Friday, June 26, 2009

2009-2010 Curriculum Choices

Ahhh, you probably wondered if I had sunk into the deep recesses of the earth, didn't you? Nope! I've just been curriculum researching and shopping. Now I'm putting things together for our upcoming year.

I did so much research - so much! I also did a ton of praying and dedicating all of this to Him - the one who knows us all best.

So, are you wondering what we decided on? Now, I must preface the below list with the simple truth - these are OUR choices. This is freedom, to me. Knowing that the things we chose for our family have all previously been chosen by another family is gratifying. Pioneers have gone before us in using these resources! The fact that this combination has probably not been chosen by any other family is fascinating and freeing. Real freedom is not caring if anyone has chosen this combination or not, but that God has chosen this combination.

No doubt if you have read much of blog for any length of time, you realize that I have issues with sticking through something. I'm a visionary! And idealist, some may say. Let's not sugar coat it, please - a perfectionist. Them's the facts! :( What I am learning is that it is a not a trait to be desired. It is not highly looked upon and can be really really bad for your family and namely your children. Because I feel like these curriculums have been chosen by God for our family, I will stick to them. It is truly frustrating for me, and them, to be changing because of something that can be tweaked, or a part skipped. The habit of "upgrading" is also a really bad habit to start in your children.

So, without further ado, here are our choices for homeschool curriculum for the 2009-2010 school year:

C13 - 8th grade

Devotional/Quiet time: Selection of Kay Arthur studies
Math: Math-U-See (continuing where we left off)
English: Rod & Staff English (would Charlotte pick this, probably not, but it is very comprehensive and perfect for my "Perfect Paul")
Spelling: Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason
Science: Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science
Worldview: Thinking Like A Christian (I wanted him to do a specific worldview study and kept thinking that we were going to do Starting Points, then I found the "perfect" curriculum for him and knew that we couldn't fit in Starting Points and World Views of the Western World)
We decided after much prayer, to go back to our original plan of Starting Points and World Views of the Western World. C13 will not be doing Blessed is the Man and instead, will be starting Starting Points this year.
History/Theology/Worldview/Literature/etc.: Blessed Is The Man High School unit study (this is really an INCREDIBLE curriculum and perfect for him. He needs a liberal (broad) education to pursue his career plans of becoming a history proffesor. It is also rigorous course material.)
Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone Spanish (continuing)
Typing: Rapid Typing (found this free online!)
Business Math: Business Math Series from Simply Charlotte Mason (this is just a fun summer project that he will be starting on Monday. He is doing the bookstore one! Very cool!)
More History: We will also be purchasing Through the Ages, so that C13 can find books pertaining to a particular era on his own. Yes, this boy loves history so much that he grabs it anywhere and anytime he can get it!

He'll also continue with Scouts this year. We are part of an incredible homeschool troop where Big P participates. It is an AWESOME troop - with Bible study at campouts and devotionals at meetings. The dads even have a testimony time when they meet each week!

P10 - 5th grade

Devotional/Quiet time: Selection of Kay Arthur studies
Math: Math-U-See (continuing where we left off)
English: Rod & Staff English (scheduled in HOD)
Science: Apologia Zoology 3 - Land Animals of the Sixth Day (scheduled in HOD)
History/Bible/Spelling (Dictation)/Literature/Hands-On stuff/Poetry/etc.: Hearts for Him Through Time: Creation to Christ from Heart of Dakota (everything EVERYTHING is scheduled for you!)
Literature: Drawn Into The Heart of Reading from Heart of Dakota (also scheduled in above)
Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone Spanish (continuing)
Typing: Rapid Typing (found this free online!)
Business Math: Business Math Series from Simply Charlotte Mason (this is just a fun summer project that she will be starting on Monday. She is doing the pet store one! Very cool!)
Art: Artistic Pursuits (we are going back to AP this year and very excited. I bought the kit from Miller Pads & Paper this year so that we had everything together. It was the reason we didn't finish it last time.)

I believe she will be continuing with Keepers at Home, although I really want to have a more Christ-centered focus for the group and am praying about how to make that happen. She is starting a sewing class on Monday that goes through the summer.

B5 - Kindergarten

Phonics: Happy Phonics (this is going to be fun! Learning to read with playing simple little games - no song singing! LOL)
Math: Math-U-See Primer
Bible activities/Early math/Dramatic play/Art projects/music: Little Hands to Heaven from Heart of Dakota
Art: Artistic Pursuits

L3 will be doing Little Hands to Heaven along with B5, of course. A1 will just be along for the ride. :)

As a family we will be using several resources for other things we want to do through the year.

