Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 1

We survived week 1!  Only 17 more weeks to go in the semester.

Really it wasn't that bad.  It can just take some time to get used to a new routine.  Children that go to public school are used to getting up and heading out the door early in the morning every day.  My children have never experienced that, so it's a bit of a change.  But we did get up and out the door on time every day this week.

We have to leave by 7:25 am.  All of our breakfasts this week were foods that could be taken on the go ( by Friday the girls were eating dry cereal in ziplock bags, but it worked.)  We drop Nick off around 7:50 and have to pick him up by 9:35.  It takes around 20 minutes for us to get to town, so going home isn't an option.  I hope to spend some time each day at the park, but this week it rained every day but one!  Monday-Thursday we went to church so I could work on things for Kid's Club.  Friday we went grocery shopping.  Wednesday we did get to go to the park for a little while.

After we pick Nick up, we head for the house and feed the various animals.  Our school day started around 10:25. We did not do a full schedule of school work.  Some subjects we will add in the next few weeks.

First day of school photos

Bible: We started reading the book of Luke and read through the birth of Christ.

Geography: We did week 1 of unit 1 of Let's Go Geography.  We learned about the Northeast part of the United States.

History: We completed lesson one of America's Story on Native Americans.

Science: We are working on A Journey Through Learning lapbook on inventors and studied several inventors this week including: The Wright Brothers, John Deere, Louis Braille, Marconi, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci.

Math: Christian, Lily, and Anthony all started their new Math Lessons for a Living Education books this week and completed 4 lessons.

Reading/Spelling: Emmie completed lessons 5,6, and 7 in AAR Level 1.  Lily completed lessons 29 and 30 in AAR Level 3.  Anthony and Christian completed Step 10 in AAS Level 4.

8th Grade -  Alex completed all of his assignments in his AOP Monarch.  The program schedules out his assignments and grades them for him.  It is hard to give a wrap up of he has done when I haven't been in on the lessons!

10th Grade-  I usually grade all of Nick's work on Sunday night.  This is where I confess I completely forgot!  I know he completed 4 lessons in Algebra 2, and his week 1 assignments in history, literature, Bible, and health, but I have no idea what the topics were.  I will have to grade his work tomorrow evening!

We had no outside afternoon activities this week.  For that I was very thankful!

Chelsea's class started this week so we did get to babysit Liam one afternoon.  He was a very good boy!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

3rd Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

Lily will be 3rd grade this year.  She loves reading and math and art.  She is a perfectionist and gets very frustrated if she has trouble with something or doesn't immediately understand something new   ( I have no idea where she gets that from!) She will be joining her older brothers for Bible, science, poetry, history, art, P.E. and nature study.  Math, language arts, reading, and handwriting she will be doing on her own.

Bible: Study of the book of Luke

Poetry: IEW Poetry

Math: Math Lessons for a Living Education Book 3 from Master Books

History: America's Story from Master Books

Science: Science in the Age of Reason by Jay Wile

Handwriting: Pentime Transition from Rod and Staff - I love their handwriting books.  No fluff and inexpensive.

Language Arts: Eclectic Foundations B- These does include cursive handwriting in it, but once they learn all of the cursive letters it does not have any practice doing simple words so that is why we are doing a separate handwriting.

All About Reading Level 3 (aff link)- She finished the first half of this book last year, so we are starting with the second volume.  As I mentioned she is a very good reader and reads all of the time but we are going to finish the program so I can read with her and make sure her pronunciation is correct and that she is continuing to learn the rules for sounding more difficult words out.

Nature Study: Exploring Nature With Children

P.E.- We will be doing PE at the park for the fall semester

Art- We will start the year finishing our ArtAchieve subscription.

Our school year started earlier this week.  So far it has gone pretty well.  We did not do all of our subjects this week, just a few.

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Week in Review (August 7-13th)

Usually I am busy with all of the different activities that the children are involved in, but this week I was busy with my own activities.  I had a Mom's Night Out dinner one night this week, a dentist appointment one morning, a doctor's appointment another day, and another meeting.  The children also had a dentist appointment.  That is a lot of appointments for us in one week, but at least we got them all over with for awhile.

Our goats needed a hair cut.  To be able to give them a hair cut, we had to buy something that hooked to the fence to help restrain them.  You can buy an entire trimming table but those were more expensive.  We also had to buy some clippers to cut the goat's hair and some hoof trimmers.  The boys gave each goat a bath and then cut their hair and trimmed their hooves.  Alex did the cutting and trimming.  He did a great job especially since he had never done it before.  The goats are still coughing.  I guess we just are going to have to deal with it since nothing seems to help.  I just want them to be healthy and for me to survive the fair!

Wednesday my meeting was at the church.  Our church has a Wednesday afternoon ministry called Kid's Club and this year I am going to be the director.  We had a meeting to choose curriculum and make plans for the year. I have been busy this week getting forms typed up and a Facebook page started.  Next week I will be getting forms mailed out.  I am excited about the new curriculum and hope we will have a great year!

