Well, here it is, our 3rd year homeschooling. After going to my first conference this year, I have changed my thoughts on several things and am not as uptight about it as I used to be. I think the first piece of advice I would ever give any new homeschooler or anyone thinking about it, is to go to a conference! So much wisdom, and so many years of experience there to help you down your path! The number ONE thing I wanted to do different this year is put the fun back into learning for the kids. I want them to CRAVE learning again! I also learned that I will miss teaching them something they will need to learn. So does the public school. However it is never too late to learn something. If they find out they need something at a certain time, well they can learn it then.
Where most of the learning will be taking place....
I have drawers for each day of the week so all the paperwork is already prepared and I just have to pull it out, review it in my head and we are ready to go for the week.
I have all the weeks up to December, when we will take the month off, all ready and in folders to pull out on Sunday's and divide into their day appropriate drawer. In December, while on break, I will pull all the other stuff and set it up in the same fashion for the rest of the school year.
Every other day, we will review a new Bible verse for Bible class, and then on the days in between, we will have an object lesson. Our first OL is this Repentance Box. We will write down our sins on paper and put them in there until Easter. Then we will burn the box to represent that our sins are gone forever thanks to Christ dying on the cross.....LOVE that! Then we will start with a whole new box and hopefully make an new tradition!
This is the first year I have pulled the curriculum together myself and will be doing all the teaching myself. The first years we used a video program, where the kids watched a video that was taped in an actual classroom, and had their own set of books....that was more "schoolng at home". Last year we did a whole thing on the computers, where the whole thing was on a program on their laptops. Great at the begining, but they lost interest and attention fast! This year, I am trying to incorporate things they can get involved in, and that they can relate to! I have planned and planned and worked every spare second I could on it this summer. I think I am finally ready! For Math, we will be concentrating on Consumer Math. They will be learning about bank accounts and earning money, taxes, cash vs credit (and the pitfalls of credit) budgeting etc... I also found some really fun (looking, haven't tried them yet) games online to go along with the topics. They also will learn about frugal spending, coupons, and saving up to buy!
Next is history. I happened to find some really cool curriculum on Pinterest. The website is www.homeschoolinthewoods.com They have a whole history series for different eras. They send you the cd-rom and it has the lessons and projects on it and you print the stuff and gather the materials, but it is very cool. Very time consuming to put it all together, but so worth it...I think. Remeber we haven't started school yet. But I am reallying hoping the kids will enjoy the hands on stuff. They will be making timelines, practicing pennmanship, trying new foods from the era, making projects and making a newspaper. We are going to work backwards though, we will start with WWII simply because that is the era we are all most interested in! Next, The Great Industrial Revolution-The Great Depression, and lastly, The Civil War. At the end of each "era" we will have some family and friends over to see all the things they have made and taste the food we made from the era.....well, that is the plan as of now....a few days out from starting!
Another subject...Geography. I found a really neat book at the library that had all kinds of information on 13 different countries. I figured that would be enough to start with. My goal by the time my son has gradutated is to have come atleast close to covering all the countries that we can. They will learn lots of different things about each country including how God has worked in the past, how He is currently working there now, about some missionaries in the country, what their needs are and how we can pray for them. My son wants to be a missionary so I am hoping to expose hiim to as many places as possible and then let God do His work from there.
Lastly, for Science, they will be learning Forensic Science. I found this book at the library as well and then bought it. It teaches kids all about CSI and gives them experiments to try to replicate the basics of what the Forensics teams do. My hope and goal is to make an appt with the local forensics squad and let the kids go and see them and ask many many questions!! In the meantime they will be doing experiments such as, "Is it blood?" and "Extracting DNA" and "Lifting Fingerprints". So if they ever decide to kill their Dad or me, they will probably get away with it! HAHA!
In all these classes there will be lots of Reading, Vocabulary, Home Ec, Pennmanship, Foreign Language etc... all built in! I am so excited and really hope the kids do enjoy all the things I have come up with. Here's praying for a wonderful new year!!
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