We just finished our second year of homeschooling and what a different year it was from our first. This year I learned to become an Unhurried Homeschooler and adopted some of the Brave Writer Lifestyle, but mostly I learned to let go of following a strict schedule and let the learning come naturally. This is our 2015-2016 Homeschool Year in Review.
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History in Review:
I wanted to study American History with the kids this year.I had grand plans for a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, so, of course, that meant we would have to learn about Colonial America and the Revolutionary War.
I started with Simply Charlotte Mason’s Stories of America as my spine and spent hours and days finding other resources to coordinate with it. I enjoyed creating my own curriculum, but it was a long process that I’ll share more details about in a later post.
Math in Review:
In a former life, I was a high school math teacher and a CPA. Because of this, I put a lot of emphasis on math in our household, but that doesn’t mean I teach math the way I did when I was paid for teaching. I’ve found a better way, at least for my kids. We use Life of Fred, but because it doesn’t fill up the year, we also use Math U See and games. If you would like to know more, I detailed our math curriculum in previous posts.
Language Arts – Literature in Review:
This year L-, 5th grade, chose to read the Percy Jackson series. I added a Greek gods and goddesses lapbook from Knowlege Box Central.
Both girls were in monthly book clubs. For the book clubs, we used selections from the Brave Writer Arrow and Quiver of Arrows book lists. Both the Arrow guides and the Quiver of Arrow guides provide grammar discussion, copywork, dictation (French Dictation in the Quiver) and literary elements. We also used Brave Writer’s The Writer’s Jungle to add some aspects of the BraveWriter lifestyle, such as Poetry Teatime and FreeWrites.
This Spring we also participated in the Brave Writer Family Shakespeare class. I was surprised at how much the girls enjoyed reading, listening and watching Shakespeare.
Language Arts – Spelling and Grammar in Review:
Halfway through our school year, we discovered the Arrow and Quiver, and they saved us. L- had been working through Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons. She was simply miserable, and I finally promised her she could drop it at our semester break. I had created a grammar curriculum for A- to help her learn the basics of parts of speech. The Arrow and Quiver guides were a breath of fresh air to our grammar curriculum.
L- tried out Sequential Spelling this year, but we didn’t find it a good fit. I really wanted to love the program, but it just didn’t stick with her. Though she will be switching to another Spelling curriculum next year, I’m not throwing it out entirely. We may come back to it.
A- has used Reading Lessons Through Literature for the last two years. I feel like it has given her a strong phonetic foundation.
Bible in Review:
L- also used Map Trek: Ancient History with our Grapevine Studies. We liked being able to find geographical locations from the Bible on the map. We will be continuing this one next year, also.
Science in Review:
We didn’t have a set curriculum for Science this year. Instead, we used projects and experiments for a hands-on approach. You can read about our Sciency choices from a prior post.
Fine Arts in Review:
I hate to admit it, but I hired out our Fine Arts this year. Both girls attended Music and Art at a local private school. A- continued her ballet classes and L- also took up the guitar. After last year’s marathon of artist and composer studies, we took a little break. We’ll get back to them next year.
So, that’s our Homeschool Year in Review for 2nd and 5th grade. Now, to start planning for next year!
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