New School Pictures & Our 2013-14 Homeschool Curriculum

This August we began our fifth year of homeschooling!  We’ve gone from this –

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To this!

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 My how they grow!

First Day of School - Kindergarten 005
I blinked and this happened!

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 And a little mommy tear trickles down my face as I see time passing…
I do want my children to spread their wings and leave the house someday -
but for now I am savoring every last drop of these little years.

And I must say that I am so grateful that everyday I get to wake up to these little faces
and together we experience the wonder
of Math, Reading, History, Grammar, Latin,  Science, Music, and God’s Word.

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 I am thankful for our days at home because our evenings have been full
with football and cheerleading nearly every evening.

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It’s been great because Alexis’ squad cheers for Alex’s team!

Another tradition I started for the first day of school is taking a picture of Alexis in one of my dresses and Alex in one of his Dad’s shirts – and watch them grow!

 First Day of School Mom's Dress A

 First Day of School Dad's Shirt A

 

And every year I get a lot of emails asking what curriculum I use to homeschool my children.

So here’s our full list of curriculum for 2013-2014:

Classical Conversations provides our History, Science, Geography, Grammar, Latin, Art and some Music.  This is a class we attend with other homeschool students on Tuesdays from 9am-3pm.  Here’s a picture of our group.  We LOVE this group!

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For Math, we are using Saxon.

For Language Arts, we are using Sonlight.

For Writing we are using Essentials of the English Language.

For Handwriting, we are using Classical Conversations Pre-Scripts (cursive).

For Bible, we read out of the  Family Reading Bible and the kids memorize verses and do daily devotions through the Olympians Program at our church.

And on Fridays, my father comes to my house and helps me out and he uses Apologia Science and The Story of Our World History .

 

And this is the flow of our day:

The kids wake in the morning to assignments and pink post-it notes with instructions on the kitchen table.

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While I am doing my morning Blogging/Facebooking/Tweeting/Pinning – they begin their work that they can do independently.  This is about 45 minutes of work and it includes their personal devotional time in God’s word. Then we have breakfast.  Then we have another hour of school work that we do together and then a break to play.  After lunch we do another hour of school work together and then a one hour reading/piano/quiet time in the afternoon…and then –we play!

That about sums up our day here!  If you are new to WLW or homeschooling – you can see my 5 Part video series on the benefits, challenges and my routines of homeschooling –>> here.

Chime In: Are you a homeschooler?  Share in the comment section what curriculum you are using, how your day flows or what your homeschool group is like and if you blog and have already blogged on your new homeschool year – feel free to share the link with us in the comment section!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Pre-Launch Giveaway

Comments

  1. Hey, Courtney! I’ve been reading for a few years…I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented. Ha! First~I love your blog. Thanks for allowing God to use you to bless us readers. Keep at it, my sister in Christ!

    I’m in my second year of homeschooling…I have four boys: a ninth grader, an eighth grader and twin fifth graders. We’re using a combo of curriculum: A Beka, Math U See, Word Roots and Critical Thinking, Dive Into Science, Bob Jones and Easy Grammar. It’s a learning process.

    We combine some of our stuff…like in science. We first began with K12, but hated it and made the big change after that. Last year we used all A Beka, and while I loved most of it, my kids did not.

    God bless you!

    • I will begin my homeschooling journey next year with my son. I was looking at K12, can you tell me what you did not like about it? Do you have any suggestions for Kindergarten?

      • Jenny, I love My Father’s World for kinder. It is laid back and easy to use. Great hands on and wonderful books.

      • Jenny, this is my first year with K12…we are doing 3rd grade and I love it. To me it’s the perfect blend of homeschooling and public school. I tried traditional homeschooling in 1st grade and it was a disaster. I love the accountability of it, of them telling you what lessons to do so it takes the thinking out of it, and also the flexibility. It’s a lot of work…but in my opinion worth it. There are many people who like it, and those that don’t. I have learned that whatever decision you make, none of them will be perfect. I’m part of a facebook group that has K12 members in my state. I don’t know much about Kindergarten (I will be doing that next year with my youngest). I have heard that it’s about 2-3 hours a day and that they also do the reading eggs program (readingeggs.com) which is really fun. In my state the whole program is free which is wonderful. You’re going to get mixed reactions about it, I’m sure. I heard of K12 for awhile but was too intimidated to try it. I’m so glad I did. That’s just my 2 cents.

      • Just wanted to second a vote for My Father’s World. I’ve done Kindergarten twice now with their curriculum and loved it! I still wish I had littles at home so we could do it again.

  2. Beautiful children!

  3. Courtney…I love your idea with the yearly photos in your dress
    And hubbies shirt. They are growing! I look back on our homeschool days
    As the best experience of being a mother. Have fun
    This year. Xoxo.

  4. Hi Courtney! I got the pleasure of meeting you at the Women Living Well Conference and won a copy of your book…LOVE IT!!!! I pray that your homeschool is a blessing & that you continue to encourage women all over the world. Bless you!

    My boys are Pre-k…I decided to start blogging about our journey of turning boys into Gladiators for God.
    We call ourselves the “Homeschool Gladiators”

    My website is http://www.homeschoolgladiators.com and I also have a Facebook page.

    ~Lazer

  5. We are starting our second year!
    Our curriculum includes Right Start Math, A Reason for Science, Sequential Spelling, First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Awana at our church, Expedition Earth from Confessions of a Homeschooler, and Artistic Pursuits.
    So looking forward to this year!!!!

    Sounds like you’ve got your school days well oiled! Makes for a much more enjoyable day! ;)

  6. Hi ladies I am an eleven year veteran home school mom. I want to encourage you in this journey. Hold onto every moment and cherish the small years. Both of my boys are now in college and I missed homeschooling so much that I now teach classes through our local co-op’s enrichment program. It is kind of a step down program for me; I could not quit homeschooling cold turkey! By the way, I love Apologia Science!

