Monday, August 15, 2011

Our School Year Begins!

Good news!  I finally chose, ordered, and received this school year's books and materials!  In fact, we started school last week.  :)  After a week of schooling, I'm feeling encouraged. 

We have managed to start our school year with a successful first week.  I'm praying that we will be able to "keep up the good work."  I've never been super great at keeping a good schedule and getting everyone's school work done every week, but my goal this year is to do just that.  I want to try to get one week's worth of work done with each child every week.  We do normally end up finishing everything at some point each school year, but this year I want to do it without falling behind and catching back up several times during the year.  I'm hoping that by admitting that right out in the open, I'll be more motivated to follow through!

This year Hannah (16) and Noah (14) are doing 9th grade.  For some subjects they use the same materials.  For the subjects that are a bit more difficult for Hannah, I allow her to use something else.  First, I'll list what they are both using.  Then I'll list the ones that differ.

Hannah & Noah (9th grade)

Spanish--Rosetta Stone

Science--Switched on Schoolhouse

HistoryLiterature/Bible--Veritas Press

English (grammar)--Switched on Schoolhouse


Math--Math Mammoth

Handwriting--The TV Teacher's Alphabet Beats


Math--Switched on Schoolhouse

Handwriting--The Italic Handwriting Series

Typing--Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing

Noah is also taking tennis lessons (twice a week) as well as participating in our homeschool group's speech & debate classes.  Tennis begins today.  I decided to give tennis lessons a try myself so that (hopefully) the kids and I can all learn to play, and then we'll have each other to play against and practice with.  I hope it goes well!

Speech & debate class begins after Labor Day.  I want Noah to try both speech & debate.  Once he gives them a try, I'll allow him to choose to continue participating in both or to choose one or the other.  I think it's important at his age for him to be able to speak to a group of people using good grammar and enunciation and looking them in the eye.  I hope he enjoys it, but he's going to have to participate anyway!

Mary Grace is doing 4th grade this year.  She's getting more independent with her work, but she still likes for me to do some of it with her.  I'm going to allow her to take more responsibility for her own work this year, but I am also planning to keep letting her read to me and to keep helping her with math since that's not a strong subject for her.   I figure it won't be many more years until she doesn't really want my help on a regular basis, so I'll try to spend some time helping her and listening to her while she still likes for me to do it!

Mary Grace (4th grade)

Reading--Mary Grace is such a strong reader that we don't really do a particular program.  I like for her to read aloud to me every day to be sure she is pronouncing words correctly and understanding what she reads.   She likes for me to read to her too, so I also try to spend some time reading aloud to her each day.  She is continuing reading "The Rose Years" books to me.  (The book series about Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, Rose.)  I am still reading Little Women to her since we didn't finish it last school year.

Math--Switched on Schoolhouse

Science--Switched on Schoolhouse

Bible--Switched on Schoolhouse

History/Literature--Veritas Press

Typing--Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing

Handwriting--The Italic Handwriting Series

Mary Grace will also be taking tennis lessons (once a week) as well as continuing her ballet and tap & jazz classes.  This will be her 7th year of ballet (she started at age 2), and she's really enjoying it!  She added tap & jazz last year for the first time, and she wants to continue those this year too.  She'll have ballet twice a week and tap & jazz once a week. 

Mary Grace will "try out" participating in speech & debate classes with our homeschool group this year too.  I don't know how fully she will participate in speech & debate at her age, but she really wants to give it a try.  The class is "officially" offered to students age 10 and up.  Hopefully she will at least be able to participate to a limited degree.

We've planned to do school 4 days a week this year.  That means a bit more work each day, but that allows us one day off each week, so we feel like it's worth the trade.  Most weeks my sister and her children come to visit most of the day on Monday.  Our 4-days-a-week schedule will hopefully allow us to have tennis lessons on Monday mornings before Melissa and her kids come over.  Then when we get home and they come over, we'll have the day to visit (and the girls have ballet later in the day on Mondays) without having to worry about trying to squeeze school in there somewhere. 

Of course we may end up making changes here and there as our year progresses.  That's our plan right now, though, and we'll see how it goes!  I pray that we (and you!) have a great school year!

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  1. Sounds like a good plan to me. I still haven't figured it all out here at my house. I feel so strange, not having a definite plan this far along, but I know it all will work out.

  2. I bet Noah will really excel in speech & debate - he seems very good at articulating his thoughts. I'll be anxious to hear how it goes for him. :)