High Tide Homeschooling Starts Now

With our annual February slump in the rear view mirror, we are now in High Tide.

I wish I had blogged more through the years when all the kids were at home because then I could back up my memory with actual statistics. Anyhow, as far as I can remember February has been a slump month and March a high tide month. We usually finish all our textbooks sometime in May so by March we all feel like working to make sure that happens.

We’ve just had a yucky year. I feel like we’ve been just going through the motions for most of it. The two years that we lived in the city, I planned our studies around museum and theater events. Being back out here and being limited with our time out of our home has seemed like a let-down comparatively.

Our high school student is knee deep in ACT prep and all that goes with being a senior in high school. She will probably attend Community College in the Fall. She is looking at majoring in Photography.

I haven’t talked about curriculum in awhile mostly because of my blah type feelings about the whole endeavor. We’ve changed some stuff up and have now hit a happy medium with the materials I’ve chosen for our fifth-grade student. I know that any boxed curriculum will bore both of us, I also know that I don’t have the time to design something awesome from scratch. We’ve ended up with a mix of real old texts that I had saved from my oldest son. If you aren’t a homeschool teacher, this detailed description probably won’t mean much to you.  🙂

If you are a homeschooler who craves curriculum chat, this is full of all the indecision and angst that apparently never goes away as I am in year sixteen of this gig.

In February we reviewed grammar orally using my old 1960’s Voyages in English 5. We are just about done with that and then are going to use First Language Lessons 4 (I need new student pages) As it turns out we are using a lot of Well Trained Mind offerings.

For writing, we are using Writing With Ease 4 as a diversion from Bravewriter Arrow materials. One option is to move into WWS1 next year at a half (or slower) pace. (During low tide we happily follow Bravewriter)

Math has been getting done quickly and easily using Saxon Math much to the dismay of his older brothers who thought we had burned those books. To each their own- he loves it.

Science is light for us this year, and Oak Meadow Science 5 is perfect as we can do it as written or add on depending on the interest level of each topic.

History is the only thing that I ended up designing myself. As in, it is a cluttered mishmash of what works for us. We started off using Oak Meadow History 5, and it’s okay. We have a ton (as in boxes and boxes) of real American history books from my Mom because she retired from teaching fifth-grade last year. I wanted to get as many of those in as possible. So, I was using OM and Workman’s American History (big fact notebook series) and quickly realized that we were missing what was going on in the rest of the world while America was doing its thing. I thought about just pulling from the Kingfisher Encyclopedia but knew I didn’t have the discipline to keep up. And so I went back to a dual history cycle. We read Story of the World 3 (we started at Chapter  21 to coincide where we were in American history) on Mondays and Wednesdays. (Quick Pro Tip: You can now buy the review questions already typed up for you on PDF from WTM Press!) On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we read American history from one of the previously mentioned books. One of our favorites is A Child’s Study of Famous Americans from the Calvert School. We’ll get right into SOTW 4 from chapter 1 before the end of the year.

We always wrap up the year the last week of May. We’ll see where we are then. I’ll only have one kid at home for one thing. That will be odd. I have a ton of Memoria Press and Oak Meadow curriculum that I could use. We’ll read and do math all summer but next year is entirely up in the air as far as what we’ll use.