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Changes In Our Homeschool

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (1)

Some things I’ve learned in our first two years of homeschooling.

1.  My older daughter can, with very little help, independently learn math and science.

2.  My younger daughter struggles with the busy work of math.  (Truly how many times do you have to do addition drills before you’re confident 2+2 (still) = 4?)

3.  My girls LOVE reading together.  They learn and retain more from the simple act of me reading to them than I ever thought possible.

4.  Science is fun, but too many experiments eventually wear out even the most stalwart student!

5.  We still haven’t mastered following the “rabbit trail” of learning a subject based on the girls interest rather than on a prescribed schedule of learning.  This is an area I really want to focus on this year.

For the past two years we have been using Sonlight curriculum.  It has really worked for us because we love the reading.  I can’t count the lovely hours we have spent snuggled up on the couch reading the enumerable  books included in each year’s curriculum.  At the same time all the busy work seemed to stifle some of our creativity.  Honestly, I would get so stressed about making sure we did everything suggested in the teacher’s binder that, well, let’s just say I would lose my cool, a lot.  So this year I really felt like it was time to change it up.  I didn’t want to change all the reading just some of the busy work and honestly, I needed something cheaper.  Knowing Sonlight is based on the Charlotte Mason method, I began to search the web for our options.  I also spoke with other homeschooling families allowing others to share their favorite methods with me.

After much prayer and planning we decided to use Simply Charlotte Mason.  Simply Charlotte Mason (SCM) was started by two veteran homeschooling families who have been using Charlotte Mason’s methods of teaching for several decades.  They share their wealth of knowledge through a free curriculum guide, ebooks, articles, and countless other tools.  I found the website to be extremely well thought out and useful for our planning and because so much of the information is offered for free it was perfect for our budget!

As for the books we purchased we were able to find most all of them in good used condition.  We did purchase our math, history guide, and spelling new.  In the end we saved ourselves more than $500!  The savings was a huge blessing to our family.

Another benefit of not having the day to day guide telling me exactly what do is that it caused me to diligently seek the Lord for guidance in how to put our school year together.  So I put together a plan and set goals for the girls and our family.  I revisit it often to make sure we are staying on track, but I don’t obsess over it.  We are all much more relaxed.  We are truly enjoying our homeschool year!

The 1st day of school!  Charlie Brown loves that we are home all day!

The 1st day of school! Charlie Brown loves that we are home all day!

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Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

What a summer it was and absolutely nothing of what I had planned!

Each year we take a camping trip to Sequoia.  Because of the record-breaking snow fall in the High Sierras our campsite was still under two feet of snow at the end of June.  So we did the complete opposite trip and drove to Phoenix, Arizona where we stayed at a resort with a water park.  We had a great time with our friends and even got to visit the house where we brought our youngest daughter home!  Memories.

My oldest daughter who has been swimming at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center for about a year now, made the competitive swim team and her practices went from three days per week to five!  I had no idea the Lord would bless me of all people with a fish.  I don’t even like to be in the water!  I’m more of a beside the water person.

My fish!

My fish!

I had the opportunity to teach a friend’s daughter cooking classes.  What was supposed to be three classes turned into three weeks of cooking classes.  I discovered I really enjoy teaching one on one and I have a lot to share with the younger generation!

Strawberry Dessert Soup - Yum!!

Strawberry Dessert Soup - Yum!!

Our dearest friends came to visit.  We had such a lovely time while they were here!  We spent most of our time just relaxing and then did a few day trips to the beach and to Santa Ynez for wine tasting.  There is just nothing like being with people who really get you!  Who have walked with you during the ups and downs, the good and bad, the lovely and ugly and yet they still love you.  I am really blessed and discovered what it means to talk about the Lord in the morning, at midday, and at night.

We've known Keith and Theresa since before any of us had kids!

We've known Keith and Theresa since before any of us had kids!

The jazz band I sing in played two “platinum” weddings which meant extra rehearsal time and planning.  These were really fun and really stressful as I seem to never get over the jitters.

My dear husband traveled A LOT back and forth to Cape Canaveral in Florida where his team is integrating the next Mars rover on a rocket.  The program will launch shortly after Thanksgiving.  It has been a difficult time on all of us but especially on hubby having to be away from the family so much.

And lastly, we’ve been back to homeschooling for six weeks now.  We actually changed curriculum which was exciting and challenging as I had to plan a lot more for our year.  In my next post I’ll share what we decided on and how we are doing.

Things I learned this summer…

Plans always need to be flexible.
There is no greater time spent then with family and friends.
There is no greater time spent then with family and friends.
There is no greater time spent then with family and friends.
There is no greater time spent then with family and friends.

My summer was definitely not what I expected, but was full of joy and God’s grace and that’s really what matters.

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