We’re almost two months into our new homeschooling year, so I thought it would be a good time for an update on what we’ve been doing.
The three boys are now doing Horizons Math and the switch from Saxon seems to have been a very good thing. They are all enjoying math much more than they did last year. Noah is in 5th and doing Horizons 5. Jonathan is in 4th and doing Horizons 3, as it is more advanced and he needed some of the concepts cemented in his mind before he moved on. Josiah is in 2nd grade and doing Horizons 2 and it seems like it may be a bit behind where he actually is, but I know that book 3 would be too advanced, so we’re skipping a bit here and there.
Natalie is doing Saxon Math 8/7 with Pre-Algebra, and pretty much hates it, but that would be the case no matter what book we used. She is not a math fan, but gets Bs and Cs on her tests, so it’s all fine for now.
All four kids are still doing Shurley English. It may drill a lot, and it’s not an exciting curricula, but they are learning the basics of grammar and sentence construction and how to write essays, so I like that. The writing assignments get a bit repetitive, so I’m looking for some more creative writing projects to do on alternating weeks. Natalie has agreed to do NaNoWriMo with me, so we’ll be skipping the writing assignments in Shurley English and doing some outlining and character work.
All of the kids are still doing the Spelling Workout series and a Core Knowledge Reading Comprehension workbook.
Natalie is still reading a lot, but I don’t assign her a certain amount of silent reading time – especially since her history and science require a lot more reading than before. On top of her own choice of book, she is reading an anthology called Realms of Gold, which I got from Core Knowledge. It includes poems, short stories, essays, speeches, and excerpts from books. She’s reading Poe, Frost, Thurber – and we’re discussing what she’s reading. From her own reading, recently she’s enjoyed Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham, Little Women by Alcott, and Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell.
Noah does at least 45 minutes of silent reading a day, on top of any reading for other subjects. Recent favorites have been Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge by M.K. Scott, Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted, and Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel.
Jonathan also reads for 45 minutes during silent reading time. It is very hard to find a book that will hold his attention and keep him from checking the clock every few minutes. The only book to do that recently has been Goblins: An UnderEarth Adventure by Royce Buckingham.
Josiah reads for 30 minutes, and he recently completed the Littles series by John Peterson, and is now making his way through the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney.
The boys and I just finished our study of the Civil War. We read the chapters in Story of the World, then read If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War, The Boys’ War, and Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln. We also watched a series of movies on slavery, the war, and reconstruction. We will top this off by watching the film Glory next week.
Natalie is also studying the Civil War, using All American History, and this was a poor choice of curricula. As soon as she completes the unit on the Civil War, we’ll be making a change.
The boys and I won’t be doing science until second semester. Natalie is doing the Science Explorer Life Science books, and she’s almost done with From Bacteria to Plants. She seems to like it all right, and has been getting As and Bs on her exams.
The older two kids and I are doing Latina Christiana I – and I love it! Noah seems to enjoy it, too – mostly because it’s like a puzzle. Natalie thinks I’m torturing her, but likes that she gets to correct my papers. We took our first unit exam today, and we all got As.
We started the school year reading Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, which was a hit all around, and are now halfway through The Purloined Boy by Mortimus Clay – it’s brilliant. (The kids think so, too.)
The kids are taking a break from Tae Kwon Do. Natalie continues to take voice lessons. Noah is taking a P.E. class, and all four of them are taking a computer science class.
So, that’s how our school year is going so far. How’s yours?