How we are handling school this year…

Last year, we learned a lot about our learning styles. We really discovered some things about our selves.

And I already know one thing about me… worrying about how to afford curriculum or resources every year sets me into a panic for months. Not to mention all the stress combing through it all to narrow down things into a budget to be told that budget doesn’t exist this year…

We also discovered The Thomas Jefferson Education (see link in side bar) plan that we are trying to implement, though I am not sure how to and I was only able to read some sample books on kindle and I did purchase the teen book but not finished reading it with the girls yet. The girls really enjoy the Memoria Press curriculum and its all classical learning.

Because of last years budget struggles, we didn’t have much money to buy curriculum.
We did get to purchase a few things from The Home School Buyers co-op, which earned us points, which let us join a few sites with those points instead of money. So we used a lot of printables last year. The problem with that was, they were bored, there were not many for high schoolers or of classical style learning.
So we really struggled last year to find things that gave us hands on, age appropriate resources. So we did a lot of “picking what subjects we wanted” and learned a lot about unschooling/student directed/rabbit whole learning. We also used some old stuff, or things we forgot we had hidden on the bookshelves. I also used old stuff, I did a lot of erasing in workbooks so we could reuse them. I got blisters from this. (I hear the violins playing now)

anyhooo…

We discovered we really like resources, hands on, unit study, student lead learning. We also discovered that we do like something to lead us in a direction and that allows us to stop and focus on that interesting subject or topic.

So for this year, we applied for a grant, to help purchase some things, from The Homeschool Foundation.
We received the small grant that is helping us cover some resources that we are looking forward to using.

We actually started school this week, as in our “leading”, but we learn everyday and explore and talk about topics everyday anyways. We ordered Exploring World History from Notgrass (oh how I wish I would have found them years ago, it would have saved me lots of stress). We absolutely love this history program. Lessons include a bible verse, reading of history, writing assignments, and a list of what books to use for required reading. We started using that this week. It is very easy to follow and the girls could follow it and do it all by them selves, that is how easy it is to do. This curriculum is for High School, but Kiki is also doing it with some modifications in the required reading and writing assignments (less writing). This past year she discovered she likes Nancy Drew books so I have ordered her some books through Rainbow Resource.

Which brings me to the rest of the curriculum that I purchased with our grant money. The rest came from Rainbow Resource.

We ordered some science, Apologia Botany that the girls wanted to study this year, as well as some other books to use as our “go to resources” for the subjects that they knew they wanted to learn more about when we covered that in the Notgrass curriculum.

We ordered a 12″ globe, instead of a map. They really wanted to learn about geography and maps from a globe instead of a flat map on the wall. They wanted to know were countries are relative to each other on the globe, as well as learning more about longitude and latitude. They will get a since of reality with a globe instead of a wall map.

We also will be getting some reference books like Unwrapping the Pharaohs, Medieval Castles (they love castles), Atlas of World History, and some more with a few Nancy Drew books for Kiki.

To help with remembering our verbs, adjectives, ect, we also grabbed a few mad libs. These were always fun for me as a kid, and its something fun that keeps our minds fresh on our grammar. I also think this will help in our writing assignments and every once in a while I will throw in a page from their reading were I can say, write out all the nouns on this page. This is something easy and free.

Dede will be working on Logic (from Memoria Press, one of my fave publishers) that she started in spring but took a break from the past few months. To go with this, I found a game that uses logic and comes highly recommended called Scotland Yard. I thought this fitting for her since she loves England, and it will help in her logic training. I also think it will help prepare Kiki for logic also. I know its just a game, but for Kiki especially, she learns great from games. She is not a “textbook” learner, she really needs hands on, fun, inspiring things to get the most out of learning.

Dede will be doing Kiki’s old Lit workbook from Memoria Press, using Robin Hood. I had to erase all Kiki’s answers, but it saves us money.

One thing they have been working on for some time is music. Dede has spent lots of time learning Piano, using free resources from the internet. She also received a Irish Tin Whistle several years ago for Christmas or her birthday. She wanted it and she practices on it some times.
Kiki has wanted to learn bagpipes for I would guess over 3 years, but we have not had the money for that, so we did get her a Tin Whistle and I told her if she practiced with it and proved she would do it, we would look into getting her bagpipe lessons some how.

For math, well, we will be using old Math U See books from previous years that were not finished due to we just ran out of school year and were ready to take brakes. For about 3 months last year we used Aleks Math (girls favorite math program) again and Dede took Algebra and Accounting. She knows she is never going to use Algebra in life so she wanted to quit it and do something more useful, so she wanted Accounting so she could use that in owning a business one day. I don’t believe in forcing our kids to learn irrelevant things, like Algebra or Trig, if they know they are not ever going to use them in life. May I mention, I have never used Algebra in life, and I took one semester in high school of it and switched to business classes, which I have never used either, and we were business owners and I don’t even remember anything from those classes except how to write a check. LOL!

Well, I found some old resources on our external hard drive, that I gathered 4-5 years ago when I used a lot of The Old School House Magazine ebooks and ebooks from CurrClick.com. So we might use those things again. Some of those are Writing Strands, Math Mammoth, learn Hebrew and Greek, ect.

SOO… this is our plan this year. We are excited to get back to some type of routine (that is a joke, we don’t like routines). We have been spending lots of time every day keeping the house clean since its up for sale. You never know when someone wants to see your home.

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