Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Bloom

We've lived in our current state for nearly nine years. It was definitely not love at first sight. The first year I was ready to catch any vehicle that would take me away, but the funny thing about my disdain for the place was that no one really knew that I didn't like it here besides my hubby.

I found ways to make this place a little more like home.  We learned more about the community. We met a variety of people.  We found friends. We grew in Christ.  We gave more of ourselves. We made it work.

Situations aren't always easy or desirable, but we can continue to grow. We can bloom in any soil as long we allow our spirits to be nurtured. Our minds to be opened and willing to learn and grow.

So although I didn't care for this place.  I have grown the most here. I really couldn't imagine my life without being here for this season. There is no other place I could imagine growing up as I did here.  I have bloomed from a sad, young mother without friends to a confident mom who makes new friends wherever we go even if it is just for that moment.

This post is linked to:
Five Minute Friday 

Wanna join in? Head over to Lisa Jo's place to get the details :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Preparing for New Learning Experiences without Spending Like Crazy!

It's that time of year! I have started preparing for our upcoming school year which we usually commences the first week of August.

In order to get ready for the purchasing of material I write a list of the topics the girls desire to learn and the things I believe are a must to learn.  After writing my list, I list the potential resources I will use to teach the girls the topic. By the time I get to the ordering stage many items have been removed simply because we don't need them.  I appreciate being able to sit with my list before ordering because it keeps me from spending frivolously.
Curriculum from K and 2nd grade

What are our curriculum choices?

We use a variety of materials to get the job. There are some items I create and there are some that I purchase.  Of course purchased items cost more than those that I make myself, but I find the cost worth it when it comes the time it takes to make some items.

Our purchases for this year includes:

Christian Light Reading and Mathematics programs.  This year the girls have expressed a desire to use the reading program versus the language arts program.We seldom use both the language arts and reading programs simultaneously.  Luckily, I don't have to purchase every component of the reading program because we already had
quite a few pieces.

Language programs: The girls enjoy foreign languages, and since I am only fluent in English I find purchasing curriculum for foreign language learning is valuable.  In the past, we have pieced together things, but I think we are all to the point where we should be striving for at least conversational abilities. This year we are going to try Song School Spanish and Latin.  We will also enroll the girls in group Spanish classes.

Workbooks for other subjects:  I have ordered a few supplemental workbooks for language arts.  The girls will use the Spectrum Language Arts workbook, A Reason For Handwriting, and Evan-Moor Daily 6 Trait Writing and Spelling.

Other topics of learning:

The above purchases are not the only areas that we will be studying, but they are the only areas that I will be placing an order for this school year.  We have quite a few resources on our bookshelf from previous years or prior purchase which allows me to build the rest of our course work.  We also supplement our work with books from the library, internet sources, etc.

The budget:

Although I believe we are a pretty low cost homeschool when it comes to curriculum purchases, I know that we spend more than what is listed above.  The girls often participate in classes which cost although we are able at times to receive scholarships or reduced class cost. The cost of ink is really expensive when it comes to printing at home, but paper not so much because I buy a box at a time which lasts us for a few years.  We do utilize the library, but we still purchase books and supplemental items which can also impact our budget. Overall not included classes and books for enjoyment, we tend to stay under $350 each year for both of our girls.

How do you plan for your homeschool?  Do you incorporate a budget?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What We're Learning: June Update

We are now on our summer schedule, and for us that looks like strengthening the most weak areas in math, reading voraciously, doing art projects, and finding fun and low cost things to do in our area.

In math the girls are both working through Kumon workbooks. Dania is focusing on word problems whereas Ramya is focusing on subtraction facts.

Both girls appetite for reading has increased tremendously.  I was a little worried last summer, but looking back I realize that we all were a bit traumatized from our school experience. It literally took us nearly a year to become as comfortable as we were before entering the classroom.  We all were a little off balanced.  I am thankful that we all have pretty much found our way back. We are participating in the Summer Reading Program at two libraries.  The library in our city and one that isn't too far away.  Both programs are great, but smaller towns make the summer reading program more personal so we really enjoy going over to the other library plus they have Playaways and a larger variety of audiobooks. We listened to Henry Huggins by Beverly Clearly, The Moffats by Eleanor Estes, and Superfudge by Judy Blume on audiobook.

Check out our photos below to see what we were up to in the month of June!

How are you enjoying summer?