Monday, August 4, 2014

The Home School Month Ahead: August 2014

If you find homeschool organization boring and don't want to know what other homeschool moms do, you can skip this post, you won't hurt my feelings. I for one, enjoy seeing what others do so I can get great ideas for our own school day!

August will be a light month for us, we will only be doing 2 days a week of school to ease back into the school year. This frees up days for us to enjoy the rest of the month! The public school children return to school around the 7th, so that's when homeschoolers take back the park, pools, museums, etc. It's ok, we don't mind sharing the world with all the children, but it is nice to have less busy places to take our children too. It makes kid counting a lot easier at the park.....

So what's up for our family in August!? Well, I finally got to sit down with my nifty Well Planned Day planner and get to organizing!

We will only do school on Mondays/Wednesdays and not every subject. We do not go in any particular order of school work, I ask the kids what they want to work on first. Some people like to get started early in the morning, get math done and out of the way. For us, we are still working on that "magic method.". I do have subjects we do together and some we do separate. Remember H is going into 4th grade and E is going into 1st. So we cannot do EVERYTHING together. Math, Grammar and some electives are separate. So here's our basic August Monday/Wednesday 'to do' list. (I don't say schedule because I do not schedule out block of time in any particular order.)

Bible Study: We do YES Lessons just like I did as a kid in my church. You can find them for free if you are interested here:

Along with the YES Lesson we work on Character Studies from Confessions of a Homeschooler. If you haven't bookmarked her blog already, you should open a new tab right now and save it! (Come back here though...) AMAZING resource.

Math: H is still catching up on Teaching Textbooks 3 as we started it late last year. So he's got to finish that up and then move on to Teaching Textbooks 4. Eli does worksheets and Life of Fred. We love Fred, he's great. I highly reccommend it as a math program.

History: We wouldn't normally do History in this part time summer month, but we have a few chapters left to finish up before we are done with Story of the World Volume One. Since we are excited to get started on Volume 2, the Middle Ages to Medieval Times, we need to get done with Volume One! I really cannot speak highly enough about this book series. Reasonably priced, well done, a good history program for elementary students.

ELA: English Language Arts, I don't even like calling it ELA, since that's not we grew up calling English, but I do use it to mean any and all English, Grammar, Spelling, etc. I am VERY literature based and believe children learn best through stories and books, not textbooks and boring technical information. So, we are currently reading Chronicles of Narnia. We are just reading it as we go although I did find several lapbooks and unit studies on it. Surprisingly it was not listed on Teach With Movies, but we will be watching the movie version.
Also in ELA we use a program called Five in a Row. I love, love, LOVE this program. It is similar to how I taught literature based lesson plans when I taught early childhood. We are currently on Volume Two, even though it's suggested you start Volume One in the fall. I decided there were more books I wanted to try in Volume 2 for now.

I love the fact that FIAR is pretty much all you need for a young child other than Math and Phonics! I pick and choose the stories we want to do based on time of year, interests, availability, etc.

Phonics: E is still wrapping up his Saxon Phonics K book from last year. He is doing so good in reading, I could likely just skip the rest of it and he'd be fine, but I do want to cement a good understanding of Phonics since I feel H missed out on that in public school. E goes through his lesson and worksheet in less than 10 minutes.

Electives: We will add more electives in September but for now the only true electives we do is H does a Typing Instructor program on the computer.

He seems to really enjoy this and it reminds me of the typing tutor programs I used as a kid. (On my rocking Commodore 64 mind you....)
In September we pick up more electives like American Sign Language, Handwriting, Music, Creative Writing and Art. I look forward to all of these!

So I hope this helps you see a little bit of just one fraction of what one can do in the area of curriculum!

What are some of your favorite curriculum? Free resources?


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