Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back to School? Not us.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I don't write often about our homeschool journey. I'm not sure I've ever even explained how we got here ~ what made us decide to choose this path. I suppose the short version is that I never thought I had the desire to homeschool. I wasn't homeschooled, nor was Jeremy. It hadn't even crossed my mind . . . until we attended Kindergarten round-up for Sierra, in May of 2007. Something just didn't feel right. That entire summer I cried daily because I couldn't imagine sending my daughter away to school. And I did a lot of praying. In the end, I knew God was calling me to homeschool. Jeremy wasn't as convinced ;) But I think he now enjoys it almost as much as I do! And that, folks, is DEFINITELY the short short version ;)
Anyway, one of my very favorite bloggers, Jenny, at Our Nifty Notebook is participating in the Not Back to School Blog Hop going on over at Heart of the Matter, and I wanted to join in on the fun too! We haven't yet started our homeschool year {we still have a few weeks left of summer vacation to enjoy}, but I have finally chosen the books we will use this year. I have two homeschoolers now, don'tcha know.
Makenna is joining us at the homeschool table this year ;) If truth be told, Kenners joined us most of last year too. We will be focusing on the three Rs, of course.
I've chosen Christian Liberty Press for Math. Sierra has switched to Horizons, but she started with CLP, and we liked it.
Makenna will be using Sierra's old Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
I LOVED this book. It was fabulous for Sierra, and I'm hoping that I'll enjoy it as much with Makenna.
I've also chosen Christian Liberty Press ~ The World God Made for Science, though it is likely Makenna will join in on Science with Sierra as well. At least for some experiments.
Makenna will join Sierra for History, and we will work on Handwriting together.
We've chosen to continue using Horizons for Math. Last year I bought the workbooks, but didn't realize there was a Teacher's guide to go with them. This year I'm buying the guide too :)

I was not crazy about the Horizons Phonics & Reading workbooks that we used last year, so we will not be going that route this year. We're going to try Spectrum Phonics, Spectrum Language Arts, and then Literature Pockets ~ Aesop's Fables. Sierra is a fantastic reader {and she loves to read!}, so we will continue to read our Little House books together with questions after each chapter.
I've enjoyed the CLP Science Series. This year, Exploring God's Creation, is the last in the series, and I'm going to miss it. We will also be using a couple of the Young Scientist sets for hands on experiments.

I have yet to find a History text that I'm super excited about, but I cannot say enough about History Pockets {by Evan-Moor}. I LOVE them! Does anyone else have experience with these? We used Life in Plymouth Colony, Ancient Civilizations, and Native Americans last year. They make learning about history . . . fun! Each week you create a new "pocket" with construction paper, and there are crafts, vocabulary, and handouts that go along with the subject you are learning about. It keeps little hands busy, that's for sure. And the best part is that it is something that both Sierra and Makenna can do together. I may need to abbreviate some of Makenna's assignment, but they are learning alongside each other, which I love. I could go on and on . . . but I'll spare you :) But, if you are looking for a great history supplement, definitely check these out!
Along with History Pockets we will be using See the USA, and our text, American Pioneers & Patriots. And I have ordered Map Skills {Sierra loved her workbook from last year}

We will continue using A Reason for Handwriting, working more on cursive. And, of course, we will continue to keep God at the center of our studies by reading the Bible daily. I'm also looking into the Discover 4 Yourself Series. What a fun way to travel through the Bible!
And that's about it!
Whew! That was a long one.
If you're still with me, stay tuned for a quick house update later ;)
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Kelli @ RTSM said...

You sound like you are an awesome homeschool momma! I love to see how excited you are about your kiddos learning! I have had a few run ins with not so great homeschool experiences before, so it is nice to know that some people are doing it for the right reasons and their kiddos are really learning all they can!

Becca said...

I've always been curious about homeschooling and love that you posted this- I'd love to hear more about how you schedule your day!


Lora @ my blessed life said...

Hello, I'm visiting from the blog hop:) I enjoyed reading the *short version* of your homeschool story. Your lineup here looks great! We are switching to Horizons Math this year & I'm hoping we really like it. For history we are using Story of the World for the first time~I'm really excited about it! It will be a family subject for us.

Colleen said...

I really appreciate and admire homeschoolers, and if we didn't LOVE the Catholic school our kids are at, we would be doing it too.

MamaGames said...

Hi! Stopping by from the blog hop...

It looks like you have a very solid list for your first year with two at the table!

I love to read about what drew folks to homeschooling, so thanks for sharing your story.

Have a great year!

MomBrose said...

It's refreshing to read a little from a homeschool family that doesn't completely bash the public school system. We spent a ton of time in prayer about it and decided to use the school system but we are open to homeschool should the Lord ever lead us that way. Of course that doesn't mean that we don't do our own learning at home too :) We love the "See the US" program! I always loved learning about our states and hoped my girls would too....and they do! Ultimately I would love to spend our vacations in an RV driving around to SEE the different parts of our country.

Grace Wheeler said...

Awesome plan, Liz! Your set up is inspiring! I love TYCTR gave my oldest such a GREAT jump-start for Kindergarten...and really, for 1st grade!

Jenny said...

Aww, thanks for mentioning me :)

I am having fun reading everyone's curriculum list! I'm glad you mentioned the Horizons Reading and Phonics, I was looking into that. However, it seemed too involved with writing and stuff.

Daddy's Chick's said...

Just stopping by to wish you a blessed home school year.

My Family My Forever said...

Your See the USA looks like a book we would enjoy in our homeschool, thank you for sharing it!!

Blessings to you for a wonderful school year!

shortmama said...

We used the same learn to read book when I homeschooled Rhiannon and loved it too!

Beloved's Bride Carmen said...

I came over from the blog hop! Thanks for sharing your "short version". I always find peoples stories intersting.

I hope you have a great year.

Millicent said...

I stopped over from the Blog Hop! I love History Pockets, too! I've also found that I like a lot of other Evan Moor books!
Beautiful family you have!

Bon said...

Hi! Visiting from Angie and I have to shout out to a fellow babywearer. I have 3 boys and this will be our first year homeschooling. I (like you) never considered homeschooling until faced with enrolling my oldest son. I am super excited about it. Being a mom changes perspective, doesn't it?

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Sounds like you have it down...I love your blog....and always enjoy my stops...


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