Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Our School Year Looks Like!!

2014 - 2015 School Year. 

:) :) SoOoO ExCiTeD!! :) :)

I really look forward to when we start up school again. I love the new books, the new stack of worksheets, the new crayons, markers, paints, and colored paper. I love to look ahead a plan what weeks we will have off and what projects we will be doing. I love watching the Lord work in my children's hearts, molding them, and making them into the people He created them to be! And I am SO in love with our school out look this year! Here's a glimpse into what it looks like:

Although my twins are only turning 4 years old this Saturday, we have started them on a Kindergarten curriculum by Heart of Dakota this year. They have been through the Preschool program twice and have an amazing grip on all the basics: colors, shapes, numbers, reading comprehension and a good knowledge of the overview of the Bible. We really feel like putting them through preschool again would be holding them back. They are starting to do basic addition in their heads and sounding out 3-4 letter words and writing them down. 

This picture was taking about 9 months ago when I ordered all their school stuff. 

We are 2-3 weeks into the Kindergarten curriculum already and I am so, SO, SO in love with it, I just CANNOT say enough! 

Our History will be a basic overview of all of history from Adam and Eve to our founding fathers, to the industrial revelation and more! We will be making a timeline of each event and seeing how the center of all history is Jesus Christ and His redemption of mankind!

Our Science section is filled with basic experiments, focusing on different areas of creation and bits and pieces of the world around us everyday. We may focus on kangaroos and learn how their babies stay in the pouch for the first months of their life, or we may learn about how plants have roots, leaves, and flowers. We may grow some plants, create boats out of foil, or mix baking soda with vinegar and watch what happens. 

Our Writing books help them focus on mastering the skills of staying on lines, cutting with precision, and focusing on fine motor skills. We start with tracing circles in a certain direction and by the end of the year we will be writing of verses from the Bible with ease and precision. 

Our Math books start with things we learned in Preschool with new twists such as sorting, matching, and reviewing numbers and their characters and will advance to counting, basic addition and touching on basic subtraction. 

Our daily Phonics program takes 10-15 minutes a day and is a go-at-your-own-pace program that will have them reading short stories by the end of it. It also comes with an accompanying computer game that correlates with each chapter. One of my girls is MUCH better at it then the other, so I have book marks with their names on them pointing to what page that child is on. We only cover 1-2 pages max every day. We do 1 Review and 1 New... unless the review was a struggle, then we will simply focus on that one page for the day. I don't want reading to be a frustration, but a joy and fun.

We have a daily Reading Comprehension time where we will be reading through all the Peter Rabbit series and asking the girls questions and what happened, or having them act out what happened, or getting them to write their favorite character a letter of admonishment or encouragement. This is usually what Alex does with the Girls.

We also have weekly memory verses that are accompanies to music and deeper Devotionals that ask deep questions such as where did God come from? and who is Satan? What is sin? ect. These typically correlate with our history and science lessons for the week also.

On top of all this we are supplementing with their CKC programs from church (which is memory verses and basic understanding of scriptures with applications), some French websites with free games and French movies that will continue to expose them to the foreign language, and since I lead worship, we will be having random jam sessions with drums, and other instruments for more music exposure. 

All in all, we usually take just a few hours in the morning at the kitchen table to get done with all of this. And I just love how the curriculum is based on reaching a child's heart for Christ. Just this morning we talked about how Cain and Abel made sacrifices to God, but Abel understood his sin needed to be covered by the blood because "the wages of sin is death." So he offered a lamb to God. Cain, on the other hand, thought the work of his own hands could cover his sins, so he offered his fruits and vegetables from the land he worked himself. God accepted Able's offering but not Cain's. Oh, how we need Jesus' blood to wash away our sins and forgive us! This was all after we learned about how sin entered all our hearts because Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. We are all born with nature and need to be redeemed by Jesus! 

My little Hayven will be going through Preschool officially this year. As of this moment, I feel she will be doing it again next year, but we will see how she turns out at the end of the year. 

We have a daily Fingerplay which is a poem that ties the week's stories and letter together in a fun, active way with hand motions and rhythm.

We will be reading through the entire Bible this year! We will be hearing the whole Bible through song also!

We will focus on one Letter a week with a review week every month learning the sounds of the letter and exploring the letter through art, with blocks, writing and in other hands on ways.

We will have some basic Math and Science things we will do on a weekly basis as well to get Hayven to explore how things float, fly, feel different, and how numbers have values to them. 

We will also be having weekly Memory Verses to hide in our hearts that are also put to music. 

We have decided to supplement Hayven with the same CKC programs, some French exposure through films and games, as well as music jam sessions.

My Baby Elias
Elias is just a baby, but he has some things he's working on too. He will be having quiet time on a blanket with different toys/objects every day. This will teach him self-control, obedience, and open his mind to new things (blocks, trucks, pot and pans, cooking utensils, a bin or water ect.)

He also has some French and music exposure through films, music ect.

So how does it all work together?
Well, I am all for planning. Without plans, people perish... that's in the Bible. So we aim for a certain pattern to our days. The times can change depending on what we did the night before, if the baby was up crying all night, or if everyone wakes up really early, but here's the basic plan:

6am-7am Mom and Dad spend time. Coffee. Devotions. 
7am-8am Mom prays and/or prepares day.
8am-9am Morning chores (teeth, hair, dress, beds). Breakfast.
9am-10:30am Kindergarten and some French. Quiet play for Babies.
10:30am-11am Snack 
11am-12pm Park. Outside. Play.
12pm-1pm Lunch. Clean-up. Daily Chore.
1pm-3pm Kids: Nap. Mom: Devotions. Clean. Practice Worship. 
3pm-3:30pm Snack
3:30pm-4pm Preschool. Twins & Elias Free Play in room
4pm-5pm Make Dinner & Eat
5pm-??? Whatever dad wants to do.

It's simple, flexible, yet everything gets done :) Daily we have different chores that MUST get done. Extra time allows for more to get done if needed. And all the kids partake in cleaning (Even Elias!) and hard work. 

I love home-educating mostly because of how flexible it is. We started early because I know we will be traveling a lot this month. I also love that my twins can be in Kindergarten since their ready, and my Hayven can be in preschool as many times as I want her to. I can help my children apply what we learned in school and we can walk through things they are dealing with in their personal lives. I can show them how I pray when I'm angry like Cain should have done when we was dealing with anger toward Abel. I can show them how to persevere when things get hard that I'm working on just like how they can when they have a really tough worksheet, or a chore they don't like doing.

Home-educating is NOT simply textbooks. 
It's how to live life.

1 comment:

  1. CASSIE!!!
    I literally just blog-stalked you and read all your recent updates as well as older posts that I haven't seen going back to the beginning of the year. Congratulations on your house! That's so exciting. I'm also so sorry to hear about all the health issues with the girls, but praise God that He is providing and protecting them!
    I just have to say.... I am SO DEEPLY missing fellowship with you. I still talk about you guys to Calvin occasionally and how much I regret us not living closer to each other. I have few friends that I connect with on a more spiritual and deep level - much less in the same position of young marriage and maturity - and it is always so refreshing to talk to you.
    Send me an email sometime if you ever get the chance. I miss our updates and encouragement.
    Love you sister! I pray God reunites us again in the near future!