Well, we are two days into November, and I feel the need to write a homeschool update. No need to even read this if you aren’t interested in the day to day stuff of the Dorminy Academy. This is one way I choose to keep records of our school days. You know, in case someone comes to my door and asks me what exactly I am teaching my kids.
Today I feel thankful and right on track with our schooling. Last week I was googling local private schools and schools online with teachers for every subject. Good days and bad days. That’s how it goes with most things, but at the end of the day, I know God has me right here in this house with these kiddos, teaching them the best I can or finding help for them to learn something I am not equipped to teach. Things might get more “real” when we enter high school next year, but for now, I am going to enjoy this season of life.
READING. Our fun color-assigned paper chain is growing as each kid adds the book they complete to the chain. Mack has read Danny Champion of the World and is currently reading Wonder and finishing up The Hobbit. Molly has read Wonder and Things Not Seen. Ruby has read Anne of Green Gables, Wonder, and When You Reach Me. We are all going to read LOVE THAT DOG beginning in a couple of weeks to coincide with a new addition to our family. More on that later.
Jury is still out on if we will have a book club party when we are done, but I did save the article I read on the book club.
We continue to use BraveWriter to lead discussions and give us passages of copywork each week.
This year we added a more structured grammar program called FixIt Grammar; each kid is in a different level and are able to read, edit, label parts of speech and rewrite the sentence correctly. By the end of the year they will have rewritten a whole story in their binder and learned an awful lot along the way!
Spelling with Phonetic Zoo continues to rock along, and I am anxious to see if the younger two have improved scores on the Woodcock-Johnson test in May.
MATH. Ruby is enjoying Math with Mr. D online as she conquers Pre-Algebra. She seems to thrive with the online teacher in the subject of math. As I have said many times before, Saxon for 8 years straight just about did us in. I am thankful this is working so far! Molly and Mack are both still in Saxon books doing well. Mack is a stinker and likes to have me right there with him, prodding him along the entire time. I try to walk away to switch laundry or start lunch, but it doesn’t usually work out very well. He follows me, telling me a very important story that he has been meaning to tell me. Gracious, that boy. Molly likes her paper to be perfect, so if I try to write something on her paper while she is still working…you know, to TEACH her how to do something in math…she gets all kind of upset. Tells me to write lightly so she can erase what I write. Picky, picky. But all in all, math is rocking along.
This was taken last week while Mack was doing his math (and taking breaks to talk to me). The kid has it made.
HISTORY. We are using Beautiful Feet curriculum for Early American History and Modern History. We are reading live books and journeying through the 1400’s . We just entered the 1500’s this morning. We have read about Columbus all throughout….Isabella and Ferdinand, Vasco Da Game, all the Henry’s and more! It is a totally different way of studying History than our previous curriculum, but I think we like it. I plan to add a Geography unit in January. Until then, we will keep on keeping on with Columbus and the Americas. We also add movies that help us understand what we are studying in history
Honestly, they don’t usually love the movies as much as I do. But if I throw in some popcorn, they stay with it.
SCIENCE. Girls are reading Apologia’s General Science book and using their journal for notes and activities. So far, so good. This is a subject I am encouraging full ownership in, and they seem to be taking well to it. They tell me what they read about and learned afterwards. Works for me! And Mack is enjoying his Tinker Crates that arrive each month, as well as science videos here and there.
MORNINGS. I suppose starting with this one might have been smart, but whatever. In the morning we all gather at the kitchen table to eat breakfast and read a chapter from Understanding the Bible in 30 Days book. It provides for great discussion! Then, we usually watch a video from the Bible Project that goes along with what we read in Bible. After that, we watch CNN10– a ten minute news show for kids that they all enjoy and look forward to each day. After that, we may read a chapter from a biography of Paul Brand or listen to a podcast from Grammar Girl. Honestly, they do not like to listen to Grammar Girl, but I love it and I think it will grow on them. She isn’t boring to listen to, and we usually all learn something new! During this morning time is when I will add Geography in January. So by 10am we have done quite a bit all together before spreading out to dive into other subjects.
EXTRA STUFF. The girls are enjoying the home school choir they joined in September. They perform in November. They all wear matching long dresses and black flats–the girls aren’t too hyped about the outfit, but I think they will look beautiful and fancy. During the two hour practice, Mack and I read The Hobbit, throw football, go to a park or to get shaved ice and play checker. It’s a weekly date we both enjoy!
Twice a month they all go to The Blacksmith Guild at church with other home schoolers to learn about leadership, the Bible and do some service projects together.
Molly helps lead worship on Wednesday evenings for youth. I am so proud of her for jumping out there and doing it. She loves playing the guitar and singing. She even bought herself one of those drum things you sit on. I am sure there’s a technical name for it, but that description will have to do.
Mack wants to play basketball this season, so we are working on that. And he is in Awanas on Wednesday evenings. Speaking of Wednesdays, the night sky has been so beautiful when we leave church. The view of the city is awesome. Go Hornets!
The kids love church, and I am so grateful for that! We had the interns over and a few other friends to play games and hang out. They are a great group!
And today Mack and took some time to paint outside. There are so many beautiful colors out there to take in! Molly told someone, “Oh, look at that pretty tree!” And then immediately she said, “Oh no. I sound just like my mom.” haha! Cracks me up. And makes me proud.
Here are some other sketches I found that Mack did. He is always drawing something. Usually something about UGA football, but this time it was superheroes.
That’s the update! Sometimes we get bored. Sometimes we are intrigued. Sometimes the kids fuss and fight. Sometimes they get along like little angels. Some days we don’t get everything done I had hoped. Other days I surprise myself with our productivity. There is a loose routine, but not a schedule. We know what direction we are headed, and we just have to keep plodding along day after day, making progress. June will be here before we know it, and I want to be proud of all we have accomplished and all we have learned, as well as the ways our relationships have matured and our bonds have strengthened. Happy Schooling!