About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about our homeschooling methods. You can read that post here. I mentioned in that post that I was sure I would change the way we do things many times. Well, I was right! So, I thought I'd share how we homeschool now! :)
I'm gonna make a few disclaimers first -
1. I am NOT an expert. (please consult your physician before making changes to your diet, don't try this without adult supervision, and so on and so forth)
2. Although I feel confident in the decisions Josh and I have made regarding our homeschooling methods, I am still a pretty sensitive person - so if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all! - This is for my benefit and for every other sweet new homeschooling mama who is insecure and overwhelmed right now
(I feel ya, Sister! I got your back!)!
3. I strongly believe that there is NOT ONE RIGHT WAY to educate our children. God has a unique plan for each child and family. So if God led you to put your children in public school or private school, or whether you follow more of a "school at home" or "unschooling" method . . . May God bless and direct you as you seek to follow His guidance for the education of your kiddos!
4. I'm sure I'll continue to make changes to our homeschool curriculum, methods, and routines as needed to best meet the needs of each of the boys and of our family as a whole. This is what we're doing now, but may not be what we're doing in another year or so.
What curriculum do we use?
Currently, we are primarily using A.C.E (Accelerated Christian Education). Each subject is broken up into 12 workbooks (PACEs) for a school year. This curriculum is designed to allow the student to work almost entirely independently, even planning their own assignments and doing their own grading. I don't use it this way. I am very involved in their learning. I write out their assignments for them (on that cool little "Goal Card" you see in the middle of the picture). I do all of the grading and I teach new concepts and interact to different degrees depending on what is being learned. I do however love that if the lesson is something that is straightforward, that boy can work independently allowing me to work with his brother, or get some project of my own done.
What do I LOVE about A.C.E.?
- Each PACE has a Scripture memory verse and Character trait that is emphasized throughout the workbook.
- Biblical values, stories, and wisdom are key to the way that every subject is taught! (i.e. even Math story problems or English grammar lessons are sentences that speak truth into my boys' minds!)
- I can order each PACE individually (I do not have to order an entire year worth of curriculum at one time.) without a price penalty. This saves me money and space for traveling!
- The workbooks are small and lightweight and there are no heavy textbooks. Again, this makes them great for traveling!
- There are no required manipulatives or materials needed. I can supplement with manipulatives if I like, but it is not necessary. Even the Science Experiments at this level require items that I either already have at home or can find easily at the grocery store or Walmart!
These charts help the boys see their progress in each subject throughout the school year. Each star represents a test taken (a PACE completed)! You can see that we are not using every possible A.C.E. offered subject. The boys use the "Gotta Have God" devotions instead of the A.C.E. Bible curriculum and I choose Scripture memory verses for them. (note: That is not an affiliate link. I have not and will not receive anything if you choose to purchase one of those devotions. I just love them so much, I wanted you to be able to find them easily!) Also we don't use A.C.E.'s spelling Curriculum.
What is the timing of our school year?
We homeschool year round. This allows us to take days/weeks off whenever it works best for our family traveling, ministry events, and visiting with family and friends! We will do some homeschooling all summer, taking only a couple weeks off. However, we will likely shorten our school week to two to three days a week June - August to allow for summer fun! :)
What does our school day look like?
I have posted in these picture frames the boys' basic schedule and chore routine. (The picture frames look better than just having them stuck to the wall or fridge, and the glass in the frame allows the boys to use dry erase markers to mark things off as the complete them if they want to.) We aren't super strict with the times, but try to accomplish most of these things each weekday and mostly stay on schedule. Thing 1 is a lot like his mama in his need for predictability and routine. He does so much better when he knows what to expect and when.
Most of the kids' book work is done in the dining room. Thing 2 usually sits at the dining room table and Thing 1 sits at the desk on one side of the room. Above the desk we have a reversible dry- erase map (state map on one side and world map on the other). I bought that map several years ago when I was using Sonlight for our curriculum and I love it!
We also have this map that I got from Voice of the Martyrs hanging in our dining room. My goal is to pray for a different country each evening at dinner, but I'll admit we haven't made this a habit yet.
What about reading?
This one is easy! My boys LOVE to read. They both have Kindles that we try to keep stocked when we are on the road. We also have library cards in a couple different cities and we make use of them often. I have no trouble getting my boys to read. Far more challenging is tracking the many, many books they read and making sure they always have new books available to read! T-1 also often reads aloud to T-2 and I regularly have T-2 read aloud to me. In addition, we have an ongoing family read aloud for road trips. We are currently reading Martin the Warrior from the Redwall series!
Well, there you have it. This is our current homeschooling life in a nutshell. If you have any questions or ideas, be sure to comment. I'd love to hear from you! :)
I loved reading about your homeschooling and scheduling! Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you have a great curriculum. One of my favorite parts of my junior and senior years in high school was that I got to schedule my school and work independently, though I definitely think that parents should be super involved in their kid's schoolwork at least through grade eight or nine.
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Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
God is Unchanging!
He is still
on the throne!
(see Psalm 102)
Lord, you are
and my cup
you hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I will bless the Lord who counsels me--
even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
I always let the Lord guide me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles
(Bible in a year reading plan)
for the Christian Life
by Donald Whitney
(reading this with Josh)
by Kelly Needham
The Fibro Manual
by Ginevra Liptan