Character Ed

This labor day marks the start of our new school curriculum.  Over the course of the summer we studied Pilgrim's Progress and continued with Math but now we're about to embark on the nitty gritty.  
Where the kids "do" school...This came after they almost took each others lives while sitting at the six foot table (okay,not really but it did get pretty violent)

I know you're just aching to know what we're doing in school this year so let's get right to it!

We're starting up a Circle Time which I learned about at Preschoolers and Peace.  In our Circle Time we'll 
  • discuss a character trait and what God has to say about it via a recorded message from Dad.
  • go over Awana verses for the week.
  • learn about one of the 21 Rules of Our House by Gregg Harris.
  • read a book (we're currently reading Big Truths for Little Kids by Susan Hunt
  • learn a catechism (no, we're not catholic...Catechisms are questions and answers about what we believe...more on that later).
  • handbells
  • Spanish
  • History 
  • and Science.
In the afternoons, I'll do individual instruction in Math and Phonics (all the kids are working on different levels, so it'll be better to do it when younger ones are sleeping).

I'm pumped about Circle Time because it includes all the children and I get to spend time with all of them.  This saves us a lot of headache trying to focus on what they are learning individually and trying to keep the younger ones from stealing crayons or pencils or just talking.
My curriculum hub.  Aka, the former entertainment center.  It's been converted thanks to a little help from my handy man Mark!

So here's what we're using for all our curriculum:

History:  We're going full force in to Mystery of History Volume 1, Creation to the Resurrection.  I am so pumped about this.  There are tons of things to do and LESSON PLANS, which my over organized brain craves.  Get ready to see a lot of crafts and folderbooks!

Science:  We're still using the God's Design series and this year we're focusing on Heaven and Earth.

Spanish:  I was able to purchase Power-Glide Spanish and think it'll be a great introduction into Spanish and not too much teaching on my part (because I don't know a lot of Spanish).  Once we finish it, we hope to prove to Mark that we're ready for Rosetta Stone...wish us luck!

Zoe and Ace are working through Saxon Math 2 and Liam is doing extremely well in Saxon Math K.  I was going to wait with him until next year and just do it with Liam and Josiah at the same time, however, Liam is more than ready for math so we're going with it.

Liam really is starting K4 Phonics with a little bit of Letter of the Week (from Confessions of a Homeschooler) thrown in.  As I did with Zoe and Ace, I'm using Abeka.

Ace is in 1st grade Phonics.  Although he reads and comprehends at a higher level, he still needs to learn a few special rules and a lot of grammar (like not capitalizing in the middle of a sentence).  Again, it's Abeka.  

Language Arts:
Zoe is now in to Language Arts.  I began looking a week and half ago at some Language Arts curriculum, not feeling satisfied with what we had.  It was either too advanced in some areas or too easy in others.  And we both were getting frustrated with it.  So, I went to My Father's World's website (because I've been eyeing their curriculum for a long time) and looked at their suggestions for Language Arts.  After a little more research, I decided to go with it.  We're also going to attempt to work through a book a month.  I wanted to start with Chronicles of Narnia:  TheVoyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (it's coming out in movie form ya know), but our study guide is backordered.  Not sure what we'll start with now.
So, Zoe is using Primary Language Lessons by  Emma Serl, Writing Strands 2 by Dave Marks, and Spelling Power.  And get this, it's all non-consummable (my heart just skipped a beat)!  That means that I can use and reuse and co-use with all of my kids.  I'm buckling down on her handwriting this year because I know she can write neat if she takes her time.  She's none too thrilled with this idea, but she'll get used to it.

Zoe, Ace, and Liam are all working through A Handwriting for a Reason (Zoe at B, Ace at A and Liam at K).  Since Liam taught himself to write his name, we thought he could do well with learning how to write other letters of the alphabet!
And thus begins our schooling for the year.  I'm so excited about the curriculum but even more excited to see how much the kids are going to learn throughout the year!

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