Friday, July 18, 2008

Homeschooling 101

Summer is winding down. Can you believe it? It's time to start thinking about school next year. I am in the process of ordering books for all of the kids and figuring out where to start with Josh and Jameson. I have been twisting myself up worrying about where to start, and finally I decided that they need to start with 1st grade to really get a firm grasp of everything they have missed out on. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can move them through 1st grade as fast as they are able. Even if we start at too low of a level, it will be a good review and hopefully give them a firm foundation of basic concepts. As an added bonus, I'm hoping it will help them adjust to homeschooling and will teach them to sit still and listen.
We took the tables out of our schoolroom and got desks. These desks are extra special because you can adjust the height, and they can be folded up and placed out of the way for times when we need extra floor space! I'm so proud of my purchases!
So now that the room is organized, it's time to start thinking about curriculum. Where do I start with 2 kids who are behind in just about everything? Hey you homeschooling moms, if you have any advice or other curriculum ideas, please let me know. This is our Curriculum so far:
Bible - The Children's Story Bible and picture cards from Veritas Press which place biblical events in chronological order.
Reading - Phonics Pathways. I chose this over some of the others simply because it has great phonics foundations, and our kids do not seem to have gotten that. Some of it will be review, but I think a solid foundation is going to be what helps them the most, even if they know some of the material already.
Math - We are starting with Abeka Math first grade for both of them. We will move through it as fast as we can as long as they are getting it . I know Josh is probably above 1st grade level, but both of them still count fingers and don't really know addition and subtraction tables. Abeka does not allow that, so they will be memorizing these basics.
Handwriting - We are starting Zaner-Bloser 1st grade with both. Jameson's handwriting is pretty good, and she should be able to move ahead quickly. Josh's is not. He still makes his letters a lot like Amharic printing.
Language - First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise. This will cover a lot of our weird English grammatical rules and basic grammar and language lessons.
History - History for Little Pilgrims. Justine is doing this for kindergarten and although it sounds somewhat silly, it is an excellent resource that ties in history with biblical ideas. It has a color book with it and a question/answer section after each reading. I think it will be a good resource to get a good basic foundation. It also requires that you listen to the story in order to answer the questions... definitely something we're working on.
Geography - We will begin a basic overview of the world with A Child's First Picture Atlas.
Spelling - We will begin spelling power at level A.
Science - according to my favorite book of all time, The Well Trained Mind.


Linda said...

Mom, I think you got it going. Don't stress so much. It will come into place because this is how it should be. LOTS OF LOVE is going into it too.
Grandma Linda

Jenny H said...

Man I wish my class rooms where that cool where I went to school! I'm jealous.

Larsons said...

Looks great! You win the grand price for best classroom,and teacher of the year! I thank God everyday for all of you. mom

Rebecca said...

Woman, you are cracking me up. I don't think that you need any help at all. The schoolroom looks so great....I am so impressed!!!

Bethany said...

HI! We are also a homeschooling family and adopting from Ethiopia! I love your schoolroom....can you please tell me where you got the US map and wall map??
BTW I was going to suggest First Language Lessons!! I have also heard that Explode the Code has some type of phonics for children with English as a second language?!

GG said...

Bethany~ I painted the US map on the wall using an overhead projector. It was my major summer project a couple of years ago. I love it. It was actually quite easy. The world map is actually 8 huge pieces of wallpaper that I bought off ebay for like $79 a few years ago. I love it as well. It's awesome to have the kids find what part of the world we're learning about. We had used First Language Lessons a few years ago when my youngest was in Kindergarten, and as I got it out to look at it prior to having another little one in kindergarten this year, I thought it looked perfect for Josh and Jameson as well.

Chris said...

wow waht a great room you have.I do not homeschool my kids but I am jalous of your class:)
As always I love reading your blog:)