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After three weeks of a planned break and one week of an unplanned break (aka all of us being sick – ugh,) we’re back to homeschooling. I have to say, the kids and I missed our homeschool routine and more structured learning time. I can’t believe I even wrote that down because it has not been the case for us throughout the years. Alas, having older children brings welcomed changes, and apparently, this is one of them.
So, after a bumpy start, we began our winter session last week, and I want to share the tweaks I made from our fall session to show how we’re rolling this winter.
Our Curriculum Selections
While most of what we’re doing remains the same, I made some changes to fit what I want to cover over the next four months. New season, new session, who dis?
This winter, we’re covering these subjects: Math, Language Arts, History, Science, and The Arts.
My boys (ages 10 and 14) are back to using Learn Math Fast. We took a break, but they’re back at it and doing well. We also moved to a new life skills math workbook on Budgeting. We loved the last workbook and plan to complete the series over the next year. We’re also learning about investing this session and will be using the book “Blue Chip Kids: What Every Child (and Parent) Should Know About Money, Investing, and the Stock Market”. I borrowed it from the library because I couldn’t find a reasonable price to purchase a copy, so make sure to check the library first and always! Lastly, we will use Greenlight for learning about investing as well. I’ll review our experience with Greenlight in the near future, so stay tuned for that.
My daughter will continue with the Big Kindergarten Workbook for math.
Per my oldest’s request, we’re moving away from grammar lessons and will practice different writing techniques. This is a smart move because he has worked on grammar for years and is finally ready to write essays, reports, and more. I’m a proponent of a “better late than early” approach to learning, so allowing him to make this decision feels right.
I found a “how to write” book series at the library that covers essays, reports, story/narrative, business letters, and speeches/debates. It’s what he asked for, and he’s motivated to learn. I’m excited to see how well he writes in the future.
Finally, he’ll also finish Reading Detective and continue reading books independently. Right now, he’s reading a book about Edward Snowden, and I have a stack of choices waiting for him once he’s done.
My youngest son will continue with Evan Moor Language Fundamentals. I’m also incorporating more writing using this book and spelling practice (I haven’t chosen spelling lessons yet as he just told me he wanted them the other day.) He will also continue reading independently and is currently reading, “Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends.” To my surprise, he really likes it and wishes it was a documentary series, too. His words, not mine.
My daughter will continue with the Big Kindergarten Workbook for language arts. I will also continue reading aloud to her as well as practicing her speech therapy exercises.
My sons and I finished learning about Ancient Africa and will be moving on to Pre-colonial America. I’ve decided to continue our combined learning time and will read, “Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491” aloud and use an audiobook version for the book, “Children of the Longhouse” as the book has such tricky names, and I don’t want to mess them up.
My daughter will use Kumon’s World Geography workbook. I like it because it’s sticker-based and will be easier and more interactive for her since she’s not yet writing proficiently.
My at-home plan for learning science this past fall failed miserably, but we’re back at it in winter. My oldest will use the advanced version of Exploration Education’s physical science curriculum. You can read a product review here. The youngest two will once again go to our local homeschool nature class until spring. Lastly, my daughter will work on Kumon’s Science Workbook for K & Up, which is also sticker-based to meet her development level.
My youngest two will continue with the Mixed Media art class they attended last fall as they LOVED IT. I knew they’d enjoy going, but I didn’t realize just how much they’d love it. The teachers made all the difference with that, I’m sure. They’re skipping the first winter session but will attend the second due to my not wanting to commit to too many classes in the winter. Michigan weather + cold/flu/Covid season made a big impact on my decision as well. Hello, somebody.
I’m happy to report that I found an in-person, local acting class for my oldest, which is exactly what he asked me to find. No Zoom meetings for him. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find actual acting classes for children his age here. Everything seems to be production-related, which isn’t what he wanted to do again. He’s attended a few acting classes and loves it so far.
Since my children are getting older, I want to incorporate more documentaries in their homeschool lessons without it feeling too restrictive or making our homeschool days too long. So, I decided to have “Documentary, Discussion, & Dessert” once a month to make it happen.
We’ll make a dessert (related to the documentary’s subject matter, if possible,) watch it together, then have a discussion after it’s over. I’ll share the list of documentaries and desserts I choose once it’s done. It’s still a work in progress!
Our Daily Schedule
We are continuing with a three-day school week as it has worked well thus far. Here’s how our days will shape up:
- Monday | Field trip or Cooking
- Tuesday | Math, Language Arts, History, Science (my oldest), & Independent Reading
- Wednesday | Math, Language Arts, History, Science (my oldest), Investing, Independent Reading, & Mixed Media art class (my daughter)
- Thursday | Math, Language Arts, History, Science (all children,) & Independent Reading
- Friday | Documentary, Discussion, & Dessert (last Friday of the month)
- Saturday | Mixed Media art class (my youngest son)
- Sunday | Acting class (my oldest)
Yes, we technically have something on the schedule every day, but it’s manageable and meets everyone’s needs. I found a sweet spot to make it all happen, and I couldn’t be happier.
That’s what we’re doing for our winter 2021 session. I anticipate things going smoothly and look forward to seeing my children continue to flourish.
How’s your homeschool year going so far? Let me know in the comments.
Hey, I’m Camille, The Intuitive Homeschooler!
I’m a wife and mom of three busy kiddos who I’ve homeschooled since 2013. When I’m not homeschooling, gardening, or watching yet another documentary, you can find me writing on this here blog. Oh, and I wrote a book called Coming Home. If you’re a homeschooler or you wanna be one, I recommend it. IJS.
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