Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home School Open House

For today's Homeschool Open House, I thought I'd share some of our curriculum with you.

If you want to peek in at other Homeschool Open Houses, visit Tammy's blog for the links to the others!

Our core curriculum that we use for Bible, literature, history and reading is Sonlight. I can't say enough good thngs about Sonlight! It is literature rich. Since we LOVE books, living books in particular, or books that make learning come alive, Sonlight is just wonderful! We ALWAYS look forward to our reading! This is the way I wish I could have learned. You've saw this picture on what we call our box day (the day our Sonlight books arrive at our door), but I thought I'd show you again. These are the books that we will read by the end of this school year.

This is our schedule book. It serves as a guideline for us as to what we will read and do everyday in the above subjects. Since it's very common to hear, "Mom don't stop....keep reading!", I often read two or three days worth at a time. That allows us to do the same thing in say, the history readings the next day. That's what I love about the instructors guide...it's a guide and I use it to my advantage. But I do love having the guide! It keeps us on schedule! If we go out of town, we can read ahead a few days, and accomodate our long weekend, or we just take it along and do the readings there.

For Math, we use Math-U-See. We used this with Colt when he was schooling, and we just love it! It's exactly as it claims, it uses blocks to SHOW the kids WHY we do what we do in math, and it has the teacher on DVD, so Joy and I watch it together. I especially like this in math, because although Jason is a math whiz, it's probably one of my LEAST favorite things to do! (I'd rather be reading or doing something creative).

For Handwriting, we use Handwriting Without Tears. She also gets practice on her handwriting with any copywork she does or letters she sends to friends.

For Spelling, we use Sequential Spelling. This is not set up by grades. You begin in book 1 regardless of what grade you begin and just work your way through it. We will be ready for book 3 in a few days. We do ours orally. It really is a simple, but effective way to teach spelling. It starts with shorter words and builds upon word patterns.

For Grammar, we are using Daily Grams, along with daily practice in writing. This book has short lessons focusing daily on the different categories of grammar such as sentence structure and combining, punctuation, capitalization, alphabetizing, parts of the speech, verb agreement and more...very painless grammar lessons. She also has a couple of penpals, including Tammy's daughter, Allyson. This is a natural way to learn the mechanics of writing, spelling and grammar. Besides that, it's fun!

For Science, we use the God's Design for Science Series. The book we are presently using is the God's Design for the Universe. However, we also love the Magic School Bus books and experiment books. I really like the looks of the Elementary Apologia too. We might add the Astronomy one to this to enhance our study on the universe. We used Apologia with Colt from 7th grade up.

Weaved in among these is also the use of many living books. Joy learned to type from the computer software program, Kids Typing Instructor. After she learned the basics and built a little speed, I allowed her free time to email friends and "use" what she learned. It's amazing how quickly they pick up things when it's useful and fun for them! She now wants her own blog. I think it might be a great avenue (if closely...very closely monitored by mom) for some of her creative writing assignments. We'll see.

And speaking of creative writing assignemnts, I love this little book, If You're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write, You've Got to Have This Book. It's packed with tips and ideas for kids to write. This was one of my favorite books to use when I taught a small co-op class when Colt was younger, and it's still one I pull out for fun writing assignments for Joy too.

As far as what we're working on now...Let's see....Our main read-aloud is Toliver's Secret (we're studying the American Revolution) and Joy is reading Martha Washington independently. We're preparing for our homeschool group's geography fair in early March. Joy chose India as her country to study and exhibit. We're presently in the read and research stage. Maybe at the next open house, her exhibit will possibly be completed or far enough along to share.

And one last thing I'll leave you with is a writing assignment Joy wrote yesterday. I gave her the words "I know" and asked her list things that would follow behind those words....as few or as many as she would like. This is what she came up with.

I know...

1) I know multiplication.
2) I know God is real.
3) I know that nobody's perfect.
4) I know that we are in tough times.
5) I know that we wouldn't be in as much hard times if McCain had been elected.
6) I know God loves me.
7) I know that my parents love me.
8) I know taekwondo.
9) I know dance.
10) I know that I love my parents and family.
11) I know alot about reading.

