Hello everyone! We are already a couple weeks into 2018, can you believe it?! For a lot of homeschoolers, this is a common time to start changing things up in our studies. Time for a homeschool pulse check and figure out what’s working and what is not. You can read in more detail what my hopes and dreams were in the beginning of the year HERE.
I will say, juggling two different grade levels, dealing with 3 other little ones, along with trying to keep up with the home is quite a balancing act that I am still trying to figure out. So far, our school work has been very relaxed with little to no schedule. We took a long break the past couple months and now I am ready to get back to homeschool reality. Today I am going to share with you where we are in our studies, what we planned on doing, what actually happened, and what I’m changing.
First, let me start with our year at a glance I did at the beginning of the year.
If I were on schedule, I should be on week 19 (that is including 3 weeks of catch up work only) starting January 8th. The reality is, I am a month behind of my goal, at only week 15. Personally, I am okay with that. I can be content with only being 4 weeks off.
Now I am going to show you a side by side comparison of the kids’ outlines. I’ll start off with Beaver.
Religion: The plan was for him to read a chapter a week from Faith and Life 3, A Life of Our Lord for Children, and Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls. That did not happen. He’s behind at least a chapter in each book and that is with skipping a couple of chapters in Faith and Life and A Life of our Lord. It was hard for me to get in a full chapter with all three books a week. The plan moving forward is to focus on only one book a week and start a loop schedule. Narration of our religious books hasn’t been the most consistent either. I will have Beaver give me an oral narration but I haven’t been the best about writing them down for him. Me writing down his narrations is also something I hope to improve on.
Math: Beaver has been rocking in math! I think the original goal was to get to lesson 14/ 15 and he’s at lesson 26. He’s just about done with Math U See’s Gamma level and in March I hope to start Delta. In the meantime, he will continue with daily math facts.
English: We were supposed to start IEW this year and I totally forgot!! It wasn’t until the other night when going through all of this that I realized, “oh yeah! we were supposed to be doing that!”, talk about major mommy brain. So, I am going to start IEW now, if I remember…lol. Spelling has been pretty rough with Beaver. We were using Seton’s spelling and he would get his spelling for word for the week correct but if I asked him two weeks later to spell an old spelling word, it was like he had never seen that word in his life! It was very frustrating for the both of us. After getting advice from fellow Catholic Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, I decided to ditch the traditional spelling route and implement more copywork and make it a priority to do it daily. I do feel his spelling is improving and we are starting to slowly introduce dictation. We finished First Language Lessons level 2 and beginning First Language Lessons level 3. You can read my review of First Language Lessons here.
For literature read alouds, we didn’t get to any of it. I definitely need to get on the ball with that. Daddy will start reading from Andrew Lang’s Fairy book to the kids right before bedtime, so that will be extremely helpful for me. I am going to start reading the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with Beaver and go from there.
Raccoon, on the other hand, is way more behind than Beaver. For Religion, I decided to ditch her Faith and Life 1. She’s always around when I’m going over Faith and Life with Beaver and she has started to narrate to me what was read with Beaver. Now I read Faith and Life 3 to the both of them.
In Math U See Alpha, I was hoping to be at lesson 12 or 13 by now with her but we are only on lesson 9. A big part of that is because I rely heavily on the video aspect of Math U See and we had some technical difficulties. She does like it and I do feel Math U See is a good fit for her. She is eager to learn math and we are both motivated to get the ball going and hopefully keep up the momentum.
For All About Reading, the goal was to hit lesson 20 by now, she is at lesson 13. Out of all honesty, this is mainly my fault. I have been struggling with figuring out a working routine with two school-aged kids and unfortunately, me keeping up with her reading instruction has been lacking. She does really like AAR though, and I have been very impressed how well she has been picking reading up. Just like with math, we are ready to hit the gas pedal with reading.
Raccoon only has a couple more lessons left in Delightful Handwriting before she reaches the copywork portion of the curriculum. At that point, I plan on waiting to do that part because that coordinates well with Delightful Reading, which I will switch over to once she’s done with All About Reading. I am going to start making her copywork sheet using the words and sentences from AAR.
We are on lesson 36 in First Language Lesson level 1 so this is really the only thing we’re not behind on.
We have been keeping up with our weekly Aesop fables with narration but we have not gotten around to any other read aloud books that I had planned. Like I said above, Daddy is going to start reading Andrew Langs fairy book to the kids and I am going to start reading to her The Naughty Little Sister. She has been asking about reading that for a while now.
Despite being behind on certain subject with Raccoon, I did start our Along the Alphabet Path literature study with her and Hedgehog. Actually, the whole family participates in this. You can read more about Along the Alphabet Path here. I will be resuming our Alphabet Path studies in just a couple weeks.
Along with the Alphabet Path, I will be starting to introduce some more formal schooling with Hedgehog now that she is 5 years old. Not too much, but I would like to start handwriting and some basic math skills.
As a family, I planned on doing a daily morning basket (in our case a bag). This is where we were supposed to get in our picture study, bible reading, saint stories, and virtues in. Sadly, our morning bag was put on the back burner. The other thing that we failed to keep up with was history. Not keeping up with history is what I am the most disappointed with. We all really enjoyed Story of Civilization but it kept getting forgotten about. We are going to be starting it back up at lesson 6.
My overall thoughts on where we are in homeschool: I am at peace with our progress. I am not thrilled but not upset either. I definitely need to develop a more consistent routine. I also hope to figure out a way I can fit our morning basket in our routine and get back into history.
How is your homeschool going, is it going how you thought it would? Comment below!