Monday, August 6, 2012

A Family's Education ~ 2012-2013 School Year ~


     Here in Missouri, the official homeschool year runs from July 1st to June 30th. This means that ZoKo is a little over a month into the new school year. She's technically in 4th grade right now. Our goal is to have her mostly progressed to 5th grade by Christmas or New Year's Day. We'll see...
     This year we are continuing our eclectic homeschool methods from last year. She has a textbook/curriculum base (A Beka as primary, various publishers as secondary), with a heavy emphasis on classic literature (thank Amazon for their wonderful database of free Kindle books), and unit studies to supplement (yard sales rock!). This year, however, we are going to be doing the unit studies as a family learning time on a monthly schedule, including B even though she will be attending public school again.

     Right now, ZoKo's current curriculum is as follows:
               Science..... Understanding God's World (A Beka, gr 4)
               Math..... Arithmetic 4 (A Beka, gr 4)
               History..... Communities & Resources (Silver Burdett, gr 3)
                              (she has already completed A Beka History, gr 4)
               Grammar..... God's Gift Of Language A (A Beka, gr 4)
               Comprehension..... Dinosauring (Houghton Mifflin, gr 4)
               Penmanship..... Penmanship Mastery 2 (A Beka, gr 5)
               Health..... Enjoying Good Health (A Beka, gr 5)
          All of these books (aside from Health and Comprehension) were started prior to July 1st.

     She is continuing to read a lot, and I'm not even going to pretend to keep track of book titles this year online. She currently reads from 1 science book, 1 history book, 2 classic literature books, and 2 independent reading books every day. This totals about 2-4 hours of straight reading every day, plus free reading time (usually on the weekends).
     She has been on a summer schedule of 3 days per week for curriculum and 5 days per week for reading. This will be moved up to 4 days per week for curriculum this week. The reading stays at 5 days per week.
     So far, she has clocked in a total of 178.25 hours out of the mandatory 1,000 yearly hours. This means she must average 17.5 hours per week or 2.5 hours per day for the rest of the school year...


     Officially, KiKi is only 4.5 years old and is too young to homeschool. Unofficially, this keeps that state off my ass about enrolling him in public preschool. So, he is registered as a homeschooler for this school year. I am using the unschooling approach with him, anyone who knows him will understand why. I will be updating the following list of approved activities per category as he discovers/achieves them...

                    Light ray exploration with CD
                    "How It's Made" on TV
                    Dinosaur sorting and anatomy exploration
                    Reading science books with family
               Math & Logical Thinking.....
                    Lego building and organization
                    Car sorting
                    Puzzles and logical thinking/problem solving
               History & Social Studies.....
                    Holiday celebration and observation
                    Game etiquette and social observance
                    Socialization and public etiquette
               Language Arts & Communication Skills.....
                    Button communication practice
                    Speech therapy (field trip)
                    Practice lines and circles on MagnaDoodle
               Physical Education & Health.....
                    Craniosacral treatment and relaxation techniques
                    Occupational therapy
                    Physical therapy
                    Tigger racing
                    Practice jumping on rebounder and in crib
                    Coloring pictures
                    Coloring CD's
                    Random drawing on MagnaDoodle

     So far, he has racked in 66.00 hours out of 1,000, meaning he must average 20.00 hours per week or 3.00 hours per day for the rest of the school year.

...Family Unit Studies...

     Last year, I tried doing weekly unit studies with just the girls. Then it became just holiday unit studies on the day of that holiday. Yeah, I'm sure you can guess how successful that endeavor was... So, this year, we're doing monthly unit studies as a family. Pick one topic at the beginning of each month and focus on it (as a family) for 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Read books, watch tv shows, do lapbooks, make crafts, whatever I can come up with. The girls are very excited about this, and even moreso once they figured out Daddy would be participating. We plan on picking August's topic this evening. I will keep you posted. :)

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