photography

Our (classical) homeschool curriculum

Years ago when I had only one little toddler at home, I was surprised at how excited I was to teach him. It just came naturally, since he was a baby.  

Over the years I've realized that as a mom we teach our kids from the moment they are born. Introducing them to the world around us whether we realize it or not! 

I remember thinking back when Oliver, our firstborn, was a baby that he had never seen a leaf. I picked one up and showed him on a walk one day, delighting in the fact that there was so much more to show him!  

I think that was probably the beginning of me "teaching" him. And I loved it! I never thought I'd be a teacher of any sort, but it's been so much fun to teach Oliver in those early days and on into preschool, kindergarten, first, and now second grade. 

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sprinkler, boy, childhood, photography

As we get ready to gear up for another school year, (where did the summer go? oh yes, a new baby!) I wanted to share what we will be using this year for second grade (Oliver) and kindergarten (Aleksandr).

I remember when we first started homeschooling. I was overwhelmed with all the choices. Kindergarten with Oliver was an introduction into the world of curriculum choices. I was a little overwhelmed to say the least. 

Since then, I have to say the Lord has graciously led us to the classical route. We enrolled Oliver in Classical Conversations last year, and even though it wasn't my first choice at the time, I had a peace about pursuing it, trusting the Lord had opened the door for us to try it. Now, we are starting our second year with CC and I can say it's a whole lot easier this year planning for school! We love CC and it's been a really good fit for our family at this point. When I chose curriculum this year, I had the foundation of CC to springboard off of. That, as well as using some of the same choices we had last year that were winners! Here's my plan for the year. 

Binders!

I know, terribly exciting! But I am excited about these 3" binders for each boy. I am keeping their attendance, daily schedule and worksheets in each one. I know that at the end of the year I will be so happy to have it all in one place. I also won't have to look back to figure out our attendance and what we did exactly...somehow that seems to happen when you don't keep it in one place. Not that I would know that...

classical, homeschool, school year, organization

Planning

I love looking through halfahundredacrewood's website for some helps when I'm planning. She has great printable templates for record keeping (like this handy attendance log below) and daily planning. I printed some for each boy's book.

classical, homeschool, school year, organization

 

Handwriting

This year we are so excited to start cursive! Oliver has been excited about cursive since last year. After reading up on when to start, for us it seems like now is the best time. I actually wished I had started with cursive instead of manuscript (or print). I'm using Script-n-Scribe by Brandy Ferrell over at halfahundredacrewood.com I am actually using this for both boys so I'm excited to see how it goes for a brand new writer and one with a little more experience. 

classical, homeschool, school year, hand writing

Math

I've used Math-u-See for the past couple years and I love the manipulative set that comes with it. Oliver loves building with the blocks and has done so well with their workbooks. I'm using Beta for Oliver, and starting Aleksandr with Primer. 

classical, homeschool, school year,  math

Science

In Classical Conversations we cover science in 3 areas, in 12 week increments. The first 12 weeks is about the human body. I picked up this human body kit and coloring book second hand (consignment, and the coloring book was given to us). We will be building this little kit, and I'm also planning to do a lap book with both boys. Planning being the key word, as we have a newborn at home! I've never done lap books before and I found these which has an elementary and preschool level lap book, for both boys.

classical, homeschool, school year, science

Phonics

For our phonics this year for Oliver, I am trying a new curriculum. All About Reading was something I kept hearing great things about from other mama's. And since reading has been slow going, I wanted a complete phonics and reading set that would easily help me teach him. This one looks like a lot of fun, with lots of hands on magnet tiles, cards, a workbook and readers. I'm excited for us to jump in, and I plan to have Aleksandr sit in on it too, to see how much he can learn from it. 

classical, homeschool, school year, phonics, reading

History

We already cover a history timeline each week in CC, as well as history sentences and geography. Last year I added in these books to enrich our history. The four volumes of The Story of the World are wonderful to read aloud to tie into whatever history we are covering each week in CC. Plus, Half hundred Acre Woods offers daily planning pages that include the page numbers for SOTW that relate to each week! I also picked up this fun maze book for Oliver, since we are learning all the states and capitals in geography this year. He can't wait to draw in it!

