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: 2017-2018 Curriculum Choices

 

Our kids are now in grades 8, 6, 3, 1, & K and here are our curriculum choices for 2017-2018.

Group studies, things we will do altogether:

  • Morning Devotion
    • YAHUSHA – parables, miracles and words
    • Armour of YAHUAH
    • The Name Study
    • Sibling Relationships
  • Geography/History – Road Trip USA (learning a brief history of the 50 states)
    • This year I was going to do something else, but then YAHUAH placed it on my heart that I needed to lighten our load and have fun in this area.  Since this is our second time through RTU for 2 of the kids and I wanted to include our kindergartner so, I printed maps from National Geographic for free – each different for each child, which we worked on assembling last week.  Then on Mondays we will do one state, Tuesdays another state, Wednesday’s cooking and/or start a craft project, Thursdays we don’t do Geography, and on Fridays start or finish a craft project.  So far the kids have said “this is fun.”
  • Various Read Alouds
  • Physical Fitness – Family Time Fitness, Walk Away the Pounds, Walking and Park visits

8th Grade

  • Bible – Individual scripture studies
  • Math – Teaching TextBooks – Alegbra 1
  • Language Arts (includes spelling) – Introduction to English Literacy – English Lit 1
  • Science – Apologia Physical Science
  • Music – Guitar
  • Other: German Language, Robotics, Woodcarving, Coding, Photography, Sewing, Knitting, Home Etc.

6th Grade

  • Bible – Individual scripture study
  • Math – Teaching Text Books 6
  • Language Arts – Grammar Workbook by Brookdale House
  • Science – Apologia Zoology 2
  • Other: French Language, Robotics, Photography, Sewing, Knitting, Home Etc.

3rd Grade

  • Bible – Individual scripture study
  • Math – Teaching Text Books 3
  • Language Arts – Shurley English
  • Science – Apologia Zoology 2
  • Handwriting – Cursive
  • Other: Spanish Language, Robotics, Photography, Sewing, Knitting, Home Ec

1st Grade

  • Bible – group devotion
  • Math – Horizons 1
  • Language Arts – LifePac 1st Grade
  • Science – Various Subjects into Engineering, Various Hands on Science, Participate in Apologia Zoology 2
  • Handwriting – Manuscript

Kindergarten

  • Bible – group devotion
  • Math – LifePac K
  • Language Arts – LifePac K
  • Science – Various Subjects into Engineering, Various Hands on Science, Participate in Apologia Zoology 2
  • Handwriting – Manuscript

Stem and Crafts – These are two areas that I have worked to incorporate more time in our schedule.  My plan is to have a different thing  for each child to work in on, then rotate that activity to another child (age appropriate of course) after 3-4 weeks.  This way no one has to stop building in order to give the activity to someone else.  In the areas were the activity is targeted for a specific child, that child will have time to develop their talent/skill/interest (ie guitar, sewing, woodworking).  So here are things I have so far:

Lego Machines

Snap Circuits

Gravity Maze

Code.org

 

Crafting – for our 10 year old who prefers crafts

Every couple of weeks I plan to add 1-2 new items such as: woodworking, Simple Machines, robotics, a rock nature pack and more crafts as the kids interests develop

I also have hands on teaching time in the kitchen with each child (a different one) each.  I also take time and  play games with each child one on one.  I am also starting back our “girl time” that we started last year.

I will be sharing more details on all the above soon!

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

yae_1

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!