a new school year.

Planning, and it takes a lot of spreading out to plan! Once again, I am so glad we put in this giant island.

Edjumakation. We are in it, now. If you aren’t a homeschool Mom? This probably won’t interest you, but it is what we all ask each other, eventually.

We were at this years “Not-Back-to-School party” put on by a local Christian Homeschool Support Group. It is the day after local public school students start in, and an annual celebration at an indoor waterpark. Though it is 40 minutes away, we always go. The boys love it and it’s a great kick-off to the year. As we left, the boys thanked me profusely for taking them (they know the chlorine smell gives me a vicious headache and are so sweetly concerned) and then Josiah asked if I had any fun? I responded oh yes! and he asked “What do you talk so much about!?” because every time he looked over I was talking to someone new (some of the women I see just once or twice a year!) and I said “oh life, and our kids, and curriculum.” He said, incredulously “Books? you talk about our textbooks?! how boring!” and I laughed because he’s right. But word of mouth is so much more trustworthy than the glossy catalogs that pour into the mailbox, and in September? That is what we are wondering…Did I pick the right stuff?!

Our curriculum this year:

Josiah is about 1/2 way through his 9th grade year (he started in early Spring and took time off in Summer) and doing the first year of My Fathers World, High School. Can’t say enough about MFW-lovelovelove it. 

He has finished Saxon Math Pre-Alg and Alg 1, so we switched over to Teaching Textbooks Geometry and will do Alg 2 later, just to give him a break. He likes Algebra, the weirdo, so the break was my idea. I love TT and wanted him to try it out-and so far, he loves it.

Science is Apologia Biology with labs, done in a Co-op. The microscope was our major school purchase of the year but it is very cool. We’ve only had cheapies and have never really seen much, even in a $30 microscope. Turns out you have to pay way more than that! But all three will use it, and we will then re-sell it.

Bible is Isaiah, through BSF but he also has a lot of Bible in MFW. They have an inductive study of Daniel and he likes prophecy so he’s excited about that.

He is in Masterpiece Literary Society again this year. This time he’ll be joined by Sam, who is now 13 and thus eligible, and really excited. The books they are studying this year are:

Midshipman Hornblower by CS Forrester

Goodbye Mr. Chips by Hilton James

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

his writing will be based on the teaching methods of “Institute for Excellence in Writing”, which is good because there are a lot of reports and papers due in MFW!

Sam and Caleb are in the 7th and 5th grades, and except for separate Math (Teaching Textbooks) and Language Arts (Core Skills workbook) we are still doing combined school.

 For History we are finishing the My Fathers World “Rome to Reformation” we started last year, but omitting the Science and Bible portion.

For Bible they are studying Isaiah at BSF, and for Bible/Handwriting they each read the Proverb of the day (I still think its so cool how God made 31 chapters of that book!) and print out their favorite verse from that chapter. They are also required to carefully print 3 new items in their Daily Gratitude Journal-that gets progressively more challenging as the year goes by, to come up with unlisted items!

Science is taught through our Thursday Co-op. Sam is doing Apologia’s General Science (and is excited about all the experiments!) and Caleb is doing Apologia Astronomy, and making a lapbook. He loves lapbooking more than his brothers ever did, so he is thrilled!

Writing is again, with Institute for Excellence in Writing. We started this program last year and loved it but I didn’t quite understand it. So blessed this year to have a gfted Mom in our Co-op teaching it! We are also still using English from the Roots Up.

All three boys (and myself, I hope!) are learning Spanish through a computer program By Language Immersion, bought at Costco and similar (but cheaper!) than Rosetta Stone. Also, they are all going to be involved in a Radio Drama class this year. You know which kid is chomping at the bit and ready for his stage debut, don’t you? Hint: it starts with C.

For PE, Sam and Caleb are taking a Mixed Martial Arts class at the Club on M-W-F, and it is a really good workout. They love the fighting moves they are learning but the teacher also mixes in a lot of “conditioning exercises” to get “strong enough to fight/defend yourself”. The boys said said “Mom, you were right-the plank exercise is hard!”

(If you are local and have a child aged 9-14, it’s a really great price for such a good class, and I will happily get you the info!)

M-W-F while his brothers are in class, Josiah wears his Ipod and works out on the treadmill and with the weight machines, upstairs. Mom made PE non-negotiable this year but it’s okay, he actually likes that independent style of working out-it suits his quiet nature!

On top of this wonderful-but-full school schedule there is our Church Youth Group, with lots of outings and activities for Sam with the Middle School, and Josiah with the High School. They are both really enjoying that, and Josiah is starting to raise money for the Spring Break outreach trip to Mexico. We hope to both go with him, but at least one of us will. Not because he needs the supervision, more because we don’t want to miss out on the fun!

 The Friday after our first Co-op, I found Sam in the living room, starting in on schoolwork. He was fully dressed and WORKING, before 8 AM, with no one telling him to?! I grabbed the camera to capture this miraculous event! He grinned and said sheepishly

 “Geez, Mom, what’s the big deal? Josiah does it everyday.”

and I said, still in shock: “But YOU’VE never gotten up to work independently! I’m so pickin’ proud of you, Sam!”

to which he replied proudly

“Well, I’m in Junior High NOW, Mom. I’ve got lots of responsibilities.”

well.color.me.pleased!

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About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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