Sunday, August 14, 2011

A new year already?!?

Ok, not really.  We've actually been doing school since the start of July.  I know, I'm a total slacker with the blogging again.  You should see the family blog.  Poor neglected dusty thing......

Anyway.  Gracie is in 2nd grade and Ian in Kindy this year.  One of the biggest changes in my life this year will be having every Friday all to myself.  I have no idea what I will do, probably sleep and eat chocolate although I probably should clean and do grocery shopping.  I'm looking forward to it, over 7 years of being the primary care giver for at least one child deserves one day a week off, right?  We have switched to a different Options location this year and I am pretty excited about it.  It's larger, has a nicer facility, offers more classes, is only about 5 minutes from James office and it's on Fridays like our last location which was kind of a must for me at this point, I really like Options as a kick off to the weekend.

So, what are the kids up to this year?

Gracie's classes

Math:
Mathmatics Grade 2 by Scott Foresman/Addson Wesley-  Not what I would have probably picked.  Not what we'll probably do next year. I wanted something more hands on and visual because I think she needs that.  She wants a work book she can speed through as fast as possible with as little explanation as possible.  I went with her wants this year because Math U See was a battle last year and this was free through Options.  So far it's not terrible but I don't really feel like she's learning concepts as much as she's just filling out answers. I liked Math U See better but it's not always about me, right?

Grammar:
Easy Grammar by Wanda C. Phillips-  Easy day by day exercises that introduce grammar without being too intensive.  I like it, she likes it.  Win-win.

Spelling:
Spelling Connections 2 by Zaner-Bloser-  I like this system because it integrates writing, vocabulary, grammar, reading, and thinking into each unit without it seeming like it is.  Sneaky sneaky.  Again so far we both like it.

Science/Social Studies/Reading:
Moving Beyond the Page Age 5-7 by Epiphany Curriculum- This will be new for us starting this week.  We started with Scott Foreman Science and Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Social Studies from Options.  I didn't like either of them last year and neither did the kids really but it was free and I didn't really have any other curriculum in mind so I just went with it.  The biggest issues with both those systems is that it's meant for teaching a whole classroom and at least for me I just couldn't get it to translate to home schooling well at all.  I was supplementing a ton from the start which is fine but adds a lot on my plate.  And the kids thought it was boring.  And then Gracie started having major jealousy issues with Ian because I have to read him everything from his books because he doesn't read yet and she didn't understand why I was focusing on him and having her do her work quietly once I got her started because she can read and follow directions.  That didn't make sense to her though and she thought it was really unfair.   All of this came to a head by the end of July.  I had learned of MBTP after we had started and had filed it away for next year but after all this I decided maybe just biting the bullet and purchasing it would be for the best.  I decided to go with level 5-7 because then we can do all of it together, as a team.  These are the classes that take us the most time during school and working together will be good for us I think.  Plus in each lesson there are generally 2 options for each activity, one that is easier and one that is a bit more challenging.  This works perfect for us, two activities on the same topic, one geared towards Gracie, one towards Ian, and only one lesson plan for me to have to follow.  Finally having them 20 months apart is paying off!!  After doing our plans for this coming week I am totally sold on the system and can't wait to do it with the kids.  It's literature based and right up our alley.

Health:
KidsHealth.org- I'm pulling stuff off of this website for a once a week health talk.  I figure it's a good thing to talk hygiene and stuff.  Before they get all big and smelly.

Art:
Atelier Art level 3- We did level 2 last year and it was great.  The projects are great, there is also fine art to observe and discuss.  It was designed for homeschoolers which is nice.

Other stuff:
This fall Gracie will be in a new choir in Parker and playing soccer here in Elizabeth.  As long as rehearsal doesn't clash with practice it will be all good.  She'll also hopefully be taking Karate at Options but that's not for sure yet. 


Ian's Classes

For the record I had no intention of Ian doing much school this year.  I didn't make G do anything for kindy and she turned out just fine (so far) so I had the same plan for him.  He, however, had other plans.  My kids always have other plans it seems.  He has been very very very excited about school and being in school and doing school and learning.  He's turned out to be quite academic which is a pleasant surprise.  So I'm going with it.  (Are you catching a theme here? I do what they tell me.  If they ever figure this out I am toast.)

Math:
Math U See Primer-  Ian was itching to do this all year last year. He LOVED the blocks and was always playing with them when Gracie did math.  It was an easy choice for him this year.  And then guess what?  When I went to pick it up they said he doesn't need blocks.  I was like WHA?  He was like WHA?  I asked if they were sure, they said yes, so off I went with a crying boy.  But by lesson 9 you do need the blocks, they are in the video and everything.  So they are getting me the blocks. Ian is happy.  The end.

Language Arts:
Sing, Spell, Read, Write-  I had no idea what this would be like but it sounded good and again, it was free, so I went for it.  Ian really likes it, he likes that he gets to cross stuff off his train track and he can't wait to get to the race car level which I think is for next year.  If we finish early we'll start it this year because he's crazy to be a car instead of a train.  Go figure.

Science/Social Studies/ Reading:
If you don't know what he's doing for this you obviously didn't read what I said Gracie is doing and shame on you.

Health:
Same as Gracie.

Art:
Same as Gracie.

Other Stuff:
He's also playing soccer here in Elizabeth this fall and will hopefully be doing karate at Options.

So those are our big fat plans for this year!  What are yours?  If you have a blog link hook me up!

1 comment:

  1. We totally love Math U See. I think it is great that you are following your child. All children are different and we adults have to learn how to be flexible!

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