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March 27, 2011

2011-2012 School Year: What to use?

I still have several months before I'll wrap up our current school year. I had plan to go all the way to the end of July. We are going to give our hand at all year schooling. However, spring is clearly in the air, because homeschool social sites, such as The Homeschool Lounge, are buzzing with discussions about what to use for next year for science, history, language arts, etc.

Even though I have several more months left I to have been looking at what to use for next year. I have my math and history covered. I have some of my language arts covered like: grammar, spelling and literature.

I HAVE to figure out what I want to use for science. I also need to do something about my children's handwriting and I need to do something to encourage writing.  The grammar workbooks are great for the basics of grammar, but I need to do something that will get them to write paragraphs, reports, or something along those lines.

Fine Arts are a requirement in my state and I think I have that covered okay. Although I think we are at the point were we would like our kids to learn and instrument, but I'm not sure what instrument to encourage or that will even be in our budget. If you have any suggestions that will be great!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nikki. :)
    After just reading this post, I checked your About Me page, to see what ages your kids are. Since yours are about the same age as some of mine, I'll tell you what we are doing in the subjects you are pondering.
    I have three who are 8 and in the 3rd grade. For science, we have been using Apologia (for the first year), and have been studying Astronomy. It's a big book! And along the way, I am teaching them to take notes from the chapters we cover (definitions, small facts to remember, etc.) in their science notebooks, so that is taking even more time. So we'll be continuing with that same book into next year. Of course we do some of the experiments and have great conversations about God's amazing Creation of our universe as well. We really are just taking our time with science.
    I believe knowing how to really write well, is so very important in life. In my mind, it's one of the most important skills, and they older they get, the more important and needed it is, while progressing through high school, college and all of the papers needed to be written through those years, in the work force, and so many instances in life as an adult. Writing well is a powerful tool to always have on one's side I think. So, we work A LOT on writing stories, paragraphs, reports, etc. We are using Writing Strands on the side, to truly study the specifics of sentence structure, and making writing detailed and interesting, step-by-step. But along the way, I also have them write every chance I get. They are reading a ton of books (they love, love to read), so I am having them write a brief report in a notebook for each book. They have journals for this. (I am blogging about this particular thing int he home schooling section of my blog soon.)I also have them write short imaginary stories, or their own life experiences, and help them research for animal reports for them to write about as well. Their (LifePac) ELA workooks have them write sentences/paragraphs a lot too. For stories, reports, poems they made up, etc....I also do oral presentations of them in front of 'our class'. Because that's another skill I believe is important. (Speaking loudly and clearly, eye contact, not fidgeting, while the others learn to be good listeners and show interest, etc.).
    So that's about what we are doing in those areas, off the top of my head. We school through the year now too. We just enjoy schooling, and it helps give us balance throughout the year. We can take the time off on days we need to, with life or field trips all through the typical school months, and not get bored with summer. We really just sprinkle the whole year with leisure activities and doing anything we want to, when we do. Then through the typical summer vacation, we do at least 3 days a week, which is less, but keeps the daily balance and structure we function best with. So, it's working out well for us.
    I typed this super fast, so I hope it makes sense and reads well for you. I just wanted to share what we are doing and enjoying, in case you'd like to look into any of it. It's a fun age, and the conversations and content written sometimes, really keep me entertained! I'm sure you find the same, with your two. : )

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