Sunday, August 02, 2009

Another year down in homeschooling

Assalam alykom:
I have been so busy to put time in my blogs. I have really wanted to update my readers on my homeschooling journey. This is our 9th year of homeschooling with the exception of one year that we all went to an Islamic school. This year and last we used the Oak Meadow books. I had one child at 7th grade, then, 5th grade, and 1st grade. I have to say, this is the most economical full packaged curriculum. I also have to say it is not the most high quality either. The saying goes that you get what you pay for. For first grade, I still am not happy at all with the level of teaching. It is so light that it almost seems uneducational. I realize that it is a different form of education that is similar to the Waldorf style. However, I wonder where the child eventually catches up with reading and math. At first grade, there is still very little reading, if any and math has almost no computation at all. I supplemented my own, and felt I wasted my money on the curriculum. For second grade, I just went to Ebay and bought some things. I got the Scott Foresman Language Arts and Singapore Math. The local Catholic school was retiring their Science, Health and Social studies. I bought them for a small donation along with the teachers manuals. Last year, I had a 5th grader and a 7th grader. I like some parts of the Oakmeadow in the upper grades. For next year in 6th grade, I already have that whole curriculum from my other child. To save money, we are just going to go ahead and teach it to my daughter. For 8th grade, I decided to pick and choose. I like the English and the History in Oak Meadow. It has them reading classics instead of the new books. These classics tend to be more wholesome and have more meaningful stories. I also like the writing that is in the Oak Meadow. It has a great deal of writing and my children are really good writers from it. They can writer a 2 to 4 page report on something in a blink of an eye. Their reports are organized and their content is very good. I decided to switch to Singapore Math and Science. The science in Oak Meadow is really uneducational. There is not much explanation and the experiments almost never work. The math is very light and easy for my son. I think that he could be more challenged. So, I decided to try the Singapore math. Also, I got it much cheaper on Ebay than the Oak Meadow Math. This year I am going to also add another student. My 4 year old daughter will now be part of our school. She will be 5 soon and needing to be taught kindergarten. I have not worked with her at all. I am in no hurry since I have my hands full with the other three. My husband is taking over my oldest exclusively. This way I have more time to spend with the other three. Also, the higher grades are more complicated, and I spend alot of time studying and understanding the material so I make sure they are getting the best knowledge. Overall, we had a great year! Our new little farm was a great educational lab for the kids. We saw baby goats born before our eyes, we watched barn swallow build nests and raise their young, we have so much area to run and play, it is so dark we can see every star like a planetarium, the list of wildlife is on going, we have seen pheasant, deer, porcupine, raccoons, woodpeckers, opossum, chipmunks, honeybees, lighting bugs, coyotes, hawks, geese, humming birds, rabbits and the list goes on. I pray that all of you homeschooling families have had as much success this year as my family has had!