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I know you’ve all been waiting for this… you can hardly handle the anticipation. Drumroll please………

OK fine so maybe it’s NOT that big of a deal to you but I’ve put a LOT of work into deciding what we would use next year so you all have to hear about it. If you love me you’ll pretend to be excited πŸ˜‰

In addition to the curriculum I have chosen we have also been selected to Join The Old Schoolhouse’s Homeschool Crew this year! That means we will get the opportunity to receive and review homeschooling products throughout the year. The Firefighter and Australia reviews I did were “audition” reviews if you will. We are honored to have been chosen and can’t wait to try new and different things that we wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to try.

This year Weylin will be attending Haas Hall Academy . He is very excited about getting to go there. It is a math/science based charter school which is right up his alley…. so I will be leaving his curriculum choices to them this year πŸ˜‰

Peyton will be going into 3rd grade and still working on mastering reading. He excels particularly in Science and Math but his real passion is History. Ask him anything about Ancient History that we learned last year and he can tell you all about it… he remembers more than me and spent countless hours pouring over the books. My Main goal for him this year is to get him reading fluently. We are fairly certain he is dyslexic and honestly he just doesn’t have any desire to read which doesn’t help things.

Amelia managed to finish not only 1st grade but also 2nd last year so will be joining Peyton in 3rd. Her passion is reading. You can find her at any moment snuggled up with a book. I am quite amazed by the things she can read and spell. School is a breeze for her. My goal for her this year is to keep her interested and engaged without having her finish high school at 9. ( I’m mostly kidding but I would like her to stay at about the same level as Peyton, it’s too much for me to teach too many different levels. Selfish maybe but until I have more independent learners it’s just life)

Audrey and Avery will be starting Kindergarten. If it’s too much for Avery I will back off but I don’t think it will be. One never does anything without the other. I think Avery would be devastated if she wasn’t included. Our goals for this year are to have fun and start learning some basics. ( while looking at photos I realized we have another goal for them… stop sucking their thumbs!! )

Anna… hmmm who knows what we’ll do with her. She is quite sure she’s big although she is not even 2.5 yet. I may do letter of the week with her just so she will have something to do. Who knows maybe she’ll know her letters by the end of the year. I would be ok with that πŸ™‚ My goal for her is potty training lol.

We will be doing some things as a group this year. They include ….

Tapestry of Grace year 2 for History, Geography, and other things as they fit.

The younger girls will join in as they wish, or not at all if they’ve had enough for the day. Peyton will be doing Lower Grammar and Amelia will be doing Lower with Peyton but with Upper Grammar reading and writing assignments.

Elemental Science Chemistry.

Same as history, younger girls as interested.

Nature Studies will continue with all.

I would also like to find something I like to use for art… I am inept in this area in particular.

For Classical Music I got some of the Music Master CD’s for us to use. They tell a bit about the composers life and include some of their music. That feels like plenty to me at this age πŸ™‚

The 3 older girls will be continuing with their Ballet instruction and Anna will be starting in March when she turns 3. All of the girls are moving to the next class up and Amelia is going to start going twice a week. They love dance so much. It is inspiring to me to watch them daily dance and practice and see the joy it brings them.

We will also start Piano in September for the 4 Middle children.

Amelia and Peyton’s 3rd grade Line up

Michael Clay Thompson for language arts.Β  I’m very excited about this program. It is Grammar, Poetry, Vocabulary, Writing and beauty all combined into one. It is done almost entirely orally which is fabulous for Peyton. I’m hoping it works as well as I think it will.

Math Mammoth 3rd grade. Same concept as Singapore but a lot less work for me.

All About Spelling we will be finishing level 2 and also doing level 3 at the minimum. I cannot say enough good things about this program. Peyton could not spell at all before starting it. Now he can spell most of what we’ve learned. Amelia well lets just say in a homeschool spelling bee of multiple grade levels she was the 3rd to last out. The 2 other kids left were in 6th and 7th grade. The girl can spell πŸ˜‰

Handwriting without tears Cursive

Explode the Code Peyton will be on book 4 Amelia on book 7

Mad Libs for fun to cement grammar concepts.

Paddle to the Sea for additional Geography.

