It's not even the middle of July and we've started our new school year. The lure of new books caused my 5 year old to beg to start our new year about a week earlier than I'd planned. I like to start mid-July so we have plenty of wiggle room in our schedule for days off throughout the year, but I wasn't quite ready to start this week. So, on Sunday afternoon and evening I scrambled to finish up loose ends in order to start school the next day. We didn't jump into everything this week, but we started most subjects.
This year, I have:
- a 5th grader (Jonathan)
- a 1st grader (Jacob)
- a preschooler (Josiah)
- and a baby (Joel)
Quite different from when I started six years ago. Back then, I had a preschooler and a baby. Now we're starting our seventh year! My, how time flies!
We do several subjects together as a family. These include: history, science, worldview, and Latin. Most weeks we do history 3 days, science 1 day, and worldview 1 day. For Latin, we try to add a new lesson each week. Their other subjects are done individually.
Jonathan finished his first cycle of world history this past school year. Jacob listened here and there last year during the read aloud time. We're ready to start the cycle again and include Jacob as a 1st grader. We're back in ancient history with The Mystery of History Volume 1. They are using the coloring pages and notebooking pages from Bright Ideas Press. Jonathan is using the blank notebooking pages set this year on an iPad mini with the app Notability. (Here's how you can use worksheets and notebooking pages on an iPad.) We're working on his written narration skills. Jacob is using the primary-line pages. He narrates out loud. Then I write most of what he says and he writes a few words.
Since this is Jonathan's second cycle of history, we're adding a little more for him. These Draw and Write Through History books will give him more art options while he's listening to me read. We have volume 1 and volume 2. He's also reading Story of the World Volume 1 as a supplement. We added a Bible Atlas and new history encyclopedia to our library for digging deeper into events and people who interest him. We'll also pick out some additional fiction books that fit the time periods.
We've been going through the Exploring Creation elementary series by Jeanie Fulbright and Apologia. This year we're doing Zoology 3: Land Animals. Jonathan uses the regular notebooking journal while Jacob uses the junior notebooking journal.
Last year, Jonathan finished the 4 year cycle through Apologia's What We Believe Series. He's taking a second, more detailed trip through this worldview series with Jacob joining us. We're back in “Who is God?” this year. Jonathan also uses the coloring book and the regular notebooking journal. Jacob uses the coloring book and junior notebooking journal.
Latin is new for us. The boys showed some interested and have so far been enjoying learning a new language. We're using Memoria Press Prima Latina. There's a teaching DVD and workbooks. We're making our own vocabulary cards. We're trying to do a new lesson each week and do a little review most days. The boys think it's fun to quiz each other and to recite the Latin prayers they've been memorizing.
Jonathan is about to finish reading the Old Testament. He has read the whole Bible from cover to cover in 2.5 years. I haven't decided what he will do next, but I'm thinking about a study from Not Consumed or Grapevine Studies. He's also been going through “The Talk” and “Changes” with Daddy this summer.
Jonathan started using Write Through the Bible Philippians 2:1-18 this spring. He's improved his cursive handwriting quite a bit. At the same time, he has memorized the passage! He wants to finish memorizing the whole chapter. When he completes the curriculum and verse 18, he plans to use the same pattern to finish memorizing the chapter.
In the spring, we made a switch in our math curriculum. We switched from Math Mammoth to Saxon. Jonathan's placement test put him in Math 7/6. He will continue to work through that using the DIVE videos. When he finishes that, we have Life of Fred Fractions and Life of Fred Decimals and Percents for some fun and practical application practice.
Jonathan learned to read using the Pathway Readers and Workbooks. I like these simple wholesome readers and he enjoys the stories. They are a little more “traditional” or brick-and-mortar-school like than most of our other curriculum and our general classical / Charlotte Mason homeschooling philosophy, but they have been great for improving reading comprehension. Jonathan is finishing the 4th grade set and will start on the 5th grade set in the spring or summer.
He just did All About Spelling Level 5. He goes through a level very quickly – about a lesson a day. Spelling comes naturally for him. We will do All About Spelling Level 6 in the spring.
Jacob reads well but he's not quite ready to read the Bible on his own. He and I are reading through the Bible from cover to cover together. We read two chapters most days. I do the bulk of the reading, but he does a few verses here and there. He's using this NIrV Bible.
Jacob has also been using Write Through the Bible Philippians 2:1-18 in manuscript. The sections are a little long for him, so he takes 2-3 days for most of the “days” in the book.
I still like Math Mammoth for the younger grades. Jacob will be using Math Mammoth Light Blue Grade 2 this year. He's also been working through the Life of Fred Elementary series. He just did Apples and Butterflies this summer. We'll do another book when we're ready for a break or next summer.
Jacob has been learning to read using All About Reading, but we still also use the Pathway Readers and Workbooks. Jacob is ready to start All About Reading Level 3 and Pathway Grade 1 book 2. But first, he's working on spelling with All About Spelling Level 2.
Josiah will be more involved in school this year. It's so cute when he brings me his bucket of All About Reading materials or grabs a story book from his book bucket and asks to do school. I don't formally do school with him every day. It depends on his mood, interest, attention, and what's going on with the other boys.
We're continuing to go through Sonlight P3/4 story books. He's slowly making his way through All About Reading Pre-level. He spends a lot of time with Dress Up Joey, Magformers, Learning Resources Gears, pattern blocks, and Legos too.
And then there's baby Joel. Our goal is to keep him from eating or destroying anything. He started crawling at 5.5 months and at just over 6 months has successfully pulled up to standing a few times.
There are a few things that we needed to replace or replenish for this school year like:
- A new 3 hole punch
- New Prismacolor colored pencils in 24 and in 48 count tins
- A new long-reach stapler because Jacob loves making “books” to write stories
- Dry erase pouches for Josiah
We still have plenty of our favorite pencils and our trusty laminator.
We're ready for an exciting seventh year homeschooling!