How many of you have planned a school year only to find like maybe a few weeks in or halfway through the year like you need to change some things i'm going to give you an update on what's been going on in our school year what has worked what maybe needed some tweaking and that's what we're going to talk about so my name is rachel if you are new to my.
Channel i am a homeschooling mom of seven years and my youngest is eight i also have a 12 year old and my oldest is almost 15 and he is in high school this year on my channel you know i do lots of curriculum reviews lots of homeschool help that's what i am here for because i know when i was a new homeschooler i needed answers.
And even my friends who homeschooled they didn't always have the same age of kids as me maybe they didn't have their their just family dynamic was different sometimes you just need a little bit of a different perspective and those are the types of videos that i am trying to make for you i also will do a few just homemaking type stuff but all of it i.
Try to add a little bit of humor and a little bit of fun because we all like to laugh right i know i do and i love it if i can make you all laugh so thank you for many of your kind comments through the years to encourage me in that i'm so so so glad that you found me okay so first off i'm going to start with my second grader everything is going really.
Well with her we are loving the good and the beautiful language arts she is still doing singapore math and breezing through it i'm telling you like she's almost to fourth grade math now and so some of you who if maybe you've watched my classical conversations videos that i just recently did i got a few comments about memory work.
And how random it was and just want to tell you one of the things that classical conversations bits of memory work is skip counting if my daughter didn't already know all of those skip counting songs she would be taking longer in her math right now but because of classical conversations my second grader already.
Knew all of her multiplication tables so by the time we got to that part in her third grade math she was breezing right through it she's going to be in fourth grade math maybe by the end of the year with singapore so that is just going very very well i highly recommend singapore math check out this math comparison video if you.
Haven't already for more details about that and some of these other curriculums one thing that singapore math does not do and there are lots of math curriculums that don't do this and that's prompt you to practice your math drills because even though my little one she can skip count so like if i say what's eight times four she will sit.
There and she'll skip count in her head and go 32. it's fine for now that when she's eight but taking this long say when you're in sixth grade she's gotta be quicker so we need to drill those facts so how do we do that if you are interested in how i add this because we do it like all kinds of fun ways i don't just hand them.
Worksheets and say here i'm going to time you for a minute on your math facts or i don't just do the flash cards we do all kinds of things to drill the math again not every curriculum is going to prompt you for that but it's really really important that your children are able to see a math problem six times seven and immediately know that's 42.
Without having to think about it because as you get longer as you get into high school math you don't want them to have to still be thinking about that their math is going to get so much more complex those need to be quick so let me know below if that is something a video that you would like to know how to creatively drill the math facts i also.
Will have a video coming up sometime hopefully sooner than later where i'm going to be comparing the good and the beautiful language arts one with master books language arts one so now i've had experience with both i did do a curriculum comparison about master books versus the good and the beautiful but it was.
Like comparing fourth fifth and sixth grade language arts the things to compare for this level one are a little bit different so i am going to do a separate comparison video for that coming up soon for my sixth grader i am enjoying the good and the beautiful language arts and actually it's working out pretty good for her spelling that.
Was one thing that i didn't know about because if you saw my videos from last year where we had to do a separate spelling curriculum because master books really wasn't meeting our needs for the spelling parts but i wanted to try the good and the beautiful spelling this year and see how it would work together and it's working pretty well it's.
Working very well i'm very pleased i like the way that they drill the spelling words i like the different creative ways to practice that i really really like that there is one thing though in her the good and the beautiful language arts that i'm kind of questioning and that's how they teach.
The process of writing if you saw my iew versus lost tools of writing video i'm very well versed in iew and how it teaches the process and i really like that iew teaches easy plus one so it gives you one element you practice it and then you add on another one and it's a little bit different than how i'm noticing how the good and the beautiful.
Teaches writing and it's confusing my daughter a little bit like the way that the good and the beautiful teaches writing it's not clicking with her i'm thinking that i'm going to somehow weave iew in with her i am trained in iaw i've done it before so i know how i could do this here's.
