Friday, December 11, 2009

Finally Friday!

Today is our last day of school for first semester! Woo!Hoo! We begin a 3 week Christmas break tomorrow! This has been a challenging semester, balancing a high school freshman, a kindergartner, and a 5th and a 7th grader too. We made some changes to our homeschool curriculum this year....most of it has been positive. I sometimes miss the past years when I had only 3 elementary aged students and we completed all kinds of fun and educational unit studies. But the reality of it is that I have more students now with different educational requirements.....I just couldn't figure out how to efficiently teach a 9th grader and a kindergartner the same subject matter!

A few things that I have liked:
Sonlight--I am using the preschool ages 4/5 for Leah. I have really enjoyed the schedule to follow for her daily read alouds.
Horizons K math--I have used this for my other Kindergartners, and I am always pleased with it.
Horizons K phonics--this is my first time to use this.....We are slowing it down a bit, because I think it moves rather quickly. We are going to use this program for both K and 1st grade for Leah's phonics instruction. Two workbook pages a day for phonics is enough! Leah is reading simple words and stories and loves to write!
All Through the Ages--this is a book of lists of books divided by time period and grade level. I am using this resource for Julie's and Clay's history. I have assigned them books to read independently, and I am reading another book from the list for our daily read aloud. We have learned a lot about the Dark Ages and are moving into the Middle Ages....all by reading and discussing great books! I bought each child a timeline book with the intention of having them put the stickers of people studied inside.....but we have failed to do this. I plan to work on this next semester.
IEW--I have used this for many years. I am always pleased with this course.
Teaching Textbooks Math--for Olivia, Julie, and Clay
Bob Jones Geography--for Olivia
Apologia Science--both the 7th grade course and Biology

I haven't liked the 5th grade Bob Jones Science course I bought for Clay. It included too much classroom type busy work. We have trimmed down the course to just reading the text together, discussing it, and occasionally completing an experiment.....this is basically what is involved in the Apologia elementary science courses....for a fraction of the price. We will be switching back to Apologia science for Clay next year. Leah can also participate with him because the books are for grades K-6.

Our Christmas break plans include hosting the Johnson Family Christmas party, celebrating with my extended family, and visiting other family members as well. I plan to begin tomorrow with the flurry of Christmas baking and gift-wrapping. Fun!


  1. The blessing of home education...changing what doesn't work and using what fits the family & children best! We, too, made some changes this year (some we are happy with...others that we were not, hence moving on to what we know works).

    Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the 'break' from the bookwork!


  2. I love reading about what does and doesn't work for others!

    I think that I am going to switch to IEW. I had originally planned to do it this year, but at the last minute, we changed. I have not decided if I will switch at semester, or wait until next year. ???

    Sonlight is another one that we might change next year. I like the curriculum (even though we tweak it quite a bit),but have heard from several other families that they do something similar to what you are doing with your older ones.

    We like Apologia. Caylie is doing Biology (with alternate tests), and Christian is about to finish Astronomy, and begin Zoology. We use quizzes and tests that I found in the Apologia yahoo group files.

    Have a great Christmas break! We keep at it for one more week! :)

  3. I'm very jealous of your Christmas break starting! We don't get out until next Friday. We have district tests all week next week! Help me!

  4. Hi Sweet Roan!! It's great to get a break, isn't it? Let the fun begin!!! We're going through this week because we NEED to, and then breaking! We're doing some other stuff in the afternoons and had our Keeper's party last week, so all of our commitments are finished!!

    Hope your week is full of JOY and your holidays full of the love of Christ shared with family and friends!!

    Warm wishes and hugs!

  5. Enjoy your break!!! It sounds like a handful, but it also sounds like from other posts that you're doing a great job with the homeschooling!!!