Since summer time is here, it is time for a “year in review”, homeschool edition. We had our first year in our local Classical Conversations campus, and we loved it! I learned so much about how to better teach our children, and Bud learned so much as well. We will definitely be in CC again next year.
My goal this year was to take it slow since Bud was not technically kindergarten age, but to ease into school and spread things out gradually. We tried to do school 3 days a week, some weeks we made that goal, and some weeks we did more. It was a good way for us to ease into things. Over the course of the year, we went from doing school for 45 minutes each day to now almost two hours many days.
This is what we did, and my opinions on it:
Math - Saxon 1 – I planned to stretch this out over two years, but we will likely finish this before our new baby arrives. Bud loves doing math, and I really appreciate the way Saxon does things. There is so much repetition that he really knows the material well by the time we are done with it. Some people don’t like Saxon for the repetition, which is the very thing that makes me like it so much.
Phonics - The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading – we started the year off with Explode the Code, but I realized that it wasn’t working for us, so I switched to this curriculum. There is a ton of repetition and review with this curriculum, which is needed at this age. Bud is doing well with it, and enjoys the games and optional activities with many lessons. We will be sticking with this since we still have a long way to go.
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears – Bud was very interested in writing his letters, and I just let him figure it out on his own for a long time, but then I realized he was doing things the hard way. I got this little workbook and it has helped a ton. He likes working on it a lot.
Science, Geography, Timeline, History, Latin, Grammar, Fine Arts – Classical Conversations – we both had a great time learning these subjects together this year, and I am amazed at how much he (and I) learned–from all of the presidents in order, Ephesians 6, to the three laws of thermodynamics, to how to play music on his tin whistle, to identifying the continents, oceans and scores of countries on the map. While many of these things are not applicable to him yet (like the laws of thermodynamics), they are stored away in his brain on memory pegs for later, just waiting for more information to hang on it.