Friday, July 31, 2015

Hey Kids! Ready for School?

Last Monday I decided I'd better do some calendar calculations to figure out when we should begin our school year. I looked at last year's chart and saw that we had logged 101 days when we started our Christmas break. Counting backwards from this year's break,  and taking out nearly a month for our planned epic travel adventure (more on that in a future post) I discovered schooling would have to start that day if we wanted to finish in May.

Good thing I bought my books early this year and already had the classroom ready to go!

The boys were not exactly thrilled, but were good sports about the sudden schooling. EM was scheduled to go to a local history camp three days that week, so he only did grammar, a few analogy worksheets, reading, and some math. I knew he was going to do pre-algebra this year, but wasn't 100% sure which textbook I wanted to use. I sat down with him that Monday to look through what we had. Nothing felt like a perfect fit. Then I got an email from the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op that Thinkwell courses were half price. I showed EM a sample from the pre-algebra class and he told me he'd like to use it. JT used Thinkwell for two years and wasn't really a fan. EM loves the fact that he can work through it at his own pace. We had to wait a few days to get things set up so he did a little of Edward Zaccaro's Challenge Math book to warm up for the year, then when it was ready, worked his way through most of the first chapter of his Thinkwell course.

JT started Rosetta Stone's German Level 2, is reading the third book in C.S. Lewis' space trilogy, started his Jacob's Geometry text, and began his study of ecology. We are piecing together his ecology course from many sources including an ecology workbook, the book Bottle Biology, ecology videos on the Crash Course Youtube channel, and a few other books I have lying around. Because it's so pieced together, we will log 120 days of work instead of completion of a textbook as our record for his science credit through PHAA.

We also started reading Volume 4 of Story of the World and a biography of president Harry S. Truman.

For the next few weeks I will add in more subjects gradually until we get up to full speed for our schooling. I'm starting things a little more slowly this year. JT is doing a few subjects that are only a semester long so I am going to spread their start times out a bit to keep it from feeling too overwhelming at the beginning of the year.

One good thing about starting so suddenly is that I had no real time to dread the start of school. One day it was summer vacation, the next day, school!