Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homeschool Plans for 2011-2012

We have been enjoying the sweetness of family for the past week which I will be posting pictures of later.  My father came to stay for six days with his girlfriend Melinda.  I would love to have Melinda as my stepmother.  I have never thought that or felt that way about any of his previous girlfriends since my parents divorced when I was 13, but I love Melinda.  My father is a better man with her around.  She seems to have brought him peace as well.  We had a hard time keeping up with my father.  He completed a lot of chores for us which I will write about later.

Libby was baptized this past Saturday!:)  Her godparents, Sunni and Arieh, helped with both set up and clean up of our cake reception.  They are such a blessing in our lives!

My niece Victoria is staying with us for a week and then we have my sister-in-law Mary coming to visit with my mother-in-law Sherry next week.  They will be driving out from Wisconsin.  It truly is a wonderful time of year to enjoy our family.

With all of this happening though it is time to think of homeschooling again, and since this blog is suppose to have posts about homeschooling, it seemed like joining a blog hop about homeschooling would be a helpful "push" into this area!:)

Since we homeschool year round I had the kids both begin completing math again today.  I had Jessie work on extra reading and Joey began working on English.  English is the subject he will avoid at all costs, so it is the one that was always last when I was on bedrest.  (My brother-in-law brought a Barbie computer for Victoria which has math and reading materials on it so she was homeschooling with the kids and helped with all the farm chores.  I love my niece.  She is very sweet and helpful!)

I was able to buy most of my materials while on bedrest, so here is what we have planned for the next school year, which we "officially" start after labor day though we will be slowly finishing up the old stuff/adding the new curriculum over the next month.
I am still using Mother of Divine Grace/Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist as my guide, though it is becoming very adapted to our crazy life as you will see.

Math: Teaching Textbooks
Even though Teaching Textbooks is slower than the other math programs, finding it two years ago solved our math battles.  I will continue allowing the kids to skip lessons unless they get an 85 or below. Then they have to go back and complete the skipped lesson.  This may mean that we complete the year early, but if we do we'll just start the next grade level.  Since I have 3rd-6th grade already that means I will only have to purchase 7th grade for Joey if that happens.  Though I buy the workbooks "just in case" the kids just use the cd's and use scrap paper as needed.

History, Geography and Art: MODG 6th grade Egypt program
I am combining these three subjects.  While I love MODG's program as a whole my kids are becoming very bored reading about American History.  Jessie has actually read most of the supplemental books that Joey read in fourth grade two years ago, so I am "bumping" her up.  We will follow MODG for history and geography.  I do have the calligraphy book they recommend for 6th grade art and a bunch of supplemental egyptian craft books.  I also have OLVS's Drawing God's Magnificent Garden.  I am hoping that this will free us up time wise by combining subjects.  I am also hoping that we will actually get more arts and crafts completed, along with science projects.  "Reading" as a subject is completed by all the supplemental reading we do for history, religion and science.  Jessie also has to complete Ohio state history, but I already have books checked out from the library for her to complete this month.  We may supplement with some of the 4th grade historical reading since she is an insatiable reader.

Science: Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy
MODG recommends TOPS for 6th grade and 4th grade.  I bought TOPS and after it arrived went out and bought Abeka 4th grade series to complete with Joey two years ago.  Now granted it may have been different if I hadn't just had a baby when TOPS arrived and I had actually been able to get supplies together...but then again I don't think so....I like having a physical book for the kids to read.  Having a curriculum that was experiements only just didn't work for us two years ago and with three under the age of three I just didn't see it working this year, so sold the TOPS books.  In an effort to complete more science projects we are combining science as well for the kids.  I bought the notebooking journals and the science kits available from www.hometrainingtools.com.  I even managed to score a really expensive telescope off of cathswap for $50 plus shipping!

English: Voyages 4 and 6
Jason really doesn't like MODG's english program recommended for 2-5th grade, so I am modifying Jessie's english to Voyages 4.  I am buying the grammar syllabus from OLVS to be my teaching guide for Jessie.  Joey is signed up for Directed Study for both English and Religion with MODG so that someone else can help us with our writing battles.  I am hoping that he will "rise" to the occasion of wanting to perform well for someone else and that we will get more descriptive paragraphs out of the boy.  We will also supplement with MODG's poetry memorization for each grade as we have time.  Both kids enjoy the memorizing.  Joey will also be completing the Editor in Chief workbooks for his extra grammar practice that MODG recommends.

Latin: First Form
Both kids will be taking First Form latin with another homeschool mom.  I always throw latin "out the window" as soon as life gets busy.  First Form works well with Voyages 6 in learning the grammar rules.  The teacher said that Jessie could take the class as well, so that means that Tuesdays will be our "in town" errand/grocery shopping day.  The kids will bring extra reading with them and/or we will listen to dvd's, whether it is classical music, books on cd or religious things.  Driving back and forth for 35 minutes also means that we don't have an excuse for not praying our rosaries or divine mercy chaplets.