Where i'm going with that if you saw some of my videos from this summer i like recorded a lot of my curriculum choices video before i went to the homeschool conference and when i went to the homeschool conference it was like i had an epiphany like i'm kind of making myself a servant to the curriculum rather than using the.
Curriculum as a tool for what i need and so i kind of had this revelation after i had already chosen all of our all of our things but i've held on to that this year and so my year hasn't gone exactly how i had planned it in the videos that i had given to you at the beginning of the year because it has just been a very.
Enlightening year to be honest like i am not concerned if i finish a curriculum by the end of the year because the fact of the matter is is i'm doing work with my child every day and we're pausing when we need to pause and we're digging deeper as they need it which is the beauty of homeschool right like in a regular school they would just keep.
Moving ahead whether or not your child got it or not i don't have to do that but i also don't have to feel stressed if my daughter does not finish her language arts from the good and the beautiful this year so i can weave in iew where i see gaps in her knowledge and we can focus in on those gaps and that's what i plan to do i'm not sure.
You know i need to kind of look ahead at the good and the beautiful four see where it ends i might download the good and the beautiful five grammar next year and maybe do something different with her writing i'm kind of just thinking through this right now how i want to do this but i just want to encourage you.
All again like the curriculum is a tool for you so in my head i have the goals for my children and i am checking off those goals and those skills that they need to learn and picking and choosing the curriculum as i need to use it so if you saw my video also for like creating my own history curriculum you saw kind of where i was starting to rethink how i.
Was going to use curriculum in that way so how has history gone it has been like so enjoyable to think about doing history the way that we want to do it and following their interest i will say like what i had planned out for history i knew it was a lot i knew it was going to be a lot to tackle and i knew it was.
Probably not going to happen all of that stuff and i was right we did a lot of the pioneers and patriot book we read through a lot of that and then i started reading the witch of blackbird pond which was taking me minutes wise it was taking me a little bit longer just to read one chapter than i had expected we did a few timeline.
Elements based on the witch of blackbird pawn i bought this map where any time whether it was through history or whether it was through science or geography or whatever else we were scratching off countries that we had already learned about so that kind of was a little extra thing i added but then when the new year.
Came because we hadn't really gone through history in the way that i thought we were but my daughters were enjoying it which was like that's all i can ask right i was trying to whet their appetite to learn more history because at the beginning of the year they were not interested at all so i had wet their.
Appetite but we had only gotten as far as we were just up to the 1700s that is not where i thought we would be we hadn't even gotten to the revolutionary war yet so here is like the great irony if you watched my history curriculum video i had bought the good and the beautiful history and i had said that i wasn't really.
Super excited about using it but i set it aside i picked it back up but i did not pick it back up and start from the beginning you guys because we are learning about american history this year so i picked up the good and the beautiful history curriculum that i had already purchased and we are just doing the american.
History portion of it and so we're just kind of testing it out to see what we like about it one of the things that i think kind of made me question the good and the beautiful history portion was that it starts it has a unit on ancient history it has a unit of like medieval type history and then a unit on american history and then the fourth.
Unit is like modern world history i wasn't sure if i would want to skip from time period to time period of time period that may be part of what i wasn't excited about also i didn't know that i wanted to complete the whole curriculum in one year because i do love the idea of studying history whatever.
However we want to study it and whatever we want to study so we're doing the good and the beautiful unit three of year one right now which is the american history portion i pulled out a george washington book the heroes of faith george washington book we have not started that yet i'm still finishing up the witch of blackbird pawn i started reading aloud.
To my children one of the choose your own path choose your own adventure history books which i talked about in that video also i showed all kinds of history children's books in this video so that's one of those and we're just going with flow we're just gonna just take it where where we want to take.
It you know tonight as a family we're gonna watch the mel gibson movie the patriot which is about the revolutionary war my daughters the other day wanted to watch the dvd on sybil luddington so we're still kind of incorporating some of these movies that i mentioned in that video also so yeah i'm just enjoying like going with the flow we do.
History about two times a week and we do whatever we feel like doing that day as long as it has to do with american history and the time period that we're focused on and i will say i've only done about a week of the good and the beautiful history and i do like it i like the format of it i like that it gives me something to read there's a.
