Sunday, March 30, 2008

Praiseworthy Music - Renee and Jeremy

I came across a link to this video and from there this website for Renee and Jeremy. The music is simple, sweet and delightful. The kind of music you'd listen to without your children in the room! And it's very relaxing music, something I find we need here during the day. So I urge you to check it out for yourself. You can listen to the entire album on their website.

Education in Our Home

It's been awhile since I participated in the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival and this month I was actually inspired by another blog carnival hosted by The Heart of The Matter. This is a week long carnival with a different topic for each day. Monday's topic was "A Day In the Life" and since I employ Charlotte Mason's philosophy in my children's education I thought I'd write about our typical day. And maybe even kill two birds with one stone! And perhaps some of you who don't home educate will be interested in what kind of life we lead here.

Our schedule revolves around my husband's. I rise with him in the morning and help him get ready for work. At the same time my children are getting up and hopefully making their beds. We also take our days off with my husband's work schedule so that when he is home we can spend time with him. After my husband leaves we eat breakfast and then begin our day.

My son (age 7) prefers to move into school slowly. So we start with bible study and then move through a few of his easier lessons. We end up with the hardest lesson which in our case is math. Then my son practices his piano lesson.

My daughter (age 9) prefers to "swallow the frog" as my dear friend Dana says and start with the hardest, math, and then move through her other lessons. She also ends with piano practice.

Both of my children's "core" curriculums contain the following:

Bible Study - Daily - We follow a bible study for the Word of Life program that takes a child through the bible in six years.

Math - Daily - I have always used the Saxon Math curriculum with my children and I have been very happy with it. Math was never my forte and this curriculum is scripted until year 4 so everything you have to say and do is already determined. Since my daughter has moved beyond that we also use the Dive CD's to supplement her curriculum.

Spelling - Daily - Spelling Workout

Grammar - Daily - Rod and Staff Grammar

Handwriting - Daily - Zaner Bloser (Between Handwriting and Grammar I feel my children do plenty of copywork as required by Charlotte mason so I don't give them additional)

History - 3 days per week - We are currently using the Story of the World Series by Peace Hill Press. In addition to this I use the Ambleside Online history readings. Many of these we listen to in the form of audio books. Often I download mp3 files for books we are reading and we listen to them in the car on the way to activities we go to several times a week.

Science - 2 days per week - Rod and Staff. I like this curriculum's emphasis on the Natural World and the presumption that God is the sovereign creator of all things without introducing specific doctrines.

Latin - Daily - We use the Memoria Press books for this presently.

Literature - Daily - I use the the required Literature from the Ambleside Online curriculum as well as AO's free reading lists. I highly recommend these. As with history, we often listen to these as audio books in the car. Some of them my children read on their own and some I read to them.
After lunch each day of the week we usually work on one of the following as specified by Charlotte Mason: composer study, artist study, handicrafts, and nature study. We generally follow the Ambleside Online curriculum for all these. I also try to give my children outdoor time everyday which can be difficult in the winter! I've described how we do nature study in the past. Basically each of my children have a nature notebook that they use to draw something they have observed in nature that week.

We also do a number of activities with other homeschoolers in the afternoons. We are very blessed in this area to have a LARGE group of homeschooling families. My children have several acquaintances of various ages that they interact with. My children have a homeschool PE class, a children's program at our church and piano lessons we attend weekly. My son attends Cub Scout events three times per month, my daughter attends a Keeper's At Home club for girls twice a month and we attend field trips about twice a month. It is really easy to get over committed in our area so we try to be careful about the activities we agree to so that they don't get in the way of academics. But that can be difficult sometimes!

Of course, this is a PERFECT week! We strive to attain all these goals each week but it doesn't always happen. We homeschool year round so that gives us a lot of leeway in our schedule which helps.

So this is our life. It is quite full and I feel very blessed to be able to be home with my children.