Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to (Home) School Once Again

Today was our first day of the school year. You would think I would have remembered to take pictures on the actual day, but no, eleven years into this homeschooling thing, and I still can't seem to get that part down. Yet. There's always next year. 

For now, I have some photos from our "Don't Go Back to School" dinner last Friday. We had build-your-own pizzas, a family favorite. Sorry, shirts optional, thanks to kids coming in from the pool just long enough to scarf down dinner.

 You know your name is difficult to spell when your own child gets it wrong...

Today went exceptionally well, thanks in no small part to the fact that a young lady at our church was here all morning, helping wrangle the little kids, holding the baby, reading to them, doing crafts, and generally preserving my sanity. It was a huge blessing to me, and made a world of difference. I find being interrupted while trying to focus on a task at hand (such as teaching Algebra) very stressful, and by the time the little kids' naps roll around, I am usually pretty well nigh spent, but still have to spend the afternoon hours getting the older kids caught up. 

But not so today! We were done with all subjects, including five kids taking turns practicing piano during baby Boaz' awake times (a small logistical challenge), by early afternoon. My sanity intact, I took the older kids to the library during nap time, only to realize upon arriving that today was a holiday... ah well! I got the kids a round of fruit popsicles to make up for the disappointment. It really was a good day all around, as even the kids agreed. You wouldn't believe it, but after four months of summer break, they were a bit reluctant to start school again. 

I will share about our chore system in another post. Here are a few quick shots of charts I made for each of the older children to help keep them on track in their schoolwork all year long. They each also have a syllabus for every major subject, showing them what lesson they are supposed to be in on any given day.

It seems crazy how fast time is flying by. I really want to soak in these last few years I have with my big kids. The oldest ones virtually never need my help with their school work any more, which is both exciting and sad. 

Homeschooling is a blessing as much for the parents as it is for the children.


  1. Hi. Just a thought as I browsed Solomon's list of studies. If you plan for him to go to college, look up what the possible choices of college require. The social studies, in particular concerns me - if the plan is for him to go past high school with his studies.

    Also, what is Advanced Math? If he hasn't had geometry, that is a good fit after Algebra II.

    I hope you don't mind my comments..... just trying to help.

    1. Not sure what about his social studies you find concerning. Maybe you could elaborate?

      And as for math, the Saxon curriculum builds Geometry into the Algebra I and II courses, so students go from that to "Advanced Mathematics", which is basically pre-calc. The book after that is calculus, then there are a couple of college level books after that.

    2. I missed that you have geography on there, which is usually the 9th grade social studies standard. It was taken out, then added back in the last few years. Colleges usually require 3 years of social studies - to include World and US histories. Looks like your doing World History now. So, you've got it covered. Forgive me...

      Good for Saxon!! Many public school do Algebra I, Geometry, then Algebra II. However, several Algebra II lessons need to be taught during Geometry for it to make sense.

  2. I don't live nearby but if I did, I'd come over every day to hold that cute baby while you teach!

    1. :) He is such a sweetie. I like holding him just for the joy of it when I have a quiet minute.

  3. Replies
    1. Thankfully, I add students one by one every couple of years. I couldn't have handled jumping into this schedule.

  4. Wow, Zsuzsa! I'm overwhelmed just LOOKING at the check-off lists you've got for this year! Good work!!

    I'd like to ask about the two changes I see in your curriculum plans:

    (1) I see you're using Story of the World instead of the history plan you had mentioned last year (the real-books) one. Did that history plan not work out? I'd love to hear about that transition.

    (2) Also, I see you're now using A Beka Book Grammar/Composition instead of Learning Language Arts through Literature. Why the change? And by the way, I just got a random chance to look through the A Beka Grammar/Composition books, and yikes! - They are stiff stuff! I'm really impressed with that material - please let us know (later!) how you end up liking that!

    Congrats on another awesome start to the school year - I can't wait to hear about this year's adventures!!


  5. I was also wondering about the Learning Language Arts through Literature. I have looked into it some, but not close enough. Do you mind sharing your thought on it. Did you like it? Not exactly what you were looking for? Thanks


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