YAE – Why I Use Textbooks

 

It’s been a long time, since I have written about homeschooling because I have gotten busy doing school.  Today though I wanted to sharing somethings that I believe are important for our family, as we have been on this journey since our oldest was 2 years old; who’s nearly 14 today, (I count preschool because learning ABC’s, writing, reading and the beginnings of math are where education starts).

There are many approaches to homeschooling and each family has to decide what will work for them.  Approaches can vary from one subject to the next or from year to year or seasons of life.  There are relaxed methods, traditional textbooks, online, workbooks, no books, unschooling, Charlotte Mason and so forth.

Our method is eclectic-a mixture of methods but I have chosen the use of textbooks approach in many areas and here are the reasons why:

  1. If I should get sick for a long period of time, how will school continue if I am just winging it?  One year, we did a more relaxed approach and I did not use a text book for science, I thought of something for US history/geography and lumped everything as educational.  But then towards the end of the year, I wasn’t anywhere close to where we needed to be.  I found myself rushing trying to pull stuff together, which wasn’t good.  Sure we had fun at the park daily and we laughed and they did learn but I knew that was not good to work for us.
  2. If I should die, how will my husband or anyone else know what I was teaching our children?  What was my day to day plan?  What path did I have for each year?   It is easy to see where we are now.  And each day, we go onto the next page, chapter or book.   I have mapped out the course selections for our first high schooler (with options and suggestions for changes).  Furthermore the suggested path for each child is being prepared.  My husband won’t have to wonder what to do, the kids have nearly become independent learners and often help each other.
  3. If our kids should be inclined to go to college, will they have what they need to enter or will they have to take GED classes just to get into college?  Though I don’t think that most homeschoolers are teaching lazily, I do know there are some whose lack of true desire to homeschool has affected their children greatly.  One day, when I took our kids to a park, I met a lady and she told me she was homeschooled but that her mom didn’t really put for the effort for her education.  The daughter was just given some workbooks and that was it.  Later when the daughter tried to go to nursing school, she learned she did not have the basics for college entry and had to go and get a GED.
  4. There are so many awesome curriculum choices available that there is no need to re-invent the wheel in many areas.  Nearly everyday I discover a new curriculum through other homeschool blogs/websites.  These curriculum’s are of great use and lift a burdeon from me have to become a subject matter expert in everything.  Many are from teachers or specialists, who are using their skills for homeschool.  Take Aurora Lipper from SuperChargedScience dot com – her science is fun!   I did try to create an elementary biology program for our kids when we couldn’t buy the book from Apologia and that is the only one I wrote!!!!  I do write devotions and can pull together things when something is missing but I do not want to write curriculum again!

I don’t want to waste my time, nor our kids, spending time doing “fluff” work.   Taking on the responsibility of educating our children, is huge.  It is hard.  It is taxing.  It is overwhelming, exasperating, tiring and sometimes lonely.  But it is worth it.  I love knowing that our children are learning all the time.  I love to see them sharing their knowledge with each and me too!

Should they go to college, they will be prepared-no backtracking for them.

Now, I do utilize notebooking, projects and delight-directed learning as much as possible.  Our American  history and geography was and is a mixture of all three and our children enjoyed nearly everyday. But I have some curriculum favorites that are I think are great, such as: Apologia Science, Notgrass World History for High School, Notgrass “From Adam to Us,” Shirley English (levels 1, 2 and 3), Excellence in Literature for High  School, Jump In (Apologia), Horizons Math, Trail Guide to Learning, Road Trip USA and a few others.  I enjoy using things made by teachers available for teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers!

I plan to do curriculum reviews by subject and our 2018-2019 Curriculum Choices very soon.

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YAE – Our Homeschool

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

Today I want share briefly our school year plan.

When we first started homeschooling, we followed the 36 weeks of school however after two years, I found this did not work.  I found myself having to re-teach the first few weeks of school, feeling stressed to get assignments done and no freedom for sick days/down time.  So I went year round and haven’t looked back since.

I really do like year-round homeschooling.  Dealing with pregnancies, sick issues, moving, moving, moving and learning challenges is far less challenging for me because we are year round.

So here is what it looks like for us:

Generally I like to start the first or second week of September.

6 weeks, then 2-3 additional days during the 7th week which are used to keep us on track if somethings should come up, out side of the planned days off.  During this time we usually have 2-3 days for big grocery shopping (which takes nearly all day) and sometimes 1 teacher day off and 1 student day off.

6 weeks, then a complete week on off (no make-up at all)

We repeat the same process, three times, and then we have another set of the first six weeks, with 2-3 days of work, then we are off for two-three weeks before the new school year starts.

The state of Georgia requires 180 school days and we usually exceed it by 20-30 days or so, most of the time.

Quarter State Date End Date Planned Breaks
Quarter 1 9/10/2017 10/28/2017 10/25/2017  – 10/28/2017
Quarter  2 10/29/2017 12/16/2017 12/10/2017 – 12/16/2017
Quarter 3 12/17/2017 2/3/2018 01/31/2018 – 02/03/2018
Quarter 4 2/4/2018 3/24/2018 3/18/2018 – 3/24/2018
Quarter 5 3/25/2018 05/12/2018 5/9/2018 – 5/12/2018
Quarter 6 5/13/2018 6/30/2018 6/24/2018 – 06/30/2018
Quarter 7 7/1/2018 8/18/2018 8/19/2018 – 9/1/2018

Next I will share our daily flow!

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.