Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lessons From The Classroom

We have really picked up speed in the education department over the last couple of weeks.

I know, I know...it's June.  Most schools are gearing down for the summer.  But I've decided that we are going to stick pretty close to the year-round schedule that goes along with our kid's base school.  Why, you ask?  Well, I actually do have a couple of reasons for doing what I do, believe it or not.

1 - If, for any reason we decide to transfer them into public school they will already be on that schedule. 
2 - We have great momentum right now and I'm not going to slow down (even though our own schedule says that the June 10th is break time).  We'll take breaks here and there but want to keep going through the hot, hot summer until the schedule picks back up.  Then we will officially start.
3 - I like the idea of just taking a few weeks here and there for breaks instead of one big chunk in the summer.  It will fit better with our traveling schedule.  Besides, who wants to sit at a school desk instead of being able to enjoy the best seasons of all? - Fall and Spring!

As far as the curriculum I've chosen to do this year...
I talked to several different friends who homeschool did a lot of research and decided on two separate curriculums.  Josh and I ventured into The Homeschool Gathering Place to look around and then priced the books online.  You can't beat thumbing through all your options which you just can't do online.  Amazon and CBD had the best prices, FYI.
For Phonics, reading and spelling I chose Complete Explode the Code Primer Set A, B and C for Zeke and Explode the Code 1 and Explode the Code/Book 1 1/2 for Areyna.  I chose to go ahead and use the first 3 books as a review for Areyna so she can get used to this curriculum.  She is flying through the lessons!  But, I am most excited about this for Zeke's sake.  Here's why.  Book A starts with "f".  I love that it doesn't start at "a" because I feel like we've started at "a" so many times and failed.  But "f"...oh "f"...Zeke remembers that his first sound is /f/ and he remembers that the current sound is /b/.  Before, he couldn't remember what letter we were working on from 1 minute to the next.  I wish I could express how excited I am that these books are working!

For Math I chose Horizons Math K SET of 2 Student Workbooks K-1 and K-2.  Again, I started Areyna in the Kindergarten books because there are a lot of things in these books that we didn't cover, plus I want to get her used to this curriculum.  Like I've said so many times before, my main goal this year was to get her to read, so math wasn't top priority.  Through these new books I have realized that Areyna LOVES math!  And she is SO good at it too!  I have been using this to work on her reading as well.  I help her read through the directions and this allows her to work on her comprehension and listening.  She is flying through these lessons as well.  This first book is VERY basic.  I think that Zeke could do many of the activities, but she insists on going through each page instead of skipping ahead.  Who can argue with that:)
I've also found a fun way to help Areyna learn days of the week and new words.  Every morning I write her a "secret message" on the chalk board that she has to figure out.

So, I'm excited about this summer.  I'm motivated for next year.  And the kids... well, the kids just love having their own "office" to do their work in, ha!:)
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