*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Friday, March 28, 2014

Week 33 of Learning 2013-14 and Week 34 of Learning 2013-14

I’m taking the easy route and combining the last two weeks because I failed to post week 33 before now. 
Micah, Kindergarten Bible – Micah continues to work in his AWANAS book.
Phonics – Micah has been doing really well with his reading.  It never ceases to amaze me when I sit and listen to my boys when they are first beginning to read.  I don’t think there’s much else that’s sweeter and more heartwarming to a mommy’s heart.  Micah worked on the vowels e, I, and o.  He also worked on the ‘th’ sound.  His sight words for the past two weeks were…they, but, at, with, all, there, out, be, have, am.

Poetry – Micah’s poem for week 33 was ‘Here is a Little Candle.’  We used the poem to discuss uppercase letters, commas, and periods.  ***You will note that Micah drew a dinosaur, and I’m not sure how it relates to his poem.  Oh well…at least he took the time to draw AND color it.***
Math – Micah has worked on counting by 10s and counting groups.  I’ll be honest…I’m about ready to toss this math book…it’s just not that impressive.  But – we’ll stick out since the end of the year is just a few weeks away.
Caleb, Fifth Grade Math – WOOHOO!  Caleb has finished Teaching Textbooks 4, so we’ll move on to Teaching Textbooks 5 next week.  He still seems pleased with the program, so I’m hoping his feelings remain that way for a while.  Smile  He worked on multiplying by a two-digit number; more long division; percents; finding a percent of a number; writing a remainder as a fraction; reading a scale on a map; finding probability; roman numerals; changing improper fractions to mixed numbers; and multiplying and dividing money amounts.
English – Caleb worked on adjective suffixes, building sentences using adjectives, using apostrophes, and friendly/business letters.
We are slowly cruising into the last 6 weeks of this school year.  I’ll be honest and admit…this is the first year where I really think I need a break.  We are coming to the close of our 6th year of this homeschool journey, and we’ve pretty much schooled year-round from day one.  So, I’m ready for May to get here so we can take a three month hiatus from school (our longest break to date).  Mommy needs it so I can come back refreshed and ready to tackle middle school with Caleb.  Smile  Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE homeschooling the boys, and I have no intentions of quitting.  I’m just looking forward to the three month break.  Smile

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Week 32 of Learning 2013-14

We are done with yet another week of learning.
Micah, Kindergarten Bible – Micah continues to work in his AWANAS book.
Phonics – This week Micah worked on the ‘ck’ and ‘qu’ sounds.  We also learned about ‘a’ being a word.  He also worked on sentences.  His sight words for the week were ‘he, was, that, she, on.’
Poetry – This week Micah’s poem was ‘Florida.’  We used the poem to discuss punctuation, uppercase letters, and rhyming words.

Math – This week Micah worked on number families and addition to 10. 
Caleb, Fifth Grade Math – This week Caleb worked on reducing a fraction; reducing a fraction by dividing; the number line; and more measuring line segments.
English – This week Caleb worked on predicate adjectives, appositive adjectives, and degrees of adjectives.
Caleb started another science co-op class on Friday.  He’s taking a marine science class, and he’s really enjoying it so far.

