Wrapping Up the End of the Homeschool Year (2014-2015 Edition)

End of the school-year, well it should be… but I guess this is more of a check in. Last year I wrote an end of the school-year wrap up post and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that same date was coming up on the calendar for this year. In the past year I’ve continued on with my eager-to-learn five year old, discovered my attention-span-of-a-butterfly three year doesn’t want to pipe down into school time like her sister, and added a baby brother nearing on ten months old to the mix. Wow. We’ve started a kitchen garden and attempted our first true unit study. We’ve discovered more curricula to love and others to sideline.

We aren’t finished. But here’s the deal. When we started this year, what I was calling K5, we had the plan to really do it all over two years, but as we get to this September I’ll begin calling it First Grade. After all, it’s been pretty much first grade material this whole time through, but I’m in no rush and we are doing LOTS of things. (With that said, if she finishes a first grade book and we need to move on the to second grade material, I won’t delay. But I’m going to enjoy some of this stuff we’re doing.) This year we’ve worked with Seton First Grade (enrolled), Memoria Press First Grade (substituting out their phonics and spelling), a little bit of Wayfarers Ancients Lower Grammar, and other bits and pieces from here and there.

From Seton, we’re about in Week 18. We worked hard on this last fall and found it so easy to keep up with it as well as our Memoria Press studies (which I consider our core). Yet after Christmas, we just didn’t pick it back up. As we were planning to span it over two years due to her age and no rush for second grade materials we just didn’t reach for it, and then I noticed it was April, oops. We’re back trekking now. 🙂 What I enjoy from this is the Seton English 1 and Seton Religion 1, the American History for Young Catholics 1 is good too, otherwise it’s just okay.

FirstGradeEnrichment_BannerFrom Memoria Press First Grade, we’re all over the place. She’s right on track with Math, in about Week 24 (of 33). But due to missing some of the read alouds we’ve skipped around here and there. She’s protested the StoryTime Treasures and is stuck in the first book there, so we’ve got a bit more to go. Yet we’ve read all but one of the book choices and discussed them. Therefore, she’s got the material down, it’s just a matter of doing the writing work in STT. She likes writing, and can read and spell, so I’m not sure what the hold up is. But it’s just a matter of doing it. Copybook is good at about Week 22 and again it’s a matter of just getting it done.

We started in October on Wayfarers Ancients for Lower Grammar as it was released and I LOVE it! We fell behind, something about already committed to doing two full curriculums, having a noisy toddler/preschooler and a new baby. But hey, those are just excuses right? Again, no rush, as she’s just five, but we’re continuing on as we desire. Apparently King Tut and mummies are fascinating!

So, we’re checking in, taking stock and trying to figure out what to think for the summer and next year. The current plan is to finish out some of the things we’re working on. This fall, I’m hesitant to start the full Memoria Press Second Grade yet. I think she can do it. But she’s only turning six this summer, so I don’t know. The Enginerd likes the idea of taking the year to full finish what we’ve started and expand. Reading, reading, reading, and doing math, with a plethora of cursive copywork. We’ve had a desire for science and as I mentioned Wayfarers ideas of history, but it just hasn’t gotten done. So maybe that’s what we’ll do this fall?

GrapeVine Bible Studies

{Affiliate} GrapeVine Biblical Feasts & Holy Days

Religion –

We’re reading a combination of things. Brave Girls Story Book Bible, Golden Children’s Bible as well as directly from the Bible. AppleBlossom now has her own amazing Bible (thanks to B&H Bibles!) and we’ve been discussing how to treat a personal Bible. (I’m of the mind that you can write in your own personal Bible as long as you do so neatly and respectfully, no coloring or scribbling like a mad-girl, but maybe I’ll blog about that another day?) We’ve also been working in Seton Religion 1. I like the general catechism, and while I’m not Catholic, I want my kids to know the faith of our Christian ancestors (I have a degree in Religious Studies – so there will be plenty of discussion there.) I’m curious about adding in GrapeVine Studies and the Apologia What We Believe series (don’t own either yet…).

Reading –

She can read! That’s a big win this year. Now she’s reading everything. I’m trying a little direction, but otherwise letting her go with it. Eventually I plan to have her write reviews on her own Goodreads account. We’ve got a pile of readers I want to get through. Then between Memoria Press study guides, Lightning Literature, and Schoolhouse Teachers lessons, we’re set. Logic of English, aka Dragon Phonics, has kinda fallen by the way-side and I don’t know why, but she always asks to not do it – so maybe I won’t be ordering Book C&D after all. (OrangeBlossom has started Book A and so far loves it, when she is in the mood to do school.) We are trekking far ahead of schedule with English Lessons Through Literature and Reading Lessons Through Literature (Wayfarers Ancients schedule). I plan to finish out StoryTime and More StoryTime Treasures as well as Grade 1 of Lightning Literature & Composition and the first 12 weeks of Grade 2 (I’d love to continue to the whole of LL&C from Hewitt Homeschooling, but there just is no budget right now). I love how the ELTL choices are open domain!