Devotional with Mom: Our 24 Family Ways; 21 Rules of This House; Doorposts character tools
Nature Study: Hours in the Out of Doors; Pocketful of Pinecones; Outdoor Hour
Physical Education: Physical Education for Children Schooled at Home (Big P will be doing this 2 days per week
Literature: Drawn Into the Heart of Reading (even though this is a scheduled part of P10's curriculum, we will be doing this as a family with kickoffs for each genre with our friends); Bookclub (This year we participated in a book club with friends from our homeschool group and it was so much fun!)

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reminder Cards

As referenced in my last post, I thought I would share what our reminder cards are.

These aren't the same for each child, because each child has different chores, but I thought I'd give you the "jist" of what each set probably contains. These aren't "extra" chores, these are just the basic necessities for living in our home and being part of our family. We do pay our big kids for bigger, extra chores, because 1) I would pay someone else to help out in these ways if I didn't have time to do it myself, 2) This gives us an opportunity to teach them money management skills, 3) they pay for most of their own "stuff" includes all extras and fun things and some essentials - underwear, socks. The more you are responsible for, the more you make, and thus the more you are responsible for paying for. Our oldest son pays his dues for scouts each week and they both tithe off of their money.

Morning Reminder Cards:

Morning - get up and be in a good mood
Scriptures - read your devotional, a chapter from the Word, and do a lesson in your Bible study (this is different for each child and only applies to the ones able to read)
Make bed
Clean room
Get dressed
Brush teeth
Morning chore (trash for 13 yo; silverware job for 5 yo; laundry switchover for 3 yo)
Breakfast & cleanup (table for 13 yo; dishes for 10 yo; put up your plate, etc. for 5 & 3 yos)

After morning - After noon Reminder Cards:

Chore (vaccuum & dog care for 13 yo; mail, rabbit care, plant care for 10 yo)
Morning school (this has now changed to only "school" for the summer which is math and reading lessons - see other post)
Lunch and cleanup (same as above)

Evening Reminder Cards:

Quiet time (nap for 3 yo; everyone else read quietly)
Project time
Dinner & cleanup (same as above)
Brush teeth
Evening (which means go to bed without any problems)

Each one of these "sets" earns a ticket - tickets are redeemable for a variety of things and 2 can be used for 30 minutes of screen time each (1 hour total screen time per day - computer, tv, etc.). Now with summer upon us, they are using the Wii and Outdoor Challenge for exercise in the afternoons or evenings. They are not playing any other "games" on the Wii, except for the Wiikends.

I think everyone should check out accoutable kids and consider purchasing the book. It has some psychological stuff in it, that I'm not real fond of, but there are just a few bones in the book as a whole. Very practical and easy to implement! I'm feeling less and less like a nag!!

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Summer Routines

We are back from vacation - didn't even know we were gone, huh?! We went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and then Branson, Missouri. It was a long vacation (10 days), but it was very busy and we (Big P and I) decided we wouldn't do a vacation like that again - so jam packed. We were both very exhausted afterward and we've had to actually get our children used a slower pace again.

I'm working on my Home Management Notebook again and so I needed to come up with some Summer Routines. When I posted about that on facebook, some friends asked me to share those. I thought the best place to do that was here in case some of my followers wanted to know what we were up to. I think we are actually going to take a summer this year. We always school year round, but will just be keeping up with math for the older ones and reading lessons for the 5 yo.

You'll notice that the children have "reminder cards" listed below. I'm going to post those in another post, because they are part of our Accountable Kids system - which we are loving. I thought this would be enough to get some mama's minds pumping. We have found that routines work much better here rather than a schedule. The difference? Instead of things set at a specific time, we just do them in order and have more of a "time block" for things. We try to have breakfast around 8, lunch around 12:30, and dinner around 5:30. Bed is 8:30 for littles and 9 for bigs. We just flow through the rest of the day within on those time frames.

Trying to keep things simple here is always a monumental task - but one I'm learning to enjoy very much!!

Summer Routines



Quiet time
Get ready
Breakfast in oven
Boys morning routine
Daily Cleaning

After Morning – After Noon:

Outside Play
Time w/ Big P
School w/ B5 (reading lessons) (L3’s nap)
School w/ Big Kids
Zone Project Time


Wii Fit
Pick Up
Boys to bed
Read Aloud
Big Kids to bed
Next day prep
Scrapbook or Sew
Call Big P

Big Kids


Quiet time
Morning Reminder cards

After Morning - After Noon:

“Extra” chore time
Afternoon Reminder cards
Project (Scouts or Keepers)


Evening Reminder cards

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