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum Choices

Well, it’s that time of year again…the time when all of us homeschool parents start figuring out our game plans for the next school year.  At least I’m guessing I’m not alone in this…LOL! 
I’ve made our plans, and it’s been tough.  The choices are always so very overwhelming.  Caleb will be in 6th grade…MIDDLE school…so I feel it’s time to start preparing him for a heavier work load, and it’s time to start thinking ahead to high school…making sure we’ve got a plan in action.  With Micah, it’s a bit easier because I’ve been there, done that already. 
I’m changing things up quite a bit for Caleb.  We’re moving away from history because he’s had 5 years of it, and quite frankly, it’s the same stories over and over…just a little more in-depth year after year.  So, we’re going to focus on Geography instead because he hasn’t had much of that at all.  Our plan is then to do a Citizenship course and one more year of history to finish out middle school.  We’re also moving away from grammar and focusing on writing…another area that’s been a bit neglected.  He struggles with the actual task of writing due to his Tourette’s, so it’s been hard to find a program that I think will work for him.  I’m crossing my fingers that the one I’ve chose will do the trick.  We are also moving back into a formal reading program.  For the past few years, I’ve been letting Caleb read at his own leisure whatever he chooses to read.  However, I really want him to work on comprehension and other reading skills, so that’s the reason for the formal program again.
Here’s our line-up for 1st and 6th grades…
Caleb, Sixth Grade Math – Teaching Textbooks 5 & 6 – We are using this program now, and it seems to be working.  So, we’ll continue as long as Caleb seems to enjoy/benefit from it.
Reading – Bob Jones University Press – We have used BJUP in the past, and I know they produce solid curriculum.
Geography – Fifty States Under God three book plan – We’ve never used this program, but it looks very solid.  It will include US History, US Geography, and a special state study of Florida.
Science – Answers in Genesis God’s Design Series – I’ve eyeballed this curriculum for quite some time, and I’m glad to finally have a plan to use it.  We plan to complete four books this year in keeping with a game plan to complete the entire series by the end of 8th grade.
Writing – The Write Foundation Creating Sentences – This is another new program to us, but I really like what I’ve seen and read about it.  I’m hoping Caleb will like it just as much.
Spelling – Sequential Spelling Level 2 – We are using this program now, and I’ve seen great improvement in Caleb’s spelling.
Bible – God’s Great Covenant, Old Testament 1 – This is yet another new program, but it looks excellent.
Micah, First Grade Language Arts, Reading, Phonics – Learning Language Arts Through Literature – this is a totally new program to me as I’ve never used it.  However, I like what I see, and I’m hoping Micah will enjoy it. 
Math – Christian Light Education Sunrise Math – I used this with Caleb for a while, and I firmly believe that it’s a SOLID math program.  I’m hoping Micah will do well with it, and we’ll be able to continue to use it through high school.
Science – Answers in Genesis God’s Design Series – The nice thing about this series is that the lessons are broken down by grade level, so it’s great when you have multi-level children.  Micah will join in on our science studies for a very simple lesson. 
Bible – While I don’t have a definite plan for this, it will be included.  If the church we attend once we move has AWANAS, then he’ll continue working with that.  If not, then I’ve got lots of Bible materials that I used with Caleb in the younger years that I’ll bring back out for Micah.
I also hope to fill our time with lots of physical education activities.  There’s a PE program offered in the city we’ll be moving to where both boys can get 3 hours of PE every Thursday.  I’m also hoping to find tennis, archery, and art lessons.  We’re also hoping to have a pool at our home when we move, so that will be a frequent activity, too.  Smile  I’m crossing my fingers for a decent neighborhood where the boys can ride bikes and scooters, too.  Smile  I’m also going to see what’s available as far as co-ops or other homeschool activities.  However, with the heavier work load, I’m not sure how that will all pan out…I’ll need to remember to leave time for ACTUALLY schooling.  Smile
So, there you have it…it’s going to be a challenging year for all of us I think.  But – we should all be refreshed and up for the task when we begin our school year in August because we’re taking May, June, and July off from schooling. 
Have you made your choices for next year?  Please share if you have…I love seeing what others are using…sometimes it gives me another view or plan to consider.  Smile  Not that any of us need that…LOL…there are soooo many choices as it is when it comes to choosing the right curriculum.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Week 31 of Learning 2013-14

We finished up week 31, and here’s how it went…
Micah, Kindergarten Bible – Micah continues to work in his AWANAS book.
Phonics – This week Micah worked on punctuation, sentences, and many, many consonants.  We continued to review all of his sight words learned thus far, and he knows them all very, very well.
Poetry – This week Micah’s poem was ‘I Can Count to 100.’  We used the poem to discuss commas, periods, exclamation marks, and sight words.  We also counted to 100 by 5s and 10s.  We also worked on counting by 2s.

Math – This week Micah worked on counting by 2s.  Again, I wasn’t very impressed with the math lesson/exercises this week.  I just don’t feel there’s enough time spent on the NEW skill each week.
Caleb, Fifth Grade Math – This week Caleb worked on finding elapsed time; time zones; division word problems; long division; and division with a remainder.
English – This week Caleb worked on limiting adjectives tell how many; limiting adjectives that tell which one; limiting adjectives that tell whose; using commas to separate adjectives; and proper adjectives.
Friday we drove up to St. Augustine for a field trip to Marineland.  We were able to view the facilities, learn all about dolphins, and then spend time touching and feeding a dolphin.  The boys LOVED it.  They want to go back and swim/interact with the dolphins now. 
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 30 of Learning 2013-14

We finished up week 30 on Saturday, and here’s how it went…
Micah, Kindergarten Bible – Micah continues to work in his AWANAS book.
Phonics – This week Micah started a new phonics program.  I was given Alpha Phonics by a friend who no longer needed it, so I thought we’d use it.  Micah really seemed to enjoy it, and he was thrilled that he was ‘reading.’  Mommy is quite thrilled, too.  Smile  He also reviewed all of his sight words thus far.
Poetry – This week Micah’s poem was ‘Animal Crackers.’  We used the poem to discuss commas, periods, and uppercase letters.  I’ve discovered that Micah isn’t ‘thrilled’ when it comes to illustrating his poems.  This bothers me a bit, but we’ll continue to trudge forward with poetry because it’s great for an intro to basic grammar skills.

Math – This week Micah worked on addition and squares.  I’ll admit it…the more we use this math program, the less I really like it.  Sad smile  Oh well, we’ll continue using it until the year is over b/c it’s a very gentle introduction to math skills.
Caleb, Fifth Grade Math – This week Caleb worked on temperature; temperatures below zero; feet to inches; more unit conversions; and the metric system.  He’s almost finished with the 4th grade book, and we’ll move onto the 5th grade book.  YEAH!
English – Much to Caleb’s dismay, we picked back up with our English lessons this week.  It’s not one of his favorite subjects, but I feel it’s a VERY important one.  So, it’s part of the plan.  Smile  This week we worked on using the dictionary; adjectives; and descriptive adjectives.
We enjoyed some time at one of our favorite local parks to enjoy the nice, warm Florida sunshine.  We’ve LOVED living here, and we are really getting used to this weather.  Smile
I’ve made our plans for next year, and I’ll be back to share those soon.  I know many fellow homeschool moms are in the planning stages, or soon will be.  It’s great to see what others are using, so I like to share our yearly plans with the blogging world.  Smile

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