Thursday, November 7, 2013

School and little ones...

Proverbs 31:26-27 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. "

Okay, wow!  So it has really been awhile since I wrote a new blog post.  Two months!  It does, however, coenside with the start of our new homeschool year, which is quite rigorous.  So, since school is consuming so much of our time right now, that's what this post is going to be about.  I've had a lot of questions about our curriculum choices for this year and how we manage with the little ones being underfoot.  On a side note: the schedule that I made and posted a few months ago is no longer relevant with our new homeschool schedule, so I will (hopefully soon) be making a new schedule.  We basically stick to a daily routine though, as far as when we do certain subjects.
Eating marshmallows after helping stack wood.

2013-2014 Curriculum Choices:
Rachel- 10 yrs- 5th grade
Sonlight Core E- Bible, history, geography, vocabulary, language arts, reading
Sequential Spelling
Saxon 6/5- math
Apologia Astronomy- science
Draw Squad- art
Homeschool Fitness- physical education
Handwriting Without Tears- print and cursive handwriting
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum
Homemaking for Girls Book 3

Miriam- 7.5 yrs- 2nd to 3rd grade
Sonlight Core B- Bible, history, geography, vocabulary, reading
Adventures in Phonics C- phonics and spelling
Modern Curriculum Press Book B & C- math
Handwriting Without Tears
Apologia Astronomy- science
Homeschool Fitness- physical education
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum
Homemaking for Girls Book 2

Hannah- 5.5 years- 1st grade
Sonlight Core B- Bible, history, geography
Adventures in Phonics A- phonics and spelling
Adventures in Phonics Readers 1-4- reading
Modern Curriculum Press Book A- math
Handwriting Without Tears
The World God Made- science
Homemaking for Girls Book 1

Joseph, Mary, and the donkey
We chose Sonlight for the bulk of our daily learning because these subjects (mostly) are where you shape your worldview.  Having a biblical worldview was number 1 on our list of priorities, but we also wanted to to emphasize other cultures as much as our own.  Our hope is that our kids will learn so much about other cultures that they will 1) appreciate what they have here in the United States and 2) have a compassion for the rest of the world and reach beyond our borders.  We feel that Sonlight goes above and beyond what we hoped for in this area, as well as preparing them very well in literature, vocabulary, and language arts in order to do well on tests like the SAT, should they choose to go that route.

Right now, we do school from about 9am-12pm. Then we have an 1 1/2 hour break for lunch, clean-up, free time, laundry, etc.  Mostly the morning time is our Bible, history, geography, readers, read-alouds; basically anything that can be read while cuddling together on the couch! :o)  This is my favorite part of school.  We get to read the most interesting books with our curriculum.  The afternoon from 1:30pm -3:30pm is spent doing our seatwork. Whether or not they spend the entire 2 hours doing seatwork depends on their age, and how quickly they get their work done.  This includes math, phonics, writing, language arts, spelling, or art.  Certain subjects are done only 2-3 times a week, and others are done each day.  After seatwork time, we try to have a break, then work on some less structured subjects like Homemaking, fitness, or typing.  One or two nights a week, David does science with the kids.  They love this learning time with Daddy, and he gets as excited about it as they do!

Getting more and more mobile!
Silly, ornery little guy.
Now to answer the question on the little ones.  During the afternoon its easy.  All three of the little ones are asleep.  Perfect time for us to do our seatwork.  During the morning, its more difficult and there are far more interruptions.  The babies take a morning nap still, so that helps.  They go down from about 9:30-11:30.  However, while they are up, they have a play area with toys in the same room that we are in.  We also have a jumperoo and johnny jump up that we utilize.  Now Joel is the tricky one.  I have activities for him to do during school time, but he easily gets distracted and might end up in the bathroom eating toothpaste or in the kitchen biting into three different apples.  I am still working on keeping a handle on my active little 3 year old. Since he is my first boy after 3 girls, I'm in the learning process with him.  :o)  Sometimes there are lots of interruptions and it gets really frustrating.  Other days, things go very smoothly.   I know its a process.

Well, that's what is going on in the Oswald home right now.  I hope it gives you a little understanding as to why I haven't blogged in 2 months, haha!  Most of the housework has to wait until the evenings!

I will say that as difficult as it seems sometimes, I wouldn't trade this time for anything in the world!  I love having little ones, and I will miss it when they are grown up!

They grow up too fast!