This year I only have four that are still in school. That is crazy! It seems like just a year ago that my planning pages had 9 kids across the top. Now I only have 4 and 2 of them will be completely independent so that means really, I only have 2. I don't know if I should be sad or thrilled!
I'm really changing things up this year. We are trying several new curriculums and methods. You would think after 22 years I would know exactly what I want to do, but my kids still have different learning styles so I work to accommodate while still challenging them.
My two oldest still in school are Zach and Gracie. Zach began working with his dad so he fell behind last year as he struggled to balance working and school, so we are working to get caught up. He is 16, super smart and willing to do whatever he needs to do.
He will be doing all of his school lessons online using Power Homeschool (formally known as Acellus School) It was suggested to me by a friend and I've spent the summer looking it over. I think it will be a good fit for Zach. For $10 a month he can take 6 courses. That's perfect and we can supplement what we need to.
Gracie is 13 and will be doing 8th grade work. She is also working from the Power Homeschool site for some of her courses, not all. I'm working to prepare her for Highschool and I think this will be a good fit for her as she is already very independent in her work.
She will be using Apologia's Physical Science for science because she really loves that. She is also doing Geography with the younger boys and I. I love that she still enjoys doing hands on projects with her younger brothers.
Gracie loves Art. She found her talent with watercolor and sketching so I found Arty Factory, a website she will go to twice a week and follow the lessons there. She can choose various types of art and I will assign some Art history to go along with her other lessons as well.
Sam is practically 12. His birthday is the last of our September birthday marathon.
He will be doing some 5th grade work and some 6th grade work. The beauty of homeschooling, we can focus on the areas that still need more work. I realized last year that Sam needs more of a hands on approach with his math (and I do too), so we are switching to Math U See. I was really hesitant to switch him to this, but after talking with some of my homeschool mom friends I think we will be ok.
A friend told me about a fairly new curriculum that uses a touch of the Charlotte Mason method. I've always loved this method, but am too unorganized to make the most of it. The Good and the Beautiful site is a full curriculum for the younger grades and more is coming for the older grades. Language Arts for grades 1-5 are FREE! You can print it out yourself, or you can order everything already printed (for a price of course). I printed everything out yesterday. It's a lot of printing, but it really gave me a chance to look over everything in better detail and I am really looking forward to using this. She incorporates poetry, art, geography into the language and grammar lessons. I printed out grade 5 for Sam because we really need to get a more solid foundation in writing & grammar.
For several years I have looked at using My Father's World with my kids, but I could not afford to buy the whole kit. A friend was selling an older version of the teachers manual of Countries and Cultures so I bought it and loved it! Gradually over the summer I've been collecting the books needed. Many of them I already had. We are only doing the Bible and geography/history portions. But I'm excited and think the boys will really like this. As we study different countries, we are learning of various missionaries from past and present who have served in these countries. We are getting our hands dirty (which always makes me nervous) as we are doing a lot of hands on projects and cooking foods from various countries.
We attend a local co-op and Sam will be taking the rest of his classes there. He will be taking Chess, Literature, Anatomy & Physiology (Apologia), PE and Computer Coding.
Charlie is my baby and it's so hard to type this...but he will be in 1st grade! When did this happen? We like to call him our 40 yr old 1st grader because he just acts so much older than he is. Growing up in a house full of big people will do that to you.
I basically ordered for Charlie what I ordered for Sam just in 1st grade.
Language Arts: The Good and the Beautiful
Math: Math U See Primer
History/Geography: Countries and Cultures
Science: Apologia Anatomy. I bought him the Junior Notebook and he & I will work through parts of that together.
Charlie is taking classes at our co-op as well. He will be doing Grammar, Spanish, Bible, Art and PE. He can't wait to take big kid classes.
The boys and I are going to read through the Narnia Series together this year. They have only seen the movies (shame on me). I loved reading through this series with my older kids, so I'm really looking forward to this.
So, here's to a new year. I've been praying and searching and comparing and praying some more over what we should do, so I'm looking forward to how our new year will be. I'm expecting great things!