Ever since my last post on homeschool....
I've received loads and loads of e-mails, asking for advice, curriculum, daily schedule, how we do it all, etc. Whew! I still feel like I'm struggling to make it all work, to make it through each day, and feel extremely underqualified to even begin to give advice. I've tried some different things this year, some of it has worked well for us, others things have not, and I still don't know yet what is going to stay and what is going to go and what is going to fill in the gaps. I've got much praying and pondering and listening to the Spirit to do as I make my plans for next year. But you've asked, so I'll oblige. But it might not be much - so take it for what it's worth, I guess.
We started out our little school year together by putting our own curriculum together using the following:
Math - Math U See (I really liked that the "lessons" are recorded on a DVD...that someone else was teaching and I just to monitor and check assignments and tests)
History - Story of the World. I'm glad that I got the activity book to go with it. So many ideas of fun crafts and activities to enrich our history lessons
Language Arts - Explode the Code workbooks for the younger kids (much too easy for Bear), reading assigned books from the classics, free reading, scripture reading, book reports, family reading time, watching movies of books we'd read together and comparing/contrasting the book with the movie, spelling lists printed offline, writing in journals about assigned topics - even with all of that I felt that it was a bit lacking. I'll be looking for other things to use as well.
Science - we were studying an Astronomy book put out by Apologia (I will need to find something MORE for science - hopefully some type of co-op...because I simply detest making messes in my kitchen just for the enjoyment of a few children)
Art - I found a little group right by our house that gets together twice a month to learn from an awesome teacher from an art school in Phoenix. The boys do this and LOVE it! They've made all kinds of things from necklaces to teapots to amazing chalk drawings.
Knights of Freedom - I'm a co-advisor with 2 other moms and we get together twice a month with boys ages 8-12 to study a famous man from American History, have activities, give the boys an opportunity for leadership and to lead the boys in different activities, give presentations, etc. This has been so great for the boys. Bear was voted President. It has been perfect for him. So far this year we have studied Thomas Edison (he was homeschooled), Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, and right now we are studying Albert Einstein.
Recess - anything we want...jumping on the tramp, slip n sliding, bike rides to the park, basketball, playing catch, extreme fort building, wrestling in the family room...you name it - we've done it
Field trips - AZ Science Center, the zoo, AZ Commemorative Air Force Museum, Natural History Museum, the temple visitors center, etc.
Music - the kids are all in some kind of music lessons and also attend choir rehearsal once a week
I had a daily chart, where the kids earned points by completing each subject happily: 3 points for math, 3 points for history, 3 points for spelling, 5 points for personal scripture study. You can bet that personal scripture study was NEVER missed. The points could be redeemed for all kinds of fabulous prizes - something from the treasure box, jamba juice, go to the movies with a friend, video game time, etc. It worked WELL!
For the last few months the children have been attending Arizona Virtual Academy online. It's been okay for us. I think I would like it better if I just had one child in it. It's tricky going back and forth between different computers and I don't feel like we have as much time together, learning together, discovering together, building stronger bonds together. So that'll be out. We'll finish up the year and learn what we can from it. And try something new next year. Something like we were doing before...but better...more inspired...more laughter...more strengthening experiences...more joy...more love. Here's to a summer of reading and studying and praying....helping me on my journey to be a better me!