I got a great deal on 3 levels of Hooked on Phonics (This set for $26) so I plan on using the 1st and 2nd grade levels a bit with Peyton

We also plan on starting some logic work this year.

I still haven’t composed final reading lists for next year yet… I tend to change my mind often on those.

Avery and Audrey

Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading this contains simple concise lessons to teach your children to read

Hooked On Phonics Kindergarten level

Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten book

Explode the Code book 1

Math will be either Right Start Level A or Miquon or a combination of both… I really can’t decide on these. I even bought them both so I could look them over and decide and I still can’t choose… so it will probably be both πŸ˜‰

We may or may not start on All About Spelling level 1… we’ll see where we are later in the year.

I have a huge list of books I want to read with them so it is sufficient to say we will do a lot of reading πŸ˜‰

That’s about it.. stay tuned for a schoolroom post when I get everything set up and organized for next year πŸ™‚


This week we reviewed This Old Schoolhouse’s down-loadable E-book

Download and Go: Expedition Australia!

This is an E-book that you download to your computer, then print out the student pages as needed. It includes information on Australia’s Climate, Culture, Wildlife,Language, topography, landmarks, cities and history. The e-book guides you day by day in a one week study of the land down under. It also includesΒ  links to videos, articles, pictures, and coloring pages.Β Β  Included in the e-book are ideas for fun activities and ideas to enhance your study even more.

I think this is a great and very affordable option for Geography unit studies. I was unsure at first of what my kids would think of this but I am happy to tell you though they LOVED learning about Australia. I really enjoyed having the information in the e-book format. It was so easy to watch the video links included, look up facts and even hop on over to you tube to watch the Aboriginal didgeridoo being played. After day one my son was asking if we could go on vacation to Australia!

The kids loved learning about the differences in language, culture and landscape. The e-book included a lot of details that I would have forgotten to include or simply wouldn’t have known about. Everyone enjoyed this from the 2 year old to the 13 year old ( and maybe even Mom πŸ˜‰ ). The favorite thing for the kids was by far all the information on the animals.

The only thing I didn’t love is that I felt it was too much information for a week. Some days we spent over an hour on it and still didn’t get to everything. If I were to do it again I would probably split it up into a month and spend more time on each aspect so we could enjoy it more and not feel quite so rushed.

All in all this E-book is a fun, easy and inexpensive way to introduce your children to Australia.

I had the opportunity to review some curriculum for a homeschooling magazine called The Old Schoolhouse.

The curriculum I reviewed was one of their E-Books called
Wanna Be Series – Firefighter.

This was perfect timing as my 5 year old daughter had recently decided she was actually going to be a Firefighter when she grew up… or a Mom, she wasn’t QUITE sure she said ;).

This little E-book was really filled with fun ideas for ways to implement a unit study on firefighting.
There was a lot of information on the History of firefighting, how it works today, exactly what it takes to be a firefighter and more.
There were ample activities that we thoroughly enjoyed and opportunities to learn about fire safety and make an escape plan.
There were also worksheets and written work included. We chose to not do that portion because I have mostly younger children and we didn’t feel we needed more of that type of work.

First we learned about the history which all of my children found very interesting. Then we had our very own bucket brigade and tried to fill a bucket. Let me tell you if our house is ever burning down I really hope there isn’t a 2yo in the brigade.. she was NOT helpful.
I was so busy trying to contain the 2 yo I didn’t get pictures of this but it was a sight let me tell you.

Next we learned about Fire Safety, made an escape plan and practiced it.

Going down the stairs while staying low (they liked this part)

Meeting at the Mailbox

Running back in to DO IT AGAIIINNN!!!

After that we learned about what it takes to be a firefighter today and made the Firetruck cake. Now before I show you our cake let me say this. The way our cake looks is in no way shape or form a result of bad instructions. It’s simply a result of too much help in the kitchen and a mom that isn’t talented in such things πŸ˜‰

(It’s okay go ahead and laugh… I did πŸ˜‰ )

If you have a little one who would enjoy learning about Firefighters the E-book is available here.

For only $8.95 it’s a steal and packed with fun information and activities. I think it is well suited for almost any school age child and fun for the whole family.

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