Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up: Our 3rd Grade Year has officially begun!

Mackenzie has been excited to start third grade ever since we got our curriculum back in February. She's been even more eager since a few of her friends started back with their schooling.

We'll be doing "school lite" for the remainder of the summer. That way we can still do fun things like Busch Gardens, camps, Ocean Breeze, and hanging with friends. I'm anticipating 1 normal week of school taking about 2 weeks to complete.

This year we are studying the beginning of U.S. history using Sonlight's Core 3. We are very excited. All the books look so fabulous it's been hard to keep Mackenzie out of them.

This week we started our history studies with North American Indians and Story of the USA vol. I. We finished North American Indians and will continue to work on Story of the USA vol. I throughout the year.

I've also added a few things to round-out our social studies lessons. Not that Sonlight needs anything else to make it even more fabulous. but Mackenzie likes a little hands-on excitement to go along with her voracious appetite for great books.

We'll be adding in some notebooking and the Native American & Plymouth Rock History Pockets to our history. We'll also be adding a bit of a geography focus using Knowledge Quest Historical Maps and The Complete Book of Maps and Geography. We started The Complete Book of Maps and Geography this week and Mackenzie thinks that it is fun.

For math we'll continue using Math-U-See. Mackenzie does fantastic with it so no need to make any changes. She'll be working on level Gamma this year. She was a little panicky about multiplication. Then she watched the lesson and declared it "easy." Hopefully she'll continuing feeling that way. LOL

Science will be Sonlight Science 2. Sonlight has totally revamped their science programs and they are even more fabulous then ever. We're starting off the year studying animals.

For Language Arts we are continuing on with Sonlight Readers, First Language Lessons, , and Handwriting Without Tears. We are also adding Writing With Ease.

We are reading Walk the World's Rim as our read aloud. I was worried about her grumbling about it, as I'd heard it starts slow, but she seems to like it. She is reading The Corn Grows Ripe as her reader and is already ahead of schedule. That's always a good sign.

Her electives will be I Can Do All Things art, Young Chef's Academy and La Clase Divertida. We're very excited to start Spanish as we'll be doing a lot of the hands-on aspect of the curriculum with our friends. Add in whatever sport she's playing at the time and that rounds out our curriculum.

All in all, our first week went great. We got everything on the schedule done except art. Plus we fit in a trip to the waterpark and one to the zoo. Watch for the zoo pics. Next week will be reading only as Mackenzie is going to a day camp.

Hard at work...Kayleigh too!

Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers: Weekly Wrap-Up Guidelines

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My New Blog

Welcome to my New Blog.

I am Stefanie, a new blogspot transplant. In my previous blog-life, I was over at Homeschool Blogger, which I loved, but I once my loveable yet demanding Kayleigh arrived, I needed an easier format. Hopefully this will be easier.

I will say that I am not enjoying the inability to cut and paste things. Maybe I'm missing something...feel free to clue me in. Nevermind, I figured it out, I have to switch over to HTML. Got it! LOL

I am a proud military wife to my wonderful husband, Kevin, and a stay-at-homeschooling mommy to 2 beautiful little girls...Mackenzie (8) and Kayleigh (17 months), and, of course, daughter of The King. (And no I don't mean Michael Jackson or Elvis. LOL) But that is how I know that I really am a princess like I always tell everyone. o)

Here we are...almost a year ago...Kayleigh's bigger now LOL

We are about to start our 5th year as a homeschooling family. Homeschooling was not in our original "family plan" , I'm a former PS teacher after all, but God used a move to Guam to put it in our plan and we've been loving it ever since.

Homeschooling has been a real blessing for our family. It allows us to put our family first. With a husband who is ALWAYS deploying, it's nice to be able to take time off around his schedule without worrying about pulling anyone out of school. And I really couldn't imagine having to miss so much of my child's life.

And of course there are the obvious instruction, tailoring their education to suit their learning styles, going as fast or as slowly as their needs dictate, more time for socializing, going to Busch Gardens while the rest of you are stuck at school/work. That last one is one of my favorites. =o) Nothing like not having to wait in long lines or vacationing in the middle of October. Have you been to Disney the week after Thanksgiving? Awesome!!!

I went through many, many language arts and math programs until I found what really clicked with Mackenzie's learning style. What I would've given to be able to do that as a classroom teacher. I can't tell you how many times I've run across a new curriculum option and thought, "Oh that would've been perfect for...insert former students name here...S/he'd have really learned well with that."

But homeschooling isn't for everyone. There is a lot of sacrificing involved. There are no breaks without the kids, there's always someone messing up the house, you pay for their education totally out-of-pocket while living on a single income, shopping alone is almost non-existent, there is a lot of wear-and-tear on the car because of the 8 billion extra activities you can participate in when school only takes a few hours. And I recall, in a past life, hearing something about "me time". I can't recall exactly though. LOL It's even rarer for a military spouse.

Well, it looks like this "intro" post turned into a "why I love homeschooling" post. I even love the


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