Monday, August 6, 2012

Not Back To School Blog Hop 2012 - Week 1

This is my 5th year homeschooling and my first year participating in the Not Back To School Blog Hop.  I wish I could say I was an expert on homeschooling (with 4 years under my belt) , but the truth is,  every year is an experiment!!  It seems that every year,  I've added a student and with that adds new challenges.  This year,  I'm up to 5 students.  I'm starting Mini-Me in K4.  We won't be terribly serious about her lessons,  but I think it's important to get her involved and seeing how it will work.

One of my biggest challenges each year is the curriculum.  I try to find things that we can do together in order to save time,  but our age ranges are so vast that is is pretty much impossible now.  So,  I have tried to get the older kids more independent and doing their own thing.  One of our new experiments this year is with Mr Helper.  We are enrolling him in Abeka Academy.  They will keep his grades and records therefore I do not have to worry about his credits and transcript.

The other children will be using unit studies for handwriting found at Curr I also like to supplement their standard work with unit studies from there as well. In the past,  I have used Simple Schooling unit studies found there for Science and History.  You can find something for all age ranges and they provide a lot of hands on activities perfect for my younger children.

Last year,  I found the  Easy Grammar textbooks for English.  I can honestly say English is one subject I just do NOT like to teach.  However, I love this set because of the method of teaching.  It starts with learning and removing prepositions and prepositional phrases (something my children always struggle with) which leaves the sentence simple and easy to learn the other parts of speech.  I do supplement with some units from BJU English in teaching writing, only because I already have them. I will be looking for something different for next year though.

I will be sticking with  BJU math, for financial reasons, since I already have all of those textbooks and teachers materials.  Math is something most of my children have picked up rather easily, Mr. Helper being the exception.  So,  for this year,  I'm just going to stick with what we know.

Another one of my experiments this year is with Christian Light Publications unit studies for Science and History.  A fellow homeschooler in my church has been using them for the past two years and highly recommended them.  I am going to try them for time reasons.  The past two years,  I have compiled my own unit studies and workbooks which is very time consuming.  I will let you know how I like them.

Reading is completed by utilizing our public library and the unit studies I find.  I think that pretty much covers it, except for spelling which again I will stick with BJU since I already have the books. 

Mini-Me will simply be doing worksheets I have saved over the years from my other children.  It's more of a get her involved and started year.  I am not going to be super stressed over what she does.

I think that covers everybody - Mr Helper -  8th grade, Mr Gamer - 7th grade, Princess 1  -5th grade, Princess 2 - 3rd grade, and Mini-Me -  K4.  It's going to be a BUSY year AGAIN. 

I would love any recommendations or suggestions from your school day.  What things do you do to make your school days easier?

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