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Homeschool Curricula: Age 9

Leigh —  September 8, 2015 — Leave a comment

This is the week that it all begins. Summer is drawing to a close, and starting this week, it’s back to alarm clocks ringing in the mornings and folks expecting us to be out of our pajamas with hair brushed and looking presentable several days a week. This week marks a new season of coming and going, reuniting with friends we’ve missed over the summer, and well, just getting back into the swing of things.

If I’m being honest, this summer has not been my favorite. It’s been one of those seasons of life that you just grit your teeth and plow through, knowing that eventually you will come out on the other side no worse for the wear. While we are all still happy and healthy, it’s been a doozy of a summer around here, and quite frankly, I’m ready for some distraction.

So…Welcome to September! The McKibben’s are ready to ring in the new school year!

During the summer months, I try to amp up the kids’ schoolwork as much as possible. It’s the only time all year that we have days on end at home with no extra-curricular activities to tie up our schedule and pull us away, and I try to make the most of it by getting ahead in some subjects or getting caught up in others. Don’t worry…we still make time for plenty of swimming and play dates. We just have more time for school work because we don’t have other commitments to work around.

Every year about this time, I like to post a curriculum rundown of what we plan to accomplish this year at McKibben Elementary. The main reason I do this is so in three years I have some idea what I was doing with Edie when I get to do it all over again with Roark. These subjects start to run together after awhile, and some days, I’m doing good to tell you what we did yesterday. So the curricula list serves as a good reference for me. But another reason for the list is just because.You see, homeschool moms love to talk curricula. Really, it’s one of our favorite subjects when we get together, and we can spend hours debating the pros and cons of each one we’ve tried. So really, this is just another outlet for me to discuss that much loved topic of conversation.

So here is Edie’s fourth grade work load for the year: Continue Reading…

Homeschool Curricula: Age 5

Leigh —  August 13, 2014 — 5 Comments

If Roark weren’t homeschooled, he would be headed to kindergarten this year. Kindergarten! Yikes! It doesn’t seem possible!

When my children were babies, I used to look at other people’s school-aged kids and think how big and grown-up those kids looked compared to my babies, and now I look at my little kindergartener and he doesn’t seem grown-up enough to be in school seven hours a day. While he doesn’t have chubby, fat roles anymore or crawl around on his belly, he is still the youngest one in the house and therefore, the baby.

Can babies go to kindergarten?

I guess they can.

Thank goodness though my baby doesn’t have to spend this year away from home in some classroom at school.  Instead, he will be joining his sister and me at the school table…or in the woods…or at the park…or all the other places we manage to fit in learning and school work.

Last year, my primary focus with Roark’s education was to teach him how to read and understand basic numbers.  However this year, his work load will increase substantially.  There’s very little independent work that he can do at this age.  So most of Roark’s school time will be spent sitting right next to me.

Here is what Roark will be working on this year: Continue Reading…

Everywhere we go these days, everyone is talking about the new school year.  The check-out lines at Wal-mart are filled with buggies overflowing with “Back to School” supplies, and my Pinterest feed has an abundance of “First Day of School” ideas. In a couple of days, Facebook with be covered up with pictures of your adorable children sporting their new back packs and clean sneakers, and I can’t wait to see them all.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a little twinge of guilt every time a new school year rolls around.  Since my children don’t ever leave school, there’s really no going back to it. My kids are never going to experience that big ball of excitement and nerves rolling around in their stomach as they walk into a new classroom on the first day of school. While other children this week are riding buses with their neighborhood buddies and sitting in desks beside new friends, my kids will still be in their pajamas, eating breakfast, and reading the back of the cereal box like it’s just another day…because to them, it will be. Continue Reading…

No matter how many times I ask them to please stop growing, my kids continue to age.  I know it’s the natural progression of things, but it still hurts my feelings every time they outgrow a pair a shoes or clear another inch on the growth chart.  It’s just another reminder that this time with them as children is limited, and it makes me thankful that we homeschool.  Instead of losing some of that time to school and teachers, all these moments are mine.

Here we are, starting another school year, and my baby girl is seven.  Of course if you ask her she’ll be quick to tell you that in fact she is seven and a half.  Lately, that half year has become very important to her.  It’s so cliche that it’s funny.  I purposefully tell people that she’s only seven so I can hear her correct me with “and a half.”  Then I secretly laugh at her on the inside because it’s a sign that she’s not quite as old as she thinks she is.

Continue Reading…

So curricula have been ordered, and children have been registered for co-ops.  It can only mean one thing…a new school year is about to begin!

This year I will be doubling my class size because Roark will be finally joining us at the school table.  Up until now, it’s just been Edie and me sitting at that table.  In the past we did most of her schoolwork while Roark was napping in the afternoons, but my baby is growing up (shed tears here).  He doesn’t require those afternoon naps as he once did.  So now I’ll have two students in my classroom instead of just the one.

While my children do have a lot of differences, they seem to learn at the same pace, and I think Roark at the ripe old age of four and half is capable of the same work load that Edie had at four and half.  So my plan is for Roark to just do exactly what she did at his age.  After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

However I realized there was a slight problem with this plan.  I never took the time to write down when I did certain curricula with Edie.  We just did it.  I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I would have to teach it all over again to Roark three years later.

So I decided to put pen to paper, rack my brain, and see if I could recall what exactly I did with Edie during those first years of homeschooling. Then the thought occurred to me that some of you might be interested in seeing a list like that as well. So I decided to put that list here on the blog.  That way I can share it and keep up with it.  Win-win!

Continue Reading…