HOD Unit One

We have completed our first Unit in our four HOD programs we are using this year.  Everyone went at half pace because we also had swimming lessons which took up our morning.  Princess M will continue at half pace, as it has been my intention to do Little Hearts over two years.  She will just be five in November, so though she isn't really kindergarten age, she is ready to begin the skills slowly.  Princess L will be moving up to full pace, however we will be only doing HOD four days a week.  This will stretch the guide out half way through her third grade year, which is exactly where I want her.  The fifth day we will do math, literature studies, and hopefully piano lessons.  Princesses E and S will be moving up to full pace as well, however their writing, art and theater classes will not begin until the second week of September.

Princess M - LHFHG
This week Princess M learned about how Jesus is at the center of history.  We talked about how Jesus was with God when the world was made, and then from Adam until the time of his birth, the people look forward to Jesus coming.  Then after he died and rose again, people began looking forward to his second coming.  She did the first lesson in MUS Primer and started the second lesson.  We also finished the first lesson in All About Reading Level 1.  She can say all of the sounds by themselves, and can begin to blend.  She has a bit harder time when you have to say the sounds faster though.  But she read four words on her own.  Here are the photos.

Princess L - BHFHG
This week, Princess L began learning about Christopher Columbus and his dream to find a sailing route to Asia.  We learned about how it was hard to find people to believe in his dream, but when he finally got going, it changed the course of history.  She completed the first few pages of her math book.  She is still doing vision therapy, so I'm holding off on her additional reading lessons as she reads each day with her special lenses.  Here are the photos.

Princess S - Res to Ref
Princess S was excited to see she gets to do history projects.  I think that is going to be her favorite thing.  (This was the part of TOG that we were never able to get to because it would take them so long to get the rest of their school work done.)  She also seemed to enjoy the audio CD's for her independent history study.  She also began her science by learning about her most unfavorite creature - the spider.  She is almost done with Epsilon lesson one.  She spent a little time reviewing the first half of the Latin book she did last year and began the review lesson.  She did a great job with her first oral narration and her first written narration.  I think that using IEW's method of writing a KWO and using it to give an oral presentation helped her with the oral narration.  Plus, she has a great memory for details when it is something that truly interests her.  Here are the photos.

Princess E - Rev2Rev
Princess E spent most of the week working in her room, her chosen work environment.  I told her she had to get everything done in a timely fashion in order to continue that way.  She has to do her history projects, math and science in our school room/living room though.  She is working her way through Aleks Middle School Math 1, and will hopefully be able to move on to the second one in another month.  She enjoyed making her Indian headdress history project, though she wasn't so excited about modeling it for me for a picture.  She is to finish up Latin for Children Level B on her own.  I gave her the answer book and she will study and learn on her own.  She will come to me for the tests.  It's something new for us, and we'll have to see how it works out.  I gave her deadlines for each test, so she should be done around Christmas time.  Here are the photos.



Long Time, No Blog (or What Are We Doing This Year)

It's been a long time since my last post.  We've had a lot going on, and blogging about it wasn't an option.  But, we'll be starting back in to school soon.  In fact, my original plans had us starting today.  However, Princess E found out last week that she made it to the semi-final round in our County Fair Talent Competition.  She will be performing there tomorrow night.  So to afford her practice time, and not try to do school while she is a bundle of nerves, we put off starting for a few extra days.  If she doesn't advance to the finals, we will begin on Thursday.  If she makes it to the finals on Saturday, then we will start on Monday.

We have started two weeks of swim lessons.  All four girls are taking lessons.  Princess E, if she passes, will be done with them after this go around. Princess S needs to test out of two more levels.  Princesses L and M took lessons earlier on this summer, and this is their second time in levels two and one respectively.  They are doing much better on the first day than they did on the last day in June!

Princesses E, S and L went to church camp this summer.  It was Princess L's first time and she had a blast.  All the girls are looking forward to next summer already!  Princesses E and S also attended a music and drama camp this summer.  They had to learn all the music before the camp began, and then spent four days learning all the choreography and perfecting the skits and songs.  Princess E was allowed into the high school group because they needed a few more kids.  She had a total of eight performances over two and a half days.  Quite grueling.  Princess S went to the 5-8th grade camp.  They had four performances over a day and a half.  Both girls were in their element and are itching to go back next year.

