instead of schooling as we had planned we attended a funeral. My bestfriends grandmother passed away Friday and today was her funeral. It was so sad. Her grandmother had not been sick, she was still driving herself and was completely in her right mind, which is wonderful that no one had to care for her before she went home to be with our Father, but her death was so out of the blue and unexpected. I think that situation alone, having no time prepare, made it a lot harder. My friend's daddy had passed away years ago and her mom is divorced and remarried. In a lot of ways this was an end to this side of the family for her. We had lunch with her and her family after the funeral and then we went to her house and had a nice long visit. We didn't get home until 7:30 tonight. It was a long day but it was nice to be able to take the girls and be there for my friend. Homeschooling enables you to live more of your life together. Tomorrow we have a play date planned and Wednesday, my dad is taking us to the zoo!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Great School Day

It's been a little rough getting back on track. I'm such a planner and being on such short notice threw me a bit but we are getting the hang of it again. Today we finished everything up in record time and we got chores done, the only thing waiting is dinner. Which I'm headed off to take care of now.

I'll share more about what we are using soon, when time isn't so limited.

Today was a good day. I love homeschooling, after seven years it is a part of me. :)