Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School Is In!

It was tough, but we started school this week. I kept thinking I should put it off a couple more days due to my work schedule. I am glad I didn't. We have had a great 2 days of school so far. This is pretty impressive since I work Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night this week. This means I work 12 hours (6p-6a), sleep for a couple of hours in the morning at my sister's, drive home (one hour), and hit the books. Both days we were finished in 3 hours. Both boys worked extremely well. (This is amazing for the first days back - usually it is quite a struggle for some subjects.)

I am enjoying Luca's language and the History through Sea and Sky. I am incorporating more game type learning because this is something they really enjoy. They also learn so much more when we make it a game and not so much a read and regurgitate (as public schools do).

I am trying to set our schedule where we do subjects together and separate giving the boys little breaks after a couple of subjects. Wednessday, Thursday, and Friday are going to be HEAVY days. I am making Mondays and every other Tuesday half days (due to work and time constraints).
Last year I was really bad about letting Nico complete things as 'homework'. Things didn't get completed properly and sometimes not at all. This year there are two subjects where is going to be held accountable for getting assignments completed on his own. These are geography and world history. I want him to be able to manage his time. Reading is the one subject I am not going to let him wait on. Our reading is consisting of books to go with our science and world history study. The first book he is reading is Robinson Crusoue. I am starting out the year with the simplified versions so I don't lose his interest in reading and enjoying the book.

Luca is really wanting to try things on his own first and then I check them. I am really excited about this as I want him to gain the confidence and indepence he needs. We are struggling a little bit with reading due to some speech issues. However, we are working through all of that.

All summer I have been wanting to get to the fruit farms for fresh fruit. Today peaches were ready to pick and I have time this week to make jam and goodies. I made myself get up after 2 hours of sleep so we could get to the farm early enough to pick peaches and get back home for school work.

One of the best things about picking your own fruit is getting to eat all you want for FREE!
The boys had no problem chomping on the peaches this morning for breakfast.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Family Vacation

My husband and I have been crossing paths for the last month, barely seeing each other except for minutes at a time. We finally scheduled some time to go on a family vacation. We went to Oregon to visit with his family. His brother, sister-in-law, and nieces came up from California. (it was actually his brother's idea for us all to meet there)
We were all set to start school this week, but instead the vacation was much needed. His family reminds me a lot of mine growing up. We hung out with our cousins all the time. Family get-togethers were a blast! His was no exception.
We spent some time during the day doing things with the kids and then in the evening hung out with the family.
Below are pictures (crazy out of order because this blog was doing crazy things when I went to write captions). The pictures include Skinner's Butte, Spencer's Butte (much taller), Sea Lion Cave (without any sea lions - very disappointed), horseback riding, and family time.

Skinner's Butte. Nico couldn't pass up a chance to climb. He was really wanting some rock climbing equipment.

Hubby and me
A little friend came to visit at the top of Spencer's Butte. Nico had to take the opportunity to get close.
Who can resist hanging on a branch? Not us!
The boys are out numbered in this family. There are 3 boys and 8 girls.
We went up the Oregon coast to Sea Lion Cave. Unfortunately this time all the sea lions were out to sea :-(
A first for Luca---horseback riding by himself! He was so excited.
Nico looking so handsome on his horse Bailey.
A bit of the trail on the sand dunes of the Oregon Coast.
Having the best time!
Luca and the girls.
Luca and Sophie are the same age and have so much fun playing together.
Terry, getting his cook on.

A hike up Spencer's Butte
Very tall trees. It is such a beautiful place.
On top of Spencer's Butte
Skinner's Butte
The two older boys trying to escape the camera.
Hanging with cousins from Oregon and California

We will be starting school this week on a full load come Wednesday.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What We Are Doing For School Year 2013-14

WOW, is about all I can say about how fast this summer has gone by!
We finished up our school year last year the end of May. We have taken off two months to butcher our chickens, attend dance Nationals, attend the Lincoln County Fair, and do some camping.
I have been working all summer on math and reading with Luca (6) and Nico (11) has been working on science since he did a geology project for 4-H. My intention was to start back full swing on August 12. Plans quickly changed to us leaving on a trip to Oregon to see Mike's family during that week. YAY for homeschooling and being able to make that adjustment. So, we are starting back very low key this week, a week of vacation, and then hitting the books on August 19.
This year's curriculum is going to have the boys working together for world history, science, and Spanish. I am very excited about this year once again and hope we have some super fun days.
Here is what I have planned:
Nico - age 11 - 6th/7th grade
 World History and Science - Adventures in the Sea and Sky by WinterPromise
    Spanish - Song School Spanish we started this last year and didn't get very far, so this year will finish it and then have them move to Rosetta Stone
     Math - MathUSee (continuing on with this as Nico has done very well with it)
     Language - Classical Conversations Essentials This is new for us this year. A Classical Conversation group has started in our town. I am hoping for more of a challenge for Nico in writing and hoping this helps.
      US History - finishing up Westward Expansion with Intellego Unit Studies (I love these). We will then move onto Missouri History and move into US Government by 8th grade.
       Spelling - All About Spelling (love this program) Nico has always struggled with spelling so we started from scratch with this program last year.
      Reading - Reading will come from readers from History and Science.
Luca - age 6 - 1st grade
     World History and Science - Adventures in the Sea and Sky by WinterPromise
     Spanish - Song School Spanish we started this last year and didn't get very far, so this year will finish it and then have them move to Rosetta Stone
      Language Shurley English for 1st grade
      Math McRuffy 1st Grade Color Math. I started using MUS with Luca and we were getting nowhere. I have found McRuffy math to be more enjoyable for both of us.
      Reading- Using Hooked on Phonics K and a variety of other books and hands on activities.
      Writing - Handwriting Without Tears and Write Shop

I think that has us all covered. It is going to be a busy year but really planning on making it fun and adding in field trips that are overnighters for more fun!