The school year is approaching and, as typical, I am scrambling on just about every front. We have part of our clan in Catholic school and the others are homeschooled, which mean we have just about every brand of crazy with which to contend.
We take schooling on a case by case basis around here. Thankfully, this year is starting out pretty tame. The oldest two will be in school – IN THE SAME BUILDING. In the past, I’ve had up to three different buildings, in addition to at least one or two kids at home, so this will be a (relative) breeze.
On the homeschool front, we will be sticking mainly with our Mater Amabilis curriculum. This Charlotte Mason inspired approach fits well with our life-learning, fairly laid back, nature centered learning approach. It affords us flexibility and structure, which works well for me.
We are looking at Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Second Grade, and crazy four year old this year. Said crazy four year old doesn’t need any school work, but she’ll loudly insist upon some.
To appease her, I got her a couple of these super cute Crinkleroot books, be Jim Arnosky. They fit perfectly into the Nature Study plan and are fun little reads for all of us.
For religion, I got her Little Acts of Grace, which turned out to be a great book for Avila, as well. It’s really sweet and teaches those little things that sometime get forgotten with child number six.
I’ll also probably pick up a workbook and some crayons of her very own, so she doesn’t feel left out. If she could only understand how lucky she is to have the chance to just play while the others work!
Avila will be in second grade this year. We will continue to use Reading Lessons through Literature that we worked through last year. She memorizes easily, so I think the ortho phonogram program is a good fit for her. Bella will be refreshing this, as well. We also love the McGuffy Readers, so both girls will continue on with those.
Avila will work through the Faith and Life 2, as well as the St Joseph Baltimore Catechism. She’s prepping for First Confession and First Communion, so this is a big year for her! We will also continue to work though The Life of Our Lord for Children, by Marigold Hunt. This is a gem of a book. We used it last year, with all of the kids, so it will be bit of a repeat, but that’s ok.
We are trying new things across the board for Math this year. I struggle to find a math program that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out, but I’m really hoping that this year’s changes will be better for all involved. For Avila, we are trying Math for a Living Education. It looks cute, but I also think it will set her up for success with Teaching Textbooks next year.
Bella is going into the fourth grade, which is easy for me, since PeterXavier did fourth grade last year! We are switching to Teaching Textbooks, which I think will work well for her. She does well with math, but hate the actual doing of the work. I’m hoping the computer based program will seem “fun” to her. Or at least not be a total bore.
For reading with Bella, we will be working though Reading Lessons through Literature a second time, as well as lots of practice. She loves books like Mercy Watson, so we will be indulging in gobs of those.
For religion, she will be working though Faith and Life 3. She will also work through Marigold Hunt’s The First Christians: The Acts of the Apostles for Children. This book details the early days and establishment of this Church. It continues the story that we started last year in Hunt’s Life of Our Lord for Children. I’m a huge fan of Hunt’s books and am excited to work through all of them with the kids. PeterXavier and Bella will be reading this one together.
Bella finished Primary Language Lessons last year and will be starting the Intermediate level this year. These are reprints of old books and are a sweet and gentle way to teach grammar, copywork, and writing.
PeterXavier will be in fifth grade this year. He’s charting new territory for us, since my other kids were in school for fifth grade! He will also be switching to Teaching Textbooks. Like Bella, he does well in math, but gets really bored with the drill and kill technique, so I’m hoping the computer will entice him.
I have a hard time getting him to read good books, because he balks at anything that smells of “school work”. He’s voluntarily reading the Lord of the Rings right now, so I plan to not say anything and let that be a chunk of his literature for this year! *Shhh!!*
History, Geography, and Science will be done as a group, which is hugely helpful for me. I’ll make a separate post for all of that.
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