Hello, My Friends! Have you started your new homeschool year for 2018-2019 yet?
We just finished our 6th week of school and are in a (glorious) one week break. Our homeschool looks a little different this year with my curriculum choices, and the schedule of our school days.
It’s been a long 6 weeks of working out kinks with our new way of doing things, but I think we’re finally sailing on smoother waters.
Here’s a quick peek into our school year and our new-to-us curriculum and schedule.
First Day of Homeschool
We started school this year right after the July 4th holiday, as we usually do. We normally have 6 or 7 weeks off to re-group, but this year we only had 2 weeks off between grades. Our move during the spring months greatly destroyed our typical school schedule and we had to make up for lost time.
Despite my hours and hours (and hours!) of preparation, I still didn’t feel prepared to start the school year. I just needed a bit more time.
Even though I wasn’t as prepared as I had hoped, it was the strongest start I believe we’ve ever had to a new school year.
My oldest son – 8th grade – is attending a University-model school this year. It’s considered a private school, however, he has satellite days 2 days per week where he’s home with us.
I’m homeschooling my girls in grades 6, 4, and 2.
And then there’s the 18-month old Sweet Boy who is … busy.
→ Click here to read through homeschool curriculum we’ve used in previous years
Our Homeschool Curriculum for 2018-2019
This year we are trying something that is new for our family – a type of boxed curriculum.
In the past, I’ve pieced together most of our curriculum choices using The Well-Trained Mind as a guide. I adore The Well-Trained Mind, as it’s helped me understand the type of education I want to give to my children.
But this year? I just couldn’t piece it all together.
We have too many moving parts this year.
I have a child that leaves the house 3 days a week. I have a precious little toddler boy that wants nothing more than to spend his 10-12 waking hours outside each day. I have a child that wants to “be smart and learn everything I can.” I have a child that struggles to stay on task and needs my frequent reminders. I have a child that needs concentrated time in phonics and reading.
That’s all in addition to the normal household tasks of feeding a pile of people, washing massive loads of dishes and clothes, and keeping our house clean(ish).
This year, I just needed the curriculum choices to be easier. More simple.
In the past I’ve poo-pooed the idea of a box curriculum for my own children. I have no judgement towards other homeschoolers that use and thrive with a boxed curriculum, I just didn’t think it was a good choice for my own kiddos.
But as my circumstances have changed, I
asked pleaded with the Lord to show me the best choice for my children for this year. I always pray over my homeschool choices, but this year was a little different in that I felt desperate for Him to lead me in a very direct way.
And He did lead me. Because the Lord is faithful to hear me when I call.
This year, my girls will be using a majority of the Memoria Press core curriculum. I didn’t realize at the beginning of my planning time that we would be using the whole set of core curriculum, so I bought it in pieces. This was a mistake financially, so don’t do as I did and purchase it piece meal!
Because we haven’t used Memoria Press core curriculum in the past, I’m using various pieces from various grade levels to “catch them up.” However, I’ve stuck with the main subjects of Classical Studies, American Studies, Literature, Latin, etc. I’ve only substituted so they will understand the big picture of the history subjects.
This year, my 4th and 6th graders are studying:
Famous Men of Rome
Latin (Latina Christiana with me and First Form Latin through MP’s Online Academy)
Rod and Staff Math (a BIG change for us!)
Christian Studies of Genesis through Entry into Canaan
Learning States and Capitals
Geography of The Middle East, North Africa, and Europe
Rod and Staff English
Classical Composition: Fable and then Narrative
Rod and Staff Spelling
Literature – deep dives in classic books for 4th and 6th grades
The History of Medicine (1st semester) and What’s that Bird? (2nd semester)
They are studying a few of these subjects together, and then a few of them are separate.
My 2nd grader still needs quite a bit of phonics instruction so she is blowing through the 1st grade core during the 1st semester and she will start the 2nd grade core after Christmas.
The success and improvement I’ve seen in my 2nd grader over the past 6 weeks literally brings tears to my eyes. MP’s First Start Reading, Traditional Spelling, and StoryTime Treasures have been a beautiful fit for her.
I’ll write another post on why I’ve seen such improvement in her reading skills, but suffice it to say I am grateful and just plain excited about her progress. It is such a joy to watch!
The Structure of Our School Day
Our school day is also fairly different this year, in that I have “class” with my girls. With my 4th and 6th graders, I still have one-on-one time in math, English, spelling, and Latin, but we also have a set class time for a few subjects.
In those set class times, I expect the girls to come prepared to class with the material read and the independent portion of the work completed. They also have to be there on time!
This is very different than when they were all young and I has loose routine to our days.
I miss those days a lot. Our school was a much more simple place then.
I know that many of you are cringing at the thought of having class, because it’s just so … school-y. Yes, I cringe at the thought of it a little bit, too. To be honest, though, it’s actually a lot of fun and my girls really enjoy it! We have great discussions and it’s pretty exciting to all study the same topic at such a deep level.
It’s been good for us.
Is this the way we will do school next year? I have no idea. But this is definitely the way the Lord lead me for this year, and I’m so glad He did.
Our homeschool is orderly, my kiddos know what to expect, and we are learning fascinating things each day. After a couple of years of chaos with a new baby and moving, we were all yearning for orderliness and clear expectations.
We couldn’t be more pleased with our homeschool year so far!
Tell me about your homeschool year.
Did you implement big changes also? Have you gotten off to a smooth start?
I’d love to chit chat with you about it in the comments! ♥