Sunday, August 7, 2011

School Questions Answered

1.  Why are you using two history programs with Olivia (Sonlight Core 100-American History and Notgrass American History)?

The short answer is that I couldn't decide between the two, so I just chose both!

She is not working either course in its entirety.  I am choosing the components that I like best from each and combining them.  From Notgrass, she is reading the daily lessons from the textbooks and all of the literature books.  She will complete any assigned Bible reading from Notgrass, but she will not answer any of the daily lesson questions, take any of the quizzes or tests, or complete any of the writing assignments.

From Sonlight, she is not reading any of the Bible assignments, but she is reading almost all of the assigned books for history/geography and American Literature.  She is answering the study guide questions (just pondering them, not writing the answers down--plus I am reading all of the books so that we can discuss what she is reading), and she is completing the Sonlight writing assignments.  I have omitted a couple of the Sonlight books because of content, and I will occasionally substitute essay writing for some of the Sonlight writing assignments (like she will write a couple of essays instead of creating a newspaper).  She is also completing the timeline and map assignments.

This may sound like a lot, but Olivia is a voracious reader.  Also, she has read many of the assigned books already this summer or in years past.

2.  What about Sam's Kindergarten?  Can you share more details?

First of all, I have done something a little bit different for each of my children for Kindergarten.  Both Olivia and Julie attended a private half day kindergarten when they were five.  I use My Father's World and Horizons math for Clay, and I used Horizons phonics and math for Leah along with Sonlight Core Pre4/5.

For Sam, I am using the following:
  • Sonlight Core Pre4/5
  • Horizons K math
  • Get Ready for the Code Books A, B, & C (phonics)
  • Building Thinking Skills (the first book)
  • various "Letter of the Week" activities
When my other four children were 4, I used the Get Ready for the Code Books along with Letter of the Week activities.  In these Code books, the child learns the sound of and how to write a letter each week.  Since I did not do this with Sam when he was 4, we are doing this as part of our Kindergarten.  The letter activities are just various art activities, snacks, songs, and poems that begin with each week's letter.

I am making an ABC scrapbook for Sam's Kindergarten, with each 2 page spread including the Bible verse he is learning for the week, pictures that he glues that begin with the letter, a sample or two of that week's art activity, and sometimes a photo of him doing school that week plus periodic handwriting samples.  I hope to make each letter's pages as soon as we finish the letter (every 4 days), so that all I have to do at the end of the year is to put the pages in the scrapbook in alphabetical order.

This is not a finished page (it's an opened file folder), but the colored D at the top right and the Bible verse printed on red paper will be included.  Also the blue page with the Dd pictures on it.  Those other Dd items are cards that I use to teach the letter.

I made a file for each letter of the alphabet.  Inside each file I put all of the items in the above photo, any songs or poems for the letter, plus any other items that the Sonlight IG requires.  I place books that are associated with each letter behind the letter's file.  I also included stickers that begin with each letter for Sam to use to decorate the scrapbook pages.

The Alphabet Files

In the "notes" section of my Sonlight IG, I jotted down four art/craft activities for each week.  I also listed the books that I wanted to be sure to read (they are in the alphabet file box) and any snacks that begin with that letter.  

I will be happy to answer any other school questions you may have--it may take me a few days to answer them (we are doing school ALL DAY now), but I will be glad to do it!


  1. Roan, Laura at Heavenly Homemakers has made a really neat curriculum called Learn your Letters, Learn to Serve. I love that it implements serving along with learning the letters- I need the accountability!! We're going to start tomorrow, but we're easing into things. We'll see how much we actually get done :). I love your Smoothie King idea. We're addicted to a Starbucks-like place here. I may have to try a creative way of taking the kids there for a school break. I'll blog about how our day goes.


  2. Hi! I was wondering if you could offer some more details about the home economics class you have made for your girls? I have gotten so many great ideas from your blog and really appreciate you sharing them. Happy School Days this week! Sunshine

  3. We are switching Is Sam for Samuel? We are praying for a Samuel!