I have been super busy the last few weeks. I never thought I would be homeschooling three boys this year, and it has been quite an adjustment from just one last school year. Now, there are added dynamics like behavior problems when they feed off each other, and it took me a while to nail down how we would work everything out so that I wasn’t teaching multiple classes for each subject. I did a little trimming and a pinch of good old Macgyver work, and we finally arrived at a plan that is working. This is our second full week of schooling, and we are starting to find a rhythm that works, so I wanted to share a glimpse at our homeschooling and curriculum for this school year.
Jayden was supposed to go into 4th grade this year and Jordan is working at a 4th/5th grade level with his dyslexia, so I combined them for all subjects. Because of the curriculum I chose, Jase who is in 2nd grade could be added into the classes as well, although I need to give him extra help at times. I have put together a really eclectic curriculum, but everything I chose has one thing in common. It is very interactive and hands on, making it the perfect option for my visual learners, and ensuring that we do not get too bored.
Grammar – We are using a Scott Foresman grammar book that I found online for free! There is a separate 4th grade and 2nd grade version, but luckily they both cover the same topics. So, I teach the lesson and then each child has two worksheets to do at their level. We do grammar 2 days a week.
Geography – During our camping trip, when none of the boys new the names of all 50 states or where they were located, I knew I would be doing geography this year. I found a low cost and really thorough U.S. Geography curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Geography is done 3 days a week.
Phonics – I purchased the Saxon Phonics Intervention program for Jordan to use and debated whether to have the other two do it with him. In the end, I decided it wouldn’t hurt them, so they all do it together.
Spelling – At the end of last year I had started All About Spelling Level 1 with Jordan, and I decided to start over at the beginning of this year. Because of his dyslexia, Jordan’s spelling is extremely phonetic and we are trying to overcome that.
History – History made it pretty simple to combine all the grades together. I read the lesson and then we do the activities, crafts and worksheets together. I do not require as much writing or detail from my youngest, but he is able to do the work with us. We are working our way through the Time Travelers History Series from Homeschool in the Woods. I am loving this program! It is in-depth and has a ton of hands on, fun activities that really bring history to life.
Reading – In addition to 30 minutes of independent reading each day, the boys and I work together to complete Classic Literature Studies. These take classic books and add interactive activities and lapbooking as you work your way through. This is another program that comes from Confessions of a Homeschooler and is very inexpensive. We are doing ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ first.
Writing – Since we are already doing spelling, phonics, grammar and reading separately, I did not want to add in a full writing curriculum at this time. The boys do journal writing each morning using a prompt that I give them.
Science – While all three boys are using a program from Elemental Science, the older two are working on Physics for the grammar stage, and my youngest is doing Biology for the grammar stage. I chose this program because it has at least two experiments per week, focuses on writing down what they learned in their own words, and has room for extra and on-going activities as well.
Math – Again, all three boys are using Saxon Math, but the older boys are doing 5/4 and the youngest is doing Saxon Math 2. This is not a “fun” curriculum like most the others, but it is heavy on the review of past concepts and teaching of new ones, so it works well for us.
For art, we are always doing activities and crafts with science, reading, history and geography, so there is plenty of that. On Tuesday afternoons, Jayden and Jase are taking a cooking class at a local community center, and on Thursdays, Jordan takes a pottery class there. Fridays, we have a co-op where the boys will have LEGO learning classes, photography classes and other enrichment type educational studies.
I know there is a lot of worry about socializing when it comes to homeschooling. In addition to the co-op and community center classes listed above, there is a local homeschool group we are part of that meets each Thursday for a few hours at a local park. They have additional activities like a camp-out at the end of this month too. The local Junior Museum has homeschool classes two times per month as well. So, there really is plenty of room for socializing.
So, that is our homeschool year at a glance. It should be a blast, and I look forward to sharing more of it with you, as we go!