Thursday we went to Texarkana to the dentist.  All of the children were cavity free!! Yay!!  They did come and get me to ask me to come back so the dentist could show me something (I really did not like the sound of that!) Anthony has 4 baby teeth that are very loose and may be causing problems with his permanent teeth that are coming in.  So he has to wiggle them like crazy because if they do not come out on their own in the next month we have to take him back to get them pulled.  One came out Saturday so he only has 3 to go.

While we were down there, we took advantage of Kid's Bowl Free and bowled two games.  I only had to pay for shoe rental which was $10.50.  We also got .50 Frosties from Wendys on the way home.

We had to stop by the school that day as well to turn in the rest of Nick's paperwork, get his ID made, and meet  his Robotics teacher.

Friday we went shopping a lit later then usual.  Nick and Alex had a 4 H party to go to at 12:45.  We ran a few errands, went shopping and dropped them off.  It was very hot and humid that day.  We ended up getting quite a bit of rain that afternoon after we went back and picked them up.

I was not planning on doing any school this week.  We were going to start on the 14th.  But Emmie really wanted to do some schoolwork.  She wants to be able to read.  So I got out her All About Reading Level One. (aff link)  The great thing about this program is that they start reading very quickly.  After you complete the first two lessons you get to read the first story.  She was very proud to read the first story!! She completed lessons 1-4 this week.

I can remember feeding the monster with Alex and Anthony!!

When Lily saw Emmie doing schoolwork, she decided she needed to do some too so she got out her new Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 3 book.  She completed the first three lessons this week.

I can't believe the rabbit lets her hold it like that!

I have been writing product reviews since 2010.  I have written many, many reviews.  This week I was very surprised and impressed when I received a Thank You gift from a vendor I did a review for, Adventures of Rush Revere. It was very generous of them to send it and much appreciated! 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

5th and 6th Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

I try to combine subjects in as many areas as I can.  My 5th and 6th graders are very close in ability, so that makes it a bit easier.  The only subject they do separately is math, everything else is together.

I had planned on using The Mystery of History this year for history.  I LOVE this series and had been all the way through it with Nick and Alex. Anthony and Christian did tag along for a few years, but were very young when we first started the series.  When we were talking about plans for the upcoming school year, they all wanted to do American history.  So all of my elementary students will be doing American history this year with a curriculum we have not used before.  We will also be using a science curriculum we have never used before.

Anthony and Christian's curriculum for this year includes:

Bible: We are continuing our reading through the New Testament.  We will be starting with Luke since we finished Matthew and Mark last year.

Poetry: We will be using IEW Poetry again this year.

History: America's Story 1 from Master Books.  I really like the look of this series, but there are three volumes.  I am not sure about spending three years on just American History.  We will have to see how it goes when we get started.

Science:  We will be using Science in the Age of Reason by Jay Wile. We love science and I hope this will be a fun and interesting curriculum for the children.

Geography: We have just started a once a week geography program called Let's Go Geography.  If I like it we will use it all year.

Math: Math Lessons for a Living Education 5 and 6

Language Arts: Readers in Residence.  We completed the first unit of this last spring so will start up where we left off.

Handwriting: We use the PenTime handwriting books.  Christian and Anthony will both use Book 5.

Spelling: We started All About Spelling Level 4 (aff link) last year and will continue where we left off.

Nature Study: We are going to try to do a nature study once a week using Exploring Nature with Children.

Art: I have a variety of art curricula.  We are planning on finishing up our ArtAchieve lessons to start with and will decide from there.

P.E.: We will have about an hour and a half to kill in town every day from August until December so I am planning on doing P.E. while we are there at the park.

The boys have also been working once a week on CodaKid Mod Creation Portals and Dimensions.

Our school year starts bright and early Monday morning.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

8th Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

I had a really hard time deciding on curriculum for Alex.  While I try to combine as many things as possible, going from 1-8th grade can be a bit of a stretch.  My younger 4 children really love listening to me read and doing hands on activities, but Alex no longer cares for those types of activities.  He really wanted something that he could just do on his own, by reading and answering questions.

I thought some online classes would be a good fit for him, but when I started looking at them, most cost anywhere from $200-$500 per class and that was way out of my budget.  Then I was offered a 30 day trial for Alpha Omega Monarch (anyone can try it for 30 days for free I found out about it when they were a possible vendor), so I signed up for the trial.  Their pricing structure was more affordable at around $320 on sale for 5 classes: Math, Bible, Language Arts, Science, and History/Geography.  You put in your start and end dates and can schedule in all of your breaks, field trips, etc.. and the program schedules out the students assignments.  The majority of the grading is done automatically.  You also have the ability to choose courses from different grade levels.  If for instance your child was at an 9th grade level for language arts and a 7th grade level for math you can choose those courses. It doesn't automatically make you choose all 8th grade if that's the grade your child is supposed to be in.  It also has a read to me feature which is great for struggling readers or auditory learners.

To be honest, I thought it was kind of boring just reading and answering the questions.  There were a few little interactive type videos and some graphs and charts.  But Alex liked it and wanted to give it a try.  So he is committed to completing the courses I chose for him this year.

