Sunday, January 18, 2015

HomeSchool 2015

We have been back to school for a few weeks now. Although Christmas Vacation was nice, the boys and I really needed to get back to the "normal" life.

The first semester of this year we tried to be a bit more relaxed with each class. They each had curriculum to match their learning personality and I was of the opinion, through reading, that boys learn better this way. We gave it a good hard try . . . one semester. In early December, I began assessing how the boys were doing with the curriculum. I wish I could say I was thrilled, but I was not. Although the boys were achieving A's and B's, at times they did not put their all into their daily assignments. Some assignments were completed thoroughly and others simply disregarded. 

HomeSchool is not an exact science. Yes, there are curriculum plans that work for many, there are opinions in the HomeSchool world that may sound amazing, but that doesn't mean they will work flawlessly for everyone.

Over Christmas Vacation, it was decided that each of the boys would return to the Abeka Academy curriculum. My reason is straight forward ~

  1. Structure
  2. Daily Planner for each grade
  3. Amazing Online Teachers for each grade
  4. Teachers that are incredibly encouraging
  5. Teachers who teach with Love
  6. Curriculum focused on God
  7. Strong Teaching Skill
  8. Academic Excellence - across all subjects
  9. The "Teachers" books for Tests, Quizzes, Text Questions, etc are all included as a kit. 
Each and every school day, my boys immediately know what they are expected to accomplish. The easy to follow along daily video planner shows this mama what to expect from each of them each day.

Abeka has each nine week quiz and tests required in a separate booklet to ease in keeping track of grades. Everything is included in the teacher info that you could possibly need.

Our daughter Katelyn is a Senior in college. She studied Abeka Curriculum throughout grade school, middle school and some high school. She has been on the Dean's list in college for all but two semesters - Spanish class was to blame for the two non Dean's List semesters. 

I do want to mention, my boys love Veritas Press History. We still have our second semester of video they can watch, but instead of daily watching, they can choose to watch them because they want to. I do give Extra Credit to them if they watch the video and pass the quizzes and tests. 

Our second semester of 2014-2015 is off to a great start.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

School Day at Home

We are now on our third day back to Home School. We are all home and in the kitchen while each of my boys are on their own computer working on their school work.

As I prepare to write I begin to hear the boys begin their Bible time - I know they are beginning with Bible, but the sudden off tune singing with mumbled words (words they aren't sure of in the song) causes me to pause and smile.

I decided to put a crock pot of tomato soup on for lunch. The boys had a late breakfast, so a few hours from now they will enjoy tomato soup and crackers.

The boys have now moved onto Math . . . numbers (answers to the video teacher) are being shouted out from three of the boys. Maybe I should mention, they are all at various places in their videos and have different teachers, it keeps things interesting for me! lol

I am sure you are wondering HOW to they boys all listen to their videos at the same time. They each have a laptop, I purchase three on special through Dell and received three for the price of two. They also each have either ear buds or headphones. Of course, staying in your jammies for school is simply a bonus!


I keep up with each of them by:

  1. Listening with my Mom ears
  2. Keeping my spidey senses on
  3. Taking a peek at their progress by walking past them occasionally.
  4. Abeka online info . . . see below. (This shows Arithmetic lessons.)

With four boys to Home School, I never run out of things to check on, grade and check off.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Semester TWO

Today we returned to our Home School for our Second Semester. The boys hit the floor running today and I was thrilled.

I think the boys are thrilled to back to class as well. It was good to hear them reciting spelling words and chuckling along with their computer classes. 

The first semester of this year, I switched up curriculum as I thought the boys would appreciate a less strict curriculum class. I knew it would be tough, but we tried it anyway. Truth be told, I found separate curriculum for them (various companies) was much harder to "teach" than I anticipated. The boys also made things a bit more complicated as they chose to do their classes in the order they chose. After struggling through mid November through December, I decided enough was enough and planned to bring the Abeka School online streaming back into place. Today, they began with Abeka.

I am not saying they didn't learn . . . they did learn and were getting really good grades. It was the hassle of fussing with them over the lessons they didn't want to complete. I lost it, I already did it, but can't find it and I didn't want to do it were the answers I received. 

Frustration came quickly and I knew we had to make the change back to Abeka. Abeka has been in the Home School business a long, long time and have it down to an art. The repetitive nature of the Grammar class is now taught by a beautiful teacher for each of the boys and not this mama or sister. I was a bit disappointed with the Grammar Ace program as it really didn't "get deep into" grammar like Abeka does. I also had tried Shirley English . . . also not thrilled with it. I guess you never know until you try.

Ryan was using SOS - Switched On School House and doing very well with it, until he figured out how to use copy and paste. He would listen to the lesson, but then use copy and paste for his answers instead of answering them in his own words. I knew that he knew the answers and in fact, asked him to tell me the answer verbally, he simply didn't want to take the time to write them out. He too is returning to Abeka. However, I am keeping SOS for summer . . . he will work through it during the months of summer.

I will still be in the room to assist each of them with their assignments, grade assignments, grade quizzes and tests and keep grades.

Looking forward to this second semester!