Little audiobook portion that adds to it there's been a little activity i like the format of it so i'm not sure what i'm going to do next year but i am loving just doing whatever we feel like doing and the way that i did that kind of like a brain dump of history things we could do so that if i can't think of something.
Or or it's going dry or something i have a reference that i can look at make sure you like the video and comment below what is your struggle during the mid-year like what what have you changed or what are you struggling with and you feel like you need to change science i chose way too many science units.
I didn't realize i think i saw this somewhere that the good and the beautiful recommends maybe three maybe four science units and i think i bought five i bought way too many we're not going through science very quickly we've done about one and a half units the co-op that we're part of i didn't realize at the time has science.
Incorporated so they're getting science their co-op also the funny thing is is my daughters are more interested in history this year than they are in science so that's kind of neat because last year they were all about science this year they just want me to read aloud to them all the time which i'm ecstatic about i want my.
Daughters to be more readers than i am i'm not a typical homeschool mom i'm not a devourer of books at all if i get one or two books read a year that's good for me bible and apologetics how is that going that's another one that hasn't gone quite as expected so i did this video on the bible curriculum that we use that is.
Like that's solid we do this every year that's not a problem the other things that i had chosen for apologetics that i did a video telling you guys we were going to do which was who is god in this not consumed study we haven't touched either one of those yet because when i went to this homeschool conference i was introduced to a new apologetics.
Curriculum called foundations world view we my husband and i were so intrigued by this curriculum we purchased it and that is what we've been doing and i am going to do a video review on that for you it's very very new it's a very new curriculum so you may not have heard of it but it's teaching kids.
How to think critically about the things they're consuming because we are to have a biblical worldview right but yet our culture we're constantly bombarded by secular world thought and it is actually also infiltrating the church so this curriculum is geared that we're doing is geared towards eight to twelve-year-olds.
But they assured me at the conference that even as adults we would learn and it would still be fine for my high schooler to be involved in to think about so we're doing it as a family my husband is kind of in charge of that it's not part of our regular homeschool day we do it once a week at night time and i will do a.
Review on that for you and let you know what it's all about i have to tell you how it's working with our daily checklists i am going to be doing a video about this also how i'm helping my daughters manage their daily to do's how it's going with my brand new penny pincher planner so we're kind of in january february we've started a new.
Thing here and it's too much to explain in this video so make sure you are subscribed so you don't miss how we're figuring out all the to-do's and the last thing that i want to talk to you about is how it's going for high school high school math sherman math going very well my son likes shorman math he's doing very well i will say this about.
Shorman math it is the very first few weeks of the algebra one course i had to solicit help from my two older brothers who are both very very good at math one of my brothers is a high school math teacher there were some things even in this algebra 1 course that i did not know it's very challenging course very good and i like the fact that it is very.
Similar to teaching textbooks in that it keeps the grades for you teaching textbooks is not the only curriculum online for junior high in high school that does the teaching and keeps the grades for you so shorman math working very well german science my son is indifferent about this right now i don't know if it's the subject chemistry that.
He's not getting or if he doesn't like doing science online so i'm going to dig deeper into that and find out figure out if we're going to do shorman science again next year i did buy him a lab supply kit so we could do all of the labs i thought at the beginning of the year that the labs would maybe be once a week.
And that my daughters could watch him do it it has not worked out that way at all the lab is actually like almost every third lesson and we just can't mesh our schedules together where my daughters are really able to be a part of it so that's kind of been a bummer i feel like in that way my son's kind of off doing science on.
His own i don't know if there's a solution to that i know a lot of people who do apologia science i started recently looking at the compass classroom website for high school courses for next year they have a lot of interesting things kind of looking at their science figuring out if that might be better so.
I guess stay tuned and i haven't figured it out yet the good and the beautiful i did a video 12 things about the good and the beautiful that i did not realize i like the good of the beautiful i like the variety same thing with my sixth grader though i'm not sure if i like how it's teaching writing so i'm considering.
Iew again for next year but i'm not sure yet i'm pondering just like everybody else right now so we will see latin is going well compass classroom i just i love compass classroom okay i love covers classroom latin is going well the teacher is fantastic and i like how they are referring him to like ways to.
