Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Homeschool Open House

Tiany at Less of Me~More of Him is hosting a Homeschool Open House and it looked like a good way to learn what others are doing with their children and I thought it would be fun to participate.

Our Family...

We have 5 children (see side bar) and one due the beginning of November. This will technically be our 4th year of homeschooling which when I think about it doesn't seem possible. This year George who is 8 will be 2nd/3rd grade and I will start working more with Pete and Re-Pete  who are 5 1/2 in Kindergarten. Tank is 3 1/2 and Missy Blue Eyes is 21 months. I have gone back and forth on what I use with the children depending on our situation at the time and what new thing has intrigued me along the way. I enjoy the Charlotte Mason method of learning but also a bit of Classical.

I had planned on schooling throughout the year with breaks at various times but this year have taken the summer off. My plan was for George to finish up a math book and his phonics but that didn't happen. The children did participate in the local library summer reading program and I was very happy with how hard George worked at reading alone, which doesn't come easily to him. We also did a few nature study type things.

Our typical day... not scheduled but does have a routine to it. After breakfast, etc. we begin with,,,

  •   Bible-time on the couch all-together reading from The Child's Story Bible (this is such a well-written book and makes it easy to learn and remember without glossing over or dumbing down events.) We have a prayer time for current needs and finish with a time of song where each child selects their favorite. I often introduce a new song to learn for a week, either from a scripture memory CD, Hymns for a Kid's Heart or just a sunday school song.

  • George works on phonics and math with me while the other children play.

  •  Pete and Re-Pete work on letter and number recognition and such while George entertains the little ones.

  •  History with all three boys. George did more notebooking while the others usually only listened to the story. We used Beautiful Feet last year.

  • Lunch and then playtime. Naptime for the little ones later in the day. If need be school could be done during that time also but we usually finish by lunchtime.

I will need to make some modifications this year as I am guessing Tank will want to be more involved and Missy Blue won't be taking a nap in the morning anymore so she will need something to occupy her time also.

Where we have school...

Someday in time we will have an official "homeschool room". The basement is in process of being remodeled but time is very lacking and so I never know when it will be done. In the meantime I changed our kitchen eating area into our school area. (We eat in the dinning room instead). Yes, we do have a little student desk for each child because I thought they were so cute and the boys do enjoy using them. It gives them a place to store their own items and a place to color, do math, etc. Most of our books are here but there are many still in other areas of the house waiting to be organized.

We enjoy spending time in the living room on the couch reading or doing other activities that don't involve writing. It is such a warm and inviting area in the winter as a fire is always going.

The children spend a lot of time outside playing and exploring. There is state land bordering two sides of our property so we go hiking when we can and enjoy wading in the natural springs along the way. I have thought it  would be fun to read together in the hammock but everytime I hop on the boys jump on and it suddenly becomes a ship on rough seas with sailors that cannot sit still.

The boys had the project of cleaning around their desks so I could take a picture. (Okay, I needed to clean around my desk also). I still have much organizing and cleaning out to do.

What I have used...

  • Five in a Row

  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

  • Beautiful Feet Early American History

  • A is for Adam for Bible Time

  • Sonlight Core K

We will be using... (I am still in planning stages but so far...)

  • The Child's Story Bible supplemented by The Children's Illustrated Bible

  •  Veritas Press Phonics Museum

  •  Saxon Math

  •  Mystery of History - Ancient Egypt supplemented with Veritas History Cards and various literature

  •  Nature studies (birds of our area using a coloring book, field guide and the internet) and reading through Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers.

Other activities...

-- I joined a homeschool group through an area church which has been a good thing for me and the boys. We have enjoyed many field trips and this past year George was part of a writing class that met once a month writing and presenting simple projects. He liked the creativity of it but not the speaking.
-- Some friends and I started an art class with our children that met bi-weekly. It was four families and each Mom took a turn teaching the lesson. I cannot recall the book we used at this moment but are looking for something more this year.

Difficulties I have encountered...

When I began homeschooling our oldest I thought reading would come so easily for him. He was a fairly smart child, could recognize letters, and write his name before he turned 4. He loved books and being read to. I began with the Phonics Museum at age 5 and we were moving along when I had a baby and then summer came so we took a break. Trying to begin again did not work well and George struggled to catch on. I decided to try the 100 Easy Lesson book which worked to get him back on track so that we could continue with the Phonics museum. Here we are and he is now 8 still trying to complete phonics. I can see much improvement and he has the desire to read but often thinks he can't. If we sit and work with him he reads fine. I think once we finish learning all of the "rules" that will help. This has been a struggle of mine and at times I felt it to be my fault but I have found that he learns and retains everything else so quickly and I know that other children struggle with reading and suddenly it clicks and they read everything in sight. That is what I am praying for.

I will probably think of more to add along the way but that is our homeschool in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse into our days!



Here via the 2007 Open House....cute kids and a curriculum similar to what we did back in our primary grade days! Have a great time with them this year.


Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed visiting your blog. Congratulations on the new addition coming in a few months. You all must be really busy! I have 3 sons 11,6, and 2 and we are always very busy.. Don't get discouraged about your son and his reading. My oldest had a lot of trouble early on but he really loves reading now. Now I am working with my 6 yr old who is struggling with two vowel sound words and tries to guess the story by looking at the pictures. I agree with those who say don't compare your children with others. Pray, pray, and pray for wisdom and guidance in everything. May God bless your family!

Jennifer #83

writmm said...

Your kids are too cute and I love it...Pete and Re-Pete:) Your school area is beautiful! Have an awesome year!

4sweetums said...

Looks like a great year ahead. We are using phonics musuem this year too.



Anonymous said...

Good to know!

I love hearing about your day! Even though we homeschooled last year it was "just" kindergarten. Fun all day!

This year counts! :o)

I am planning on spending the next two weeks cleaning and organizing (stuff and time). It will be great to look through the open house to get some sort of idea of what I should expect!

EEEEMommy said...

I love how you've set up your "schoolroom" and your day sounds so much like mine.

I wanted to encourage you about the Phonics. My 8 year old is scheduled to finally finish the Phonics Museum at the end of this month, and is just now wanting to read on her own. At this point my now 10 year old was devouring books and had been for some time and had long finished the Phonics Museum, my daughter is just different and has taken longer, but it is clicking now and she continues to improve and to enjoy it more.

5atkins said...

I really enjoyed your open house! We have/are using many of the same materials! I love Veritas Press but it was hard for us with one of our girls! I am thankful we are past the hard part! I think! :)

Don't you love the Hymns for Kids! I have 3 of the 4 volumes! Do you play? I am learning to play piano so now I can play some of the hymns! I am thinking when they are older of studying more of the hymn writers lives. We have one video on Fanny Crosby that is soooo good!

I would like to add you as a friend! I will be praying for you and your new blessing on the way!

In Him, Eva

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