In our house, we call it "Box Day" - the day when the new homeschooling books arrive!
Because I've recently had to seek out employment (it's a new season in our family life here), we did not know until just recently whether or not we'd be able to continue to homeschool beyond the summer. We're grateful that it appears to be working out, so we went ahead and ordered our books!
We finally celebrated Box Day - we sat and unpacked the boxes, ooohing and aaahing and giggling and wondering. We cannot wait to start reading all of these wonderful new books in less than a week as we kick off the next round of school!
Here is the curriculum I'll be using with my two older girls (ages 8 & 7) and my youngest (almost 4):
Included: The Discoverer's Bible (NIrV), for the girls to begin reading on their own; the American Indian Prayer Guide, and the Harrow family's incredible CD, Great in Counsel and Mighty in Deed (Scripture Memory Songs). This year, the focus will be teaching the girls how to go directly to the source and learn for themselves what the Bible says when they have questions, rather than totally relying on Dad & Mom to give them the answers.
This year is the first of a two-year exploratory look at American History, beginning with the Native American population around the time of the explorers. We'll be experiencing history through the stories and biographies of those who lived those here before any Europeans came; those who survived the first few colonies; Colonial heroes; the first few generations of American citizens; the pioneers; and those who fought to preserve the union - any many others.
Spelling & Vocabulary:
This will be the first year we're taking a formal approach to spelling & vocabulary. The girls cannot wait (...and neither can I)! The 'natural language' approach that we've follow the last five years has served us very well and prepared the girls to now receive more direction instruction in these areas. The girls will also continue their penmanship practice with Horizons' Book 3 (Cursive Writing).
These are the books that the girls will tackle on their own. Since Abby (7) is reading at a slightly higher grade level than Elizabeth (8), her goal is to finish all of these by the beginning of next summer; with E, her goal is to make good progress through as many as she's comfortable reading. She will more than likely read these aloud to me whereas A will probably sit in her bed and read alone. (Different learning styles require different tactics!).
Read-Alouds are the books that Will & I take turns reading out loud, either during lunch or just before bed. Usually a chapter or two per day. We all treasure read-aloud time! So much of the history we study together comes alive through the historical fiction - it's much more fulfilling than memorizing names, dates, and places.
Science this year will center around human anatomy, biology, & taxonomy - the box on the left there is most of the resources we'll need to conduct experiments (growing beans, wheat, corn, & radishes, among others). For the last three years, much of our science has been hands-on and focuses on gaining a breadth of knowledge rather than mastery. The girls have been exposed to all manner of scientific goodness: physics, meteorology, magnetism & electricity, etc. We are very much looking forward to science this year!
For the last few years, we've used Alpha Omega's Lifepac Math - a workbook-based curriculum. One of my daughters is a hands-on, auditory learner - Lifepac was not a good fit for her at all. If they had been, I definitely would have continued ordering them because I really like Lifepac! This year, we're trying Teaching Textbooks. I've heard nothing but wonderful reports about this computer-based curriculum and both of my older girls LOVED the online demo for it.
This is my second time around with the P4/5 curriculum - and I cannot wait to share these beloved stories again with my youngest (...and I have a hunch that my older two will want to sit through them all over again as well!). Each day, we'll read a little bit - 'school' takes about 30-40 minutes - and then H will spend the rest of her time playing, shadowing her sisters, and helping me with chores as we find time. I appreciate the laid-back approach this curriculum takes to teaching the little learners.
If you've been following this blog for a while, you have probably picked up on the fact that we use mostly Sonlight Curriculum! This is our sixth year of homeschooling with Sonlight and it has been worth every penny we've invested. If you're looking for a new curriculum and you love to read, consider it! The company has a wonderful Love to Learn guarantee - you can use up to 18 weeks' worth of the curriculum (really use it!), and if you don't love it you can return the whole years' worth of material for a refund.
(If you would like to place your first-ever order with Sonlight and the total is more than $50, please use this link: http://www.sonlight.com/rewards/AH20264102 You'll receive $5 off of your order, and I'll receive points that help discount a future order as well!)
If you have any questions about homeschooling, or about Sonlight Curriculum, please ask in the comments below!
Excited for our school year,
for His glory!
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