YAE: Our School Series & Why We Homeschool

Welcome to a new series that I am working through introducing you to our school.  I hope to share with you why we homeschool, our high and lows, suggestions, things we we’ve learned in 10 years and counting of homeschooling, curriculum, struggles, links and more.

Today, I want start right off with sharing why we homeschool.

We homeschool because we want to and because we can.  Like many homeschool families, our decision to homeschool was based on the scriptures-meaning teaching our children YAHUAH’s ways and not the worlds.  Scriptures such as Debarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4-9; Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 10:2; YeshaYahu (Isaiah) 54:13; Vayiqra (Leviticus) 20:22-23 are our foundation.

Other reasons for homeschooling include:

  • Keeping the children safer from violence, bullies and predators, etc
  • Tailoring the children’s education to their unique gifts and talents, using different learning approach’s to fit their needs, and maturity level
  • A closer relationship with us as well as each other
  • A home that is free of allergens and follows our food requirements/choices
  • The ability to encourage an abundant learning environment
  • The ability to keep YAHUAH’s Appointed Times as needed
  • An education based on scriptural principles and not mixed with lifestyles, traditions, customs, and beliefs that are contrary to scripture
  • Most importantly because we love them, all of them and want to spend as much time as possible with them

When I was a teenager, I really wanted school to be tailored to my needs and interested and I did not like the peer pressure of school.  I was a good student and I had some awesome teachers.  Those teachers took time with me in countless ways.  I had some great opportunities and was part of many things, but still I had a thought that this was not the education I wanted for my future family.  Furthermore, I wanted a closer relationship with my mother (she was a single mother of 3, my father chosing not to be very involved).  She did her very best and I am truly thankful.

I had only heard “homeschooling” mentioned but did not know what it was.  Later in my earlier twenties, I met a few families here and there who homeschooled.  I observed the families and spent time with their kids.  Looking back, I would have asked their mother tons of questions and looked at the curriculums.

When we became pregnant with our first child, I began reading and researching homeschooling.  I understood that it was not something to take lightly or “by the seat of my pants.”  I knew that it would take work (did not know how much).

As we have grown in our walk with the Father YAHUAH and His Only Brought Forth Son YAHUSHA HaMashiach, homeschooling has become a wonderful blessing and honor.  We get the opportunity to see, help, grow, nuture, and encourage our children in every area of their lives.  We have struggled through reading, triumphed in math, soared in spelling but most of all there are two areas that are the most important:

  1. Our children are rooted and grounded in the Word of YAHUAH.
  2. We have good, established, rich growing relationships with our children.  Some days the relationship wins over the lessons of the day.  A hug, a kind word, a day off and sometimes some tears are all in any days work.

I am not saying this cannot be accomplished in public/private education but that it is easier for us by homeschooling.

Next, our school set-up (calendar, quarters, etc.), 2017-2018 Curriculum Choices, Curriculum Reviews, A Day in Our School and more.

Devotion: Exploring The Word

exploringtheword-cover

This was created for our children to encourage them to read the Word of YAHUAH for themselves.  This study is divided into two parts.

Part 1: Getting to Know the Word of YAHUAH, is ideal for young children and encourages the them to find specific verses from the Renewed Covenant and then copy them into a notebook or journal.

Part 2: Growing in the Word, is a self-directed study of every book in the Renewed Covenant and two books from the First Covenant, some of Tehillim (Psalms) and Mishle  (Proverbs).  Students are assigned a memory verse to copy into a notebook or journal.  They are also encouraged to illustrate the verse(s) (see pdf for example).  One of our children types their verse(s) in to a word document and then finds artwork to illustrate them.  We have witnessed the Word being written on their hearts, as they recall a scripture at needed times, when they tell us what they learned from the verse(s) or when they ask questions.

Materials needed:

  • Scriptures
  • Three ring binder or small notebook or Blank Board Books from Bare Books (which is what we used – $1 per book is inexpensive)
  • Printed reading plan and assignment sheets (see below, the PDF)
  • Tools for creativity – PowerPoint, Word, Poster board, pencils, colored pencils, etc.

Download the Study Here:

exploringtheword

Y.A.E. – Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – for the 5th time

One day last week, while I observed our 4-year-old son sound out words, I reflected on the first time I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach our eldest born daughter to read.  Now I wish I had known what I knew now, it would have been much easier.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – was the first curriculum I used and I used it as it was written and taught our daughter to read in 6 months – just before she turned 4 years old.  She learned it fast and well, but it was not without much struggle, mostly mine because I did not understand how she learned only what I wanted her to learn.

The second time I used it for our second born daughter, I made flash cards for every word after lesson 10.  I had our daughter spend one day a week reviewing the words and I was more relaxed on her learning to write.  This approach took about 9 months.

The third time I used it,  was with our third born daughter while I was pregnant with our 5th child.  We spent a lot time re-doing the lessons until I felt she was confident in reading them.  Again, I relaxed more and stressed less on handwriting. This approach took about a year, with very few tears.