The biggest change, schoolwise, for next year is our core curriculum.  Do to several issues we had last year, we are going to make a switch this year to Heart of Dakota. We will be following many of their suggestions, though we are keeping a few of our own tried and true things.  So here is the lowdown of what each girl will be using.

Princess M - K4
She will be using Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG) this year.  We will be spreading this out over two years, as she will not be five until November.  We will take it slow and steady.  There are only two changes we are making to Carrie's suggestions.  We will use Math-U-See Primer for math.  All the others used it and I see no reason to upset the apple cart.  We will also be using All About Reading Level 1 for phonics instruction.

Princess L - 2nd Grade
She will be using Bigger Hearts For His Glory (BHFHG) this year.  My plan is to take a year and a half to do this program.  She is still in vision therapy working through some issues that affect her reading, so slowing down seems a great thing to do.  We will work half speed for the first half of the year, then pick up the pace in February.  The changes we are making to Carrie's suggestions are few.  First, we are using KISS Grammar instead of Rod and Staff.  For math, I'm a little bit unsure, but we will be combining Two Plus Two Is Not Five with Math-U-See Alpha.  Math is not any of our strong suits.  I know she is behind at this point.  I'm choosing not to sweat it, and to figure she will catch up once she gets past the vision glitch and is reading better.  Also, for literature, she will be learning the method used in Teaching the Classics.  We will be loosely following the Reading Roadmaps at Center for Lit. 

Princess S - 6th Grade
She will be using Resurrection to Reformation (RTR) this year.  It was a hard decision whether to combine these older two princesses.  In the end, even though it meant more money this year, I opted to put them in different programs because sharing books and a guide seemed like it would bring too much stress and negativity into our house.  There will be several modifications we are making to RTR.  For math, she will be doing Math-U-See Epsilon. For science, she will be using A Nature Walk With Aunt Bess from Queen Homeschool.  Honestly, I wasn't sure which of these to use, but when I was at our homeschool convention I found a copy of this book in the damaged bin for 40% off.  The back cover had a fold in it, and that was the only damage I found.  So that is what she is using.  She is very artsy, so I think this will be a good fit for her.  We had already covered the topics in RTR science with a different curriculum in the past, so I wanted something open and go for her.  For writing, I had planned to go with the suggested Medieval Writing.  However, the opportunity came up for her to take a homeschool tutoring class.  They are doing IEW Level B.  She will also take an art class through the same place.  For grammar, she will be reading through Grammar Voyage and then doing Practice Voyage.  She will also be doing the second half of Latin For Children A.  Literature will be the Teaching the Classics method with Reading Roadmaps.  I am planning to combine the oldest two princesses and have them share these books.  For the first quarter, they will read easy children's books along with Princess L and we will have all three girls involved in the discussions.  For the rest of the year, we will use a mix of books between the 6, 7, and 8th grade suggestions. Finally, for vocabulary this year we are using Vocabulary Vine.  She will be combined with her sister and we will try to do one or two each week before our literature discussion.

Princess E - 8th Grade
She will be using Revival to Revolution (R2R) this year.  I debated whether or not to use extensions, but decided that, since this was our first year with HOD, and because there is a little catching up to do from last year, that we would skip them.  There are a few changes we are making with R2R.  First and foremost, she is switching to Aleks for math this year.  When she did the Peabody this spring, we identified some issues that we want to clear up.  She began using this at the beginning of the summer.  The goal we have set is for her to get through all three of the middle school math levels by the end of July 2013.  This should have her set to begin Algebra next year.  She is required to spend an hour a day on math.  Second, we will be going light on the grammar this year.  She will do 4 Practice 1, and then will be finishing Latin For Children B.  She is a little over halfway.  As stated above, she will be doing the same writing tutoring class as her sister, and will be doing literature and vocabulary with her as well.  She is also taking an Intro to Theatre class through a different homeschool class.

That is our year in a nutshell.  It looks daunting as I type it all out, but I'm also trying to approach this year a little more laid back than last year.  My older two princesses will have a bit of a learning curve with having written and oral narrations.  But I'm confident they can do it.  They also will have to learn that it pays to be diligent and keep your mind on your work.  They will have to complete each week's work mostly on their own, and will reap the consequences on the weekend if they don't.  The little two will be working mostly with me, but since we will be starting at half pace, it should make the transition a little easier.  Now we just have to wait and see if we will be starting on Thursday or on Monday.