Our second year of homeschool, is coming to an end, or maybe I should say, I can see the end in sight. This year brought many challenges as we were uprooted shortly after the school year began, and we have been traveling back and forth between Illinois and Wisconsin with my husband for his job. Our number one priority (besides God) is family, and so this was the obvious choice.
I added a few extras this year, and I am more then happy with them. We did Song School Spanish and Typing Instructor. 4 of my kids, each received a certificate from typing instructor and are doing very well with this skill. Spanish has been very fun, and something I worked on, with the younger kids 2-3 times a week. It's from Classical Academy and incorporates music with each lesson, so naturally my kids were drawn to this. I also had each child read as many of the classical books as they could fit in, such as: Charlotte's Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Farmer Boy. The kids also read Helen Kellar, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman.
My absolute favorite online site that I use is http://superteacherworksheets.com Last year, this website was free, and this year I had to purchase a subscription for one year, but it was totally worth it. I print extra practice worksheets almost daily for my Kindergartener, 2nd and 3rd grader. I also bought a membership to http://ABCmouse.com and my two youngest use this daily as well. I am finding that these online sites are very educational and very fun for the kids and it introduces them to the computer as well.
Our family loves music. 4 of the kids play the violin, two play guitar, most of us sing and we all love to sing and perform in church. Since we travel back and forth it makes music lessons hard right now. Molly has started giving violin lessons to the younger kids. She has been taking lessons since she was 3 and enjoys it very much.
I still primarily use Bob Jones for my kids. I don't see any need to mess up a good thing, and so I will most likely stick with this curriculum as we have had success with it.
Here is a look at our school room in Wisconsin:
I have to say, the funnest thing about this past year, was the fact that our home in Wisconsin is right across the street, from a ski mountain. We took full advantage of this, and purchased a family season pass. All 5 kids took lessons and learned how to snowboard. It was great fun, and a good way to get exercise.
It's been a great year, and I am so excited that we have (almost) made it through our second year!
I am just finishing up my first year of homeschool with my five children. It took a lot of prayer and consideration before we finally decided to take it on.
Here is what I have learned so far:
1. I have learned SO much this year, about myself, my children, and our family dynamic.
2. This is tough, and it's a lot of work
3. One day I'm so happy, life is perfect and the next day, I'm pretty sure none of my kids are going to college. (Okay, so that's stretching it a bit, but it has it's ups and downs)
4. I never said, I was going to do this forever. School is an option for us, especially when they reach high school.
5. I wouldn't trade this last year, I've had with my kids for anything in the world.
6. Life is somehow more simple and I feel like we have this freedom, we never had before. There is this burden lifted, that I didn't even know existed.
7. Education isn't everything. There is so much more to teach children, then book work. We have studied the Bible together, more then ever before, and we are focusing a lot on character.
So that's just a tiny glimpse into the emotional journey of homeschool.
Here is the curriculum we use:
Bob Jones: I LOVE their reading program. I pretty much love everything Bob Jones right now.
Horizons Math: I have one child who struggles with Math, and this was a good choice for her this year, but looking into something different for next year.
Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse: My oldest daughter, did all her own school with this program. It was a LOT to take on, especially as a first year homeschooler. She has always been a bright, straight A student and was overwhelmed with teaching herself. I think we will go to Bob Jones for her next year.
Heroes of American History chapter books: We loved this time of reading together. I learned so much from these books as well.
A glimpse into our school room:
Farm table plus church pew gives us plenty of seating and the kids are able to stretch out a bit. This also comes in handy for family game nights, and craft time.
Our library, located directly off the school room in an extra wide hallway. My husband built us these shelves about a week before we started school. I LOVE them!
Last but not least, there is always the kitchen table....