Wednesday, March 2, 2011

School Days: An Update

I keep meaning to do a post about school b/c things are going better than ever before, but I just don't have a lot of time to post these days.  I told Billy just last night, "I feel like I don't have as many hours in a day as everyone else."  Which I know isn't true, it just feels that way!!!

We have finally hit a groove.  We have finally found a routine that works for everyone and I am so thankful!!!  I have found that it is essential to my sanity to have school work done by lunch , although some days Suzannah is still wrapping things up during rest time.  This way I am able to spend time w/ the little ones and we can all do fun things that have nothing to do w/ school!!!!!

Here's what our school routine looks like for Suzannah:

 Circle time is still the highlight of our day....aside from read aloud time.  We are still working our way through the states.  We are also finishing Hymns for Kids Heart Vol. 2 and continue scripture memorization.  I continue to be amazed at how quickly they are able to memorize these scriptures!  We are compiling quite a few verses that they know!  There is an excellent method that we use from the Charlotte Mason site and it is great for reinforcing previously memorized verses as well.  You can check it out here.

I wasn't happy w/ how quickly Suzannah's handwriting book jumped from learning the letter in cursive to writing words.  So I printed out different handwriting pages for awhile until she got the hang of connecting all the different letters.  This program was excellent and she is now ready to continue w/ A Reason for Handwriting.

We just love the Pathway Readers!  Suzannah loves the stories and I think the workbook is good for introducing new words, checking reading comprehension and baby steps into grammar.  I haven't looked into this for fourth grade but we have been very happy with it so far.

Sequential Spelling is still great.  I think the approach it takes makes so much sense.  There is no memorization and no tests.  It's based around word families and how to add prefixes and suffixes to them.  It has worked well for us.

Horizons math is working well for us.  Suzannah really likes math and these workbooks are a great balance of fun and challenge.  I don't know if we will continue w/ Horizons next year or switch to Teaching Textbooks.  I still need to look into it some more.

Writing is a challenge for Suzannah.  This is the first year we've really done much with it and it just doesn't come to her as easily as I'll like.  The Daily 6 Writing Traits workbook is a good start for her.  Hopefully she'll get better and better at formulating her thoughts and getting them on paper.  I think writing is very important so I'm going to put more emphasis on it and look for a really good writing curriculum for next year.  Any suggestions?

History.  We switched history curriculum at the first of the year but switched back to The Story of the World.  Suzannah really missed it and I like how it's set up.  We are one year behind on it so I have been doubling up on the lessons to try to get caught up.  Suzannah doesn't mind doubling up.  In fact, she would probably like to sit and do more!!!

Science is great!  I had heard great things about Apologia science and it has not disappointed.  We are doing Flying Creatures this year and look forward to picking another one next year.  I haven't decided which one we should do, but Molly Beth will be joining us for science so I will be taking that into consideration.

We have dropped a couple of unnecessary workbooks and added some living books to help supplement.  It's been great.  Suzannah is devouring our Composer and Artist studies.  We're doing lap books for each and she loves it.  I am doing more arts and crafts w/ the kids and LOVE it!  I think art is important but it was constantly getting pushed back.  Finally I decided to just pick one day a week to do an art lesson and an art project.  I just do a coordinating project for whatever the art lesson was about.  Awesome!!!!

School has become more of something to look forward to which makes it easier on me too!  We will be taking April off which will be perfect timing w/ the baby coming.  Then we will school through June or July and take either July or August off b/f starting the new school year.  Hopefully we can stay on track and finish up strong!


Jess said...

So glad that school is going so well for all of you. I can't believe that I am going to have to really sit down and figure out a plan for Mabry regarding school for next year. Time flies!

Amber said...

I LOVE it when you write this stuff out. It helps me so much, just that you're a couple step ahead of me. We're about to finish Reading Made Easy, and we'll transition through to Writing with Ease. Have you seen it? I'm super excited to have the help with narration and dictation.

Isaac loves Horizons Math. It surprises me.

Seriously, I want a phone date with you, friend.

We love y'all so much. And PS: we're having Baby Boy #4.

Deep breath.


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