Back to Homeschool " Shopping"

It's that time of year again, I stay up till 2 in the morning browsing curriculum.
Giddy and nerd like, preparing for the new school year.
Today I finalized my pickings.
Thought I would share.

Here is what I have decided for McCoy: 4th grader

Bible, Math, Science and History Subject Combinations Streaming

 Abeka// 4th grade level // For the last few years we have chosen the streaming program. We have always done the language arts program and worked together on the math and science, but over the years I have learned more about McCoys strengths and weaknesses. { and mine } She was an early reader with an advanced vocabulary, so naturally grammar and spelling come pretty easily for her. Math on the other hand, is a struggle.  This year I figured I would let the professionals instruct her in math, because the Abeka teachers are exceptional. The streaming program is half the time of the full course videos, which I prefer, because I don't like the idea of her in front of a screen all day. I do however, think sitting through these classes is good practice without lots of interruptions, { when your mom is the teacher it is easy to go off on lots of rabbit trails of conversation } I find that the streaming courses prepare her for what is expected in the real world... having to sit still and listen... and yet not for too long of a time that school becomes arduous and boring.  Not to mention, Abeka's bible curriculum is amazing, I find myself listening in as I'm making breakfast and getting a nice bible study from it myself.

Now for the fun stuff { I say that its fun because McCoy does really well with these subjects, so she is particularly happy to do them and its a breeze for me.

Abeka again...
Because McCoy whips through these subjects, I decided to challenge her a bit this summer and instead of ordering 4th grade level, I ordered 5th grade level. Isn't that the greatest thing about homeschooling? You can slow things down, or advance them as your student needs. I love freedom.

Because we will be doing some traveling this year in our airstream, it's the perfect year to tackle Geography. This summer we already started with basic map skills, and doing puzzle work. We have loved that so far. I decided to order both girls Road Trip USA by:  Confessions of a homeschooler. These are printables that we can incorporate into our travels and make geography a lot of fun.

I decided to forfeit the formal writing workbooks this year and write lots of letters to family members and friends. I will also incorporate writing skills when I check her spelling tests and unit study book reports. I may even do some functional fun projects, like writing a check. I know some adults who still don't how... ha.

Unit Studies Possibilities
Depending on the difficulty and work load of her Abeka Streaming courses. We may look into some of our own book reports {after reading certain autobiographies } or doing unit studies on a variety of interesting subjects. My guess, is Abeka will offer some of their own...   The thing that I love most about this possibility is chasing after her natural interests... for example after studying history in third grade, she particularly enjoyed reading about Abe Lincoln, Louisa May Alcott, and Daniel Boone.  I'm looking forward to her learning how to research, take notes, and draft up her own paper and enjoy rich classical novels and autobiographies along the way.

Speaking of research, Some of my friends had suggested K9, and Net Nanny to keep the Internet a safe place to browse. I am too new to tell you what i think so far... but will continue to look into this. This is top of the priority list.

Here is what I have decided for Italia: Kindergardener

This stuff is all experimental. Italia has a very particular affinity towards some things { loves leap frog } Doesn't like flash cards for example. If what we order isn't working,  I will not struggle through it for the sake of completing something or saving money. I am open to tweaking things as we go. As expensive as it can be, I'm learning to order less than previous years, and add on things if I need to through out the year. Its funny how I have to remind myself that I don't have to all the curriculum in my hands by next week. I am free from that. That's why I homeschool, flexibility.

So in saying that, here is the "plan". I'll let you know what works for us and what doesn't.

I have a huge collection of Bible Stories from Abeka in the original kit I purchased for McCoy. We use them for church at home too. They are exceptional tools for any home, homeschooled or not. We will do these together, me reading to her... and asking her comprehension questions.

This is an all inclusive packet of several subjects, but I particularly liked the math worksheets. Kinder Curriculum : Printables from Confessions of a homeschooler { this covers phonics, math etc} Number Skills, by Abeka.