The fourth time I used it, was with our fourth child and first son.  We had a lot going on so we did lessons only three times a week. I found some worksheets on-line for the handwriting part and he picked that up well.  This was very easy and took about a year as well, very few frustrations.

Now, the fifth time I am using it with our 5th child and 2nd son.  I have changed quite a bit.  1) I have each word on a card and he reviews new words every few days; 2)  I bought some magnetic letters and he finds the letters to the words first and then sounds them out; 3) I don’t give him daily treats to make him do the lesson, if he is having one of those days or if I know that I am short on time (because sometimes life happens), we will just do review; 4) as for handwriting, he’ll get it soon enough!

Our second son, had picked up reading so well that I have not had to re-do lessons.  He is smiling and happy at the end of our time.  He jumps out of his chair and dashes to legos!!!

For all of our children, we had a reading party for them when they finished.  I found this reading chart, which they marked off daily and when they finished (or will finish) lesson 100, they received a small party-balloons, streamers, party favors and a favorite food.

100schart

 

Y.A.E. – Mid-Year Brief Overview

Since it is just about mid-year for us, I am sharing just a brief overview of the curriculum we are using for the 2016-2017 School Year:

Group Learning: A Devotion I creating which goes over many of the important events and people in the Cepher – including Yashar (Jasher), Chanok (Enoch) and Yovehilym (Jubilees)!!!

Geography: A Trail Guide to Learning/Galloping Through the Globe – we are in year two of the study and just starting to read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.

History: We have been using the Charolette Mason style with lots of read alouds, videos and projects for U.S History.  This year is our last year in U.S. History and we are currently in the time period of 1900-to present.  Though I have kind of liked this approach, it is a bit overwhelming to find everything needed.  Next year we will be using from Adam to Us (making historical corrections and adding things that every curriculum misses).

Read Aloud: Our child love to be read aloud to!  So immediately after I finish eating lunch, I start reading aloud for about 30 minutes.  Our current read-aloud is: Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nimh, the kids love this book.  They sit and listen quietly, often giggling, I love it.

Home Etiquette and Economics (H.E.E.) is a program I put together to teach the girls about kitchen skills, manners, table setting, sewing, laundry, personal grooming and other things.  We are also going through Kay Arthur’s “50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know.”

Reading – Our kids are avid readers and we visit the library nearing every week!

Now by grade level:

7thJump In for Grammar and Writing, Apologia General Science, Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra (our oldest daughter tested out of TT7 in the first 2 weeks – YEAH!!!!),  Spelling, and Independent Devotion (which I created that goes through the Renewed Covenant), Guitar (the girl is self-taught and is truly truly blessed)

5th Teaching Textbooks 5, Writers Express Skills Book, Spelling, an Independent Devotion (which I created that goes through the Renewed Covenant)

2nd Shurley English 1, Horizons Math 2, Joy of Handwriting, an Independent Devotion (which I created that goes through the Renewed Covenant)

Our 5th grader and 2nd graders do science together with Science Shepherd

KHorizons Phonics K, Horizons Math K, Various Handwriting Activities, Reading, Read Alouds, Legos, Legos, and more Legos, lots of crafts

PreK – Teach Your Child to Reach in 100 Easy Lessons, Various Handwriting Activities, Read Alouds, Legos, Legos, and more Legos, lots of crafts

YAE – Planning Part 1

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For the majority of our home education, we have used a basic plan for each year.  The plan is this:

Seven Quarters with seven weeks each.

For Quarters 1, 3, 5 and 7 – we homeschool 6 weeks and have 2-3 makeup days during week 7.

For Quarters 2, 4 and 6 – we homeschool 6 weeks and take off the 7th week completely!

During each 7 week period we take 3 Thursdays  off for grocery shopping, I allow myself 1 teacher day if needed and the kids 1 sick day.   Now if for some reason we have to take off a lot time, we may have an extra make-up day on Sundays or I will add the number of days needed at the end for the year.

With our schedule we easily get 200 days of school done each year, Georgia only requires 180.  If you would like to know the laws for a particular state visit:  https://www.hslda.org/laws/

The extra 20 days gives us time to complete our work, without rushing through it.

I created this basic excel quarterly planner and it works just fine.   I get too overwhelmed with many of the planners, pages get lost and it only works for me for a few weeks and then I go back to this same basic plan!

Our seventh grader is able to work independently and she manages her time well so I only check in with her to be sure she is getting her work done.  She currently does Math, Writing/Grammar, Science, Music and Devotion on her own however History, Geography, Home Economics and some fitness is done as a group.  Those I put at the bottom of the spread sheet.

I also have areas at the bottom for notes for either child or subject.  For example, when I need to purchase a certain book I will write it down here so I can remember it in planning for the next quarter.

quarter-planner

Next a look at our some-times not typical day!

 

 

 

YAE – Our Homeschool

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Welcome to our school – YAHUAH’s Academy of Excellence!

We are a homeschooling family of five children.  Our children are currently in  7th, 5th, 2nd, Kindergarten and PreK.  We are working toward sharing our homeschool experiences, suggestions, curriculum, schedules, joys, sorrows and more with you.  So follow along  as we share this blessing of educating our children at home.