During August and early September, a lot of homeschool bloggers participate in NOT Back-to-School Blog Carnivals where they showcase their school rooms, their curriculum, photos of the kids and share favorite school supplies. In early August we were in the Blue Ridge, and then we came home to a week of laundry, shopping and packing before sending off #1 Son to GMU (on my birthday – which was NOT a good gift). After a quiet weekend recovering from all of the hectic getting ready, we opened the books and got started.
But we are excited about our new year, so I’ll share just a bit here.
We have moved up to the next Sonlight Core – World History Ancient to Medieval, and already love our books! Although we are former Latin drop-outs, hope springs eternal, so we are starting again. This time to make it more fun, Ralph and I are in class too! (Amo, Amas, Amat, Amamus, Amatis, Amant)
Grace loves Life of Fred, so we continue with this uniquely compelling way to study math, along with the more traditional Horizon. Andrew Pudewa of Institute for Excellence in Writing is our hero! We had the opportunity to sit in on several of his workshops at the Home Educators of Virginia (HEAV) Convention, which in addition to being quite humorous, were also amazingly practical, and Grace is already comfortable yet challenged with IEW’s Biblical Writing Course for composition. We do a little grammar and mechanics each week with the Sonlight Language Arts, and occasionally use their creative writing prompts. I’m trying a Dictation-based spelling program this year. GraceNotes spells beautifully “bee style” but has occasional flubs when she’s in composition mode. The dictation approach (never a list – always used in sentence and paragraph form) helps with that.
We are gazing skyward for science with Apologia Astronomy, with an overview of Biology, Chemistry and Physics to follow. To satisfy my love of Charlotte Mason philosophy, we are adding in hymn study, architecture study (pyramids and columns and arches and domes and castles), art study (hieroglyph, cuneiform, Hebrew, Arabic, pottery, mosaic, fresco, tapestry and illumination), and weekly nature study. We are writing a classic prayer and a favorite poem in our journals each week, as well as composing a poem each week.
To satisfy my inner traveler, we are continuing the map work we fell in love with last year with Map Trek by Knowledge Quest. PE for the fall will be bike riding, swimming at the rec center, and maybe some Frisbee! Grace will continue with piano lessons, and goes to co-op for studio art and musical theatre.
As you see, we have been back to school. We have finished our second week actually. But for GraceNotes, who after all started out in brick-and-mortar schools, it isn’t really back-to-school until she’s been to her first class of the year at our co-op Homeschool Plus. So today, was a “belated” back-to-school day with a photo and a new outfit!
#1 Son meanwhile is having a blast (studying hard and responsibly) at GMU! He has eaten sushi (on the dining plan), and watched football, and practiced with the Ultimate Frisbee Team, joined Underwater Hockey (who knew?) and gone to some meetings for a mission trip to Honduras. Somewhere in there, he might go to class!