Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Falf way through our school year

We began on July 9th, and today is day 94 out of a required 180. So, a little over half way though, and things have been going really well so far. We do our own version of a year round schedule, taking breaks as our family needs them or wants to take them.

Rachel has gotten better at division, and will be starting the fraction book soon. She is also becoming a better speller.

Michaela has always been a great speller, and just keeps improving. She also enjoys writing, and even asked for a journal for Christmas and is constantly writing in it. She is a math wiz as well. :)

Alyssa is learning beginning math and beginning reading, and reviewing how to form her letters and numbers correctly. I made flash cards for her with easy high frequency words. When she masters a word, she gets to put a sticker on that card. When we read together, I read the words she doesn't know, and have her read the words she does know. Just like with her sisters when they were that age. :)

This week I finally reintroduced copywork into our routine. Well, for Rachel anyway. Michaela will be holding off on copywork as she is learning how to write in cursive right now.

Getting them to enjoy reading on the other hand is such a struggle. I make them read, but it's usually met with much resistance and crying. I wish I could give them reading assignments, and that they'd just do it without the complaining. It gets done. It would just be nice to get it done without the drama!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Currently, Rachel and Michaela are not being homeschooled. Brandon decided to send them to public school this year, so they are at our local school, Brushy Creek Elementary. Rachel is in 4th grade, and Michaela is in 1st grade there. Although I miss homeschooling them terribly, I know that it's only temporary and for just this year, and at least they are at a WONDERFUL school, and have awesome teachers. It's been a much, much better experience this year than when Rachel went to kindergarten at Timber Drive Elementary. The girls and I look forward to the day we are homeschooling again. :) We are counting down the days to the last day of school. When they are home in the afternoons or during days off, I have them do pages from our homeschool math curriculum, Math U See, so they don't get behind in it. Rachel is 1/3 of the way through Delta. Michaela is almost done with Alpha.

I do homeschool Alyssa though. She is 4 years old, and does a mixture of preschool and kindergarten work. She is in the Primer book of Math U See. We also do workbook work on various skills and subjects.

We no longer live at Sunswept Circle, so I guess we need to think of a new name for our school. I'm just not getting anything clever yet. Until then, we'll keep it Sunswept Classical Academy for now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Olympic Flapbook is DONE!

So, we've been done with it for about a week now. Just hadn't taken the pics yet, and posted about it. Maybe once I get a pic, I'll edit and add it. I'm just glad it's done! Rachel really enjoyed making it, and liked learning about the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's one of those days that I'm glad we don't send Rachel to school!

I remember last year when I'd send Rachel off, and it would be raining in the morning. . . . I hated those days! (Not to mention the cold days too!) Well, this morning is one of those days where it's raining pretty good. We saw the other kids out the window standing at the bus stop in the rain. I'm sitting there thinking, "I'm soooo glad we're not out there right now!" I like rainy days, just don't want to be OUT in it. I like to be inside with no where to go, listening to the rain on the windows and watching it come down as we do our homework. I like the dark, cozy feeling a rainy day brings with it. I like the big downpours, which is what we're getting today, and watching it come. Been getting some thunder and lightning too!

I also don't miss the rushing in the morning to get her ready, missing the bus because some days it came earlier than it was supposed to so I'd have to drive her (wasting my time and gas), and making a lunch when I'm trying to make breakfast too. Now I can get my shower and get ready for the day BEFORE 8 am! No more waiting for Rachel to be out the door to do that. If I need to sleep in, I CAN! If Rachel needs a little more rest, she CAN as well. No more whining when I wake her up at 7:30, "I'm too tired! I hate school, I want to homeschool. Please, take me out." No more having to get homework done in the evenings (which is the worst time for me). We can do work in the evenings if we feel like it, or we don't have to. No more following someone else's schedule! We pick our own school days, and which days are vacation. No more whiny Rachel in the evenings because she didn't get her afternoon rest. Life is much more pleasant and peaceful now all around.

I'm so glad for the option to homeschool my kids. This is living the life! I love being able to teach them and being there every time they learn something new, and being able to share in that experience with them. Rachel is also no longer being held back at the pace of other kids, she can go at HER pace. I love that this way of schooling, she has more time to learn the extra things like helping me cook or learning to sew or learning to help clean. (She cleaned a toilet Monday afternoon. . .and did a GREAT job!) We seemed to never have any extra time for those things when she was in school. All those necessary things to learn and know how to do someday when she's on her own.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First couple days

Yesterday and today went really well. :) Rachel likes her new English curriculum, but thinks the new Reading is "too long." I think it's good for her though, and not as long as she thinks it is. If she motivated herself enough to just sit down and get it done, it wouldn't seem as long. I like it for it's new vocab words, reading selections from Bible stories, comprehension, and phonics. All her other subjects, like I've mentioned before, are the same ol' that she's been doing. We recently skipped 3 lessons in Alpha! We started the subtraction unit in there, and she's already been doing subtraction in A beka. . .so I figured the first few lessons would be TOO easy. Sure enough, I gave her all three tests for the first three subtraction lessons without actually going through the lessons, and she got 100% on all of them. . .so we moved on! I don't want to waste time teaching something she already knows and is good at.

