We’ve been at this homeschool thing since right after spring break earlier this year. I just could not face the thought of dragging Big Brother out of bed and making him get ready and then having to spend 10-30 minutes of my day waiting for him to come home. And lots of other things. Have I regretted my decision? Um, honestly, sometimes, yes. Mostly when we’re in the middle of a tantrum and blah blah. When we’re out of it, I’m so thankful that we homeschool now. Now I can adapt his lessons to his strengths and work with him at his pace.
A little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Okay, not really. 😀
I chose My Father’s World for our core again. We’re doing Adventures in US History. It is a great program and I love that it lays everything out for you, yet allows you lots of flexibility. Bible study, history, music, science, art, and read alouds are all included. What I’m doing is letting Big Brother pick which week he wants to do, instead of going in order. I figure this is a way to keep him interested and give him a say in his education. We only just started doing this, so far it’s working, but I don’t know about long term! This week that I’m writing this, we’re studying Benjamin Franklin and the earth. I found a unit study on Benjamin Franklin and a few videos on NetFlix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime. I started a Pinterest board with what I’ve found on him (isn’t Pinterest awesome?!). I’m planning on doing this with more subjects as we come to them. I did buy the deluxe package from My Father’s World so I wouldn’t have to worry about missing anything. It’s worth it. You get some great books and extras.
For math, we’re doing MathUSee. It took me a long while to figure out which program to use because math is not my strong point! So far, I’m actually really liking this program. It’s a very interactive program. Not much book work is needed. I love the video that comes with it. It really helps me to see how to teach a concept, as well as reading in the teacher’s manual. Big Brother likes playing with the manipulatives. We are working in the Alpha level. This program focuses on mastery of concepts and progresses at the student’s pace, which I like. There’s a placement test on their website to help you figure out which level to place your child in. Big Brother isn’t too keen on math, but he seems to rather like this program.
For spelling, we’re using All About Spelling. It’s a pretty great program. Very easy to teach and Big Brother has fun with it. I think it’s really awesome. I think that we’re going to be getting through Level 1 early, so we’ll probably end up doing two levels this year.
Explode the Code Online is what we’re using for reading. Honestly, I’m not that impressed with it. There’s a user’s manual you’ll need to read to understand how the online program works. Then I ended up buying the teacher’s manual for the books, because I thought it might help a little figuring out what Big Brother is supposed to be learning. Honestly, I think the online version is better for review. Big Brother does enjoy it, but that’s mostly because it is online. I’m thinking about talking to Hubby about adding or switching to All About Reading. Yes, I am that impressed with All About Spelling. I really want to do All About Reading with Sister.
We decided to go ahead and start teaching Big Brother Spanish this year. It’s sad that none of the kids speak Spanish even though Hubby’s from Mexico. We went ahead and got all five levels of Spanish for Rosetta Stone since I’m going to be using it as well. We haven’t used it that much so I can’t say anything about how well it works yet.
Yep, our homeschool day is full. Sister is just a little too young for schooling, but she wants to participate so I went ahead and got Explode the Code’s pre-reading program, Get Ready for the Code. It’s inexpensive. Mostly we just pick out a letter and she finds it on a page and name pictures. She enjoys it. I also got 1plus1plus1equals1’s Raising Rockstars Preschool program for her, but I haven’t been able to do anything with it yet. I’ve had my hands full just teaching Big Brother and trying to keep the house clean! Do we get all of Big Brother’s lessons done each and every day? Heck no! But we’re working on it. He is learning. I’m debating using a packaged curriculum again next year. I haven’t decided yet. But I have almost a year to decide!