Friday, September 4, 2009


Well we're two weeks into school for the year (about 6 weeks for Jake) so I figured it was time for a little update. It is different this year, and going pretty well. In the past Jonathan and Madi have done most things together and most of those things have been with me directly involved. This year they are doing most things separately and I am much less involved. It is weird to be "letting go", I'm trying to get my head around the fact that it is THEIR education and not my own. It is funny to think that parents of kids in a "building school" have to do this kind of letting go so much earlier in their kids' lives. As for Jake, I'm still holding on tight, and I'm a very active player in all he is doing. I'm loving doing Five in a Row all over again. For those of you who aren't familiar with Five in a Row and wonder what I'm constantly talking about, it is a curriculum created by a homeschooling mother where you read the same children's book for five days in a row and each day you do a different educational activity associated with it. You might do a math activity one day, science another etc... We just finished Mr Gumpy's Motorcar today. Next week we are going to do Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs which techinically isn't even a Five in a Row book, but there are TONS of activities that we can do regarding that book and the movie is coming out this month. We already found a lot of activites here. And a fun game here. Jake is reading a book outloud each day, doing a math lesson in Singapore Math 1B, doing a lesson in First Language Lessons, he's also working on Faith, cleaning up, and, in general, being a productive member of our family (somedays are better than others).

Jonathan and Madi are still doing History together and I am very much involved in this...I'm not ready to let go of this!! We are learning about the Middle Ages using Story of the World volume 2 including the Activity Book and tests. We have the actual text on CD read by our favorite Jim Weiss. Madi does best when she reads along while she listens and Jonathan listens best when his hands are busy doing something else. A lot of our Faith Study this year is combined with History as we are using books on the history of the Church including The Story of the Church and The Old World and America. The time period that we are studying begins with the fall of Rome. We've learned about the Celts and when the Anglo-Saxons came to Britain. I've learned more about Beowulf this week than I ever did in school (I vaguely remember something about it in my senior year English class).

Jonathan is in 8th grade and is doing Apologia General Science. This is very "school at home-ish" including experiments, study guides, quizes and tests. It is a good college prep science. I gave Madi the option of doing it with Jonathan, but she opted out which is fine considering she is just in 6th grade. Right now she is doing Our Universe, interestingly enough both of them have covered similar things these last two weeks and they've each had quite a few experiments.

Jonathan is finishing up last year's math and some pre-algebra and will be getting Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 in the next few weeks. Madi is finishing up Singapore Math 4 B. Kids in Singapore have consistently scored higher than Americans in Math over the last decade, and the grade levels are generally 1 to 2 years ahead of the US. This math is has a very strong mental component and not a ton of "busy work".

Jonathan and Madi have also been doing some Critical Thinking work including logic and reasoning. We are really starting to think about the standardized tests/ college boards that will be a part of their future.

Well with all of the links (that no one will read probably) this has taken me way longer than I'd intended. The kids are doing more, but that's all that I have the patience to write about. Two of them are currently breathing down my neck with math questions and they need to get to Theatre in a few minutes. They get their parts for Once on this Island today...all three of them are in it!!


Randi Sue said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm off to do the same on my blog.

Melissa said...

What Critical Thinking books are you using? I feel the same about the "letting go". Sasha read his science today on his own - and I felt weird about that and wondered whether I should read it too. Crazy!

Julie said...

We are using Daily Mind Builders Language Arts and loving it. We also have Word Roots A1 Latin. We plan to get more!

crispy said...

I do like to hear how others do school. I am sure you are feeling the shift as your kids get older.

Cindy said...

I love your updates on what you guys are up to! We love Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (I believe you gave it to us a few years ago) and we read it often-can't wait for the movie version!