A Homeschool Update: Fall 2013

We've officially completed term one and moved on to term two.
I am both loving Ambleside and feeling absolutely overwhelmed by it.
These first 12 weeks have been a learning curve for both Piper and I.
There have been days that have been rich and beautiful and exactly what I want our homeschool to be.
There have been other days where I've wanted to throw in the towel and switch curriculum.
Thankfully, I am far too frugal to do that so we have plugged away day in and day out.
And I really think it will be worth it.

I should also add that we have continued to love Handwriting Without Tears.
Piper is printing things left, right and center and feeling very confident.
Using the Treadwell Primer for reading has turned out wonderfully despite my panic attacks over not having a full reading curriculum with all the bells and whistles this year.
Although we do deal with phonics as we came upon various words in the primer, I felt following something systematically would help me feel confident we were staying on track.

MEP math has been amazing!
I still cannot believe it is free!
Piper has totally taken off with this program and LOVES doing math.
(Until we start a new concept. Then she despises it until that concept clicks. Then she loves it again...)

Home Art Studio has been such a blessing.
It is welcomed every other Monday with much excitement!
I love seeing the end product especially since I have nothing to do with it! 
Piper follows the instructions herself and has created some really sweet art!

We have stayed pretty faithful to our artist and composer studies.
All of us really enjoy our tea times together listening to classical music and discussing a piece of art.
I am stunned by how involved the girls are in these discussions.

On the other hand, I have been less consistent with nature study and French lessons. 
Considering how many other things we do in a week, I try not to be too hard on myself for slacking off in a couple of areas but I'm determined to improve.
I think it will help to schedule specific studies for our nature study day and to keep our French cd in the van.
They memorize oodles of songs that we play while driving around so I'm certain French songs will be no different!
My other goals are to pre-read everything and to be better at encouraging narration as well as interesting and thoughtful conversation afterwards.
I also plan to get our timeline going this term.
It's up!
Now I just need to get on the ball with adding to it as we read various history selections!

Both Piper and Taitum have been doing swimming lessons this fall.
They have loved it so much that I decided to allow them to do a second round of lessons.
Taitum completed her fall term dance class.
As usual, we were able to watch her on the last day of class.
It is so sweet to watch her move around, twirling and skipping and dancing to her heart's content!
Piper has been attending piano lessons.
We are looking forward to her first recital in a few weeks.

We have faithfully been attending our homeschool co-op every Friday.
This is the excitement of the week!
Taitum and Renly take part in a littles group where they sing songs, learn colors and play with other little ones.
Piper has enjoyed learning wilderness survival (the girl was building shelters, starting fires and using a compass!) and is now doing an art block where she has had a chance to try felting and chalk pastels, among other things!

I had intended to use the book Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready with Tait.
However, it just didn't work very well for us.
I need more of a daily schedule to stay on track so instead I started using God's Little Explorers Preschool curriculum.
It provides a 4 day schedule which includes simple yet enjoyable suggestions that are perfect for a preschooler and do-able for me!
Taitum loves having her own school time and is learning so much!
Piper and Renly often join us as well and so it becomes a family affair!
It is so nice to see them learning together!

Now we are looking forward to Christmas and all the preparation that goes with it!
We will continue with our usual school schedule but I am hoping to do a few extra Christmas related things each week.
I am debating doing Jesse Tree ornaments this year (as opposed to the paper ones they have colored in the past).
However I'm afraid it will be too much of a commitment since it would involve making 25 different ornaments!
I am really good at biting off more than I can chew!
So we may just stick with our usual Jesse Tree and do a few crafts as part of Truth in the Tinsel
Also, our homeschool group is doing a couple Christmas Around the World days which I am really looking forward to!

I know this was a long post!
But if you've made it this far thank you for taking the time to see what we've up to!
As I'm sure you can see, our days are busy and full and as a result my blogging has been at a minimum!
I hope a little update here and there will suffice!
I truly appreciate all your prayers, kind words and encouragement!

So to conclude, I'll leave you with a poem by Piper:


Taitum and Piper jump in the leaves
Inside for cocoa
Back outside to rake the leaves
Go for a walk
Sit by the fire

The End

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Josh & Blayre said...

Please promise to hold my hand and help me when my homeschool time comes!

Gina said...

Of course! I love helping other homeschool moms and I know the help and encouragement that I've got from others has been priceless! I am happy to share the love!

Sinopsis Kdrama said...

akh, so cute...

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