Archive for July 2013

A Whole New Holy Family

July 20, 2013

I’ve been very busy and very exhausted for most of the past year.  I’ve started blog posts here and there, only to have them fall to the wayside in the midst of all of the chaos.  Some posts were even finished and just need to be proofread and published.  But I recently deleted them as they are no longer relevant.  I’ve just had other things to do, and blogging fell way down the priority list.

Since school let out at the end of May I’ve been catching up on as much sleep as possible.  I’ve been trying to have fun with the kids.  We’ve trudged through our summer school work.  It’s been a time to reorganize and declutter.  And we managed to make an extended visit back to Kentucky to visit with family and friends and torture the children with our boring stories.

Now the summer is half-over, and the new school year is only about four weeks away.  I’ve ordered Bailey’s lunch milk for the first month and a half.  Before long we’ll need to go shopping for new shoes and supplies for fifth grade as she returns to our local parish school.

I just finalized the homeschool plans for the other kids and have been busy getting everything in order at Holy Family Homeschool Academy.  We are trying some new methods and subjects this year.  We’re going to be doing more read aloud time, which I think will appeal to my 2nd grader more than workbooks.  I also hope that the younger kids will listen in and learn things at the same time.

I’m am also incorporating memory work for the first time in my homeschooling career.  While I still think it is as important to be able to find the right answer as to know it, I’ve begun to realize how much easier it is in the long run if kids don’t have to interrupt their studies to find basic information.  Piper needs to memorize a few things for our geography lessons anyway, so that is a great place to start.

The workload for both Piper (2nd grade) and Katie (kindergarten) is a little more than what I have done for those grades in the past.  (This is my second time teaching 2nd grade and my 3rd time with kindergarten.)  I am hoping that the “extra” work of Geography and Science will be enjoyable for both of them, especially since those are subjects they are doing together.

I am a little nervous about this new schedule which incorporates more cooperative work and less independent work.  The advantage of giving the kids a lot of independent work is that I can do things like fold laundry or load the dishwasher and just be on-call to offer assistance.  I worry that the house will become a bigger wreck than usual and about the difficulties of keeping the little ones quietly entertained as schooling eats up more of my time.  On the other hand, I think this can be a great opportunity to build knowledge and memories together with all of the kids.

So, here are the plans for the coming school semester:

Piper (2nd Grade):

  1. Math (5 days per week):  Singapore Primary Math US 2A
  2. Reading Practice (5 days per week):  Story of the World v. 1 (book and audio book), various library books
  3. Spelling (5 days per week):  Sequential Spelling 1
  4. Memory Work (4 days per week):  various lists of things from continents to oceans to books of the Bible
  5. Vocabulary (M/W/F):  Wordly Wise 3000 Book 2
  6. History (T/TH):  Ancient History (Creation-A.D. 400)
  7. Fun Read Aloud (T/TH)
  8. Logic (1 day per week):  Mind Benders A1/A2 Software

Piper (2nd Grade) and Katie (K) Together:

  1. Geography (1 day per week):  Learning to draw blob maps
  2. Science (W/F):  Behold and See 1

Katie (K):

  1. Math (5 days per week):  Singapore Essential Math Kindergarten B
  2. Phonics (3 days per week):  Little Stories for Little Folks program
  3. Phonics/Handwriting (2 days per week):  Get Ready for the Code A, Get Set for the Code B

Sabrina (age 3):

  1. Potty training
  2. Puzzles

Cassidy (age 1):

  1. New foods
  2. Walking
  3. Talking

This year we will not be studying our faith as a separate subject.  Our study of Ancient History will include some Biblical history with reading practice passages from the our children’s’ bibles.Our science text is from Catholic Heritage Curricula and relates some scientific concepts to Catholic theology.  Katie’s main phonics program is also from CHC; most phonics programs don’t have flash cards in which “A” is for St. Anne, “J” is for Jesus, “P” is for priest, and “R” is for rosary.

Of course, we will be at Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation, living the liturgical year, and generally encountering and incorporating Christ in our everyday lives.

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, model of love for every human family,

Please bring peace to this house and all who live here

As we work together to become the best versions of ourselves.

Holy Family of Nazareth, help us to know, love, and serve our Heavenly Father.

Mary, teach us patience.

Joseph, protect us from evil.

Jesus, you are the Truth we seek.