Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A New School Year

We have begun our new school year.  Today was our 16th day.  We are enjoying it.  I only have two students, as my oldest son graduated this past school year.  My graduate has also been working toward a college Bachelor's Degree in Humanities through the College Plus program.  He has taken many CLEP tests and yesterday took his first Dantes (DSST) test.  He has passed all of them so far, and after passing the DSST test yesterday, is officially a college junior.  He also works for Lamplighter Ministries.  He began as an intern their last summer and became an official part-time employee this past February.  He has had opportunity to travel to London, England to observe and be a part of recording radio dramas; he has had opportunity to travel to Orlando, Florida and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, all in connection with his work with Lamplighter Ministries.  Then he returned to New Paltz, New York for the second annual Lamplighter Guild.  God has just been guiding and directing in his life in some amazing and wonderful ways.

So, I still have two boys to continue to educate.  Our middle son is in ninth grade this year and is studying Algebra I from Math-U-See.  He had been using Saxon Math prior to this, but our oldest switched from Saxon to Math-U-See when he hit the Algebra level because he found Saxon's algebra to be too difficult and lacking explanation.  Our middle son also began to struggle a bit with his eighth grade Saxon near the end of the course, so he will be doing algebra and all other high school level math curriculum with Math-U-See.  He is also studying History using Mystery of History.  This is a great curriculum that ties Biblical history with world history, which is fantastic because the Biblical history was taking place at the exact same time that other historical events were happening in other parts of the world; so it's great to see the connections instead of having it separate and never making those connections.  He has always enjoyed writing, but finds it challenging, so he is studying both Writing Strands and Intermediate Language Lessons from My Father's World.  We are also reading some classic literature, and he will be studying Apologia's Exploring Creation Through Physical Science in a co-op class, as I prefer not to teach science.  He will also be taking a Mechanical Drawing and Mapmaking class and a Real World Business class at our co-op.

My youngest is using mostly My Father's World products for all subjects.  We have already finished the science book about Birds, Nests and Eggs by Mel Boring and we are now working on creating a lapbook based on his six favorite birds from the book.  He and I both love lapbooks.  They are a great hands-on activity, and they are creative.  I found FREE printable patterns to use for our lapbooks here, and this makes making lapbooks really easy!  We'll be doing several lapbooks this year.  We will also study Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and "The Nutcracker".  We are studying the early settlers and the founding of the United States in history.  We have already learned about Christopher Columbus and about some Europeans who came to the United States, as well as Captain John Smith and Jamestown.  We are reading more about some Jamestown pioneers.  This son is also using Math-U-See for Math because it includes audio, visual and hands-on learning.  He is continuing to read, building on the level of difficulty.  He has read an "Amelia Bedelia" book, a book titled A Second Chance for Tina and a "Henry and Mudge" book, and he read the book about Christopher Columbus to me.  He will also be taking a science class, a class about syllables and reading and an art class at the co-op.  We will also do occasional art projects here at home, and, of course, lapbooks count toward art as well.  The photo below is my little guy's drawing.  He was supposed to draw a ship like the Europeans traveled to the United States on.  He looked at a photo while drawing this, and I think he's got some real talent.