Writing –

We’re getting this all over the place! But while she doesn’t have any difficulty, and is quite good at it. She just doesn’t want to do it! I’ve always thought there wasn’t enough in just Copybook and so now we are working in Copybook 2 and New American Cursive 1, but we’ve added on English Lessons Through Literature Level One Workbook – which is basically the copywork and boxes for picture narration. I recently printed a few other things in cursive and she’s eager to do them, so we’ll see. I’m not sure what the hold-up is, but she asks for more and others, so we’ll see. (Are you confused? I am!) Maybe it’s a print vs. cursive issue? The books she doesn’t want to complete are cursive. She’s nearly finished with Adventures in Phonics (maybe this should have been mentioned in the reading paragraph?) Level A and I plan to start Level B as soon as she’s done. It is print, and one that she drags her feet on – she says because it’s easy and boring. Hmm…

Arithmetic –

Fun! She loves math! I hope and pray that this attitude will stick with her. I think because we have emphasized the fact that her Enginerd daddy loves math so much as he deals with it daily that it has made a good reflection on the subject. We are near to finishing up Part 2 of Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic 1 (as scheduled by Memoria Press First Grade) and we’re about half way through Seton Mathematics 1 which is blue-tone and white and a different way of looking at some of the topics. She’s also completed a few lessons in Math Mammoth 1A and loves the full-color aspect and asks for more color. She LOVES IXL (and so do I!) and begs for CTC Maths (so I oblige). We enjoy Mathletics, but I doubt we’ll renew it when it expires, solely due to budget issues. The next plan is R&S Working Arithmetic 2, but I’m not sure if we’ll wait to start when we start MP 2nd or if we’ll fill it out with MM in the mean time.

Enrichment –

We love Memoria Press Enrichment Guides! Let me say it again, in bold, we love Memoria Press Enrichment Guides! They are the highlight of our education. While I’m enjoying the American History for Young Catholics 1 program, it’s not enough for us. Frontier Girls is definitely making things memorable with badges earned! We love the mini-unit study approach with the Memoria Press lesson plans and I definitely am eager to continue it with the Second Grade Enrichment Guide. Again, to wait or not to wait? This is definitely where I plan to up our participation with the Wayfarers Ancients Lesson Plans, including Geography, Ancient History, and maybe Botany – I’m still unsure about Quark Science.

Violin lessons are no longer as our teacher moved away and it’s just too much of a drive to get to her to continue. I don’t know what we’ll do. Otherwise, we’re doing yoga on demand in the living room and dance it out giggle parties. The Enginerd claims he’ll take care of P.E. as that has yet to be seen… All in all, I love our daily life, especially the days we get lots accomplished. Whether it is a workbook fulfilling day, or a documentary enrichment day, it’s lovely and educational. And it’s only Kindergarten for us so far. 😉

First Grade will be awesome (even if it is actually second grade material…) and I’ve yet decided what to do with the butterfly, I mean little sister’s preschool.

Preschool Options?

Religion – Sitting in, listening. Pointing out Mary, Jesus, and Joseph at every turn as well as Moses and Noah – she’s got those characters down to memory. She pours over our collection of Children’s Bibles and loves nearly every one of them. Baby brother likes to eat them, I try to dissuade this behavior…

Reading – Learning her alphabet. Also going back to learn phonograms, I love this method, and need to work with her more. Using Dragon Phonics is adored. See below notes on MP Simply Classical. We just got our hands on Memoria Press Preschool (new for 2015!) and I haven’t had much time with it yet, but I think it will be more valuable for Almond as we’ve already done most of it just in being who we are. We have jumped ship from P3/4 because Pathways (a la Wayfarers Ancients) is so much better!

Writing – Using Rod & Staff’s Preschool Workbook series All About Three and so on. We didn’t have these for AppleBlossom, but she was ready for Memoria Press Junior Kindergarten and “school”. Little sister needs a bit more time and “play school” first.

Simply Classical Level C

So we’re in book C from that series and also working on Going on Eagerly as scheduled in Memoria Press Simply Classical Level C and others. While OrangeBlossom is neurotypical as far as I can tell and not per say special-needs, this program has been divine for her and my state of mind. So helpful! and gentle! a great approach for her attention span and skills.

Airthmetic – She can count. That’s no issue. But she cannot recognize any numbers above a three. So, working on that. She tentatively does IXL and it’s good for her, but involves help from big sister or me, so it’s not the independent activity that I love. Mathletics was way over her head and I’m not sure, we’ll try CTC Maths in a week or so.

Enrichment – Anything and everything princesses. Maybe we’ll eventually get out the COAH LOTW Curriculum. Otherwise, tag along with everything big sister’s up to.

CMM School working hardFrontier Girls collage start

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About CherryBlossomMJ

The Creative Madness Mama also known as Margaret is a Christian Stay-at-home Mama, married to the Enginerd, Quilter, avid reader and book-a-holic. A book blogger for bunches of different publicists. She loves to share the latest and greatest about books coming out as well as her quilt and other crafty projects with some pictures of her eight-year-old AppleBlossom, three-year-old Almond Blossom (the Rascal boy!), six-year-old OrangeBlossom (the Princess), and newborn Mermaid Warrior in between. Plotting to be a homeschooler, she's a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, list making mama full of a little creative and a lot of madness.