Friday, July 31, 2009

School, school, school...

Well, it seems from some of the blogs I read that school is getting ready to start. Do ya'll remember when school started the day after Labor Day? IN SEPTEMBER? But, anyhoos. Here at Clark Academy we took June off and have been having mini-school since July. Mini-school for us consists of science, Bible, handwriting, spelling, and math on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It has worked out great so far and we will continue through August (and maybe some into September, depending on how the garden and pears are doing). When we start back full swing our days pretty much go like this.

***But all this is subject to change depending on my mood, the kid's attitudes, James' escapades (and I think I am about to have start potty-training him so that is a part-time job right there), if we get our Baby Girl, or the state of my house and I begin saying "I can't stand it anymore, we are living like a bunch of heathens!" and call school off to get the house back in order. But, believe it or not, most days flow pretty much according to our routine, and my kids are learning and thriving. I was worried if they were learning, but Tyler had to take the SAT last year and he did AWESOME and I said, "Yeah for the craziness of our household, it must make my children super-focused and have the ability to tune out their mom singing the Clean Up Song to James for the 10th time that morning!" Okay, I will get the Run-On Sentence Award for the day.

Our Day in a very little nutshell that leaves out the craziness that I don't want you to know about:

Around 8 the kids do their cleanup zones, feed the cats and chickens, straighten their rooms , and someone starts a load of laundry.

We usually start school around 9. We have our Bible time all together. We are going through the Old Testament stories this summer, working on memorizing a Scripture passage, and memorizing the books of the Bible.

I can usually give Tyler most of his work to do on his own and he goes off to his desk in his room to work alone. Matt and Abbie argue over who will go first and I begin deep sighing and try to remember who went first the day before. Whoever I don't pick has James' Duty which means they will play with James, work on his school work box with him, and just generally try to keep him out of trouble. I have a box titled "James' Box of Fun" in which I have put the preschool packets I made for him, some coloring books and crayons, stickers, etc.. in it. Some days he loves it and some days he could care less. He does like it when the kids play the little games with him though.

I rotate the kids and work with them individually at the kitchen table. They each have a sterlite box that all their books and work is in so they just bring the box to the table. After we have done the work for each child for the day I call the next child and then someone else has James' duty.

After all the kids have been rotated and right now this doesn't take too long because of mini-school, we do Science all together. Depending on the morning, this will be right before or right after lunch. James usually sits in with us on Bible (he has his own very short memory verse he is learning) and Science. I am trying to use this time to teach him to sit quietly and how to listen. He will be going into big church with us soon and hopefully this is good practice. Some days it goes well, some days it is a crying fest the whole time and I put him in his bed to cry by himself.

For math we use ABEKA. We just work through the books until we are done and then move to the next grade level.

Science-Apologia Astronomy. LOVE Apologia. This year I ordered the children's notebooks instead of them making their own notebook. It was pricey, but oh my word, the difference it has made in our science work. LOVE IT.

History-Veritas Press. New Testament, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. This will be my first time to use this and I am excited. I did not buy all the books they recommend because I found I can get many of them at the library, but I did buy quite a lot and they look wonderful. We will be doing lots of read-alouds, which I think is wonderful way for kids to learn. I also plan on doing a couple of lapbooks. I found this great lapbooking site, and I hope to do some more research and planning before September. We will also be reading some books about other parts of the world during that time period.

Handwriting/Copywork-Classically Cursive, by Veritas Press

Language-Language Lessons, by Queen Homeschool

Spelling-Spelling Power. This is the first time I have used them and I really like it. Very easy for mom and it will be good for my children.

Bible-We go to Community Bible Study one morning a week beginning in September. The kids have their Bible lessons and music. They will doing a 8 month study on the book of Genesis. Me too. They have lots of verses to learn at CBS so we don't do separate Scripture memory at home during that time. Mark is teaching them the Shorter Catechism at night before our family prayers.

Art-Once a month they will be taking an art class with our homeschool co-op.

They also are involved in Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls.

