Saturday, September 29, 2012

Updates and Homeschooling

Sadly, our desktop computer hasn't been working lately, so I haven't posted in a while in hopes we would get it up soon.  Still haven't.  Hopefully I'll be able to get some more DIY stuff up soon, but for now...


Homeschooling Charge!

This is our first year of homeschooling.  Eve, our oldest, did public kindergarten last year, but beyond kindergarten we really wanted to try homeschooling our kids.  Quick overview of why we opted to try homeschooling:
     1) Academic - Yes, we do think we can do a better job.
     2) Religious/Moral - We think know kids are exposed to too much, too early
     3) Time - We want to enjoy our kids growing up.  I actually relish the time I get to spend learning with my kids.  They're awesome!

The picture above is the day we got most of our homeschooling supplies.  Eli dove right into the math cubes and made... a sword.  Yep.

 It's funny how much I enjoy math.  I get excited when working with the kids and have to restrain myself from buying more math manipulatives.  Beyond the MathLink Cubes (cheaper here if you can combine shipping), we got a set of Base 10 cubes and some dice.  I really love the math cubes.   Mathlink is the brand, and they're really good quality. We've used them every time we've done math so far, and they really help illustrate early math skills, and my kids are pretty strong in math.  Since I'm such a math fanboy, Jon and I have decided that I'll do the math with the kids after work. (Can I just say math a few more times in this paragraph? Math. Math, Math, Math. ) So far, it hasn't been stressful at all, but Jon is taking care of our crazy two year old, which from what I hear, is half our homeschooling battle.

Here's *most of* our other curriculum.  We're starting off with a mix, which works well with us.  Some we've I've fallen in love with (Singapore Math), some not some much (Power-Glide French).  We're missing Eve's language books in the picture, and I'm planning on getting Eli a math and language workbook.

Quick Breakdown:

Math - Singapore Math Standards Edition, 1A and 1B.  We have the workbooks, textbooks, and 1A activity guide.  They recommend testing your kids before choosing a level, as it's not necessarily grade based. I'm going to get the 1A workbook for Eli this year too, since he's following along really well and I hadn't even bothered to test him.   Probably an extra problems workbook too.  Love this curriculum so far.

Science - My (formerly a science teacher) husband is doing the science for the kids following along with the "What's Science All About?" Usborne book.  Seems like a great intro to science at a 1st grade level.

History - <Story of the World Vol1, in the "Well Trained Mind" series.  I was put off by the WTM series all-in-all, but I really enjoy the history side of it.  The activity book has a lot of nice suggestions/activites/worksheets, along with a solid course plan.  It also cross-references the The Usborne history book I had bought at the library already.

Language - We picked up A Beka Letters and Sounds 1 and Language 1.  We got them recently, so we'll see how they go.  At first glance they seem nice, but I'm worried that it'll be too much activity work for a slight amount of learning.  We'll see though, Eve really likes activity sheets.  For reading, we're just picking up history related books (suggested by the history activity guide) and regular easy readers at the library. We're also having the kids write in their journals at least once a week.

French - We got the Power Glide French Unit.  I'm not a fan.  We're still going to keep trying it, but I feel we could have done a better job ourselves.  (I might talk my video-game-programming-husband into making something interactive for French if I can't find anything better).  We're also doing a sort of french language & cooking combo.  Eve loves to help in the kitchen, so we introduce a lot of words in French as we go.  J'aime le gateau!

In addition to what we're doing at home, we're also in a co-op with 3 other families (surprisingly made up of 3 homeschooling dads (including my hubby), and 1 homeschooling mom).  Art, literature, and science are the primary focus, fun is the second :)  There are 10 kids in the group - five in the big kids group,  four in the little, and poor Eli is stuck somewhere in between.

A fresh box of crayons make everything more fun.
As for what we got for school supplies, most of those came from Walmart.  I took the kids with me to get them excited and they were (me slightly more, I think).  We bought typical supplies- new crayon boxes, special pencils, erasers, rulers, markers, etc.  (Picked up some for the OCC kids too) It's not often the kids get to shop for themselves, so it was quite fun.  This was the first time we bought more than a box of 24 washable colors for them, so it was a big step.  With a 2-year old in the apartment, I feel like I'm pushing the limits, but so far so good...

 And that's about it....  I'll leave you with some pictures of our archaeology dig (the neighbors must have though I was crazy digging up the parking lot the night before). 

...and if I get around to it we have a funny video of the dig I want to post.


kelly said...

You guys are taking mastering the art of french cooking to a whole new level :)

Cassie said...

Since we use cake mixes and the like, I don't think there's much French going on beyond the language being spoken :)