Homeschooling 2018 – 2019

I love homeschooling.  I love the freedom it affords our family.  We get to do it together. We get to travel to see family that has different school calendars to follow.  We get to use whatever curriculum we feel is best for our family. Now, don’t think I am just sliding by – I follow our state’s guidelines for the school system because I want my children to be successful when they head to their higher learning experiences.  I love that I can infuse their day with Biblical truths and bring Christians into our history studies.

 

I had a little breakdown before I started planning this new school year.  My oldest daughter was entering the ELEVENTH grade! I only have a little time left with her, and there is SO much that I need to teach her!  

 

I completely LOVE homeschooling. I love the time that I have to spend with each child.  I love that they don’t hate me. I love that I don’t hate them. (But let’s be honest, we worked through this already early in our homeschool years.)  I get to know their personalities. They ask me questions about anything. I know what is going on in their lives…….

 

But, I digress.  This is about my curriculum! Since I have just precious little time left with my oldest, I wanted to make the best school experience for her.  So, I researched a lot, and I prayed even more. Where does God want us to go?

 

We have been a Sonlight family from the very beginning.  I love their curriculum. We read so many rich books that I had never heard of, and we have had a great time learning together.  Until Riley hit the upper grades… Bodie and Kaylee are close enough in age that we still schooled together, but Riley was banished to do things by herself.  No – she wasn’t really banished, but it felt like she was locked in her room while the rest of us were having fun together. I didn’t want that to be her last year’s experience.

 

I have a small circle of women who are ahead of me in my journey.  The words “morning time” and “The Good and the Beautiful” were mentioned, and I went home and looked into them.

 

Have you ever heard the words “morning time” or “morning basket”?  I looked it up and instantly fell in love with the concept! It was so similar to our mornings when we were all doing Sonlight together as a family.  I want my children to look back on their times schooling at home with love, fond memories, and feeling connected with their siblings and me.  

I want them to fall in love with the beauty of art, delight in poetry we read aloud, remember books we travel through, and feel connected as a family each and every day.  Pam Barnhill became my online mentor.  I studied her website and listened to many of her podcasts.  I knew that THIS was how we were to start our mornings. Her site offers online training in how to plan your homeschool mornings, and even has sample morning time plans, which I spent many hours on during our summer break, piecing together what I wanted to include.

 

The samples were all so good, I ended up buying her yearly subscription for morning time plans.  She and her team include art study, music study, scripture memory, hymn study, poetry reading, and read aloud books.  It probably includes even more, but that’s all I remember off the top of my head! And one thing I really love is a cute weekly morning time planner that is decorated with clip art from the season’s theme.  It helps me organize the start of our mornings so much!

 

My kids and I love the start of our school day with Morning Time – it sets the stage for the whole day!

The other huge change in our schooling was switching to The Good and The Beautiful curriculum for History, Language Arts, and typing.  It truly follows its name. The curriculum books are beautiful to look at.  My children are all included in the history lesson, even being at three different levels.  I love how everything is contained in simple spiral notebook-type books. As the teacher, I don’t have to keep flipping through different books.  Lesson 1 and all that needs to be included is right here. The website is so easy to navigate, and it’s just open and teach. It links videos for us to watch or  links audio storytelling, so that my voice can get a break.

 

Another new thing for us this year was that, for the first month, Riley worked at a dairy as a scale reader.  As it wasn’t in cell service range, she couldn’t do the majority of her classes as they are online, so all she worked on for 8+ hours a day was Language Arts.  Because we are using The Good and the Beautiful, it worked in Literature, Writing, Grammar, Usage, Punctuation, Spelling, Vocabulary, Geography, Art, AND Art History.  She finished half the year’s work in one month! And she LOVED it!! She learned so much. And, just as the website claims, she feels very prepared for college.

 

The last big change we made this year was this was the first year I decided on a theme verse.  It encompasses what I want our year to look at.

 

This year has been our best school year yet!!  If you have any questions about homeschooling, please ask me!  I LOVE talking about it!