Phonics: Kinder Curriculum : Printables from Confessions of a homeschooler  ///  I have hooked on phonics readers on hand already that I will supplement. A new thing we just started doing { which I already love }  is a reading game inspired by Reading Reflex. Today Italia started reading her three letter words, just by organizing three letter cards and putting them in order. She knows her letter sounds really well, but has a hard time blending them to make words. The exercise we did today, I would tell her the word "BAT" for example and she would reach for the letter cards that spell out that word. I am only giving her the three letters but they are presented to her out of order... as she gets better at this game, I will add in random letters to make it more complicated. So far, we have been doing high fives all morning. I love it when something just clicks.

Discovering Gods world  by Abeka{ i have this on hand, its first grade, but plenty good for a kinder } It's a good foundational science, that spends plenty of time on animals and insects... also my favorite thing about Abeka is the Color. Rule of thumb: If the workbook looks boring to me, it will be boring for them most likely. Black and white is not cutting it over here.

Nature study:
Italia loves bugs, and dirt.. and all things that require her to get dirty and dig. We will carry around a journal, so she can also tape in leaves, and draw things she finds interesting.

Road Trip USA:  Confessions of a homeschooler : same as above.

Electives for both girls:

We take Art Classes at Alla Prima Art. // McCoy and I also both want to explore photography together in our free time.
McCoy: Basic Guitar + Drums. Italia: Drums { Daddy plays the drums so he teaches }
Foreign Language:
McCoy: Italian 10 minutes a day. Italia is not ready for a foreign language.
Domestic Skills:
Yes I'm old fashioned. My girls do chores, muck out the ponies stall, wash dishes, fold laundry, the obvious making their bed and cleaning up after themselves, Id like to continue to teach them to sew, and cook. My favorite sewing book for cute ideas is Lets sew together. Any cute cook book ideas? let me know. Right now we just find random recipes.
This one kinda breaks my heart, McCoy is an awesome swimmer, but there is no swim team locally. The drive just about killed me this summer, so I had to cancel. We want our kids to enjoy sports and be team-minded... but we also have to take special care to resist the busy schedule that so many of us are living. Because we choose not to be a taxi service for a million outside of the home actives, we have decided to participate in soccer or volleyball for a season. {only one season} per year.  Right now Italia loves soccer. McCoy is on the fence between soccer and volleyball. When we don't do sports, we are staying active by running together and doing yoga at home.
Farm life: 
Somewhere in the mix of things, we would like to start training our pony Lindy Lu... and possibly getting her rider-friendly. She may been an older pony who doesn't want to learn new tricks... and we are cool with her just having her as our pet if this idea fails... but the idea of it working out, is really exciting.
Also when we get back from our travels, we will be adding milk goats and chickens to our herd. We will also tackle our first Texas Garden, which brings on all kinds of fun, canning food, composting, collecting rain water, herbs. I could go on and on. There is just simply not enough time in the day. I love that my children will be home with me to enjoy the farm life.

I'm excited guys, I love preparing for a new year.... and learning alongside my girls... I seriously couldn't think of anything that makes me happier { unless you add traveling with my husband while we are doing that } This is going to be an interesting year for me as I try to balance my business, farm life and homeschooling, not one... but two children for the first time. Each year, I aim to be more creative and confident in what we do here at home. I want to not only educate my daughters the best I can, but raise up well -rounded individuals that have a heart for God and people.

This year I want to document our life more regularly, for memory sake but also because it is an artistic way for me to express myself with my new love{ don't judge, still learning } photography... and my transformation from city girl to country. { again, don't judge, I have country books on every subject and have no idea what I'm doing }...This blog I have a feeling will be morphing into not only PPP updates but Farm, Homeschooling etc lifestyle... because if we are being honest, PPP is not my only passion anymore, but this amazing journey called motherhood... is pretty fantastic and encompassing and keeps me on my toes everyday.  After all, PPP has always been a "lifestyle".

P.S. Huge Thanks To Paige Procknow, for making my blog more user -friendly.
if you are new reader, say hello :)


1 comment:

  1. Love this Shawna! Thanks for sharing! I've been following you for a few years now, I have been sewing similar clothing for my daughter, and a couple boutiques now and then, that's how i originally found you. What you do is so inspiring! I love all your new farm adventures too! My twins are 4, we have chickens, live in the woods.....and are homeschooling this year! Your "lifestyle" is beautiful, and I love following you and your family, and most of all love that God is a priority in your life as well!!