A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gearing Up

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up on summer just yet, there is still plenty of adventuring to do and fun to be had; but it is time to start getting ready for the school year ahead.
For me that means trying to find a rhythm again...summer has included some lazy days of sleeping in and doing as we please (not that we don't ever have those days during the school year).  I find that I am most productive and get the most done when I rise early before the rest of the family and just have a bit of time to myself.  I suspect that this does something to my mood as well because the hubs seemed thrilled to see me up baking this morning.  He smiled, kissed me and told me it warms his heart...Now I know for a fact he wasn't referring to the fact the kitchen was looking a bit like a tornado had blown through with the relics of both zucchini bread and gluten free zucchini muffins (hmmmmm...what else to make w/ the zucchini and squash that the kids will eat without complaint). 
I've been spending a lot of time these last few days thinking about curriculum for the kids this year.  We haven't used one curriculum but have always pieced things together as we see fit.  This year the kids are switching to Saxon math.  The last two years we were using math mammoth and while it worked well at first we ended up not liking it so much last year. 
I'm thrilled to have discovered History Odyssey!  We have been on a search for a good history curriculum for a while now and I'm thinking this study guide will fit the bill quite nicely.  It's a literature based history and geography course with year long lessons including great books and writing.  I especially like that it has 3 levels so the books and lessons can really hone in on the age group you are working with.  We are starting with Middle Ages level 2.  We did Story of the World Ancient times last year and this one picks up with the Fall of the Roman Empire (just where SOW left off) with some more challenging assignments.  I'm excited to see if I'm right about this one, and I'll be sure to let you know.
For more writing we'll be trying out Writing with Skill and The Creative Writer.  Both of these books seem like a good fit for my middle grade kiddos.  Should be fun all around, we have one who loves to write and one who love math...I'm undecided about ordering more grammar work books this year, we've just used simple ones like this which have been perfect.  I'm wondering this year if writing will combine the grammar enough so that it doesn't need to be a separate lesson?  Any thoughts?
We're working some french this year with a few beginning french texts I've picked up at book sales over the summer...honestly we didn't do enough last year, vowing to do better this year.
Looking forward to using the microscope this year
I guess the biggest decision yet to be made about school is science.  A secular curriculum is a must, but what to do has yet to be decided.  We did like Real Science 4 Kids last year.  Though Molly informed me recently it wasn't "real" chemistry.  When I asked what "real" chemistry was she replied "you blow stuff up"...hmmmm.  We may go ahead with their biology and physics or try just using a text book (I've got Glenco's Life Science).  What are folks using for middle grades?  I'd love to hear.
I'd also love to know what Greg has in store for his lessons this year.  I asked about art history and he seems to feel that art from our history studies is "bad", we shall see.  In the mean time, I'm off to enjoy a bit of time with my boy (Molly is at team camp this week).
Are you gearing up yet?  When are you planning on starting school?


  1. I'm not ready!!! I'm in end of summer denial...

    That being said I want to check out your history curriculum. History is my fave although too often neglected because it isn't mandatory at our grade level.

    1. Do check it out Rachel, different levels, I'll let you know how it goes my crowd.

  2. We are starting our first year as homeschoolers...eeek! I am super eXcited!

  3. Where has the summer gone, huh? I've only just begun thinking about the possibility of homeschooling...it's so interesting to read what's worked for you!


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