Stories From The Tolbert Home

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Our 2014/15 School year-Dana

I can hardly believe we have now been homeschooling for close to 4 years! I am no expert, but I feel that we are really making huge strides with each of the girls in their studies. I would like to share an overview of our year, our curriculum and a few current things that are working. I would also like to write a few other posts breaking down the different subjects. So for now I would like to give a general over view of how our year is going, and what the girls are doing!

First off let me insert this..I have run into so so many distraught moms lately. A few public school, homeschool, even moms with pre-schoolers who are on the fence of where to send their child. Let me just say…each year that I have a child in school (or in our case, in home…learning school :) I realize more and more how important it is to study your child and know how they learn. If you send your child to public/private education the teacher can only do so much, but you still have SO much room to help them at home! They can THRIVE even if you are not able to change the curriculum that the school is using. I hate to hear that children are crying, or told they are failing because they are not thriving in the classroom. Do not be afraid to do unconventional things in your home to help them. I will talk more about how we do a few of those things in another post.

Mondays- Living Hope Co-Op. We are there for 3 periods this year rather than 5.( I still require them to come home and continue their home curriculum, as well as their homework from Co-Op so Mondays are exhausting for them)
Tuesdays-YMCA Pe Program with Swimming first hour, pe second hour (school in morning)
Wednesdays-Piano( Daddy usually has Wednesdays at home so we don't do school)
Thursdays-YMCA Pe Program(school in the morning)
Fridays-Full day School
Saturdays-Full day of school, usually includes library trip

We do school work 5-6 days a week, and some days squeeze in more than one lesson. Some days we do school first thing in the morning. Or we will do it in the afternoon. The girls are much more efficient at sitting down and getting it done, so it takes 2-3 hours max for book work for Dana and 1.5 hours for Ava. The rest of their day is spent learning in other forms besides book work.

My sweet little lady. Who is OCD times 1,000. She likes her things just so. She wants her learning environment the same way every single day. It pains her to use a different pencil…HA

She is in 5th grade this year. We stayed with the same curriculum as last year because as I mentioned she likes routine.

Math-Bob Jones Math 5
 We use their online program. It has been wonderful for her to have to take all tests and quizzes online and see her grade that way. They use manipulatives packet, so it is not all paper and pencil style. She is using objects to see her math work together.

Language-Bob Jones Language 5
I enjoy teaching this language program! I love their style so much. She tends to get bored if she has to do writing every day, and Bob Jones program breaks it up into 2 weeks to a chapter. Week one is language/grammar skills. Along with sentence diagramming( my least favorite thing, but she loves it). Then week 2 is writing. So the whole 2nd week of the chapter is focused on a different writing style each time. Right now we just finished compare/contrast essay. She spends the week drafting, editing, using dictionary/thesaurus to expand her words. Then final draft is on Fridays or Saturdays.

Dana truly loves to read. I am so thankful! I allow her to read books of her choice for recreational reading, but have made an actual book list of books that she has to read aloud to me. Or I read them to her. That is hard for her, because she gets anxious and wants to finish it in one sitting, but I enjoy making her space it out.
Here is a site I have gotten a few ideas from for her reading. 5th Grade reading list
If you follow me on Pinterest, I have a board just for kids books!

I have been really pushing Dana hard in this area this year. I want her to be challenged with her topics. I follow Bob Jones schedule for writing, but on the side I have also had her doing fun things. She has a few regular pen pals. I think neat handwriting is a thing of the past, and I do not want that to be the case in our home. So rather than a boring spelling program…this year I scour her work for any words misspelled and she has to write those words 5-10 times. I also am that annoying "teacher" who makes her completely re-write something if it is the slightest bit sloppy. I told her I was cracking the whip on her writing this year, and it is paying off!

History- Bob Jones as well. We will be starting that soon.

Her classes she is taking outside of our home are:

Creative writing- She is loving it!
Creation science with Chemisty and Physics- this is a challenge for her, but she is enjoying it also.
Logic- It is all about using different logic, thinking skills to solve problems. Different analogies and such. She loves this class way more than she thought she would!
Piano- She is only one month in, but doing very well! She hopes to return to playing harp when Mom is not paranoid about the boys hurting the rented Harp HA.
PE/SWIM- As always this is a favorite for her

This is lengthy enough as it is….I will continue what we are doing with Ava in another post! She is doing a mixture of things and I am SO excited about her progress!

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