September 12, 2010

Homeschool 2010-2011

Ok, after much research and praying to Yah for guidance, I think I finally have our homeschool year pretty much figured out. It has not been easy, as I have been struggling with some of the subjects.

First I will give you what subjects will be done together, keeping in mind that my boys are 12 and 14 (soon to be 13 and 15, and while their learning styles are SO VERY DIFFERENT), these subjects seem to work well together.

World History - We are starting with the Ancient periods, and working our way forward. I will be using Abeka "History of the World" as our spine (an older copy I purchased in a batch of books last year for $50...the whole batch, not just this one lol.). We will be supplementing this with lots of videos for the visual learner (Tom), and lots of notebooking pages. We will do some Q&A from the book, but also following some rabbit trails of our own. Geography will be used extensively in this.

One of the BEST resources for history notebooking pages is the website Notebooking Pages. She has some great templates for free. I am printing out the ones without the timeline. I haven't decided if we will keep a timeline book yet or not. We will also use some of her biography pages and such to help with keeping straight all the important characters of ancient history and Scripture.

Grammar - We have not done much of anything in this subject at all over the years. It is an area that is sorely lacking. I dislike this, but cannot let my own prejudices hinder the boys education, so we are taking the leap. We will be using Introductory Lessons in Grammar, by Maxwell. This is a Google Book, that can be printed in pdf. I am printing one copy, that will be used by all of us. My initial plan is to go over the lesson with the boys, do a few of the exercises together, and then give them a set amount to do on their own. The next day before going over the next lesson, we will correct the ones we did the day before.

Science - We will be using Alpha Omega's "General Science", of which I had an old copy packed away in a box, from when I homeschooled Samantha. It is a bit below Joe's level, but it will give him a great foundation for organization just by the very way the system is set up, and help him to get in the "groove" with planning and organizing his work for when he does a higher level science on his own next year. It is also my plan (and prayer) by having the boys work together on science, that Joe will learn more patience with Tom, and use it as a learning experience to "teach". He loves to impart his knowledge on others, but doesn't do it in the most gentle and loving way. Especially when it comes to his younger brother.

Scriptures and Hebrew - As we are all still learning and growing in our knowledge of Yah, this will be a family time together to learn. We will still listen to the weekly Torah Portions here, but I will also be incorporating Torah Explorers, as well as learning the Hebrew language. This is so exciting as it is coordinating perfectly with our ancient history studies!!

Art - Tom especially is showing great interest in drawing lately. Joe has a bend more towards architectural drawings, but both love art. We will be using Draw Space, along with other books, videos and resources online to really jump into art this year. I am thinking this will be a 1-2 hr subject done on Fridays. We will also be studying artists, mediums, and making lots of artwork.

Music - Joe is very proficient at playing music on the keyboard by ear, but has not had lessons in theory and note reading, so this will be his focus this year. Tom will work right along side of him, also learning the keyboard. I haven't decided what to use for resources in this subject yet (yes this one is still up in the air), but have found a few online free places to check out. Will update this subject soon. Again, like art, this will be done on Fridays for instruction, with practice through out the week.

Nature Study - This is a subject that is near and dear to Tom's heart, and so I really want to do this for him this year. I have had it in the back of my head for years, but we just never implemented it. We will be using the Handbook of Nature Study blog, and using the Google Book version of Comstock's book. Joe and I are also very interested in foraging, so we will incorporate that in as well, learning what we can eat from our own environment.

Now for the subjects they do individually:

Math - He will be finishing up the MUS Intermediate book that I had from years ago. He is a little over half way through this. Then we will be using Course 1 Math Connects. There is no answer guide for this, but the basics are layed out well in the workbook, and will just require a little more time on my part to grade.

Tom really struggles with this subject, and while I have not had him tested, I do believe he has some of the symptoms of dyscalculia, a math learning disorder. I will be helping him in this subject by adapting some work, such as having him do all work on graph paper. I will do a separate post on this subject soon.

Vocabulary - Tom will continue in the Wordly Wise website, on level 5. Once that is complete he will move up to the next level. I really like using this site, as it has the audio, which helps him pronounce words he has never seen before. I require each of the boys to keep a Growing Dictionary of words from this site, and our other subjects. Each card has to have the word at the top, the definitions, and parts of speech. We do the Wordly Wise like this each week:

Monday-first 7 words for growing dictionary
Tuesday-last 8 words for growing dictionary
Wednesday-sentences for first 7 words
Thursday-sentences for last 8 words
Friday-Either a word search I made up for their list, or a fun game on the Wordly Wise website, depending on how far into the lessons they are (the games are for every 4 units).

Reading - This isn't set in stone yet. I do have a list of books I want him to read this year, including "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Because of his love of animals, we may also concentrate some of his books on authors like Jack London. He is allowed to do a lot of free reading, and does. I need to work on getting him to keep track of his reading better, instead of me doing the reading log.

Math -
Joe will be doing the Course 3 in Math Connects. He struggles in math as well, but not to the extent that Tom does. His biggest hurdle is his need to know "why" something is done the way it is. Sometimes in math there is no reason why, it just is.

Vocabulary - Joe is working in the level 7 of Wordly Wise website. He will also be keeping his Growing Dictionary. Once done with this level, he will move up to level 8.

Reading- Joe is very much interested in writing about some of his "adventures". With this in mind, I am going to have him read some of Thomas Bailey Aldrich books, such as An Old Town By The Sea. His love of Portsmouth, and the writing style of Aldrich will be a good fit. I also want to incorporate some Henty, and other classic authors into his reading.

So there you have it...a brief look at what we will be doing. I am sure much will be added in, and some may be moved around or dropped.



  1. Sounds like a lot of fun stuff going on there. ;) blessings, Mrs. B!

  2. Thank you Miss Rachel:) We are trying to keep our schooling as "normal" as possible with the move, but also fun!!