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Homeschooling: All Things

Ready, Set Go!

Well it is that time of year once again. We are all clamoring to get our books, clean out old school stuff, decorate our school rooms and get ourselves geared up to get school started. It was hard for me this year to decide on what I was going to do. I REALLY wanted to do Preparing from Heart of Dakota, but I just could not find anyone that had the books for dirt cheap and we just could not dish out the $500 or so, that it would have taken to get everything I needed. So, I decided to go a different route. I really cleaned out and went through ALL my school books. And I found a ton of stuff from many years ago that I had bought thinking I would use, but never did. I also went to my local Used Homeschooling  Library and found a ton of books that I will borrow for the year! Over all I spent about $125 this year for school. YEA!! I did good!

So here is what I will be using for my curriculum this year.


For History I already had "The Story of the World" book. I have had it for years and used it as a reference here and there, but I never realized that there was an activity guide available. So I went ahead and purchased the activity guide and student pages. This will be great because I can teach both my 10 (almost 11) and 7 year old together. I already purchased from the $.99 store a few 3 ring binders of their choice and they are all ready with their History, Bible and Geography notebooks.

Geography is going to be simple this year. First off, SOTW has geography lessons in it, however they are for the ancient world. So I borrowed from the Lending Library a book called Everyday Geography. It cover world geography and there is just enough to cover all the way up until the end of May. So we will do a notebook for geography too. Notebooking is always fun and exciting for our creative family!

Science will be great because I am going back to Apologia. My Homeschool Lending Library had the Botany book so I am borrowing that book for the year and I purchased the notebook journal for the kids. I have done 2 other Apologia books and used the journals which are fantastic so I was not going to miss out on the Notebooking this year. The children have really enjoyed the Notebooking in the past! The one thing I splurged on was the purchase of  the experiment kit. Yea, I know it is $60 but it was worth it. Each of the experiments is in the box with the exception of water, fresh flowers, basically living things I need to add. Each experiment is in its own bag and labeled and there is a list of the few things that I still need to add. It was well worth it! I can not wait to learn about botany.

We are using "Children's Illustrated Bible" which I have had for years from when I was doing Veritas Press Bible. Of course we will be reading directly from the Bible, but this book has a great overview along with some fantastic pictures. And of course we will be doing a Biography Bible notebook too this year!

We are going to TRY to do Spanish this year. And guess what? The Lending Library happen to have Rosetta Stone available when I came in there, so I got my hands on it! I am very excited. It is a little bit older version, but who cares. Now to get my hubby to load it on my computer. I will actually be learning Spanish along with my kids. My Spanish goes as far as the fast food drive in. LOL! I know, and here I live in Southern California. It was not mandatory to learn a foreign language when I went to school so I opted out. Stupid me!

We will still be using my Master Piece and some books my dad had from his photography years for learning about our great artists and their beautiful paintings on a daily basis along with doing our calendar and learning a new hymn every week. I will keep doing that for forever I hope. There are so many to learn I do not think we could ever run out.

For Math I am going back to Abeka. Last year for my son we used Aleks. We loved it, but we just can not spend that money this time around. My son has a hard time with math, so this will allow for us to take it a bit slower and get caught up.  Plus I was able to load up on my phone a great math fact flash card very much like Aleks had, so he can use that from time to time to help him with those math facts he sometimes struggles with.

Spelling will be same old same old. All About Spelling. I still think this is the best spelling program out there and once we finish level 4, I will see about continuing to purchase the next levels. I am going to try my daughter on level 1 but not until the first of the year. Last year she was just learning to read so I want to ease into spelling this year and by the 1st of January we should be full swing into AAS.

English, as always, comes form Rod and Staff. Their English program I think is one of the better ones. Each lesson is simple, about 10-15 minute lessons. This will be my daughters first year in English, but she has sat in some lessons with my son, so we shall se how she responds. We will take that slow too for the first month or so!

Reading will continue from Rod and Staff for my daughter. However, my son will be almost on his own with reading. I am going to try to use Drawn into the Heart of Reading since I already have it. But I have to admit, my schedule this year is PACKED and I am not sure if we will have that kind of time to do that. My son and I have already chosen his first book to read. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I read it to him about 4 years ago, so this will be a great way to jump back into the swing of things. He knows the basic story, but he needs to read it, and re-tell it and hopefully we will add in DTHR.

Along with all of that I will also be having my son do some creative writing. I will be teaching a choir on Thursday mornings and during that choir time I will have him do his creative writing and my daughter will be practicing her cursive lessons (Cursive First which I already have) as well as doing some of the math wrap ups. I know you are probably asking why don't I let them sing? Because I teach 3 choirs and they sing in 2 of them already and most of the music is the same from one to the other! So this give them a chance to work on some stuff for an hour on their own.

Lastly, they will be taking a piano class, I hope. I just found out that I have to purchase 2 electric pianos for this class which I was not expecting to do, so if I can find 2 electric pianos for under $50 then we will take the class. If not, well, unfortunately we will have to pass and I will just continue with the recorder at home and maybe touch on piano myself. We have 2 upright pianos at home but no keyboards! Bummer!

Well, there you have it. My classes for 2012-2013. Whew! I hope I am not missing anything. I checked my handy dandy book and I think that is it! How about you? Are you ready? What classes are you teaching? What curriculum have you decided on this year?

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