Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ahhhh School Time is about to settle in...

I always loved school. I loved it so much that I often pretended to be having school when I was home as a little girl. I still find myself getting excited when we 'officially' start school every year....even though there is quite a bit of work to it! ;-) (We 'school' on some level, all year long.)
We use the Robinson Curriculum as our primary source of books but I do add to and work around the needs and interests of each of my children. We use the library and lots of free sources on the net too! We also have odds and ends that have been found at yard sales, Goodwill, etc through the years.

My MAIN goals for homeschooling were 1)teach them to read so they can read their Bible! (And praise the Lord, that has happened!) -and- 2)instill in them a love for learning, and good books so that they 3)would grow up knowing that there is NOTHING that they can't learn on their own if they set their mind to it! For there is ALWAYS a book somewhere that can explain to them exactly how to do any trade or skill that their hearts and hands would desire to learn.

With those things in mind, I start to lay things out by semesters and make adjustments as seems necessary through the year. Here's a little of what that is looking like;

2nd grader:
Childhood's Happy Hours (RC)
McGuffey's 3rd Reader (library)
Tom Swift and the Caves of Ice (RC)
They Young Hunters of the Lake (Gutenberg)
Enjoying God's World (old Abeka science book)
Health, Safety, and Manners (old Abeka health)
The Army Boys on German Soil (Gutenberg)
The Army Boys in French Trenches (Gut.)
The Army Boys on the Firing Line (Gut)
The Boy Allies (Gut.)
Math (3rd grade Modern Curriculum Press bought for $5 from Amazon)
-15 minutes of 'music' daily
-10 minutes of 'typing' daily (Learn2type.com)
-daily Bible readings
-copywork daily from: Bible, poetry book, or creative writing
-vocabulary assignments for all RC books
-garden work
-once this list is complete, he will read The Boxcar Children from the library or more of the Tom Swift series from RC or Gutenberg, until 1st semester ends.

3rd grader:
Ruth Fielding and the Gypsies (RC)
Dottie Dimple at Play (RC)
Dottie Dimple at Home (RC)
Ruth Fielding Homeward Bound (RC)
Ruth Fielding at Snow Camp (RC)
Ruth Fielding in Moving Pictures (RC)
Our America (old Abeka)
Exploring God's World (old Abeka)
Dottie Dimple Flies Away (RC)
Health, Safety, and Manners (old Abeka)
The Caboose Mystery/Boxcar Children
Math (Modern Curriculum Press 3rd grade bought for $5 on Amazon)
-15 minutes daily of 'music'
-10 minutes daily of typing (Learn2Type.com)
-daily Bible readings
-vocabulary for most RC books
-copywork: Bible, poetry, etc or creative writing
-learning more about sewing, etc
-once the list is complete, more Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew can be added or read in spare time until semester ends.

5th grader:
Strive and Succeed (RC)
The Erie Train Boy (RC)
The Mysterious Island (RC)
The Pied Piper (RC)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (book for .50 at Goodwill)
Frank's Campaign (RC)
Joe's Luck (RC)
Stories of Later American History (Gutenberg)
Stories of Inventors (Gut.)
Famous Stories Every Child Should Know (Gut.)
Math (Saxon 65, we've bought these through the years at various places when we came across them)
-15 minutes of 'music' daily
-15 minutes typing daily (Learn2type.com)
-daily Bible readings
-vocabulary for all RC books
-1 full page of writing daily, copywork, creative writing, journal, etc
-garden work
-Once the list is completed, may read from library/Hardy Boys or more Horatio Alger books from the RC.

7th grader:
Pilgrim's Progress
Not Yours to Give (RC)
Tom Sawyer's Abroad Detective (RC)
Dick Hamilton's Fortune (RC)
The Pony Riders in Montana (RC)
The Pony Riders in the Rockies (RC)
The Pony Riders in the Alkali (RC)
The Pony Riders in New Mexico (RC)
Stories of Later American History (Gutenberg)
Kings, Queens, and Pawns (Gut.)
A School History of the Great War (Gut.)
Stories of Inventors (Gut.)
Math (Saxon, Algebra 1)
-15 minutes daily 'music'
-15 minutes daily typing (Learn2type.com)
-vocabulary for all RC books
-garden work
-1 page writing daily, copywork-Bible, poetry, etc journal, creative writing, etc
-daily Bible readings
-when this list complete, may read Hardy Boys, more of the Pony Riders, or a novel for extra credit until the end of the semester. (Last year he read Moby Dick.)

