The curriculum has been chosen and the books are on their way to our doorstep. Very soon, I will be sitting down with my planner and a glass of iced tea to begin writing out our lesson plans. This school year is bound to be an unusual one, even for us. But like so many of you, we plan to make the best of it and get it done.
When I chose my elementary education path, I never dreamed I would be teaching my children at home. I’d envisioned teaching in a large city. Maybe living in Birmingham, or even another state. Funny how life works out. I live almost exactly five miles from my childhood home. My classroom consists of three children. And the nearest city is about twenty miles away from our farm. If my 19 year old self could see me now, she would have been in disbelief. But I would change nothing.
Our family has been homeschooling for going on seven years now. The end of July is typically the beginning of our school year. Mid April usually marks the end of our year. At this point, we are all comfortable with our roles in our little school system and everyone knows what to expect.
By the end of July, we are all ready to spend a little more time indoors to escape the Alabama heat. The school day begins sometime around 9 am, give or take a few minutes. Our Bible lesson is the first thing we study. We are currently using workbooks written by Bob & Sandra Waldron to guide our studies.
The rest of our day is spent going through our various subjects. Most days, we wrap up our school day by 2 pm.
Titus works solo as much as possible on his lessons while I work with Samuel and Nathan a little more intensively. After our children become proficient readers, working independently becomes much easier.
Which curricula do we use?
Apologia is our favorite for science. We especially enjoy the experiment and project kits.
Abeka provides us with our language, phonics and reading lessons. We have used this since we began homeschooling Titus in kindergarten.
We choose to use Saxon Math for our math studies. It is thorough, effective and provides our children with frequent review, even after the skill is mastered.
For spelling, IEW is a favorite with us. The combination of auditory and visual learning makes spelling enjoyable.
History (one of our favorite subjects) is usually done using Notgrass textbooks. They are beautifully written and illustrated.
The beginning of a normal school year would find us planning many field trips, 4-H meetings, camps, and educational classes at the botanical gardens. Like many other families, we simply are not sure any of those things will happen during this school year.
Plenty of our studies are done outside the classroom, as a family. Both on and off the farm. In the past, we’ve enjoyed teaching our children while on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, in the Rocky Mountains, and many other places.
Plenty of hands on learning occurs on the farm, throughout the year. There are plenty of insects to collect and study. Numerous animals, in various stages of life, provide ample learning opportunities. Construction and mechanical projects are consistently available. There is always something to be learned in the gardens, as well.
Any way you look at it, educational choices are difficult right now. Actually, almost all of our life choices are difficult right now. But, we all have to do the best we can and take one day at a time. That’s what I will be telling myself while I’m filling out that planner with lesson plans. One day at a time…
Thanks for reading and sharing our journey with us,