Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Homeschool Curriculum

Our family is starting our sixth year with home schooling, and I thought I'd just comment briefly on curriculum for anyone who is interested. There are so many curriculum choices out there that it can be overwhelming making decisions about what to use and what not use. The spectrum of choices runs from ordering a complete, packaged curriculum for your child's grade level to creating all your own materials. I've never had the desire to create all my own materials (why re-invent the wheel?) and we tried one year using all materials from one publisher. What we've discovered works best is to pick and choose the materials that fit our family's learning style, and the materials that I've found to be tried-and-true for us, while making sure that the curriculum is content-comprehensive for each grade level. We don't want our kids to have huge gaps in their learning. So here are the materials we chose for this year:

Caroline--9th grade:

Teaching Textbooks Geometry
Alpha Omega LifePac Spanish I
Vocabulary from Classical Roots Book B
Analogies Book 2
Bob Jones University Publishers (BJUP) English 9
Sonlight Core 200--History of Christianity, Bible, Literature, Creative Writing
Apologia Physical Science
She's also working on piano lessons, computer keyboarding skills and will be learning to sew.

Mary--5th grade:

Horizons Math 5
Megawords Vocabulary Book A
BJUP Writing & Grammar 5
Piano lessons and learning to sew
(see below for shared curriculum)

Bobby 3rd grade:

Horizons Math 3
BJUP Writing & Grammar 3
Dangerous Book for Boys (going through with Daddy)
(shared curriculum below)

Mary and Bobby both use these:

Apologia Elementary Science: Astronomy, and Swimming Creatures
Spelling Power (each at their own level)
A Reason for Handwriting (at grade appropriate level)
Sonlight Core 3 American History, Reading, Bible memorization, Creative Writing
Powerglide Spanish Elementary Level

So we have our work cut out for us this year, but I think we are up to the challenge. It has already been fun seeing them learn new things in the week and a half that we have been back at school. I'm praying we'll have a really successful school year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No, I haven't lost the ability to think...

I know, I'm delinquent in my blogging...But I have been thinking a lot about many things. Just not writing about them.

Actually, we went on a 3 1/2 week trip during which we had limited internet access, and then came home to messed up internet access. Any internet time usually went to my husband, who has to post on TBNN. Well, he doesn't HAVE to...

Our trip was awesome. I saw all of my siblings all together in one place, which hasn't happened since July 5th, 1991, when Eric and I got married. I saw my wonderful parents re-affirm their vows after 50 years of marriage. We spent two weeks at my parents' house, some of that time with my brother Peter and his family, and then we spent a week at Seneca Lake, my favorite place on this earth. On the way home we stopped at Gettysburg and learned more about the battlefield and the battle itself.

Back at home, things with us have sort-of normalized in that we no longer spend half our time in the hospital. Bobby's central line was removed before we went on our trip, which made things much easier. I didn't have to take boxes of syringes filled with saline and heparin, tons of alcohol prep pads, and dressing change kits in order to care for his line. We just didn't have to worry about it at all! But things are not normal in that we still don't really know what we're doing, future-wise. I find this very unsettling and strange. My whole life I've always had a plan. I've always known what was coming next. Now, I'm just waiting...It's not a terrible place to be, just weird.

I'm currently reading The Roots of Endurance by John Piper, a set of biographical sketches of Charles Simeon, John Newton, and William Wilberforce. It's good so far--I'll write about it when I'm done.

We were really happy last week to find out about an Indian grocery store here in Savannah. It's called Shivam, and, in true Indian fashion, can only be found by word-of-mouth directions, since the storefront doesn't face the street but rather is perpendicular to the street, and nobody would ever know it's there. One of Bobby's doctors who is Indian told me about it. We were pleased to see that they sell most of the products that we had come to use/know/love over in India: besan (garbanzo flour,) naan, Indian-made "biscuits" (i.e. cookies,) vegetable seasoning, Limca (a soft drink,) dosa mix, and some cheater-type seasoning packets for butter chicken, tandoori chicken, etc. So now I can cook Indian food to my heart's content. I do miss some things about India, and the amazing food is one of them. I will never forget sitting with my friend Pintu, eating samosas that were so spicy they could make your hair stand on end. They were wonderful.

Another thing that has made life more normal is that we have started our school year. Caroline is doing 9th grade this year, Mary 5th, and Bobby 3rd. We are excited to get going on the year, and the kids are being really good about it. Bobby is having a little bit of difficulty getting into "school" mindset after the last few months, but he's getting there. Notice that instead of a school book he's holding up a Spiderman folder. That should tell you where his mind is.

I'm going to try to keep blogging regularly now that we have our internet up and running again, thanks to Devin Bell, the pastor at Rothwell Baptist Church. THANKS, DEVIN!!!

More soon....