I always look forward to the new school year! I get excited about our new books, what we're going to cover for the year, etc, etc. The kids get excited about their new books...for a little while anyway (lol). The newness wears off quickly once we settle into our routine...getting up early again after being lazy for most of the summer seems to be hard for us. I always say I'm going to be more disciplined through the summer break -- stay on a schedule, not letting them sleep in so much, continuing with our reading, etc. -- that lasts for about a week! So it is usually a little difficult to get back into the swing of things for us.
But I have to say this week has gone relatively smooth...considering it is the last week that my oldest son will be here with us - tear, tear - and we have been somewhat busy getting last minute things ready for him. Tomorrow's the big day...college orientation for him, letting go for me. But, I digress...
I was a bit concerned about what curriculum we would use this year. I had intended to use Heart of Dakota for both of my kids. A good friend of mine uses that with her kids and they absolutely love it! However, we had some 'slight budget restraints' this year...the truck needed a new tire, the van needed 4 new tires, among other things that needed to be replaced, college fees and amazingly overpriced college textbooks (which was a very large sum despite the fact that I bought them on Amazon.com for half the amount it would have cost in the college bookstore). Anyway...with all the other things clamoring for our money, I decided to just buy the bare necessities this year and use all the other stuff that I've purchased over the years and never got around to using.
I decided that both of my kids need a good dose of grammar study this year, so we are using Easy Grammar for both my 8th grader and my 5th grader. My daughter (8th grade) is using A Teaching Textbook's Pre-Algebra, Apologia's General Science, Sandi Queen's The Standard of Modesty Bible Study for Young Ladies, a writing unit and copywork passages from Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and a few biographies and some other classic works of literature to round out her language arts.
My son (5th grade) is using A Beka Books 5th Grade Arithmetic, Apologia's Zoology series for science, cursive handwriting practice and spelling lists from A Beka Books, and some of the books he will be reading this year are Christian Liberty Nature Readers and biographies of some great Americans like Noah Webster, Billy Sunday, and Ben Franklin.
We also spend time reading together each day. I read to them from the Bible each morning, as well as from books which have spiritual significance. For instance, right now we are reading a readaptation of John Bunyan's classic, Pilgrim's Progress. I also try to read biographies to them; we are reading Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift. For history, since I have SO many books about American history on my bookshelves, I decided we would spend this year delving into American history. Right now we are reading George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster.
some photos of Kate doing her first science experiment of the year...