We are Back to School at the Garners! We are edging into Fifth Grade, and our Sonlight curriculum Eastern Hemisphere Exploration after a few weeks of doing just some basics; Bible study, math facts, journal writing, piano practice, and diving into the Excellence in Writing curriculum. Ian doesn’t go back officially until after Labor Day, but is filling his remaining weeks with the summer assignments that he hasn’t done yet. One cheery assignment was to read The Metamorphoses, by Franz Kafka…
I was inspired by Heather over at the HomeSchool Post who challenged homeschool moms to compile a list of the reasons why we homeschool and/or the blessings of homeschooling! An alphabetized list seemed to be the way to go! But don’t worry, I won’t list all 26 in one post!
A – Always:
I always know what’s happening with my child’s education! There are no big surprises – good or bad. No waiting, waiting, waiting for projects to be graded, or test results, or report cards. No wondering just exactly what is being covered and what is being skipped. No trying to interpret the teacher-speak on a handout on parent night. No empty grammar workbooks showing up at the end of the school year.
B – Bible Study:
We really enjoy reading and studying the Bible together, and working on memorizing scripture and singing Scripture songs. This year we’ll be Remembering God’s Amazing Acts and learning about the cultures and languages of the Bible and incorporating art!
C - Curriculum:
As a family, we have been thrilled to discover a wide variety of high quality, God-honoring curriculum that is available for Homeschooling! We had no idea! IEW Institute for Excellence in Writing! Sonlight! Apologia Science! Latin Road to English! Rosetta Stone! Alpha Omega’s Horizon Math! Life of Fred! There are so many good choices! We have obviously used curriculum for our primary student, but also picked up a wonderful well written physics curriculum and Ralph has relied heavily on homeschool math resources to supplement the sadly dry and disorganized school textbook and tutor Ian through Math Analysis.
D – Deuteronomy and Daily:
Sadly, like many of my generation, I was not familiar with the Deuteronomy requirement to teach my children; and I can’t even say that it was my motivation for homeschooling. But I find it helpful now, something to sink my soul into on those days when I’m tired, or dear daughter has a hard time focusing. And quite Do-able with homeschool curriculum that reminds me that God is in the details of literally every subject we study! D is also for Daily hugs from my Daughter, who is a hard-working student, a wonderful companion, and a blessing!
E – Eastern Hemisphere Excitement:
The Eastern Hemisphere is an area of the world that is largely unfamiliar to me. We are excited about the wonderful books we’ll be reading, the interesting recipes we’ll be trying, the fun art projects will be working on, and actually praying for the people, places and cultures we are learning about. Our journey begins with the Pacific Islands learning the difference between Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian Islands!
F – Field Trips:
Who doesn’t love a field trip? We love being able to connect a field trip to what we are studying, whenever we want, and often when the Museum is quiet and uncrowded! Last year we visited the Virginia State Fair, the Chrysler Museum, the Norfolk Zoo, the Virginia Aquarium (several times to go with our Zoology II) and enjoyed a particularly fun trip to the Mariner’s Museum. In the next few weeks we’ll be visiting Nauticus, and the Mariner’s Museum again, to go along with our history of sail in Eastern Hemisphere.
G – Grades:
NOT! Grades can be deceptive. Good grades do not necessarily equate to knowledge. Grace’s grades in Math last year were A’s and B’s. Her Stanford math computation and reasoning scores were rock bottom. Her Language Arts grades were A’s. Her writing skills were non-existent. Our goal is age appropriate mastery of a skill or subject. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to keep working at a concept and practicing a skill until she is rock solid.
H – Homeschool Plus Co-Op:
Grace and I have really enjoyed the homeschool co-op experience. We are using it primarily for enrichment, although there are academics pursued there as well. It is wonderful to be with other God-loving children and moms (and dads, too!) gathering to learn.
As I was working on this post – we had an earthquake! Totally different for Virginia! But not so different for the people in the Eastern Hemisphere! Anyway, no damage here, just a really odd sensation! Here’s something for a little chuckle: