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June 18, 2012

Homeschooling Thoughts June 2012

I thought I better date my post so that when I come back and have more thoughts I can keep them straight! ;)

So here was the "plan" for our Homeschooling Year 2012-2013 and after a couple days I have some thoughts.  Uh oh, says my husband!  Just kidding he is great and continues time after time to listen to me talk all our decisions through.  Love you honey!!

I decided to continue using from last year, Abeka's Handbook for Reading and Letters and Sounds Grade 1 instead of Rod & Staff's Phonics.  The first day went ok using Rod & Staff but the second was more painful and I just don't think it needs to be painful.  The Letter and Sounds workbook has one page per lesson and I found that if I work one on one with Spud and then Lady they learn a lot and we make it through almost pain free.

Heart of Dakota
This curriculum seems to rank almost at the top with Phonics for causing me so much turmoil!  I LOVE it, I am frustrated by it and want to throw it out.  So round and round the love/hate relationship I go. (ok, not really hate I am too much in love)
Beyond Little Heart for His Glory is written for ages 6-8.  They say ages not grades but if you were to put grade levels on it, it is 1st or 2nd.  We used their Little Hearts for His Glory last year off and on.  Little Hearts for His Glory is for ages 5-7 or grades K or 1st.  So we used Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory last week a couple of days for History, Geography, Science, Poetry, and Math.  I sat down to figure out our plan for this week and that is where the rest comes in.

Using BLHFHG Now for 1st/K
  • My kids are not in the age range.  Spud is 6 1/2 and Lady will only be 5 in August.  I thought that we could do the work just fine though.
  • Looking at the spelling I am concerned about how much writing we will be doing.  We will be getting to the next level Bigger Hearts for His Glory too soon.
  • I like that the Math is on the first grade level for Spud (I am now thinking of just using Singapore - more below)
  • I like that the Language Arts is for 1st grade.

Using BLHFHG for 2nd/1st
  • I have a problem feeling like the Language Arts portion is not enough for a 2nd grader.
  • The Math is on level for 1st grade not 2nd.
  • I think the kids would get more out of the storytime questions.

Using LHFHG this year completely
  • I like that we would go over bible stories again, that is just great anytime!
  • I will not do the storytime books because of the character's attitudes in them (we are very sensitive/selective over here) but can easily read some other chapter books from BLHFHG lists.  I feel that the main focus of storytime in LHFHG is to get the kids to start narrating so I feel that can be accomplished even if we change the book selections.
  • They do have 1st grade options for the Fine Motor Skills.  I will use my King James Verses copywork that is spread out over four days for handwriting.

Now the suggestions that would be given on the Heart of Dakota board or yahoo group would be to use LHFHG and use the right side of BLHFHG for Spud.  Problem is part of the right side (spelling, more writing) is what I am having trouble with.  They also say that in the Heart of Dakota guides "all" of it is there for a reason.  So I didn't want to change much of the spelling activities or handwriting when those are really skills to be learned not just extras.

The Plan
After talking things out with my husband and laying out what was going on in my head this is the conclusion that we came to.
  • Use LHFHG for everything except storytime and math.
  • Use the math in BLHFHG for Spud.
  • Use the first spelling list in BLHFHG and modify it by using refrigerator magnets to spell the words.  I plan to have each child, Spud and Lady, spell two words a day so that they will each spell all 10 words by the end of the week.
  • Use the second spelling list in BLHFHG next year for 2nd/1st grade.
  • Use the language arts introduction from BLHFHG this year.
  • Use the math and grammar (possibly) from Bigger Hearts for His Glory next year.
  • Read chapter books for storytime of our choice this year.
  • Use the four day copywork of the King James memory verses for handwriting.
  • Use the 1st grade option for the Fine Motor Skills box for both Spud and Lady.

Phew is your head spinning yet??  Now when I can't remember tomorrow what we decided and my mind goes back to pondering options I can come here and look at the plan.  Please tell me I am not the only one that makes decisions and then a day later forgets exactly what plans were made.

I really like Christian Light Education for math but it has about four pages a day for Spud.  The problems are spread out and there is not a lot on the page but to get through a whole lesson is not exactly enjoyable.  With the Singapore math in Heart of Dakota you have a fun hands-on activity and then one to two pages of the workbook.  The workbook is more of a fun activity book if you ask me.  The first couple of pages you were matching fish with numbers in them to the word number on something that I can't remember right now that they would eat.  I saw a dot-to-dot coming up as one of the pages too.  So I think we will go with just the Singapore unless we have problems in the future.  Spud has really shown a strength in math and especially mental math with how his brain works so I think this should be a good choice.

Well if you are still with me thank you so much for letting me get all my thoughts down in one place.  Thankfully it is here and not one of the random papers that I have scattered everywhere.  Hmmm, maybe that is why I have a hard time remembering what I decide.  I can't find the paper I wrote it on.

If nothing else I hope you are encouraged in your homeschool to see that someone, me, does not have it all together.  God has placed it on my heart to homeschool and He will continue to help me through this.  He is here to help you too!!

Any curriculum that you just can't seem to leave alone???

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