9th grader:
-English 1: The Taming of the Shrew (softcover, $1 Goodwill), The Screwtape Letters, audio (been around here for years and the library has a copy as well), The Imitation of Christ (Gutenberg), Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, RC grammar, vocabulary and spelling lessons
-Math: must prep for Algebra (A.C.E. paces, Saxon, and free online video courses that teach Algebra as a language found through HomeschoolForFree)
-Economics1/2 Government 1/2: Tithing by Ray H. Hughes, Government (a discarded library book that we have that explains how the government works, from the branches to how a law is passed), Economics in One Easy Lesson (RC), Autobiography of a Slander (Gut.), Thomas Paine, Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, Limbaugh Letters, radio: Michael Savage, Phil Valentine,etc
-P.E.: will do weight training and various exercises, walking laps, and garden labor etc for 3 hours per week, keeping written records
-Personal Finance: this will be several 'hands on' style lessons involving basic things such as balancing a checkbook. He will also be given many practical number crunch style problems and scenarios to work out. Tithing by Ray H. Hughes will be reported on. Required listening to radio programs; Dave Ramsey and The Investor Coach. Must read Larry Burkett mini-book. Also has his own bank account to keep records of.
-Science/Biology(still working on this one): Of the Motion of the Heart and Blood of Animals (RC), free online textbooks, free online videos of lectures etc, as well as dissections, etc
-World History (strong interest with this kiddo, still working on it too): On the Shores of the Great Sea (Gut.), A Book of Discovery (Gut.), Heroes Every Child Should Know (Gut.), Kings Queens and Pawns (Gut), Story of the World,all volumes (library has copies of these excellent books), etc
-20 minutes daily of 'music' or more
-20 minutes daily typing (Learn2type.com) or more
-daily Bible readings
-vocabulary for all RC books as well as review previous lists
-daily writing assignments, copywork to creative writing (If reading list is completed, work for 2nd semester may begin and/or his fave topic WWII/Civil War can be studied.)

-finishing English 4 and required British Literature
-Bible and character course

Group Learning:
throughout the year we do several things as a group. We go over parts of speech, punctuation, phonics and spelling rules, In the News discussions, read the Bible out loud, timed oral reading and drills, read books out loud such as Story of the World, Chronicles of Narnia, The Millers, etc.,.
All of kids have several opportunities throughout the year to read various books for 'extra credit', which usually means a free day off of their choice to do what they want. Pretty good trade, huh?
Scripture memorization is encouraged and rewarded and often required as applicable :-).
Educational audios and videos are watched as a group.Oral math games are played, with flash cards and drills. Gardening is done by everyone and lessons are learned as a group. Health and Nutrition are open discussions almost daily. Group Art projects are done several times throughout the year with whatever supplies are on hand. We also have periodic "Cooking Classes" where the children all learn to cook one simple kind of food and/or they pick a meal and divide up the work. Light chores are also done daily, with Saturdays being Cleaning Day. Physical Education is often done spontaneous; from going on walks to running or walking laps, to jumping jacks and running in place or a 'follow the leader' type march and stretch. We also visit the library as often as possible and the kids will get books on things the like to read through in their spare time. A big time has been made of reading at night with a flashlight for a few minutes every night. They all have their own flashlight! ;-)


Ramona said...

Donna, I am also a mother of 6, homeschooling 5 and using the Robinson curriculum. I am also new to the state of Tennessee and homeschooling a new high school student. Are you still using the Robinson curriculum for your high school children, and if so, how are you able to translate the reading into the required courses of study? Did you feel that you needed to add additional curriculum to meet the course requirements? I look forward to your response.

Donna said...

Ramona, I apologize for not seeing this sooner. (I have email alerts, but sometimes- they don't make it through.)

In high school, it will COMPLETELY depend on your Umbrella School.

We were using one, that would not allow my oldest to graduate with (the ginormous amount) of reading material that he had covered. They wanted me to add textbooks to "make sure everything was covered" and there were "no gaps".

So- I switched to another Umbrella for my oldest in his senior year so he could graduate. The following year, I moved all of my children over to the new umbrella.

I had thought the first offered me a "you determine their education" policy....but it was not so in high school. (Prior to that, I must say, they were GREAT!)

We used the RC primarily for about 5 years. The Lord has provided a few different things this last year and I'm adding to it, but still going by the same basic structure and using mostly old/classical literature. We do still pull many things from it, but my children have went through a lot of what is on it. (It really ignited some fires in them!)

The RC was a lifesaver to me and we have loved it. (If you are in a tight pinch, you could use many free books from Gutenberg from the RC reading list.

If you want more info, please email me at laptopmail (at) twlakes (dot) net
Hope you have a great school year!