Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer is winding down...........

So, it's been awhile! My, how time can escape me!

I will try to post some photos of my progress on the afore mentioned quilts soon! I think I am very slow, but I really only get to sew 1 or 2 days a week if I really try. I am hoping to pick up a little speed this fall. I am enjoying them, though. If you want to see a lady who inspires me, or just read a quilting blog where the person actually gets a lot done and posts often, visit A Quilting Life. I am always amazed at how much she accomplishes! Yes, I know she's not homeschooling 3 little kids, but STILL! She's amazing!

We have been "dabbling" with school work over the summer to keep the kids busy. When swim lessons began, it was just too much. We have been on an official break for about 4 weeks.

We have decided to begin again full force on Aug. 23rd. People often ask me what kind of curriculum I use and how I found it. I remember just typing in an internet search for homeschool curriculum and one of the first companies that popped up happened to be exactly what I was looking for! Praise the LORD! I really did not want to stress about that for any length of time!

There are several really good choices out there, depending on what you want to do with your kids. This year, I am using four companies to supply our year. I'll tell you a little about them:

First, is Sonlight.

This is the first company that came up when I began my search for curriculum over 3 years ago. Sonlight is a "literature-rich" curriculum. This means that the parent reads a lot of really wonderful books out loud to the children. It also means that the child reads a teriffic selection of literature. I am continually impressed with the books when we finish them! They use so many books I've never even heard of. As a lover of children's literature, this really fulfills a need in my life to both enjoy and teach my children to enjoy so many beautiful stories.

I am using Core 1 (Part 1 World history) with my 8 yr old daughter this fall. We are moving at a quick pace so we can move on to Core 2 (Part 2 World history) in the Spring. This is part of a plan to be able to use Core 3 (American history) next year before she gets a little too old for the readers. All three Cores are just full of fantastic books! Such fun!

Our 6 yr old son is re-using Core P4/5 this year, and listening in to big sister's read-alouds when it interests him. He is already reading on a 2nd grade level, so we are using appropriate readers (from Sonlight) for him.

Our 4.5 yr old son is using Core P3/4 this year, along with Kindergarten workbooks from Christian Light Publishing and Hooked on Phonics for reading.

This brings me to our second curriculum choice this year.
Christian Light Publishing is a Mennonite company that produces material for private schools and homeschools alike. They utilize "Light Units", which are thin workbooks that are worked through in about 3 weeks each. There are typically 10 Light Units per subject, however, some (like Bible) only have 5. Those are only worked in 2 or 3 days a week instead of every day.

So far, so good! The kids enjoy both their Sonlight books and their Light Units!

I also made a few other purchases this year from a company called Homeschool in the Woods.
Sonlight introduced them to us via their Timeline book and figures. I'll elaborate more on that another time, but thought I'd share what I bought so you could check it out if you want.

I bought the Olde World Style Maps, both world and U.S. I will print these on parchment paper, which makes them look really pretty and adds to the "aged" look.

I also bought the History Through the Ages Collection of Historical Timeline Figures on CD. This one was sort of a hefty purchase, but I'm glad I have it now. It will save me money through the years and offers more options for future projects as the kids get older! Amy Pak's artwork is just gorgeous!

And, if this post isn't long enough for ya, here's a link to the Science curriculum we will be using this year. It is a creation-based curriculum from Apologia called Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We will be using the Notebook Journals shown on their site, as well, for some hands-on learning.

Well, I am looking forward to our new school year! Homeschooling certainly didn't start out easy for me (our first year was pretty rough), but I learn so much each year that I'm eager to continue!

I just love spending time with my kiddos and watching them learn and grow. I love being there with them when they "get it" or that "light bulb moment" happens for them! I love cultivating in them a love for learning all the time, not just when we're doing school work.

They impress us daily with how much they retain and pick up!

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