Isn't this the time of the year when you can perceive how your school year will look like? Well, for me it is; and I want to share how we are doing things around here.
We now have our oldest son in college and we all miss him very much; but at the same time, we are happy and much grateful to know that he is where God wants him to be; and that is a joy. This means that we have one less at home.
Nick and Annie are taking all their classes through Veritas Press Scholars Online.And let me tell you how grateful we are for this school; the teachers have been a godly influence for our children, many of them have been used by the Lord to mold our children's lives in a very special way. Imagine for example, my 16 yo old daughter telling me how much she has grown spiritually these weeks while reading The City of God by Augustine in her Omnibus class and discussing it with her teacher and classmates. We had a wonderful and rich conversation about it and I cannot do other than to give thanks to God for this blessing.
Our little one (7yo) also wanted to take online classes as her big brothers, so she convinced Daddy and this year she is taking two online classes: Memory Period and Latin for Children 1. It is a joy to see her enjoying these classes so much. And of course she is not struggling with all the "new" words she has to learn in Latin because most of the vocabulary is so much alike to our Spanish words! It is great to see her having so much fun in these classes. In Memory Period they sing and sing and sing all different kind of songs to help them memorize many facts, from Math, Geography, History, Grammar, and even Latin. Her teacher makes every class special and Isabel enjoys the fact that Mrs. Duby actually invites all the students to have "a cup of tea and chocolate chip cookies" while doing their class.
We are also doing Saxon Math and for extra practice we use the Kumon workbooks, which have been a great drilling tool for us. For Science we are using Apologia's book, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology; we are liking it so much and I specially love the new Notebooking Journal; it is so much easier than to make your own notebook and much nicer because it has pretty pages, templates to cut, mini books to assemble, etc. We really like doing this class together.
For History I am doing again what I did with the rest of my children; we are going through The Story of the World Series by Susan Wise Bauer. This series are my favorite for grammar stage because they do cover the History of the world not only of the Western Civilization. It is the only curriculum I have seen that covers in several chapters through out the series, important cultures and happenings in Latin America. I enjoy Bauer's writing style and my children have truly benefited from her books. We are currently doing Year 3.I have to admit that with my little one I have tried to use a wall timeline without success; and I don't understand why if I used to love them so much. So we are using this one instead.
Some others things our little one likes to do are practicing her cursive and learning English with a friend of mine who has been a great help to us as she has taught all my children all these years the knots and bolts of English grammar! (this is the time when I teach Spanish in the same online school) Isabel also loves to do the VP's Literature guides like this one, specially all the hands-on activities and the recipes included.
My sister and I are now ready to do something new this year; we will start, this coming Friday, teaching Art History to our youngest children in Skype. We are very excited, but our children are super excited! After a long conversation and many messages (including some other topics, of course), we decided that we will use the one book that we both have, that we both started teaching to these two kids and that we both never finished. So yes, it was not a hard decision. As good sisters, we will be taking turns to teach our kids. And of course, she asked to go first and I said yes.
My favorite parts of our days are breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not because we get to eat (which we love to do), but because we do it slowly, we sit and talk a lot. After lunch we love to sit in our porch, we eat a piece of chocolate (sometimes two) and I read a book out loud to them. Of course this is also one of the times I miss my oldest son the most.
So we are happy, our year looks promising; and God willing, we will not faint.
What about your school year; how does it look? Any innovations, tips, suggestions?