Thanks for stopping by! And for those of you that aren't homeschooling your children, and you're STILL with me reading this...thank you for hanging in there! Homeschooling is another part of our daily lives that just comes natural for us and from time to time, I like to share what we're doing in that department!

Please remember to pray for our new President, all of our leaders in Congress and the Senate and for the American people in the times ahead. I urge everyone to be alert and active in the issues that lie ahead. The future of our country is at stake and we are going to have be involved and sometimes be ready to fight for our freedoms!

Have a great day! :)


It's All Good! said...

My niece uses Sonlight and loves it. I personally use ABeka and then the library for all of our reading.
Yes, our prayers are going forth. He will difinitely need them. My biggest prayer, that his heart will be drawn to the Truth.

Shellmo said...

I have such great admiration for parents who homeschool their children. It is obviously a labor of love!!

Anonymous said...

What a list of work! Your days must be very full. I admire homeschool parents. I had a good friend years ago homeschool her girls until junior high or high school, and then she and her husband sent them to public school, which really surprised me.
I sent you an email yesterday at the new address you gave me; did you get it?
Have a great day!

In His service, Anne said...

We also use Abeka. We started with my 20 year old, years ago and now with our five year old, next year with our 4 year old. It does make for a full day, but I wouldnt change it for the world! my prayer for the President is also that his heart will be guided to the truth, and that he will lead according to what THE BOOK says!

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

This is wonderful. I love looking at all this. I was homeschooled for a couple of years while my parents travelled and I loved it. This is wonderful that you are doing this Tammy.
Be blessed, Debbie

wrcdgc said...

Tammy I admire your dedication. I don't know how you got through high school with Colt but I admire you for it. Oh and a huge pat on the back for teaching her cursive. Eleni is 15 and no one ever taught her cursive they say it's not important anymore. Hmmm so I had to teach her enough so she could sign her name. That's all I have to say about that because I tend to rant and get angry. :) I think all of you Mom's who home school are remarkable!


Julie said...

It's such fun to see what other homeschool mom's are using! I have a couple of those books and have enjoyed them so much!
This year, with our 4th grader, we're using the Prairie Primer and ABeka -- our 8th grader is doing unit studies on the Victorian era and ABeka.
Yes, we're certainly praying for our America, our world, and our leaders. I know that our God is in control and He can do ANYthing. I just have to walk away from the news from time to time....

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Tammy, How organized you are --when it comes to home-schooling. The children are lucky to have the best teacher around--YOU!!! AND--I'm glad that your curriculum is based on God and the Bible. It can't get any better than that.

Zaroga said...

Tammy, It's interesting for me to learn about homeschooling... even though no children at home. As I read I thought I sure could use some of those books; especially the ones on handwriting and grammar. My handwriting is awful. I've forgotten just about everything I ever knew about grammar.

Tammy said...

Tammy, thank you so much for participating (especially on your busy day)!!! I always love when you show what you are doing with Joy, and it definitely helps me with ideas, too! :)
I have heard great things about Sonlight and it's obvious that Joy absolutely loves it!

What a wonderful writing assignment you gave her and what a tremendous job she did with it!

Thank you again, Tammy!
Hope you had a great time with your home school group today!

The Whites said...

I may have some curriculum questions for you soon! I love peeking into other homeschoolers' days!

We are praying as well for our new President. Although this was not my choice, I believe God has a plan and a purpose. His timing is perfect and He is ultimately in control.


thislittlepiggy said...

Nice curriculum. :o)

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!! I haven't purchased much curriculum yet, so this is sooo very helpful! We use handwriting without tears at work, and it is great!

retha said...

All I can say is hopefully some of your organised way can jump on to me while reading here.

Branderella said...

Home schooling seems like a fun experience! I like Joys 10 things assignment. She makes me smile =D. Thanks for stopping by! Brandie

Luke said...

Love the photos. Very fun to see everything. Thanks for sharing [smile].


Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

don't you just love the even the smell of new curriculum! I loved the photo of Joy hugging the box. That is exactly how I feel when ours arrives.

We have used Abeka in the past with my oldest and now with Luke as well. But with Colton, we use an ecletic approach because of his special needs. I may check out that spelling program, however, it sounds like something that just might work for him! Do you know if you can purchase the books separately?