Thursday, July 07, 2016

Back At It

We started school on the 4th of July.  Yes, we started on a holiday!  But I tried to make it festive and fun and we ended the day with ice cream and fireworks so they were happy.  When Baby Zach is born in a few weeks we will take some time off.

This year Aiden is in 8th grade, Alex is in 7th grade, Riley is in 5th grade, Remy is in 3rd grade, Oliver is 4, and Olivia is 1 1/2.  Here is a summary of what I'm using this year.

Sonlight Core E - Everyone
I used Sonlight for many years.  I love a literature-rich curriculum.  One year the core we were supposed to do next was a bit too advance for my boys so I did other things.  It was a nice break and I had a lot of fun doing my own thing.  The 2nd half of last year we came back to Sonlight and it was a great fit.  I'm very excited about this year because it is American History (1850-present) and I look forward to learning about that time period!  I'm also excited because I am having a baby this month or next and everything Sonlight related is laid out and scheduled for me.  SO helpful!  Because I'm a box checker, I really want to keep up the pace with the reading, and that keeps me motivated.  This is the first time in a long time that I have used Sonlight's Bible assignments as well.  So far we have really enjoyed that.  This book is a part of the Bible assignments, and we have gotten a lot out of it.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts - Aiden, Alex, Riley, and Remy
I love this curriculum.  Each level covers Grammar, Vocabulary, Writing, and Poetry, and has a Practice Book.  It is fun, simple, and very rigorous without stressing anyone out!  I now have Aiden & Alex in the same book and Riley & Remy in the same book.  That cuts down on some of the one-on-one time and actually makes for some richer conversations.  We also usually do the poetry part all together.  We are wrapping up level 2 and should begin level 3 soon.

Reader/Widely Reader - Aiden, Alex, Riley, and Remy
I'm using Sonlight (3rd grade list, 4th grade list, and this list for my two older boys), Michael Clay Thompson Literature Trilogies, and other lists to come up with Readers for each boy at their level.  The Readers are mostly classic literature and other fiction.  Last year I created the "Widely Reader."  I wanted them to read more non-fiction and so I made a spot to assign those books.  We currently have rest time from (approx. :0) 1:00-2:00 and so they have time then to read 30 minutes from each book.

Copywork/Narration - Aiden, Alex, Riley, and Remy
I'm using Spelling Wisdom as copywork right now.  It's designed to be used differently, but I liked the passages and I'm using it my own way.   They narrate to me after they do their Reader and Widely Reader.

Greek - Aiden, Alex, Riley, and Remy
We are still quite happy with Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!.  You can use this even if you don't know any Greek, but it is really handy that my husband knows and loves the language!  He does the grading for that.

Outside for 15 Minutes - Everyone
Ideally we are all outside for at least 15 minutes, but I must admit that sometimes I have the bigger kids take Oliver and Olivia out while I help another kid with some school.  I need to get better about getting myself outside!  The boys usually combine this with another subject and just do their school work outside.

Piano - Aiden, Alex, Riley, and Remy
Our 4 oldest are taking lessons.  It's part of their daily school to practice.

Math - Aiden, Alex, Riley, and Remy
Math-U-See continues to be a great fit for our family.

Auditory Processing - Riley
I got HELP for Auditory Processing at a used book sale.  The mom said it was very helpful in her home and it seemed to be what I was looking for.  It was in a package with these three books that I have not tried yet.  Riley loves it and it's very easy to use.  I may do this with my other kids later.

Type It - Aiden, Alex, and Riley
This is a very simple, no frills typing book, but the boys love it so far and are doing a great job increasing their typing skills.

The Art of Argument - Aiden and Alex
The boys have used some of the Bluedorn's Logic books/videos, but this is our first full year logic curriculum.  So far they are liking it.  Jeremy is doing this with them for now and it has sparked some really great conversations.  I usually try to be in the same room so I can learn along with them.  We also got the DVD's that go along with this, but we haven't begun using them yet.

Cooking Class - Aiden, Alex, Riley, Remy, and Oliver
Kids Cook Real Food has been lots of fun so far!  Highly recommended!  We will likely do a lesson each Friday.

One Year Adventure Novel - Aiden
I'm really excited about this.  Aiden loves to write all the time and devours books about writing.  I have read numerous rave reviews about this program.  I asked Aiden to look it over and he is very excited to begin it.  I just ordered it, so he will be starting this in the next week or two.

Sonlight Preschool Core - Oliver and Olivia
I used this years ago with some of my older kids.  I only have the books.  I set them all out to help me have a plan for what to read and talk about with Oliver and Olivia.  I have time with them from 8:30 to 9:00 every morning before beginning school with the older kids.  Sometimes we go outside to swing, play ball, or do a crafty activity, but we always try to read some of these books as well.

Moving - Everyone
I don't have anything fancy for this category, but the boys usually just go downstairs and I put one boy in charge of PT while I put Olivia down for her morning nap.  That person leads everyone in some exercises.  They have a repertoire from when Jeremy used to do Army drills with them :0)

A few other odds and ends.
*We use this book for some chemistry experiments.
*I'm adding in artists from the time period we are covering.  I'm using the things I got this year.
*Alex is doing this Bible Study.
*Aiden is getting ready to start this Bible Study.
*We are using this book as a family now for Bible time and totally loving it.  It even has a coloring book that goes with it!
*Later this year we hope to cover this book.  The one on the Old Testament was terrific.
*We still love our flipper system.
*I'm enjoying this planner so much!

Well, that about sums it up!