Friday, August 27, 2010

School Has Begun

School started this week. Glenn started his 2nd year of medical school and, even though school doesn't start in NY until 9/9, the kids and I started school this week as well. Caleb is in 5th grade this year, Hannah in 3rd, Lydia in 1st and Abigail is in Kindergarten. It has been a good week. We decided to change up everything but math this year. After the homeschool convention we went to in June I really felt God prompting me to use Sonlight with the kids this year. I was nervous about it, partially because of the cost, partially because I didn't know whether it is going to work for us or not and partially because I wanted to do one core together with everyone and I wasn't sure how that was going to work with my range and didn't know which Core to choose. When I finally made the decision to use Sonlight Core 1+2 God gave us an unexpected blessing of a facebook friend whom I have only met once at a weekend camp lending us a lot of the books/ manuals that I needed which saved us a lot of money! I have loved the idea of Sonlight because there are so many great books that it uses. I decided to start with Core 1+2 even though it is not advanced enough for Caleb because I really wanted the kids to start with a World History overview (which 1+2 does) rather than more American focused history which is covered in 3 and 4. I really wanted to do Core 5 this year but know that Caleb would be the only one up to that level and I really wanted to try to do everyone together this year. We have all really enjoyed school this week and learned quite a bit. The schedule needs some tweaking but it is going pretty well. The read aloud for this week has been Red Sails to Capri which we are loving.

Another investment we made for our school is Rosetta Stone Spanish. The kids have absolutely loved it and have learned a lot already. It was pretty expensive but Glenn wants to use it too to learn Spanish to help him to communicate with patients and we figure it is a helpful language for us to have living here in the US.

We have kept with out math curriculum because we all love it. We use the Mathematics Enhancement Programme from The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching. It is a curriculum that I found from's listings. The teacher's manuals and practice books are all available for free online in pdf form. I started using it because it was free and we have kept using it because we love it!

This year for science I found a homeschool science book online from There is a teacher's manual and student books in PDF form. I really liked the look of it and partly what I liked about it is that it was set up for 36 weeks (the same as Sonlight) and it was set up to do something 3 days a week. The first day you read the text together and the other 2 days you do experiments to help you understand what you read. I really liked the look of the book and the manual and there were neat ideas for science experiments so I decided to use it. I get overwhelmed at preparing for science experiments though so I hired a TA for science. Caleb is working for me for free and he thinks that it is the greatest thing on earth and I love the help!

So far the kids are loving school. Lydia and Hannah are coming along in their reading. Caleb is loving the Spanish and doing really well in it. Abigail is thoroughly enjoying being able to "do school" too. She told Glenn her favorite part of school is learning sounds. So far she has only met /f/ and she couldn't remember what /f/'s name was late on a Friday evening but she is excited to learn to read as well.

Well, I really need to head to bed but I wanted to report on week 1 of our school year. I am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool and for how God has abundantly provided for us for this school year and the grace He is bestowing. Much more to blog about but my bed is calling my name...

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