Monday, December 28, 2009

Homeschool Year in Review

A forum buddy over at TWTM has started a thread on best successes of the year. Thought it was a good idea to just do a basic review, especially as I need to see what we have, sort what we've been given and re-group in order to start spring semester next week.

The big win this fall was the discovery and utilization of Writing With Ease. Another excellent product from our friends over at Peace Hill Press We've used WWE I for Flower and her class at TDA and WWE 2 & 4 for Cub. It includes excellent literature, copywork, dictation, narration, grammar. What more could you want from a lower level eled writing program?

We have also loved the Classical Studies history program from Memoria Press along with the lit/history guides for high school: The Trojan War, Odyssey, Iliad, The Hobbit, along with the classic Famous Men series Work on cursive continues with New American Cursive. Simple and effective.

We stuck with Horizons Math for the 1rst and 4th grade. I'm looking for something else for 4th grade. The second semester's book is gone (via fire and smoke) and I'd like to find something that gives Cub a better sense of what he knows and end each math session with him feeling like a winner instead of frustrated. Feche Boy is still working through Saxon's Algebra I.

Science has been a wash. Feche Boy will start Bio I this spring, hopefully doing labs with a friend using Apologia, which I need to re-purchase. I've discovered more John Howard Tiner books so Cub and Flower will be reading more of those this next semester.

Modified, since the fire, TDA, for Art and Drama and the boys especially are being challenged by their art homework. Of course, we might just have the best art instructor in our corner of the world. Music puttered out but I plan to revive it in a week with a composer study and basic theory. I figure the years I spent singing in choirs and playing in bands (flute, piccolo, sax) should hold me in good enough stead for a basic music class.

Tantara, the Festival of One Act Plays, is at the end of January and we have begun practice. We have, once again, an award winning script, a great directress, and a cast that is fun and funny.

Latin has been hard to hold on to this semester. Partly cause memory work has taken a big backseat and partly cause the CD's are, I hope, in the pod, but not with us. Feche Boy is taking Latin through Classical Liberal Arts Academy starting next week: They have lots of offerings I'd love to delve into, but will have to wait.

Viking Man taught an Apologetics course based on the writings of C.S. Lewis for TDA's high school students; for 8 weeks at least. I'd love to be able to package and market both what he and Kristen Hickey, history,, taught. Both gifted teachers with a passion for people and the Word.

Memory Work has been on hold, too, though we've been listening to Classical Conversations Cycle 1 CD and have re-ordered Drew Cambell's Living Memory . We'll be back at it as soon as I get a new white board and markers.

TDA, as stated before, is still in modified form and we have some decisions to make for this spring and next fall. Still in gathering data mode (the story of my life right now). I'd also love to figure out how to incorporate insurance forms into some type of school/educational project but the creative juices just haven't flown in that direction so guess I'm on my own.

We haven't gotten as far as I'd hoped but we made it through the semester actually having completed coursework, despite illness, fire death and blizzard. As I've said before, I'm calling that a win.

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