Week one celebration

We just finished up week one back to school and I have to celebrate. (Our school schedule fits around hubby’s work schedule so we’re Sun-Thursday learners here with Friday and Saturday as our weekends.)  So far so good for us, the kids jumped right back in with little need for review of last year’s materials which I consider a BIG win!

Celebrate! A Street Party: Lilo by Carlos

I tried to move to a digital schedule and lesson plan this year but just couldn’t find one that fit so I’m sticking with the good old pen and paper plans. I might have to try again next year when a few more choices are available. Here are the ones I tried if anyone else would like to give them a go:

I loved the Well Planned Day software but at $65 dollars a year that was a bit out of our budget range. If it was $65 dollars to purchase the software and then free to use forever I would definitely consider it. It was the one that fit my current plan and was super easy for me to use. My only problem was that the calendar took forever to load and in the lesson plans dates would be off and I would have to go in and manually change them on occasion. I could see myself not paying attention to the dates and getting easily off track. In the end I just couldn’t live with the slow calendar as it’s something that I would use many many times throughout the day/week. If they do a few bug fixes it’s one I would try again down the road.

All in all it was a successful week. We’re off to celebrate =) Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Cells, Creation, and Fairy Tales

We’re back in the swing of a new school year. This year we’ll be moving to a year round schedule so we’ll be taking it slow and going day by day. We are adding some new courses this year, religion, a bit of home ec, and a health class for the kids as they get older to cover things like drugs, smoking, healthy eating, and the dreaded word… puberty.

We’re starting the kids on a journey of the different religions around the world so they can go into religion with an open mind. The BBC has a beginning for our world religion studies so we’ll be starting here and then researching more as we get deeper into them. We’re adding this in to our year because it was a bit of a rough end to 2014 and the beginning of 2015. The kids lost both a grandmother and great grandmother and they have been questioning quite a few things so we figured it was the best time to start.

We are using Story of the World Vol. 3 for our main history this year. The topics covered can be seen here. It’s picking up where we left off last year at the beginnings of the 1600’s so we can continue on our journey. I love that this gives the kids an overview of history in more of a story form. I know there are positive and negative reviews on this curriculum but I see it more as a starting point and I supplement more in depth on the times covered in the book. The kids seem to learn better when they can get into the history and learn things that way instead of the normal textbook and date memorization format. We do this one together and I add in harder material for our oldest, he has more researching and more writing added in so he can get deeper into the topics covered. This week we’re covering the “Holy Roman Empire” and the riches of Spain.

In science we’re reviewing Cells this week. Here are a few resources we’ll be using to supplement our textbook:

After cells we’re moving on to a more in depth look at the body, and this will move right on into our health class and learning more about the changes a person goes through when they hit puberty. (I can already hear the groans lol) But I have to say that I remember the old puberty education videos in school, now THOSE were definitely groan worthy.

We’re using Teaching Textbooks for our Math this year. We started with it at the end of last year because our old curriculum was just not working well with the kids. They have improved leaps and bounds with this curriculum so it’s one we will definitely be sticking with. We’ll add in some Khan Academy to supplement and support throughout the year.

We’re using these books to add to our literature this year. They coincide with our history and this site has some worksheets with copy work for most of the books and I’ll be adding in more as we continue on. The kids will be doing extra copy work this year to practice their cursive writing and improve penmanship. Our first book is The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault. The kids are learning about the origins of fairy tales and that in the beginning they were pretty grizzly, but I think they are enjoying that a bit because it’s the opposite of what they are used to. We read Little Red Riding Hood and The Fairies yesterday and I heard more then a few “They can’t just end like that!” lol so it will be fun to see as we continue on with this one. Tomorrow we get to dig into The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood and Cinderella.

Rainy Fairy Tales by Sara Morini

Rainy Fairy Tales by Sara Morini

I think that covers it all for now. It’s a slow rainy day here so I’m off to dig into a good book and curl up with a cup of hot tea. I just finished Blake Crouch’s Pines. I wanted to check it out before I started the tv series and I have to say that I enjoyed it, enough to look up more books by him. I’ve just started Run as it reminded me of some of my favorite Stephen King books. After that I’ll be checking out the others in the Wayward Pines series.