Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School Has Arrived

As much as I'd like to post pics of our school days, there is just not a lot to post right now considering we're mostly boxed up and ready to move any day now.  But I can definitely give you an idea of what our school days have been looking like so far.

We officially started up our homeschool two weeks ago.  The first week was probably the most difficult as we needed to sort out methods for making everything run smoothly.  At this point I think I have a reasonable system that works, at least until the move, and even then, it's versatile enough where we should be able to easily get to our things and keep our system running without needing an elaborate school set up.  Sure, it would be nice to have everything in place and be comfortably learning at a decent, well-lit desk with bookshelves for our material...but it's a no-can-do for now, and we've found that two medium sized cardboard boxes and a kitchen table work just as good!  At least until we move.

I'll post a page soon of our curriculum picks for this school year, but here's what our basic schedule looks like:
8:00- up, shower, breakfast, devotional with Daily Audio Bible for Kids
Block 1:  Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Writing Workshop, Handwriting, Literature)
Block 2: Math
Block 3: History or Science
Block 4: Art, French, or Music (music appreciation or piano lesson)

Once a week we introduce a "hymnal of the week".  I realized just how important it is for my kids to understand their roots and to learn many of the hymnals that were commonplace to me in my upbringing.  I don't want my kids to lose out on that.  Simple hymns such as "Just As I Am" aren't ever sung at most of the churches we've attended because we generally don't attend traditional services.  As much as we like the contemporary style worship, there is absolutely nothing that can replace the beauty of simple hymnals and I find it kind of...well...(shameful?) sad that my kids have never heard of "What A Friend We Have in Jesus".  Know what I mean?  So we started to introduce this concept of  a "hymnal a week" to reinforce that.  Mainly I just have Ny write down the words to the first verse only in her notebook, have her listen to the song online and learn it.  Then we sing it together.  Each week we learn a new one and review the older ones from previous weeks.

This year we're also studying California History...which I'm a bit nostalgic about it because I also studied California History in 4th grade! (We lived in Atwater back in the late 80's).  A friend is going to sell me her "My Golden California" curriculum which she says I can adapt to Ny's level. Until then, we're  using the plenteous resources available to us at our local libraries.
You wouldn't believe the TONS of info on your own state until actually deem it important to go looking for it...and boy is it everywhere.  Between the libraries' avid "state" collections and resources, the local museums and aquariums, and welcome centers,  I think we have enough resources at our disposal to keep us on California history for more than a year...but we're going to only plan on studying it until December.  We'll see where our interest leads us into the new semester.

For literature, we're reading classics and doing book reports.  Right now we're reading "The Secret Garden". I wanted to place more focus this year on teaching Ny to practice writing, writing, writing, and learning the elements of literature.  This means I've decided to go back to some curriculum which in the past I totally disliked (Shurley English) but with time I've learned to adapt to our needs (in other words, I don't follow the curriculum word for word!)  We're currently finishing up Level 2 with that. Yep, the same level 2 we started two years ago!  But that's okay, it's definitely on target for her now.

I dunno...what else should I say...
Oh!  Almost forgot...we are starting Classical Conversations in a few days- a total excitement hub for our kids since they haven't been in a "co-op" of any sorts since our move to Cali.  While CC isn't necessarily a co-op, it definitely will feel somewhat familiar to us (morning assembly and prayer) and it is Christian which helps me feel more at ease that we'll meet and befriend other families of faith.  The kids are just super excited!  And we'll go clothes shopping this weekend for a few more items (didn't I just buy Ny some bluejeans two MONTHS ago??!!!)

One more thing I wanted to add...
Probably even more than Ny, I am really excited about galloping around town to learn about California so if I ever sound super nerdy and start spouting off some facts about the history of Monterey, just know that I can tend to really GET INTO things.  Maybe overkill.  But I will be SURE to share with you EVERYTHING I learn about this state.  Yep.    Just thought you may want to be sure to stay tuned for the upcoming history lessons ahead.
All joking aside, I am seriously REALLY looking forward to this upcoming homeschool year (or months or whatever).  I have learned long ago to never plan too far in advance so the week and months that I have today with my kids in home education, I appreciate them all the more.  And if ever/whenever they do go off to some private school or what not, I can at least say "remember back in the days when we homeschooled?"

So, I want to make the most of the days ahead.


  1. Awesome! We started Monday! What made you select french for a language? I notice EVERYONE wants to learn Spanish, it is nice to see someone is teaching french.

  2. Jacqueline- we would love to learn Spanish too (especially since there are more Spanish speakers here)...but we chose French, my husband's native language. HOpefully we'll be able to carry on a basic conversation with our relatives in Africa and France when we go to visit some day.


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