Our Homeschool Adventure

So this year will look a bit different than previous years.  I have always been a lover of Classical Education.  It just feels so complete and well rounded.  My tendencies lean towards a Charlotte Mason approach with the little ones.  I am coming to realize that it was totally appropriate for the age my children have been.  My oldest is now 8 (M) and my second soon to be 6 (K).  We are ramping up the level of difficulty for their education this year by joining in Classical Conversations.  I am going to save myself a lot of time by stealing borrowing ideas from Brandy on her blog: Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood since there is no point in recreating the wheel with this stuff.  I have 4 kids I’m chasing and that is way more fun!

This past year, I tried workboxes; when I saw combining that with what we are doing in CC on Brand’s blog, I am so glad to see my time spent putting that together is not a waste.

This will be my ‘thinking out loud’ spot and hopefully it will help you as you are gearing up or thinking about homeschooling.  We have a busy year planned.  We feel it a priority for our girls to study the arts and so we have them in dance & music.

  •  TDAC is a great program and they stick to the classical method so the girls aren’t just having fun dancing, they are learning a skill.  M is in Ballet 1 and she will be performing in this year’s Ballet Theater production of Little Match Girl.  Our first rehearsal is this Friday and we are both excited about it.  K is doing Combo 3 class which is combining ballet and tap and teaching her the basics of those techniques.  I like to use the combo classes the first couple years to give them some options in dance.  I want to expand on what they think they want to do and then see where they go with it once they experience it.  L will be in a creative movement this year as her introduction into an organized class environment.
  • Music- we are music lovers here so M & K will be completing the next year’s course with Pastor Bob.  We will add choir this year to see how the girls do in this area with him.  We do a lot of training at home in the area of learning new songs/hymns as part of our family worship. Pastor Bob has done a great job teaching the girls the ‘grammar’ of music.  I’ve said that it is a music theory class for children.  Once we got through a year and a half, M was able to start piano class and has done very well.  She began in January and has continued all year.  Her piano teacher has said that she is gifted in this area so I hope to press her to really get her practicing in each day.  She gets alot of enjoyment out of the music she is making.
  • CC will meet once per week and then we will work on learning the information the tutor presented over the course of the next week.  We are supplementing with 100 Easy Lessons for K’s reading, Saxon for math, and Story of the World for history, not to mention The Bible for all of the above.  I have worked hard to be sure to make The Bible is one of the most important books we use for reference so the girls will see how vital this is in our lives. We also will use a ton of library books.  Molly and I have already gone in and picked the books we want to see for the next six weeks.  The new library system will allow us to save lists under our profile and so we can go in and request those specific ones when we are ready so that we know will round out our learning. M is a great reader of historical fiction.
  • Nature Study- when we get bored or tired, we move it outside.  The little ones just run around or bring their nature notebooks to draw or trace things we look up later while.  This makes for a fun break and some great Vitamin D.

Now, what do I do with my nearly 4 year old and 16 month old during all of this? I knew you would ask that question.  Most days the way we schedule our morning, L is happy to play on her own for a bit and then by the time K is done with her reading stuff they will play together some fantasy reenactment for a good while.  This usually allows me to have some time with M to finish up her math (which is more independent this year) and grammar.  When L wants to join us at the table I have reserved some smart toys for her ‘school’ that she can do hands on at the table with us.  She feels like she is part of the class and is doing something productive with her hands.  We will include her in all of the review we do for CC this year and I will be curious to see how much she retains.  She has already memorized the Christopher Columbus history sentence and is singing it regularly for week one.  The baby wants to just sit on me and walk back and forth from me to the playroom.  She is quite happy until she is ready for a snack, meal, or bedtime so I can see she is an easy baby!  I have to be quick about meeting her needs these days or she quickly resorts to screaming.  YIKES!  Working on that.

We have been schooling officially now for about 4 weeks as I like to get an early start so I can finish early when we all get spring fever.  I look forward to a fun year learning with my girls and can’t wait to see the results of CC in our adventure.  Have fun!!

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5 responses to “Our Homeschool Adventure

  1. Oh I enjoyed reading this Denise! And I love the idea of having a blog to just record things you want to remember. I may have to start that… Thanks for sharing all of this!

    • Thanks Carla. I have another friend that she uses it to journal what they do and then can look back over the year to see what they accomplished and what needs tweaking. Now that the baby is getting older, I feel like my brain is coming back into order- ya know?!

  2. I love hearing all about your family and how you juggle 4 kiddos. Inspiring!

  3. Wow. You have a real live blog and everything and you sound so organized and serious. 🙂 Love it. I will have to let you know how our first year homeschooling goes with CC. I love CC. I am totally into it and unless a lot changes, hope to be using it all the way to college with Challenge. It is going to help my day to day schedule so much less burdensome. Drew is a Foundations tutor AND Essentials tutor because he has that day off during the week. Hope you all enjoy your first day.

    • Serious…hehe. That is not quite what I was going for, but I’ll take it? I am really excited about this CC stuff. It is empowering me to feel like I can handle schooling for the long haul and for multiple grade levels at once!! I am SOLD on the program and plan on taking it all the way through as well. I am so happy to be on the ground floor for the one that was started here in our area. I am NOT surprised about Drew- so glad he can be directly involved- as the Dad -with the education. Brian is ready, but the MAN at his job would not work with him on that day. Really bummed out since we could really use an Essentials tutor that is not our Director!! We are praying that the Lord would work that part out still. 🙂 We did enjoy our first day and the girls already are pumped. Check out music by Beth Fox if you have not already. She has made CDs of songs for everything that CC doesn’t already have one to. She has a great voice.

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