Saturday, September 5, 2015

First Week of 2015-2016 School Year in Review....

This was our official first week of school here on Drywood Creek.  You may remember the Curriculum Choices I posted on Monday.  Now upon reflecting back, Mon-Thurs went well considering I didn’t feel as prepared to begin this year. Friday, I had appointments so our school day was non-existent, but it was OK since I intentionally schedule a light day Friday for these occasions.  We don’t have real Labor Day plans other than haying, canning, and housework, so we’ll probably do a bit of history reading over the weekend to keep “on track”.  I typically do a bedtime read aloud and we’re in between books so I can easily plug it in there.

Something that worked this week…

Math!! This has always been a huge source of tension in our home. We have bounced and jumped programs too many times. Unfortunately, I have instilled math anxiety.  Anyway, I’m taking a different approach this year to try to build back their love of learning.  RileyAnn, 6th grade, is working through Life of Fred and Simply Charlotte Mason’s Business Math. She voluntarily did an hour of math one day because it was fun.
Ruben, 5th grade, also began LOF as well as continuing with ST Math.  He is dyslexic and hates ALL things “school”….except me reading aloud to him. Well, the second day, he picked up Fred and read it himself, continuing the 3rd and 4th day! It was so awesome to see him put forth effort and enjoy it.

Something that didn’t quite work this week….

As you know, I’m a huge Beautiful Feet fan!  This year we’re using the BF Modern American and World History study three days per week. Monday, we started reading Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt. BF has scheduled 2 chapters per lesson. Well, if you’ve read this book….which is wonderful, by the way….you know that the chapters are extremely long! Two chapters is averaging 35-50 pages, which takes over an hour, definitely not in line with Charlotte Mason’s short lessons. We will continue, but I need to figure out a way to break these lessons up.

One snag that I ran into while planning that I’m still working out….

Last year RileyAnn completed Michael Clay Thompson’s Town Level in 5th grade and I thought it was wonderful! This year I planned to continue with the Voyage Level for 6th grade. I borrowed as many books as possible and purchased the rest. Unfortunately, I didn’t really look at the content until last Saturday night, when I realized there was a huge step in the composition piece!  It looks more in line with high school.

After sleeping on it, I decided to hold off on the next level of MCT, but now I have no grammar/English plan for her. I’ve started Using Language Well with Ruben and could plug her into that or I have Simply Grammar that I’m considering. Both appear to be review from MCT, but maybe this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I would also like her to work more on written narrations so maybe I’ll just focus on this. Decisions, decisions....

Have you started the 2015-2016 school year?  If so, how's it going?  Feel free to leave a comment below. 


  1. Love to read others' recap of how their homeschooling days are going!
    We do lessons year round (6 weeks on, 1 week off), so we didn't really start anything, but I feel like we're at a natural point for me to do some re-evaluating--which I have definitely been doing! Math-U-See continues to be a big win, as does Vos' Child's Story Bible. I have recently begun using notebooking a lot more with history and science. I just bought the D'Aulaire package from Beautiful Feet and Yesterday's Classics e-book bundle and am really excited to have those history resources. In general, I think we're seeing that curriculum doesn't really work for us. A pile of good books, some paper, and a plan do!
    Yesterday, my son (who also hates school and would much rather explore the woods all day) came up to me and thanked me for homeschooling him. So even though it is a struggle sometimes, I reckon we'll keep on keepin' on!

    1. Yes Ivy Mae, I also have a son that would much rather be outside then focusing on books. It is a struggle, but also a gift! The Vos Story Bible and D'Aulaire books are wonderful...some of my favorites Hope your year is going well.

  2. I love reading your blog and want to let you know how much I've learnt through you! I am in my first year of homeschooling using CM (third year of homeschooling). We really love Language Lessons through Literature by Kathy DeVore. She has levels for every grade and my son loves it. Just an idea unless of course you already know it!

    We are four weeks into our school year and it is going well. Adjusting to doing regular oral narrations and determining how much to read at a time is a work in progress. That said I'm very glad to be doing CM as it is has truly blessed our little homeschool!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Lucy! I hope your school year continues to go well :)