We will soon be back to school at Guardian Academy, and lots of changes are taking place this year in our homeschool plans and curriculum choices. Last May we moved from a 3400-square-foot home in the suburbs to a 1600-square-foot pole barn home in the woods, which we now like to call Wards Wilderness. The new house doesn’t have internet service or a good area to store school supplies, however we also bought a little old house right next to one of the Daylight Donut shops we own in town that has come in handy for school purposes.
We call this in-town house the Donut House: We have our business office there, and our eldest daughter, Hannah, lives there while attending Oral Roberts University. I have also been able to convert the dining room there into a very cute school room. This doesn’t mean we will suddenly be doing all of our school work in a school room at a table: I have yet to see that happen. For us, learning happens all over the place and on the go. However, it is nice to be able to organize in this new school space and have a place for everything.
This year our 10-year-old Joel will be doing 5th grade work and Leif will be doing some kindergarten work. Leif’s fifth birthday is in October, so he is a young student and will have very little desk work. I still believe little guys learn best through playing and hands-on learning.
Homeschool Co-Op Plans
We also have some cooperative (co-op) schooling plans for this homeschool school year:
- On Thursday mornings, we will again attend an organized local homeschool co-op. This year, Joel will be taking a class using Apologia’s Elementary Physics and Chemistry, which I will be teaching, as well as Introduction to Institute for Excellence in Writing (I will also be working in that classroom). Leif will be in the Preschool/Kindergarten class again.
- On Tuesday mornings, my sister will be bringing her girls over to our school room to have a history co-op. We are using Story of the World, Volume 3: Early Modern Times. During that time, we will also do some fun arts and crafts together.
Besides the Physics and Chemistry, the IEW, and the Story of the World co-op studies, Joel will also be using Apologia’s Elementary Worldview “Who is My Neighbor?” program, Teaching Textbooks Math 5 and Life of Fred Math. He will be continuing First Language Lessons 4 and Sequential Spelling. We are also going to try Cursive Logic: I am crossing my fingers that this new way of learning cursive will make his handwriting legible.
Joel will be learning some computer coding/videography skills and possibly starting Spanish this year. He is also playing football for the local club team, and right now, that takes up a lot of time!
With our youngest son Leif, I plan on using the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” book, BOB Books, Horizons Math K, the “History of Little Pilgrims” book, and Usborne’s “Understanding Your Body” book. I also have a lot of puzzles, games, crafts, and manipulatives to keep him busy.
I won’t plan Leif’s lessons in a planner this year but just see how it goes throughout the day and get “school work” in whenever we can. I am figuring about 30 minutes of seat work a day — and that broken up in smaller increments. With our older kids, we did a lot of learning while jumping on the trampoline, driving in the car, shooting nerf guns, tossing a ball, and playing with legos at his age.
As usual, I think I am more excited about the beginning of the school year than my kids are! What about you?
Are you back to school in your homeschool or still in preparation mode? What are your curriculum plans? How does teaching and learning styles affect your curriculum choices? Will you be participating in any homeschool co-ops? We’d love to hear what you’re working on for this homeschool year.