Monday, August 1, 2011

Our New School Year is Here!

I just finished ordering the last of our school books yesterday and we are getting excited to be starting school again!  Last year was our "official" start of homeschooling, although we had completed a year of Pre-k  the year before that.

We chose My Father's World curriculum for Kindergarten last year and both Luke and Chloe loved it.  Luke was already reading a little at the start of Kindergarten but he just completely took off.  He is reading on at least a third to fourth grade level now!  It seems he is a sight reader, so he just memorizes the words and that's good enough for him.  The K curriculum wasn't really a challenge for him but he still had fun with it.  My goal was to give him a good phonics base and I was pleased.

Chloe learned her letters, their sounds, and how to write them so she had a great year!  She is starting to read very simple books and I'm sure she will continue to excel with practice.

We are using My Father's World again this year and both children will progress to the first grade.  The reading will not be a challenge for Luke at all but my main goal for him is to have a good foundation for phonics and that will continue this year.  I realize Chloe is young to start first grade but I feel repeating Kindergarten would not be the best thing for her, as she grasped the material quite well.  She is starting the K level for math this year.  We weren't happy with the math in MFW so we chose Math-U-See and love it.

I am completely drawn to the Charlotte Mason style of teaching which is one of the things that drew us to MFW to start with.  If you don't know much about this style I would encourage you to educate yourself.  I think you'll find it well-rounded and "gentle."  

So here's what our year looks like:

Luke (6)
Chloe (5)
  • Math-U-See (Primer Level)
  • My Father's World for History, Reading, Phonics, Science, and Picture Study
  • Rod and Staff Preschool Set-This is considered Rod and Staff's kindergarten level.  We LOVE these books and the kids have had a blast doing the workbooks.  Plus they are super affordable.  We've bought several different things from this company and have been very pleased with everything.
I also adore Sonlight curriculum because they are all about reading.  I am being extra ambitious this year and plan to read their read-aloud recommendations for the K level.  That's roughly 25 books!  I also plan to have Luke read the Grade 3 readers as he breezed through the Grade 2 readers this year without any struggle whatsoever.  Chloe will be reading the Grade 1 readers  as soon as I feel she's ready.

I have found about half of my material needed on .  This is a website where you can search all of craigslist for whatever you're looking for.  It has been a huge money-saver.  There are tons of homeschoolers out there that are selling their used books for a fraction of the cost you would spend new.

I have also utilized a ton.  We are Prime members so we get free two-day shipping on anything that qualifies, which is most everything!  :)  And of course the library is priceless.  Love, love, love the library.  They are used to seeing me weekly there with my huge stack of books all crammed into my Publix reusable shopping bag.

So there you have it.  I hope your retinas are still attached after such a long post!  It's basically a two-in-one post because I didn't write about school last year.  Now we'll just be watching for those last boxes from the mailman, UPS, and Fed-Ex this week so we can begin our new school year!