classical, homeschool, school year, history

Reading (for kindergarten)

This year, along with All About Reading, I'll be taking Aleksandr through this book. It's his first year learning how to read, and I liked how easy the daily lessons were in this book when Oliver went through it. I'm excited to watch Aleksandr grow in the world of reading!

homeschool, classical, reading, phonics

Bible, Art and Music

We will also have Bible, art and some music mixed into our daily routine. CC covers a 12 week series of artists, and Oliver and Jonah will be learning guitar together. Jonah also teaches Bible to the boys, which is always fun to listen in on. He's a wonderful teacher. I'm so thankful we can homeschool! I think each year I become more excited than the boys about a new year. It always feels like a fresh start after the end of a school year and full summer. In our school space I painted some scriptures that I'd like to memorize with the boys. As we deal with heart issues like anger, mean words, selfishness ect. I am looking for scripture that can speak into specific areas. These three are a start for us to look at regularly and hide in our hearts. You can see more of my scripture paintings over at my shop here if you'd like some prints for your own home! 

homeschool, curriculum, classical
home, homeschool, scripture, watercolor, photography, georgia

I can hardly believe it's already that time of year again, for school to start! But I'm excited to watch our boys grow and learn, and to learn alongside them. Keeping this in mind as we kick off our school year (next week): Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

classical homeschool, curriculum, classical conversations, school year, second grade, kindergarten, photography, home

 

 

strawberry picking at 35 weeks pregnant

Last year we went strawberry picking for the first time. It's something that I've wanted to do for quite a while, but we finally did it together as a family! It's a lot of fun seeing the boys grow and become more independent so that they can really participate in activities with us! As it turned out, we actually ended up picking at two different farms. The first was fun, but the second one, we spontaneously (somewhat) headed to on Mother's Day was our favorite. 

For Mother's Day last year we did something a little out of the ordinary. While we usually head to church every Sunday (Mother's Day being no exception), I chose to do something different for the sake of my own heart. I shared about that day here.  Spending the day with my family, was a wonderful and restful experience all around. And I LOVED the strawberry farm we visited. 

This year I really wanted to head back to that farm. God has been so gracious and with joy, we are expecting our third son. Our rainbow baby. (35 week belly below)

 

Every week we like to plan for a family activity together, so for the week before Mother's Day we chose to go strawberry picking. I realize at 35 weeks pregnant it's not a really easy feat, but I really wanted those sun ripened strawberries. Plus the home made ice-cream isn't so bad either!

The farm is about an hour north of us and it's called LCCL Strawberry Farm, in Rome. Their price is terrific to pick your own, and of course they sell strawberry ice-cream that you really have to buy after picking out in the fields.

strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday, motherhood, pregnancy
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday, pregnancy, 35 weeks

We picked about 11 pounds altogether, which surprisingly (even with a big pregnant belly) didn't take us that long. The boys have learned which ones are good for picking, how necessary it is to "sample" some while you pick, and which ones to leave on the stems for ripening. I'm a homeschool mom, but a natural teacher (well, Jonah more than me) so we can count this trip as a field trip, wrapped into a family day. The best! 

strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday, pregnancy, 35 weeks, rainbow baby, motherhood
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday, motherhood, 35 weeks, pregnancy
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday, pregnancy, motherhood, 35 weeks,
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday, homemade ice-cream, boys, motherhood
strawberry picking, lccl farm, rome, GA, family, lifestyle photography, its the everyday
Oliver is getting pretty good at using our camera! 

Oliver is getting pretty good at using our camera! 

It was a great day and we recommend this local farm to anyone in our area. The drive isn't really too bad, since it's north, and the warm sun ripened fields of strawberries are worth it! Store bought strawberries just cannot compete with taste. We have a freezer full of berries, that I'm sure will be eaten up too soon, but some wonderful memories from our day at the farm.