Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Homeschool Open House

Tiany at Less of Me~More of Him is hosting a homeschool open house. I thought this would be a good time to organize all my curriculum and put my thoughts down in writing.

Welcome to our school, River Tree Academy. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

I am Michelle, mom to seven blessings. I have a Sophomore and a Junior who attend our local Charter School. I homeschooled them for a few years but always felt like I was "ruining" them. So, we sent them off to school. They like being in school and I must say I am thankful I don't have to try to teach higher level math and science at this time.

The younger two boys who are 9 and 10, have been homeschooled all but one year since they started school. We sent them for a year when I thought I was ruining them too. That one year was a nightmare. I spent more time doing homework with them in the evenings than I had spent schooling them at home during the day. It was not fun or interesting to them (or me). They both begged to come back home. After seeing what they got done in a classroom, I no longer think we don't do enough. I have become more laid back in my approach. I think we are in it for the long haul, unless God has something else planned in the future.

Our five year old daughter will start Kindergarten this fall. Our other two blessings are a three year old daughter and an 11 month old son.

I have been working on a Manager's of Their Homes schedule this summer. I am planning to be up early enough before the children so I can exercise and have my quiet time. Before school we will have breakfast, personal hygiene, room cleaning time, and I will do a 10 second tidy of the bathroom. Our school day will most likely run from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. (I may have to adjust the times once we get started.) I cannot plan to the minute, I get too stressed. I have designated blocks of time for certain subjects. Then we move on. We will have read aloud time after lunch and then personal reading time after that (me included).

The little ones will go down for naps and then there is free time for myself and the older kids until 4:00 p.m. (I get to sew, scrapbook and read blogs in my free time!) At 4:00 I will start dinner. The kids will put away all laundry that has been washed for the day, and then we will tidy up the house. I had no schedule last year and I always felt like we were missing something. I think my new schedule will bring more peace into our day. I have not yet figured out when we will fit in the chores, or when I will correct school work. I have to play with the schedule a little to work out all the kinks.

As far as curriculum goes. I don't do it free. (My hubby wishes I would.) I hope by reading all the other open houses, I can get some ideas on how to do it more economically. I have spent between $500.00 and $1,000.00 every year. This year I think my total will be just under $600.00, and I am reusing a lot of Kindergarten items we already owned.

Here is what we are using for Duchess in Kindergarten:
We will be doing Five in a Row Volume One, Alpha Phonics, and Handwriting without tears.

My main focus for the year is for her to become familiar with letters and sounds of the alphabet. A friend gave me this really neat Letter Shapes paper craft book. Each letter of the Alphabet is made into a shape of something that begins with that sound. For example, the letter K is made with a boot on the end and is rigged with a brad to make it kick. The A is folded into an airplane. It will be fun. I also have Cuisinare Rods and the Cuisinare Alphabet Book for her to work with as well as the Lauri alphabet puzzles.

I haven't decided yet if I will purchase a math curriculum for her or not--maybe in a few months. For now we will work with Pattern Shapes and the Pattern Animals book, do some sorting and grouping activities, learn ordinal numbers, continue counting, and learn to write numbers.

Squire and Scribe are going to be in 4th and 5th grades this year

We will try My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures this year. I really think I am going to like it. They will do the Handwriting Without Tears Cursive program, and I am ordering Math U See tomorrow.

The Language Arts program is from Sonlight with Sequential Spelling. We have a computer typing program we try to fit in too.

Some extras:

I purchased the Handbook of Nature Study for our Nature Walks and some blank Note Sketch books for their nature journals.

One of my favorite finds has been the Sir Cumference books. I love these and so do the kids. We read them every month or so. They have helped the children grasp some mathematical concepts in a fun way.

We homeschool at our dining room table, and snuggle up on the couch for reading time. I have had a designated school room in the past, but it seems we always end up in the dining room. It is a central location in our house and it allows me to work on laundry or in the kitchen and keep an eye on progress.

Fridays are our "light days", I don't schedule Math, Language Arts, or Handwriting. This gives us time to catch up on things we weren't able to finish earlier in the week. We also use that day as a play day with friends or a field trip day.

Thanks for visiting our school. I can't wait to find some extra time to read about other homeschoolers. Thank you Tiany for hosting the open house!


  1. I loved reading about your homeschool and the curriculum you use.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

  2. Your husband and children are blessed to have you for a wife and mother, dear sister.

    I thank God for you, too-you are a blessing to me! I enjoy this blog site tremendously!

  3. I enjoyed reading about your homeschool and curriculum. Isn't it amazing how our insecurities get in the way? It sounds to me like you are doing a great job! Trust always in the Lord for through him all things are possible!

  4. I wouldn't have enough patience for homeschooling....more power to you!

    I am you have any state mandated testing they have to do?

    The nature walk study sounds awesome! Can I join you??!!

  5. Frazzled Farm Wife,
    We are required to have our children tested annually. The type of test, who administers the test, and when we take the test is totally up to us. We have to inform the school district at the beginning of the school year all of the above. But, we are not required to submit the results of the test to anyone.

    Some people test at the beginning of the year to see what areas need improvement, but I like to have them tested at the end.

    It's always a relief when we are finished with the tests and see that the kids are either at or above grade level. Whew!

    As far as patience...I don't always have a lot of it, but I definitely did not have the patience to work with them on their homework at night!

  6. You go girl! I am bringing my sophomore back home after a year and 2 months at public school, for him.

    I can't wait bto see the sites you recommended!


  7. Sounds like a great year Michelle!

    We use My Father's World and LOVED ECC!!! I can't wait to do it again in a few years.

    Have a great year!


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