Thursday, June 9, 2011

The New Routine

I haven't posted about homeschooling in forever.  I guess I was busy doing it!  Some of you know what I'm talking about, right?

We experienced our first wonderful year with Sonlight.  I'm sold completely.  I loved all the rich books we read (both readers and read-alouds).  I loved that all the lesson planning was done for me.  I loved that Sam loves it.  I loved that I never felt guilty for not doing the suggested crafts because there were very few.  I loved the emphasis on learning about the whole world- histories, countries, people groups, religions, geography, missionary experiences, etc.

I'm going to switch gears here a second and say that while I was growing up, I always thought missionaries were very cool.  Wow.  To be called by God and be brave enough to go.  I was in awe of them but, for some reason, I never thought there was a chance that I could/would become one.  I was too normal.  Now, a teacher or a nurse or a social worker- those were things I could be.  Even now, if I was called to the mission field, it would rock my world.  It just always seemed foreign to me.

Enter Sonlight.  My kids are hearing stories of missionary journeys (two excellent books are Gladys Aylward and And The Word Came with Power) just like they hearing stories of inventors, apprentices, and scientists.  My prayer is that the idea of being a missionary won't be so foreign to them.  You know- just in case God calls them down that "career" path.  I honestly can say that I would be over the moon if that happened down the road for any one of my children.  Over the moon and flat on my face in prayer for their safety- but over the moon, nonetheless.  Hence, one of the major reasons I love Sonlight.  End gear change.

We've been done school now for a good week and, this year, instead of just letting our schedule go all willy-nilly for awhile (willy-nilly schedules are hard to break free from), I decided to do something different this year.  Mornings are still for chores- baking, laundry, freezing peas, meal prep (if I know what's for dinner).  But I decided to structure our afternoon time (while Miriam naps) right off the bat.  So, now, once she's off to sleep, Sam, Sadie and I begin our new afternoon routine (in this general order)...

Spanish.  We purchased Rosetta Stone's Latin America Spanish program and are starting with Level 1.  Jamey and I took Spanish in high school and college and spent four months studying in Mexico.  Jamey has kept his Spanish up through continued study.  Mine has lapsed terribly.  Level 1 is proving to be too difficult for Sadie, so while Sam completes his lesson (or two), she and I practice her reading. 

I jump on and work on my lessons when I have a few extra minutes.  It's so easy to use and navigate and each person has their own homepage that guides them through their own lessons, marking off the ones they've completed and showing their score (this helps me know when to ask Sam to repeat a lesson if he needs more review).


Sam thinks Rosetta Stone is like a computer game.  He loves it.  My goal is to get him in such a good pattern with it over the summer that it will become second nature to continue with it once school starts.  Our hope is that he will use Spanish one day- this is not an attempt to make his manuscript more appealing.  Our vision goes way beyond that.

Read-Alouds.  Sam has read through the Little House on the Prairie series several times on his own, but Sadie has never heard them.  We're almost through the first book and Sadie adores it.  I'm loving it too because the last time I read them was when I was a girl.

Outside Time.  Sam prefers the indoors.  Sadie prefers the outdoors- but only when her brother is outside with her.  She actually asks me to "make" them go outside.  So, I do.  Sam wears a watch and he's told what time they may come back in and Mommy gets some much needed alone time- to weed, read or lie down and enjoy the peace and quiet.  Oh.  Except for when they burst through the back door to get a drink, go to the bathroom, request a band aid or tattle.

By the time we've accomplished all this, Miriam is waking up, dinner needs to be thought about and Jamey will soon be home.

I'm loving our new summer routine.  In spite of the heat and all the work that's yet to be done, I'm so glad summer has only just begun. Pin It

6 comments:

  1. IF YOU EVER HAVE A SING -A-LONG HOUR I CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH GREAT KIDS SONGS,BUT I'M SURE YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A FEW. MY GRANDSON AND I WERE AT A MEETING [ HE WAS 5 AT THE TIME ] AND IN THE WAITING ROOM DEVIN BECAME BORED SO HE JUST BURST OUT INTO SONG-" GO TELL IT ON THE MOUTAIN" boy was I surprised but everyone loved it. Yesterday was kindergarten grad. I know when will it stop] but they had the cutest song
    I ever heard " going on a hunting trip" gonna find a bear" with big blue eyes. to find the bear they have to go through something or in or swim-like swimming through peanut butter ,and jello- I guess you just had to be there to see the whole class singing it great fun.

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  2. Isn't it fantastic when God leads you to the right curriculum for your family - I just posted about our homeschool curriculum and year myself. Also, thank you for mentioning Rosetta Stone - I have been seriously considering it as it is on sale over at Timberdoodle.

    Your blog is great~
    Melissa

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  3. I have been wanting to get the Rosetta Stone in Spanish, too. For the afternoons when I'm home with the kids. So all three of us can learn together. Thanks for the link, that's a great price!

    And hooray for summer and routines to keep you going :)

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  4. We're doing a little homeschool this summer, too. Science - I'm using Apologia's Young Explorer's Series and I just ordered a book from Queen's Homeschool about a Nature Walk that should go well with the first.

    You may not agree, but in this computer age, I found it necessary for my girls to learn correct typing skills fairly young. It's better to train than retrain and my 9 year old can already type at an incredible speed! I thought it wasn't possible (hey, I learned this as a junior in High School!), but really, it's a bit like learning the piano. Because we have a Mac, I used Mavis Beacon, but there are a couple of good programs out there and summer is a good time for them to start learning - especially during the heat of the day when they need to be out of the sun for a little while.

    The other thing I'm having them do is read, Read READ!! We are fasting from most electronics with small bits here and there so that they have plenty of time and no excuses! We're reading some Lamplighter books right now. I highly recommend them.

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  5. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post. I am looking (rather frantically, I might add, since I need to make a decision on this soon) for a curriculum for my daughter. We are going to start homeschooling this fall for first grade, and I'm a bit overwhelmed at all the choices out there. I love the idea of a literature based program, and just yesterday someone recommended Sonlight, so I;ve been checking out their website this morning. I may send you an email with some questions, if you have the time! Thanks again!

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  6. The Girl Who Think She's A Bird LOVED Rosetta Stone. She was able to get an A in Spanish because of it :)

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