Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Homeschool Meme- "Tell About Your Homeschool"

Jacque from "Seeking Rest in the Ancient Paths" has started a new homeschool meme called "Tell Me About Your Homeschool"

I started homeschooling (years ago or year)

Last September.

I homeschool __ of my children

Both of my children. DD will be in kindergarten and DS I'm just very gently introducing him to basic preschool concepts like colors, shapes, numbers, letters, body parts, animals, etc.

I teach my children to read at age(specific age or not?)

I look for readiness signs, but I would get concerned if the child was not reading by age 7 or so.

A few of my most favorite homeschool teaching resources are:

Library card, family memberships to museums, The Writing Road to Reading by Romalda Spalding, RightStart Math games & manipulatives.

Do you write out goals for school each year?

Well, I started them but have not yet finished. I've been having a hard time figuring out what are realistic goals for my DD since her abilities are all over the map.

What time do you start school each day? Do you have a specific schedule?

Mid-morning usually. Right now we're pretty informal, but I'm planning to make things a bit more formal since DD will be in kindergarten. Right now the plan is for daily instruction in religion, language arts, and math; history 3x/wk; and science 2x/wk.

I have used ___ math programs. My favorite is:

We have not yet started formal math instruction but are planning to use Right Start Math Level B in the fall.

I have used ___ science programs. My favorite is:

We have not yet started a formal science program. We're going to be studying biology next year using "living books" and hands-on experiments from Biology for Every Kid and The Human Body for Every Kid by Janice Van Cleave.

I have used ___ grammar/english programs. My favorite is:

We used The Writing Road to Reading by Romalda Spalding for phonics. I'm planning to use First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Language of God Level A from Catholic Heritage Curricula next year. I looked at Michael Clay Thompson's grammar series from Royal Fireworks Press but they seem just a bit too advanced for DD right now. We'll probably use them after we finish FLL.

I have used ___ history programs. My favorite is:

We have not yet started formal history study. I looked at a bunch of different programs but couldn't find a complete one I liked. So I'm putting together a bunch of unit studies in chronological order.

What months do you homeschool during?

I'm planning to homeschool year-round but go lighter in the summer and during Advent.

Favorite homeschool method?

A hybrid of neo-Classical and Charlotte Mason. The two approaches really complement each other IMHO. I like CM's emphasis on "living books", short lessons, hands-on activities, nature walks, narration, and copywork. I like neo-Classical's emphasis on the Great Works, memorizing math facts and spelling & grammar rules, the 4-yr cycles in history and science, and the early introduction of Latin and logic.

Do you/plan to homeschool all the way through high school?

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it! I like what I hear about Stanford's EPGY on-line high school so that may be an option for homeschooling them through high school.

Have you noticed specific learning styles in each child?

Yes. DD is much more social than DS. She wants to discuss things, while he wants to be left alone to figure things out for himself. She's also more verbal while he's more mechanically inclined.

Do you keep specific or general records? Or none, really?

Here in CA the official records are minimal, but I'm going to be keeping a portfolio for our own purposes.

Do you teach Bible, art, journaling, phys. ed.?

The Bible is definitely part of both our study of religion and of history. Creative art and physical fitness are done on a daily basis but are not formal subjects. DD takes a dance class and will be on a soccer team this fall plus we're probably going to do swimming lessons too. I don't think we're going to be doing journaling just yet.

Where do you like to shop for homeschool books and resources?

Emmanuel Books, Catholic Heritage Curricula, Our Lady of Victory, Ignatius Press, Rainbow Resource, Amazon, Teacher Created Resources, Learning Through History, Calliope.

What resources have you been itching to try?

  • History Links- I'm planning to use their "Early Medieval" unit and hopefully their "Late Medieval" unit will be available by the time we get to that part of history.
  • RC History's "Connecting with History"- I'm planning to use their Volume 2 assuming it's finished by the time we get to that part of history.
  • Minimus Latin
  • Michael Clay Thompson's books
  • CTY and EPGY courses

*Do you use and/or like to use E-books?*

I have not yet used any, but I would consider them.

Do you have anything to add?

I'm going to be trying to teach DD chess using WinterPromise's "Knights of the Square Table" curriculum. Should be interesting as my dad tried to teach me chess as a kid but I just never got into it. I keep reading though about research showing chess makes children smarter so it's worth giving a shot!


Jacque Dixon said...

Saw you linked me on my Sitemeter, and I just really enjoyed reading all of your answers!!
Thanks for doing it.
I hope it will be a lot of fun and informational for everyone!!


Dan said...

Very well written, organized, thoughtful blog. Perhaps an electronic portfolio would be helpful for record-keeping?

For your consideration - Digication provides an electronic portfolio for teachers and students. We are receiving more and more requests for access to Digication from homeschoolers around the U.S. As Digication researches the homeschool market, we would like to offer you to be part of our exclusive Early Adopter Program for homeschoolers. We would like you to try out Digication and provide feedback to us on how we can best serve the Homeschool market. Only a limited number of homeschoolers will be asked to participate in our Early Adopter Program and during this time Digication will be free for your use.

Example: http://homeschool.digication.com/redicespot/Bio

Please contact Digication if you are interested in learning more, please email support@digication.com

HeartofWisdom said...

Thanks for sharing. We are all so different-- just like cooking different recipes.

You may want to visit the conversation about classical homeschooling at the Heart of Wisdom blog. Very interesting!