Our Homeschool

Our Homeschool Neueces River

I stole this picture from my friend Cassandra.  This is the view looking over the river at camp.  I love where we live.

(Below is the same thing that I wrote on the “Our Homeschool” page, but I thought I would share it as an actual post.)

I’m finding that our homeschool is very fluid based on the season and on how I’m feeling.  I have had some chronic health issues (physical health this time), so things haven’t gone as planned.  But I’m okay with that!  Life is always changing and our needs vary based on that.

Most of the year, so far, we have followed the Brave Writer Lifestyle and done mostly Brave Writer language arts curriculum.  I have created a lot of my own units and plans for history and science (for the boys).  We have done morning time consistently which includes read aloud, art appreciation, nature studies, etc.  We have had so much fun and have learned and grown.  All of us, including me.

As my health issues have gotten worse, I have gotten less consistent with things because all that we have been doing so far is super parent-led.  The boys hardly do anything on their own.

I am working with specialists to find the cause of my health issues, and it’s taking so much out of me.

I need to simplify, but putting the kids back in school isn’t an option!  We are not doing that anymore… the back and forth.

The school is awful and was detrimental to their mental health.  Homeschooling is the perfect thing for our family, so I’m going to make it work.  Thankfully the kids know that we homeschool year round so we CAN be flexible.

I truly hate that I’m having to change things right now.  I loved what we were doing.  But I’ve realized that there’s a season for everything, and in this season, this is what is necessary.

With all that said, this is what we are doing right now:

I ordered some Charlotte Mason style workbooks for the boys for picture study, copywork/dictation, narration, grammar, a bit of writing composition, poetry, and scripture memorization.  They are super short lessons each day that they can do completely independently (well, except for a bit of oral narration/dictation here and there).  The lessons take 5-10 minutes max.  These workbooks cover a lot of things.

The boys are also doing novel studies.  They will read a novel and follow the pages in the study.  I already had the book and pdf of the study (thanks Teachers Pay Teachers), so it should be good.  I won’t have them do every single part of this and we will take it super slow, but the unit teaches a lot of really good and important skills!  There will be some overlap between this and the Queen Homeschool book, but that’s okay.  More practice is a good thing!  And it’s all done in short lessons.

I hope to go back to Brave Writer for the boys in the future, but we’ll see.

The boys will also be doing history and nature studies independently and together.  I will work with them as I feel well enough to.

I had all of these plans to make Texas history interactive.  I hope to still sprinkle some of that throughout the semester as I can, but in the meantime I have found a solution for them to work mostly independently.

I went to an amazing book store that I have never been to.  They sell all kinds of neat books including vintage books, cookbooks, lots of children’s books, etc.  I found an amazing book that was a Texas history textbook in the 60s (Texas: Wilderness to Space Age).  It’s written in a narrative style which is perfect for my desire to keep things CM as possible at the moment.  Obviously the book only goes into the 60s history, so I have another one (The Story of Texas) that I will use in addition later on.  The 60s one has questions and activities at the end of each chapter, so I will just have the kids read and do those activities!  It’s so simple.  I’m so grateful to have found it.

Nature Anatomy

I supplement with Xtra math (app on the iPad and online) for fact practice.  They still don’t really have their facts memorized.  I paid for the app a long time ago; I’m so glad that I did!

They’ll be doing some geography and culture study, starting with Africa, using a Queen Homeschool study. They will also be learning about missionaries through this.

Karis will continue everything that she’s doing…

She is doing well with doing Brave Writer Boomerangs on her own, so she will continue.  She is currently reading Divergent and using the study to go with it.  This teaches grammar skills, literary elements, etc through books that she enjoys.  There is copywork and dictation throughout.

She will continue doing Brave Writer writing projects.  I will let her choose each month what she wants out of the projects that I have, and she will follow the directions each day.

She will continue doing IEW’s Fix-It Grammar.  I actually really dislike IEW writing, but I really like their grammar.  Each week there is a grammar lesson.  Then she applies that lesson each day to a sentence or two of a story.  She also learns vocabulary and editing skills.  She is doing well with it.

She will continue Master Books General Science 1.  She is moving slow, but she is learning a lot and meeting my expectations for it.  She prefers textbooks for science (for some odd reason).

I think that is everything!

Again, flexibility is key.  If we don’t get to everything every day, that’s fine.  The goal is to do our best that day and leave the rest.  They are learning a lot and homeschooling has been so so good for our family.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

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