  7. Anks for sharing your curriculum…my little one is still tiny and I find myself wrestling with whether or not to homeschool. Seeing the materials make me feel like I’ll be best prepared to make an informed decision!

  8. I have a one in Challenge I, three in Foundations, and two in Essentials. Our days are scheduled (a full, intense 6 hours for my oldest, a framework of 6 hours for the youngers, but with more flexibility.) We use Math-U-See, and will be using a free online Science curriculum for my youngers this year. For history, we use SOTH and MOH. We supplement both science and history with library books, online videos, etc.

  9. I love reading about what a lot of homeschoolers use to educate their children! I am a former elementary teacher, but do not homeschool our children. They go to a local public school, even for preschool and kindergarten! For their sake, it helps them to learn the local language, since we live overseas. At home we learn a weekly Bible verse, read Bible stories, and at some point down the road, I’ll teach them American history.

  10. My eldest is also in 4th grade so we’re on year 5 too! Those first few years were painful, but last year I felt that we really hit our stride!

    This year we are using much of the same from last year as well as a few new things thrown in: Singapore Math, Apologia Science (Swimming Creatures), Story of the World Vol 1, First Language Lessons for my 2nd grader and Daily Grams for my 4th grader, Writing with Ease, All About Spelling, A Reason for Handwriting, God’s Great Covenant OT1, and we’re patiently waiting for the Songschool Latin 2 video to be released! We had a lot of fun with volume 1 last year, so we’re willing to wait! We also take part in a co-op, but it’s not dedicated to any certain educating method. My kids both take science there, and then the other two periods are electives. My 2nd grader chose to take an additional science class and a Bible class and my 4th grader chose to take dance and crochet this term. We’re all really excited to dig into our new Bible study!

  11. Fun post! Seeing the logistics of what other homeschoolers do every day is a joy to me. Thanks for all these details. Yes, hang on to those kiddos and savor EVERY moment.
    blessings,
    Shan
    http://www.The-How-to-Guru.com

  12. We homeschool too but just started Classical Conversations this year with my 5th and 2nd grader. We have been using Bob Jones for math.

  13. We are considering homeschooling but I have some concerns. What kind of testing is done? I know in our private school in 3rd grade we have I-read. I’m concerned about time with friends. I know my kids love to be with their friends at recess & if I homeschool I’m not sure when they would have time with other children?

    Jamie

    • Jamie,
      It depends on your state what kind of testing has to be done. Some states don’t require any testing at all. I know that having time with friends is important, but for our kids they get a lot of interaction with peers at church and in extra activities like dance and basketball. I would recommend you read “Educating the WholeHearted Child” but Clay and Sally Clarkson. This is a great book about homeschooling and will help you with some of your questions.

      Hope that helps!

  14. I actually would have loved to homeschool my children but hubby thought differently of it! AND I honestly don’t have the patience for it. BUT I wish we had a school system where they got out earlier.

  15. Sally Dasto says:

    Enjoy these years with homeschooling! Don’t blink to long or they will be grown. My oldest is a college freshman and my youngest is a homeschooled high school senior. The time went way to fast. I wish I would of documented with photos similar to yours. I love this time of year and can’t believe this is my last year.

  16. That’s similar to how our homeschool mornings go. I tend to do our morning reading and prayer together first then when go on to our oldest starting school work while I check email. Our oldest uses FLVS curriculum which includes Reading Street grade 1 reading curriculum and Envision Math grade 1.

  17. I’m not a homeschooler. I’m in a different season of life; grandma. I just wanted to say your children are adorable!

  18. This is my third year of homeschooling. We have a 3rd grader, 1st grader, 2 year old, and one on the way. We have started block scheduling where we do Math and History or Science on Monday and Wednesday then we do Handwriting and Language Arts on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday is a catch up day or just a fun day with the girls with lots of reading. We do calendar, journal, Bible, reading, and Spelling everyday. We have really enjoyed this schedule because it is much more relaxed. We use A Beka right now but I think that we will change next year due to the amount of daily work.

  19. Kelly Gammel says:

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and I especially like your blogs on homeschooling. We are in our fourth year and I just realized your two children are the same grades as mine…3rd and 4th. So my question is this: With them being so close in age are there any subjects that you combine to do together? Also, I’ve been trying to get my oldest to work more independently…any suggestions? Every year I pray it gets easier. I know this is what God has called us to do with their education I’m just at a loss of what to do without feeling frustrated by the end of most days…

  20. Courtney, how quickly the time passes. I’m a dealer with Picaboo Yearbooks and spoke to a homeschool group yesterday. My longtime homeschool friend went with me and we both exclaimed ow quickly it passed and how much we missed those days. Our children are grown and married now. We scrapbook end our schooling days and are so glad we did…it is fun to look back. Picaboo Yearboks makes it soooo much easier.

    Blessings to you and your family this year! Enjoy!

  21. We just started our 29th year of homeschooling. I just wrote a post about routines:

    Routines to Reduce Stress: http://thecharactercorner.com/routines-to-reduce-stress/

    Loved your post!

  22. We are in our first year of homeschooling. My daughter (an only child) is in 6th grade. My husband and I are both on staff at our church and she comes with us each day. Since I have very little time for planning/one-on-one instruction, we’ve enrolled her in Alpha Omega Academy (distance learning). I like having the support of a teacher, for those time when I can’t help her (especially with math!) We have many HS families at our church with children her age, so we had a built-in support system. In fact, we ran into some of her friends when we were out running errands at lunch today! We have also joined a local group, and will be attending a few activities with them this year.

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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