Saturday, August 9, 2014

A New Year, New Beginnings

Philippians 4:19New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

19 My God will meet all your needs. He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches that come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus.

 It's hard to believe that we are beginning our 6th year of home schooling. It sounds cliche but I often wonder, where did the years go?

I've prayed over this school year more than I have any other year. God was nudging me last year, as only He can do. 

I knew it was time for change. 

As I plan for the  year, I pray for each of you. What do I want for you for this school year? What are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? What character traits do I want to focus on? How can I support and encourage your spiritual gifts? 

I prayed until I found peace with my decisions for each of you. Until every class was decided upon. Until I had picked a curriculum for any subject needed. Until I planned how we would help you use your spiritual gifts to serve. Until I found avenues for both to explore your individual interests. 

We've always spent all of our days together - either at home, or at the same co-op. This year I am taking a year off teaching outside our home. This year, for the first time, you will each go off to your own co-ops on different days.

Dad and I think having your own "school" and space will be good for you both this year. You are both very different and we've chosen programs that fit your personality, your learning style and your educational goals. I'm also looking forward to having each of you home one day without the other. I'm looking forward to special lunches, time to really focus on your school work, and time for you to practice your big brother/sister skills by yourself! 

7th grade

For this year, Kaelee will be taking Challenge A level courses at a Classical Conversations co-op near our home. 

We chose this route for you for several reasons. Time management and organization are one of our big goals for you this year. We've always focused on you learning how to be a learner, and we wanted to step that up a notch this year! 

In Challenge A, you will take all your courses in a "one room school house" type setting. You will have the same teacher all day, one day a week. This teacher will guide you and facilitate conversations in all your subjects. I think having this cohesiveness - one guide with all your assignments, one teacher to reference, one day with all the seminars - will allow us to work on breaking up larger chunks of work into smaller, daily segments. 

We also chose this for you because it's...........challenging!

You, my sweet Kaelee, are far smarter than you like to exhibit. This year we want you to REACH and STRETCH and SHINE! 

You will take 6 seminar courses at CC this year:

  • Grammar – Latin - this is your favorite subject
  • Exposition and Composition – an ambitious literature curriculum where students will lay foundation for essay writing
  • Debate – a dynamic geography course where students learn to draw the world in Challenge A
  • Research – where kids apply research techniques to learn and write about many biology and anatomy topics
  • Rhetoric – a course designed to introduce young Christians to apologetics, argument, and clear reasoning
  • Logic – math class 

The only one we are tweaking is the math. You are ready to take pre-algebra this year so we are going to use a different math curriculum at home. You  will still attend the logic seminar, and take notes and review with the class. 

5th Grade

For this year Xander, we have decided to split your classes. You will take half your classes in a co-op setting, and the other half at home with me.

We moved you this year to a new co-op, Scholar's Guild. Scholar's Guild meets at our church on Thursdays. Scholar's Guild offers academic classes beginning in the 5th grade. Your classes will be a 5th/6th combination - considered middle school classes.

You are a little hesitant about the change, but most looking forward to lunch! At SG, you can order lunch each week. We let you choose from the menu online and you can't wait for the first day! 

We are also looking to challenge you! 

At Scholar's Guild, you will take :

History - you are going to study the Middle Ages this year - you are most looking forward to studying King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Science - you are studying anatomy and human physiology this year - you are most looking forward to some of the neat science experiments your teacher has planned

Literature - you came home from open house excited about the idea of literature circles, and having a specific "job" for when you read a book.

IEW - this is your writing course - you will work on writing research type papers about the Middle Ages this year

At home, you will take 5th grade math, grammar, geography, typing, spelling and vocabulary. 

16 months at the start of school

Our goals for you this year:

Currently you can count to the 3 - so we are working on getting all the way to 10

Currently you know most of your animal sounds, and can identify which animal is on the flashcard - so we are working on adding in zoo animals to your farm animal knowledge!

Currently you know all your body parts - so we are working on some fine motor skills - you like to "color" and we are starting to do more puzzles

Currently you LOVE to play with balls - so we are working on catching, throwing, and kicking - you love all 3!

Currently you love books - you can "read" some of your favorites - we are working on lift the flap books and you pointing out things in books when we read - you can already finish lines in your favorites - we are adding new favorites every day

Currently you are BUSY - so we are working engaging you all day! 

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