While we have completed The Writing Road to Reading program I just decided to change in the last two weeks.  I had already adapted the program by making the kids write out their words every day, but that gets really boring.  I decided to go with OLVS's Spelling workbooks, which means that Jessie has a phonics workbook as well.  We will start out the year reviewing the phonograms from The Writing Road to Reading which only takes the kids about a week and then we will jump into the new workbooks.

Hoping to join Catechesis of the Good Shepherd again, though I am not sure yet if I will volunteer as a catechist again.  I may wait at least one more year until both Katie and Anna can be in level one together before I volunteer to teach.  Joey will then have completed the program and he has expressed an interest in being a helper if I teach.  I would like to encourage that catechist interest that he has expressed.
Just ordered "God With Us" Byzantine catechesis materials.
Have Faith and Life materials as a back up.
MODG syllabus: Mark and Luke gospels with summary essays for Joey.  Jessie will summarize the Schuster's Bible History stories for writing and continue working on her Baltimore Catechism.
Numerous supplemental bible and saint books.
Just trying to live a liturgical life.

Music: 4th grade and 6th grade MODG
We will continue our study of classical music and begin enjoying the operetta's the MODG recommends for 6th grade.

Extra Activities:
Catechesis of Good Shepherd (listed above under religion)
(combined both Jessie and Joey onto one team by "bumping" Jessie up.
We are not playing on travel soccer for this fall.)

Horse class (fall): We will be taking lessons from another homeschool family on how to take care/ride our pony and drive the cart behind the miniature horse that we have now added to the farm.
(Pictures of the horse and pony will be added later.)

Altar Serving, Boy Scouts and Catholic Lego Club (Joey)

Little Flowers (Jessie)

May possibly participate in chess club if the mom has it again.

May possibly take dance/private tumbling lessons again.

May possibly take dog obedience lessons with Cupcake the new puppy/dog.  Will probably wait to sign up for this until I know for sure when Jason's mom Debbie will be moved into the grandmother's house.

(The problem with homeschooling is all the different classes/activities out there that you can join!  Have to figure out what things to say no to so that we can actually be at home!)

On a preschool note: I am signing Katie and Anna up for a two hour preschool on Monday and Wednesday mornings.  Debbie will take them into town and that will give her a set time that she can be away from Grandma Mercy and when she can go shopping/get her hair done, etc.  This will also give me a set time when we hopefully can complete experiments or the harder subjects without having three under the age of three around.  I am also hoping to have a Montessori type shelf set up with activities to give Katie and Anna their own "work" to do while we are working.  Katie is getting into workbooks, so hopefully my collection of coloring books will come in  handy again.

Wow-I think I'm exhausted just writing about all this.  Then again, this time of year is always exciting.  It's fun to break out the new books!
Let the adventure begin again!:)

Linking up here:

Classical Housewife

From the sweetness of my home to yours,



  1. Wow! A lot of planning you have done! It looks great. I have always loved the Voyages in English series.
    I wish there was a Catholic lego group around here--that sounds fun.

  2. Thanks C! Basically I have just taken MODG and modified it to fit our lives. I started with them because I was scared and wanted a set curriculum. I am now still following them, yet beginning to branch out on my own a little. I still like having a curriculum guide to keep me on the straight and narrow!:)

    I also had a lot of time on my hands stuck in bed to get ready for this school year!:)

    Catholic Lego Club is great and actually pretty easy to implement. A dad helped all the boys make lego rosaries last year, so they started each meeting by praying a rosary together. (The leader kept the rosaries until the last meeting so they wouldn't be forgotten at home.) Then each month they have a "challenge" build-usually a bible story or liturgical event, like December "was anything to do with Advent." Some boys made an advent wreath, some built a nativity, etc. All the boys showed those builds off. Then two boys got to bring a show and tell build each month-they built whatever they wanted/however big they wanted. (Some of these lego creations never left the back of their mother's cars.) They ended by having free time to play/build legos. (Each boy had donated a quart size bag of lego pieces with at least two lego figures. They also had paid money to buy a bionicle set and to cover their lego rosaries. At the end of the year they each got to take a bionicle set home.) The club that my son attends is limited to ten boys for numerous reasons. It's a great club. It's really good for Joey to be able to get away from all his sisters and not have to worry about his stuff being destroyed by helping hands. He's made some close friendships as well. It was also nice because they only met once a month for an hour and a half, so it was always something that he looked forward to and didn't "drain me" too much to get him there. I also only had to volunteer to stay once which gave me some errand time in town.

    I do have to admit that the lego rosaries are pretty cool!


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