family · homeschool · life

school’s out…well almost

I don’t know what your homeschool year looks like, but ours is a peaks and valleys kind of adventure.  We start strong, petering off after the Christmas holidays, then as the weather warms, we kick into high gear to wrap things up so we can enjoy the outdoors.  (Although, we have been known to play hooky or take our school work outside!)  We are certainly ready to trade text books for beach days and root beer floats!

I like to set benchmarks at the beginning of the year.  In doing so, I plan to finish our year at the end of May, which gives us a one month buffer in case we find we’ve been slacking off, have had some sick days or have had lots of traveling or activities happening.  That’s where we are now: making the sprint for the finish line!  We are going into June, tying up a few loose ends, but I’m confident we’ll be able to call it a wrap soon.  It’s a good thing.  My cb girl and her family will be coming later this month and we have many plans to solidify, as we are expecting a couple of missions teams from the southern US to help us with outreach.  Busy times ahead!

Finishing up early gives me freedom to take time to plan for next year so I can send in our next year’s program with this year’s progress report.  (That is this province’s homeschool requirement.)  I was able to score some awesome digital books and on-line courses through the ‘Build Your Bundle‘ Sale a week or so ago.  Our df girl will be officially starting high school this year, which is a little different for us.  In Ontario, high school credits begin in Grade 9, but here, they begin in Grade 10.

My df girl has always enjoyed books, just not reading them.  Huh?  Let me clear up the confusion.  She loved to snuggle up for stories, even let her little brother read to her, but always found reading difficult.  While we’ve never officially diagnosed her struggles, she most certainly exhibits some dyslexic tendencies.  As such, reading has never really been a pleasurable pastime, but rather a daunting and tiresome endeavour.  We have taken our time and she has made tremendous strides through the years, but her struggles do mean that heavy doses of reading for her studies is time consuming and often ends with brain drain and even headaches.

As I perused the Build Your Bundle site during their big homeschool sale, I encountered the Fascinating Science courses.  These are online high school science courses which  use illustrations, slides, and audio files to present the lessons.  There are also pdf print outs, if you prefer.  Initially, I was not sure I wanted to deviate from the Apologia sciences courses that we have used (and loved) for both elementary and high school science. However, when I saw Fascinating Science, I felt confident that this would be a wonderful method for my df girl.

My df girl is quite creative and has a love for art and music.   In fact, our recent study on Van Gogh’s Starry Night, spurred her onto an impressionism painting rampage! It was truly inspiring for her. With this zeal in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to find several options for study offered along these lines.  There were loads of art and music appreciation courses, but also less-mainstream-type programs using art as a platform for such subjects as geography, language arts, history and math.

The other items ordered from Build Your Bundle include:

::  Introduction to Art History:  A Classical Approach to Art, How Great Thou Art.  This will be a springboard to a Fine Arts credit.  We will add our own grade appropriate assignments to complete the program.

::  Mapping the World with ArtEllen Johnston McHenry.  This will also serve as a base for a Global Studies credit.

::  Human Development from a Christian Worldview, Vicky Tillman.  This is a Health credit course.

::  Music Appreciation:  Middle Ages through Classical Era (High School Online Course), Gena Mayo.  This is a half-credit Fine Arts program.  Combined with her personal music practice (guitar), it will give her a full music credit.

::  25 Lessons in 20th Century European and South American Music Appreciation, Gena Mayo.  This will be used next year in the same manner as the above music program.

It makes my heart sing that my df girl is ever so excited about next year’s studies.  We have not yet confirmed which of these courses we will include in her Grade Ten year.  We will continue with Saxon Math, AlphaOmega Language Arts, and Rosetta Stone French and I have a plethora of other programs she can choose from either this year or another; perhaps I’ll share more on this later.  

In the meantime, we’ll be busy finishing up the last of our books…and maybe enjoying an early root beer float after a walk on the beach.

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