He will be taking:

Bible 800- "Bible 800 provides a developmental and in-depth academic study of the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. It focuses on prayer, salvation, the attributes of God, the book of Proverbs, and interpersonal relationships. Special emphasis is given to a survey of Church history from the early Church through the Reformation. These areas target five content strands: theology, the attributes of God, biblical literature, Christian growth, and Church history (a special topic). "

History and Geography 800 - " The course focuses on American History, covering the subject from early exploration through the present day, with special emphasis given to the Civil War and to inventions and technology of the 19th and early 20th centuries. These areas of focus target three major content strands: History, Geography, and Government "

General Science I-" Some of the areas covered in General Science I include the scientific method, overview of the four major areas of science, mathematics in science, astronomy, the atmosphere, natural cycles, weather and climate, human anatomy and physiology, and careers in science."

Language Arts 700- "Language Arts 700 continues to build on the sequential development and integration of communication skills in four major areas—reading, writing, speaking, and listening."

Mathematics 800- Pre-Algebra

School starts bright and early Monday morning!

Homeschool Crew Review: No-Nonsense Algebra

Math Essentials

Math Essentials offers straight forward, easy to use and understand math products for elementary, middle, and high school students.  The author, Rick Fisher,  has been a math teacher for over 30 years and has devoted his time to teaching and developing products that produce results.  We have had an opportunity to use and review No-Nonsense Algebra over the last several weeks.

No-Nonsense Algebra

No-Nonsense Algebra has two different components.  First you have a 275 page paperback book.  Purchase of the book also gives you access to instructional videos for each lesson.  Students will also need a notebook or paper to copy down each of the problems.  No-Nonsense Algebra has 10 chapters with several lessons in each chapter.  Chapters include:

Chapter 1: Necessary Tools for Algebra
Chapter 2: Solving Equations
Chapter 3: Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations
Chapter 4: Solving and Graphing Inequalities
Chapter 5: Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
Chapter 6: Polynomials
Chapter 7: Rational Expressions
Chapter 8: Radical Expressions and Geometry
Chapter 9: Quadratic Equations
Chapter 10: Algebra Word Problems

Each lesson follows the same format.  In the book you read through the introduction and helpful hints section and then go over the examples.  Then you work through the exercises.  It is strongly recommended that you copy each of the problems on a piece of paper and work them out step by step.  Then you go through the review section and correct your work using the solutions in the back of the book.

You have the option of using the online videos along with the lesson and watching the videos before doing the work in the book  In the videos you can see example problems worked out step by step.  The videos vary in length, but are under 20 minutes long. 

No-Nonsense Algebra is a full curriculum and can be used as such.  It also can be used as a supplement to go along with your regular math curriculum.  We used it as a review.  My son took Algebra 1 in 8th grade and then Geometry in 9th grade.  For 10th grade he will be doing Algebra 2 and I thought a review of Algebra would be good before starting that and also as a refresher for math that he will have to do when taking the ACT this year.

The name No-Nonsense Algebra describes this course exactly.  There are no extras or frills with this program, they are not necessary.  It goes step by step through examples to teach students how to work out the problems.  The videos are short but teach the necessary information.  You do not need a separate teacher book, everything you need is contained in one book, including the solutions.  Students can use this book completely independently.

I recommended No-Nonsense Algebra just the other day to a high school homeschooler who did not score as well in the math section of the ACT as she wanted to.  I think this book is a great, affordable way to go over areas of Algebra that you may struggle in, spending only minutes a day.  It can be used as a complete curriculum as well and I love how flexible the program is. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by  the Crew Blog!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

10th Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

This year is going to bring a few changes for Nick.  Last year, a change was made in the Tim Tebow Law in the state of Arkansas.  When this law first passed allowing homeschoolers to participate in extra curricular activities at a public school, it had to be in the district that you lived in.  This year the change was made that you can choose the school whose activities you want to participate in if both superintendents (your district and the district you want to go to) agree. We live in one district, but attend church and do all of our activities in the town in another district.  The district that we live in does not have a soccer team, but the other district started one last year.  Nick played soccer from the time he was 4 until he aged out of park soccer at 14 and  has really missed playing.  I was so thankful that the law was changed because I was praying for a way for him to be able to play on the soccer again.  One of the conditions of him playing is that he will have to be in school for one class period per day.  For the fall semester he will be taking Robotics I and II and in the spring semester he will be taking Track as his class. Soccer practices will start some time in January. He will not be able to compete in any games until next school year, but he will be able to practice with the team this year. 

So Nick will earn 1 credit in Robotics and 1 credit for Track.  In addition to those classes he will be taking:

Apologia Marine Biology (1 credit)
Math U See Algebra II (1 credit)
Total Health (1/2 credit)
Notgrass Exploring World History- This course will be worth 3 credits.  He will earn 1 credit in Bible, 1 credit in World Literature, and 1 credit in World History.

Our school year starts bright and early Monday morning!