So that's it. After writing it all down it looks like a lot, but we are usually done by 1 or 2 pm, James goes down for his nap, I do the elliptical machine, collapse in the recliner, and the kids have the afternoon to play. I then try to muster up the strength to get up and do some semblance of housework, cook supper, and look absolutely stunning by the time my man walks through the door. Not really on the stunning part cause by the end of August I am usually standing in the garden picking one more blasted tomato when he gets home and he is greeted by a glistening, dirty, bug-bitten woman who says she is not going to do this one more day. She then goes a gets a shower and comes up with a plan to make the garden even bigger next year because wouldn't it be fun to have our own pumpkins! She gets out of the shower, tells her man, and he says "Okay." knowing that the next day she will have changed my mind. I have a love/hate relationship with the garden in case you haven't noticed...


  1. gentle readers, can you tell that her kids are not at home but at the zoo with their grandparents today

  2. Could we please get something other than punkins? I think it's sad that you don't have enough to do during the day. HA!

  3. oh, i also find my glistening, dirty, bug-bitten woman irresistible, hubba hubba

  4. Hi! I loved reading about your homeschooling. My husband and I have been in prayer about taking our children out of public schools. I love the idea. He does not. This year my children were blessed with wonderful, Christian, women as teachers. So we are looking forward to a great year. I would still pull them out in a second and home school!

  5. Oh how I wish I could get things together when it come to our school days!! They always seem so hectic and out of order!! I am working on a better schedule for us all. It is so hard with the 3 and 2 year old's. And the nursing baby!! :)

    I do love the ideas of the sterlite boxes though!!! :) I think I may try that.

  6. You crack me up! We sound like kindred spirits! I have a love/hate with my garden too. I threaten it with a jug of Roundup now and then just to show it who's the boss around here!

    Loved reading about your school day. Sounds like you've a good handle on things.

    Aaron is in the 8th grade now and is just starting to work better independently. It's been a struggle.

    There is a big homeschooling convention coming up in August that I'd love to go to since I've not ordered this years curriculum yet!!!

  7. Tell me how you like the Queen Homeschool language lessons. I've eyed that one off and on for a long time. I keep thinking about buying it but don't. I'd like to see it sometime if you like it!

    Sounds like you have everything all planned! I wish I did--but it seems like I'm changing up every few weeks! Smile!

  8. Looks like you are all set for a great year! I liked reading about what curriculum you are using and how your day goes. It sounds nice and peaceful - hee hee! Aren't all our days peaceful...??!!
    I have the same problems with my garden... I get all enthused and then it gets too much for me and then I wonder what on earth I am going to do with all the produce and usually end up giving half of it away :) That works :) This year I want to put in LOTS of corn - I have the spot ready in my mind! Now to get hubby to till it for me... :) Thankfully we still have to wait three months before I can plant.

  9. Hey, I think I will just bring mine over to your house for school!

    BTW, Delores decided to turn in for the night about 2 miles outside Ashville. I think she is still sleeping. . . .

  10. Looks like a great year! I will be an AL-blogger soon!

  11. Thanks for participating in the NBTS Blog Hop!

  12. Thanks so much for posting all of the great details of your curriculum. I hope you have a great year.

    We are in week 7 of our homeschool for the year. Going great and loving it!

  13. We use Language Lessons... and Apoligia is our science for this year. Looking forward to ordering it!

  14. Congratulations on your son doing well on the SAT. I love reading about homeschoolers success stories. It is so encouraging to me. Thanks for sharing on the NBTS Blog Hop.

  15. Well planned year! Last year I went to the Apologia conference in late Feb. They are going to have it again in Balitmore and in Chicago. It is a bit pricey but well worth it!

    God bless
    Heather L

  16. Great post, thank you for sharing! And I can totally relate to the end-of-the-day tomato picking and needing a shower! LOL. My hubby's not quite so tolerant of my dirty feet and told me to get myself some Wellies. He says they'll be worth it just so he doesn't have to see his wife's feet all covered in compost.