Back to Homeschool

Public school in Georgia started this morning. We planned to start our homeschool year today as well.

My twin daughters love playing with some of the younger kids in our neighborhood. They have an incredible opportunity to influence and bless these younger girls. This year I plan to follow the Georgia school schedule to foster these friendships.

Starting so soon had challenges though. We spent the last full week of our summer break visiting my folks in Maryland. I had anticipated using Monday and Tuesday to plan the first month or two of lessons. Some medical issues delayed our return until Tuesday night. Would we still be able to start Wednesday morning as planned?

Planning Tenth Grade

We arrived home in time for dinner Tuesday night. Afterward, I looked through my daughter’s high school textbooks. Here’s what she’s starting tenth grade with:

Science and geography both included suggested lesson plans. I entered the first six weeks of assignments into our lesson planning software. For grammar and algebra, she will progress at her own pace.

I have not yet chosen her English curriculum. She and I are both leaning towards Fitting Words | Classical Rhetoric from Roman Roads Media.

For elective credits, my daughter is continuing to pursue personal interests—photography, art, music, and family history.

Planning Eighth Grade

I woke up on the first day of school with nothing planned for the twins. My head was full of ideas, but I had written nothing down. After driving my oldest daughter to work early Wednesday morning, I rushed home to plan their lessons.

My twelve-year-old girls are continuing with some programs they have already started. We are also adding some new courses. Here is what it looks like so far:

While munching a nutrition bar, I rushed to plan the first few weeks’ assignments. I almost forgot about the history curriculum I purchased in May. At last, the lessons were planned.

It was time to print the worksheets. I printed an assortment of pages for history, science and language arts.

I grabbed two large pink binders I had on hand and started looking for tabbed dividers. Coming up empty, I spied the binders from last year and raided dividers from them. Then I hole-punched all the worksheets and filed them in the binders.

Along the way, I found a couple of pencil pouches. Into the notebooks they went! Ticonderoga pencils were already sharpened and ready to go. I used a sharpie to color code them - blue for one girl and red for the other. I hope they will be able to keep track of them this year.

Getting Started

All three girls came down for breakfast before I finished setting everything up. As they ate breakfast, they excitedly asked where their assignment sheets were. I was thrilled to be able to point to the notebooks on the “crafting table.”

Did my tenth-grade daughter have any questions? Nope! She started right in and completed her work at light speed while I sat down with the twins.

We quickly caught up with the trending news on World Teen. Which subject should we study next—science or history? The twins voted for history and aced the week’s pretest. Together we read the lesson. Then the girls each completed an activity from the book.

Next, we watched a short geology video. When we learned about Dinosaurs and the Bible this summer, we often paused for discussion. Today was no different. Both girls interrupted the short video several times to share their enthusiasm for the subject.

The real fun began after it was over. I pulled out rocks we had discovered when sorting through a bucket at a gem mine several years ago. What an adventure it was for them to look through the rocks and try to identify them! It was a bit of a rabbit trail from their assignment, but they are learning so much. They spent half the afternoon identifying rocks.

The younger girls rounded out their day with online literature, grammar, and math. Meanwhile, I talked with my older daughter about what she had learned. We discussed a science question she had trouble answering. Despite the difficulty, she continues to boast about how easy her school work is this year. It must be refreshing for her take an entire year to complete a grade level. Last year she completed both eighth and ninth grade.

Did We Really Do That?

I am shocked at how easily I pulled together the first several weeks of assignments last night and this morning. I often labor over lesson plans for weeks on end during the summer. By the time the school year begins, I am so tired of them that I often scrap the whole plan and do something different. Not this year! I have learned the wisdom of planning as we go.

As we begin our year, I am remaining flexible with our plans, knowing that they often change. I want the girls to be free to explore topics that interest them. They need time to hop down educational rabbit trails like they did today. Often that’s when the most learning takes place!

A Couple Good Deals

On the way home yesterday, I renewed our God’s World News subscription. An entire year’s subscription is $14.99 through the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. The kids all learn so much from World Teen magazine. We receive a copy in our mailbox every couple months, but we always read it online. We learn about science, history, geography, government, technology, and so much more.

Last semester, I wrote a review of Homeschool Navigator’s comprehensive online Language Arts curriculum. This morning, Homeschool Navigator, emailed me with a special offer. Through the end of August, you can take advantage of a ten percent discount on their online courses. These complete language arts classes are ideal for elementary students. We are adapting the highest level (Indigo) for middle school. Use the code latticesave10 when signing up through August 31.

Have you made plans for the school year yet? When are you planning to begin? Please share in the comments below.