Another homeschool year is upon us! This will be our 3rd year homeschooling!
Yesterday was our first day. We are having a Harry Potter homeschool year, per my kids’ request. I love Harry Potter, so I was happy to oblige! Would you believe I only took 1 picture yesterday? Yes, you would–I am not big on taking a ton of pictures 🙂
The kids woke up to Hogwarts letters, robes, and their own owl. They have been wearing their robes almost non-stop since yesterday. Learning to nerd right there! We then had an English breakfast of toad-in-the-hole and got our new sketchbooks. We had science club, violin lessons, and swimming lessons yesterday, so we didn’t do much.
Okay, the general theme for the year is interest-led and unit-study that we decided on last year. That’s what we love and what makes us happy. We are using this quote by Dumbledore to guide our year.
We will be learning the hymn “Lead Kindly Light” (my favorite), learning about the scientific properties of light, reading about the life of Christ and studying historical figures (fiction and real) who have been a light to the world.
I am changing up a lot of my homeschool curriculum this year. We work under a public independent charter school that gives us instructional funds each semester, under the condition that everything is secular. The school will not pay for anything that mentions God or creation. The last two years I was okay with that, but this year, after researching a lot of different curriculum, I decided to buy used editions of some Christian language arts and science–and I love them. How Christian are they? Well, the science book mentions that “God created the flying animals on the fifth day” and the language arts has cursive copywork that includes a few Bible quotes. Stuff you would never be allowed to see in public school, but I find is really important!
Here is a little glimpse of what we’re using this year (the tables has crumbs because toddlers):
Science: Apologia’s Exploring Creation Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. We are doing a Care of Magical/Ordinary Creatures this year and starting with flying creatures, like bats and owls. I love Apologia. We are still working through Apologia Anatomy from last year, and my kids beg to do it. Even if you don’t use them for homeschool, they are so informative with tons of pictures and links. We are also using A Kid’s Herb Book to get us started on making our own tea and herb gardens for Herbology. This book is awesome.
Social Studies/History: We are using Story of the World Volume 2 and the activity book that goes along with it. This year, we are listening to the chapters being read in the car while we drive to lessons, and it is awesome. We get home and do the activities if we choose or just read more about what we listened to in the car. For example, yesterday we heard the story of Beowulf and came home and watched a Lego version we found. This year will be Middle Ages and then Renaissance, so we are going to read Robin Hood and some Shakespeare along with it, as well as build our own castles. Should be fun!
Math: I said goodbye to Singapore math this year, after I spent one too many times reviewing things with my kids that they should have already mastered. Singapore is challenging and fast-paced, but it’s lack of review is frustrating. We are using Teaching Textbooks this year. My 3rd grader is in Math 4 and my 5th grader is in Math 6 (not related to grade level–just they way it’s labeled). This is done on the computer, and already I love it so much. I don’t have to sit with them–everything is explained so well on the computer with instant feedback and grading. There is a massive workbook if you don’t want them on the computer that day. My kids often do two lessons a day–very very excited about this!
Language Arts: We are doing Learning Language Arts through Literature this year. Last year, we did Winning with Writing/Spelling/Grammar, which we liked but was pretty dry. These books are based off quotes, books, and history lessons and include copywork, spelling, reading comprehension, and cursive. I like them a lot so far. We also are using Pentime cursive, which has famous quotes/scriptures to copy.
Supplements: We will be doing a government/election unit starting in October, so I got a Hands on Heritage election book–Hands on Heritage books are really fun. I also picked up Geography, Math, and Science Wizardry for some more fun activities during the day. We will also be cooking our way through the Harry Potter cookbook, which I am super excited about! We have made cauldron cakes and chocolate frogs so far. We also are hoping to grow a frog, study French, and take some art classes–we’ll see!
So, those are most of the books we’ll be using this year! We also continue to do lots of reading out loud. Daddy is reading them the Neverending Story at night, and I am reading them Mr. Popper’s Penguins this week at breakfast.
Here’s to an awesome school year!