Same with Michaela. . . same workbooks she's been working out of. Although, in September, Michaela will begin some new books as well. Those include, the Skill Sharpeners workbooks for reading and math in preschool level; and Rod and Staff's preschool series. We've started tracing letters and numbers. . .learning how to write them. She's doing much better than she was doing in the spring where she wouldn't trace it properly, if at all. Still have lots of room for improvement and learning in writing, but she's improved tremendously in the past few months, and I'm happy with her progress. Her left handed scissors came in the mail a few weeks ago, so she's been learning how to cut and paste as well. Coloring frustrates her. . . you'd think she'd love to color with being left handed and all. . .aren't lefty's supposed to be artsy? lol She loves to draw free handed, just hates coloring in a picture. I think her frustration comes in when she can't stay in the lines since her fine motor skills aren't sharp enough for that yet.

Brandon gave them their blessings on Sunday night, and mine on Monday morning.

A couple first day pics. I'm putting up two since one of them, Rachel looks better, and the other Kayla looks better:

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's the last week of 2007-2008 school year!

Next Monday begins our 2008-2009 year officially. In the future, this week will be a "week off" week, but I've been trying to get Rachel caught up with some things, so we've been plugging along. Some of the subjects we've been working on will carry over into the coming weeks, and some curriculum will be new. We have one more unit in science in the Human Body book, and we'll be done! So, we'll probably finish that the week of August 18th sometime. I think our next science studies will be Animals/Animal Kingdoms. I'm amazed at how much Rachel has absorbed and retained in her science knowledge! A lot of stuff we went over was probably "above her age level." But, I taught it to her anyway, not expecting her to remember everything, just what she's able, and she can remember quite a bit about the human body and the body systems (except reproduction system, which isn't in the book).

In math, we're working out of MUS-Alpha and A beka 1. By the end of this week we'll be done with the addition unit, and ready to start with the subtraction unit in lesson 18 next week. (There's 30 lessons total, so we're getting closer to the end!) I suspect subtraction will be a breeze since she is already familiar with it. In her A beka workbook, we're getting close to half way through. Most of it is really too easy for her, but I want her to go through it anyway to get the extra practice with the easier stuff and master it more, and also so she gets to do all the money, measurement, clock, etc problems. That's the main reason why I added A beka math to her MUS. . .for the stuff A beka covers that MUS doesn't cover till later, but I still want her to learn now. They both offer something the other doesn't, so working out of both seems to be working for us. Around January or so, I'm projecting that she'll be into MUS-Beta and A beka 2. Once the math gets tougher, we'll slow it down a bit more and really focus on it, but for now, she's doing good retaining it all at this pace. And, I'm wanting to catch her up some so all her subjects are on the same grade level eventually. If she didn't have the ability, I wouldn't help her get there, and just leave her split between two grades. But, she's able to speed a little faster through the math and grasp all the concepts so far, so we're getting evened up while it's "easy!"

Some new curriculum will be English and Reading. I got the Rod and Staff English 2 and Reading 2 that we'll start next week. I'm putting her into 2nd grade for those since her reading is at that level, probably above; and she's been flying through her grade 1 English workbook this summer and most of it was stuff she already knew, or got quickly, so we'll go right into English 2. (Of course, this is the child that could form a few sentences at 10 months old, so it shouldn't surprise me that language comes easy to her!)

For social studies, I have a few ideas, but don't have it totally figured out yet. The history books I had planned to use for a few years now have proven to have some Christian/religious inaccuracies, so I'm trying to figure out what to do instead. We'll definitely be doing more flapbooks, I'll probably do some history through living books and then have her add a page to her 'Book of the Centuries' each time we study a new event in history, and then some map learning and geography.

Whew! I think that's it! Rachel was disappointed that today we didn't work on the Olympic flapbook since we did science instead. I told her she has to get her morning work done faster then if we're going to have time to do both science and flapbook on days I have science planned. We'll see if that motivates her any to move faster! lol

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Olympic Flapbook

So, last Thursday Rachel and I started working on her first flapbook! (also called lapbook, we prefer to use 'flapbook' because that word makes more sense for what it is) I found the idea on a message board, and thought it would be fun to do. :) Once it's done, I'll have to take pictures of it and post. It'll show our studies of the Olympics and China. We worked on it Thursday and Friday for Social Studies and Rachel is just loving this activity!