Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Curriculum Sale!!!!

I'm trying to get rid of tons of stuff (ok, maybe only a few items:)I don't use her have room for. Many items are simply duplicates. I'll list what I have, then those of you who read my blog can email what you're interested in :)

Alpha-Phonics Primer--brand new
Making Math Meaningful Level K Complete and Level 1 Complete--brand new, both sets come with the student workbook and the parent's guide.
Reading Made Easy--brand new, but a little wear from shipping.
Simply Grammar--gently used
A Charlotte Mason Companion--gently used
A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason--brand new, but a few dog-eared pages
For the Children's Sake--same description as Philosophy

I REALLY need to get rid of this stuff! All together (used prices included), this stuff retails for $190. I'm selling it cheap, if you're interested. If you want to buy the whole thing, that would be great! I have the whole package listed on The Well-Trained Mind's Swap/Sale boards. Please let me know if you're interested. I'm going to post it on ebay in 1 week.

Otherwise, we're doing just dandy here! We're now on Fall Break for a few days (good for me :) The girls would do lessons everyday if I allowed it! I hope everyone is getting through October alright! I know this can be a month of frustration, but it's almost over! November and December are exciting months! Lots of breaks and festive events! Hang in there . . . . I feel like Tarzan on some days, swinging from vine to vine . . . .

Monday, October 25, 2004

Just some ideas . . . .

People ask me what I like to do with the girls for fun! Well, I'd like to think that we have fun learning everyday, but I suppose that's not always true! I LOVE the Charlotte Mason method, so most everything she suggests (with the exclusion of math and science) are implemented in our home life. We do nature studies/journaling, but I do like to cover all the other scientific fields at a young age, even if only at a cursory glance! I like systematic, intensive math instruction as well, versus manipulatives based programs. I do keep lessons short and focused, as Charlotte suggests, for the younger ages (PreK-2nd), but unless they start exhibiting difficulties with a particular subject, we will steadily increase the amount of time we work on a lesson. I think this promotes great discipline, which although it would be ideal to not need to worry about this, it is a practical issue in the society we live in. I also feel this way about testing as well. If I lived in a different society and in a different time, I wouldn't concern myself with testing. So, now onto the fun things . . .

Boggle, Jr.
Consonants Bingo
Rainbow Bingo
Sequence Cards
Uno
ABC and number puzzles
Chalkboard games
Sidewalk Chalk
Magna Doodle (for review : )
Play-dough
painting/drawing
stamps and crafts
cutting and pasting their very own books they've dictated to me : )
Copywork art!
Listen to tons of classical music, poetry, and observe great artwork : 0
Create their own stories!

These are just a few of the fun things we do! Not to mention assembling a miniature skeleton, playing outside, taking bike rides, observing squirrels, reading more books than we can recall, making a globe of the world, jumping in leaf piles, making weather observations, making jello, baking cookies, and even doing chores (my girls love to help sweep, wash dishes, clear off tables, fold laundry and tidy up the house!--they're only 1 1/2, 4, and 5!). These are different things we do throughout our week that bring out the joy of our home life!

Extracurricular activities would include: Story hour at the library, children's museum trips, and AWANA. They'll be starting piano soon, and daddy will teach them guitar while I teach them recorder.

These are not tedious tasks in our home, they're just a part of our everyday lives! I hope this encourages someone today!

Blog me with your daily routine : )

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Winds of Change . . .

This is absolutely my favorite time of year for learning! It's autumn where I live, and the leaves are so beautiful! The air is crisp and fresh, and the sky is dark and cloudy! No better time to curl up with the girls on the couch and read, read, read!!!! We hit the library last night with our laundry basket and filled it up! The girls listened to an audio recording of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis as they were drifting off to sleep. We had story hour at the library today and made pictures of trees with falling leaves! My girls haven't been feeling that great lately--weather change colds! It's nice to be able to sit on the couch and work on phonics, or do math orally! We don't have to miss lessons, but we don't have to be uncomfortable either! I'm off here for now! Any suggestions on how to teach science for 2 girls 15 months apart would be helpful!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

School Daze . . .

This is the time of year I find myself exhausted! Not because I'm educating my children, but because of the weather! I usually let the girls sleep in on these days because they don't last! They'll be waking up at 6:30 and 7:00 AM again soon! Our lessons are going wonderfully! We'll be taking a few days off for fall break the 28th/29th of this month. I'm looking forward to it! We'll go to our Children's Museum and just learn and have fun at the same time! I'm still debating on using a different handwriting curriculum but I just can't decide! My daughter slants her letters and I thought of using Italic instead of traditional. However, she loves the books we are using. Maybe I should just allow the slight slanting and not worry about it! She may slant, but she still writes very nicely, especially for her age! I'm already going through the catalogs for our next school year! I'll probably be switching to Saxon next year because I like their layout better than Abeka. We'll see! I don't need anything for phonics or grammar because I have a few things already. Science is an exciting subject that I can't wait to get more into. Lydia is getting ready to try Reading Made Easy. She still may be too young to learn to read, hence the attention problem when doing a lesson. I'm just not sure which route to go with her. Maybe I should just wait! She'll be 4 1/2 next school year--which seems to me pretty early still to learn how to read! I'll give RME a shot and see how she does! She may really enjoy it and take off! I'm so glad we made the decision to home educate our children! I can already see the fruits! I look forward to someday seeing the outcome! Well, enough for today . . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Curriculum woes . . .

I am a stay-home, Christian mom who uses the "Well-Trained Mind" Classical curriculum guide. In fact, I'm a recent "convert" to this method, so to speak! I had been trying to follow the Charlotte Mason method, but found the Classical method to be more logical, academic, and stable (for state requirements) than the former. Of course, their are MANY aspects of a Charlotte Mason education that I wish to continue implementing, but for the most part, we're going Classical. I will have to say that this is the first method my husband has really been interested in. We use the following curriculum:
Phonics Pathways
Now I'm Reading! complete series (similar to Bob books--I got these through the Children's Book-of-the-Month Club)
Abeka Math
A Reason for Handwriting (similar alphabet as Zaner-Bloser, but uses Scripture for practice verses)
Draw-Write-Now (my daughter loves the art lessons and copywork)
We also use a McGraw-Hill all-in-one preschool workbook for our 3 1/2 year-old.
We use many other miscellaneous works to cover other subjects. Did I mention I am currently only homeschooling a Kindergartner and a preschooler? It's nice to have a light load this year! What I LOVE about WTT is the curriculum outline for PreK-grade 12. It is so complete! I also love the section on transcripts, which I find of utmost importance.
A lot of Christians are using "Teaching the Trivium" by the Bluedorn's, but I didn't want to buy another book! There is nothing I find objectionable with WTT. In fact, our local bookstore carries almost ALL the curriculum they suggest (with the exception of L.A., Math, and Handwriting), so it's nice to be able to walk into the store, find the "Story of the World" books and Kingfisher History book and get a discount with my members card. It's cheaper than buying on-line because not only is it discounted, but I don't have to pay shipping costs. I live in Indiana and would love to share my experiences (thus far) with any new home educators (especially in my area : )! For Christmas, I want to get "The Well-Educated Mind" and start that book for myself. We are having a GREAT school year! We've split our year up into 3 terms, 3 months on, 1 off (and additional holidays). We still have lessons more days than required so we really like this schedule! Well, I should go now and get my girls ready for their afternoon lessons!