Practice the vocab through i think quizlet online he's enjoying like playing the games online to practice his vocab compass classroom history love this history does my son love it though my son is not as much in love with the history as i am unfortunately that doesn't mean that we're not gonna do it.
Next year this history is so awesome i sit in with my son on the videos i love the instructor and the stories that he tells they're so engaging now i am a history lover my son is not a history lover i love how the instructor pulls in the spiritual perspective in every single lesson this is like history.
Presented in a way that i've never seen before i love it but it is a lot of work it's a lot of hours okay i think the curriculum says that it's the whole curriculum is about 150 hours of work for a high school credit you only need 120 hours of work and actually you need less than that so 120 hours of planned work for the year but then they.
Will tell you you can get a credit for 80 percent completion so 80 percent of 120 hours so you do the math there compass classroom has planned 150 hours of work and yes it is 150 hours of work my son was kind of complaining to me the other day about how much time he was spending on.
The history because the video is about 10 to 15 minutes then he has a daily assignment that takes him another 15 or 20 minutes he has the portfolio that he has to work on every week but he's he can't really work on it till the end of the week because the portfolio is kind of like a scrapbook two-page layout.
Of a summary of what you learned that week he told me he's spending four to five hours on that he must be like really staring at the blank pages thinking where do i even begin what do i do so some of that might just be him and his pages are really nice if you're a scrapbooker my son could be a scrapbooker he's doing that and then.
They also have quarterly projects and those quarterly projects are they're additional time to be spent studying history and you know what the curriculum even suggests reading like more books like novels i didn't even add that in for my son it's just a lot of work we're in third quarter now.
And my son is getting ready to do a research paper when you think back when you're in high school junior high high school how long it took you to do a research paper and this is on top of his regular assignments and portfolio so i'm kind of deciding whether or not we're actually going to do the fourth quarter project which is called an hours project.
I think it's like 40 more hours of studying something because my son's gonna have all the hours in and then i can give him a little bit longer for the research paper so all that to say compass classroom i love it i love how the stories are told and how the history is being taught from such a different.
Way than i've ever seen history before but it has a lot of hours planned so i'll just leave it there with that are you thinking about next year's curriculum because it's january february or are you like me and like you never stop thinking about next year's curriculum i will see things online or get these ideas and i open up a note in.
My phone and i just start throwing the ideas in there and that way when next year comes around and it's time to purchase i say well what were all my ideas that is so helpful because sometimes i'm like oh yeah i forgot i saw that or i forgot that that was something that i wanted to look at later so i highly suggest that.
Use your notes app and your phone to keep track of all your ideas you're around so high school independence how is it going my son is definitely working independently he works in the office with because his dad's still working from home he works in that same room with him or he goes to his bedroom and works quietly in there i.
Am not enjoying our separation right now but i feel like it's a it's a two-edged sword like of course i want all my kids around me all the time but at the same time he has a lot of work he needs quiet time in a quiet space he's doing an excellent job planning out his work for the most part he hasn't followed all of my deadlines.
So i have to readjust like when i showed you guys how i how i help him plan his weekly work i need to adjust some of those deadlines but one thing about my son is also the days that i had planned for him to take off he did not take the same christmas break that the rest of us did he kept plugging away because he doesn't like being behind so he was.
Trying to catch up so he's pretty diligent i'm pretty proud of him he's a good worker we need to work on him checking in with me more often though to check the quality of his work or to proofread his work so we're still working on that more videos that i have coming up for you besides the checklist the planner and.
The daily to do's i've also got lots of videos coming about high school like i said i i will dig deeper into most of these curriculums and give you an honest review at the end of the year i have a comparison video for the good and the beautiful language arts one versus master books one i also am probably going to do a video with how i'm going.
To be modifying the good and the beautiful language arts for since my daughter needs more help with the process of writing a paper if i integrate iew there and how i'm going to do that i will probably do a video about that let me know down below if you want to see creative ways to drill the math facts in the meantime if you haven't.
Seen my other curriculum comparisons check out this playlist i have compared a lot of different curriculums