Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What We're Using

Well we've "survived" our first week of homeschooling. We actually did well, at least in my opinion. But every year I am intriged by what materials other homeschooling families use.... there is soooo much out there so it's nice to see what others like and don't like. And for me to be exposed to other materials out there:)

So I will share my list of materials. If you have any experience with The Well-Trained Mind you'll recognize all the materials, I really didn't venture off of their suggestions for this first year. Partly because there is sooo much out there as far as homeschooling resources. Partly, because I really like the theory and thought put behind the curriculum suggestions. And partly because my homeschooling "mentor" used the same materials last year and really liked them (and our 1st-borns have similiar personalities so I was confident it would work at our house!!!).

So here goes:)

Anna - 1st grade
*Reading - Still working through Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading; Spelling Workout; working up to 3o+ minutes of free reading daily (library books and books here at the house); I read aloud to her following the suggested books from Well Trained Mind that coordinate with the time period that we are studying in history; adding in copywork (anything from vocab words to Bible verses... Grammer will have some too)

*Grammer - We are using First Language Lessons.

*Math - We are using Saxon Math grade 1! I personally think it's a bit too easy for her. BUT I like it is comprehensive in math concepts and even adds extra stuff like graphs, etc! And I KNOW that it is giving her a GOOD foundation for math.... so we will go through it, even though I already told her that some of our math this year is teaching us to follow directions and work with a happy heart.

*Bible - We do a little devotion from a devotional we were given and then we memorize at least a verse a week. We will be starting AWANA in a few weeks and that will increase our Scripture memory work... I'm soo excited about this opportunity for us:) One of the recommending reading that accompanies our History is the Bible... so we're working the Old Testament Stories right now using a copy of Egermeiers' Bible Story Book!

*History - We will working through Story of the World vol. 1: Ancient Times. I LOVE that we can do history and science all together; the MAJOR benefit of The Well-Trained Mind. I have found the Activity Book to be perfect for starting out. Maybe after a few years of homeschooling, I can get a little crazy with resources and adding stuff.... but I like the simple activity suggestions, extra reading ideas, maps and coloring pages in the appendix!

*Science- We will be starting working through Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia soon. I really wanted to add subjects gradually so we wouldn't get overwhelmed and so this is one I have delayed a bit.

*Music - Work through the lessons of Piano for Preschoolers Basic Course. I love this simple lesson book... it's just a matter of making time to read through the lesson together and then her practicing the new skills and songs. Also hoping to include finding some ancient music samples and start introducing them to some classical composers from a set of CDs that Brian already has.

*Art - We will get some art basics from projects, activities, Sunday school and church. We will also be exposed to art from the Ancient World from resources we will be studying from:)

Christopher - Pre-k/K
*Reading - SLOWLY working through Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading..... I stress SLOWLY... lots of fun review games; also working through some sight words; reading library books to him; Starfall Reading; some pre-reading activities in his K workbook

*Math - K Workbook from Walmart (love this series); Math Mastermind activities and manipulatives

*Writing - Loves to write alphabet and I'm hoping to start copy work this year. As well as writing letters to people??? We'll see how it goes:) I know I also need to work on writing lowercase letters with him... he can do lowercase, just usually does capital letters!

*Bible - devo. with us and then hopefully he will be able to participate in the memorization activities and assignments in AWANA:)

*History/Science - doing some of what we do with Anna. He'll probably color pictures and definitely listen as we read books... especially involving animals and battles!!! LOL... he's all BOY!
*Lots of playtime:) He's building stuff with Duplo blocks, coloring pictures,etc

Lydia - Preschooler
* Pre-reading - She is learning phonics just using ABC cards, magnetic letters, and LeapFrog.

*Writing - At Lydia's stage it's scribble scrabble... and plenty of practice! She's trying to make H's and A's... so that is cool. We have a lot of ABC wipeboards for practice if she wants to try doing letters, or numbers or shapes:)

*Bible - with us

*For the other basics (colors, shapes, patterns, numbers, position words, pre-writing) we are using the supplies we already have... games, books, puzzles, etc! And also a workbook from Walmart(i used it for Chris and it was LOVED)!! We tried the workbook this afternoon b/c she asked and I don't think she is into workbooks yet:) LOL

*Lots of play as well!!! Kids learn sooo much at this stage just from play and books!

Did you make it to the end???
Like I said at the beginning, we are new to homeschooling... so we'll see what works for us and then make changes or continue on! But I do like that we have some time daily where we all get to do "school" together... like our Bible times, reading, History, Science, any projects or field trips!

I am soo thankful that I have the ability to stay home with my kids and the support to teach them at home. My prayer continues to be that I would be found to be a faithful, loving and encouraging teacher to them. And that we would strive to serve Christ through serving one another daily.


Drea said...

I think it really takes a gift to do what you are doing.. Its a great thing. I really dont think I have that gift and it does make me sad.

3 for Me! said...

Thank you for your encouragements!

I do consider teaching and wanting to teach one of my gifts and I am soo glad I have the ability to use this gift...

When I was first REALLY looking into HOW to homeschool I was very overwhelmed, but soon after I was encouraged to read The Well -Trained Mind. Anyway, I liked how soo many of the things fit together and that really took a lot of the stress off on me.

Anonymous said...

Well, I do not have any experience in home schooling and also will never have as it is fobidden in Germany to homeschool your kids. But as you know I am a bookseller and so I do know some nice books even for children. So my recommendation for you are the "eyewitness guides" vy Dorling Kindersley. Just go to http://us.dk.com/ and enter eyewitness guides to the search section. Then go to the children's part. This serial has got a lot of interestings topics from history, science, art etc. I love their books a lot. Perhaps you will like to take a look at them next time you will go to the library. They are not homescholing books but I think they are very nice non-fiction books for children to read/pre-read them and learn from them.

Bunch of Barrons said...

As you know, we are really interested in homeschooling with our kiddos. So it's GREAT to see what kind of stuff you are doing. It makes me excited *and a bit nervous...haha* for when it's our turn! :) Thanks for sharing!

Bea said...

I really admire you!, you do such a great job with the kids, not only teaching them but as a mom too! :)

3 for Me! said...

Thanks Jenny for the ideas.... actually there are MANY DK books recommended!! So I will be collected some:)

I have read about Germany's stance on homeschooling... just amazing.

Angela said...

Thanks so much for the great post. Larry and I still have a few years before we start home schooling. I'm already working with Eden on her letters, colors, and numbers. She loves to read and learn. So this is just fun/play for her for now.

I was going to ask if you would post (or e-mail me) some of the home school websites, blogs ext. that you have found helpful.

Also is there a homeschool group for Martin county or Williamston? I would love to be able to read through some of these resources to have a head start for our family :)

Finally, what day is the reading day/ kids day at the library? I would love to have Eden in that as well. :)