Saturday, August 29, 2009

Homeschooling My Way

As promised, I come before you humbly offering you my book selections for the year. I started a separate post but tossed it because it was toooo much! So I decided to do this in a series, so as not to bore those of you who don't really care, and not to overwhelm those of you that do! (warning: it's still a long post!)
Let me just say that our school year thus far has been a delight, a pleasure, a joy! After last year, I sort of struggled with knowing if homeschooling was for us, because it just seemed like more of a struggle and a burden than a delight. But we decided to try again this year, and I'm so glad! I feel so much more relaxed about everything, and my laundry is still getting done according to schedule (I know, some of you are saying right now, "Just wait til that baby comes!") But that's okay. I think one of the biggest differences this year is how thoroughly I planned ahead, because I really don't have to think about it from day to day, I just open up my notebook and there it is, exactly what I'm doing today! Most of you probably do this, but if you don't, I highly recommend it! I'm also very grateful for those homeschool moms who are paving the trail ahead of us, because they have been amazing resources for me!
Since Science is fresh on my mind, I'll start with that. The textbook we use is Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the 5th Day, by Jeannie Fulbright (Apologia). Obviously, it is from a Christian worldview (gathered from the title). There are 14 lessons in the book, so I have divided each lesson into 4 parts, which we spread out over two weeks, on Wednesdays and Fridays. I think Jeannie Fulbright comes from a Charlotte Mason-y approach, as she encourages narrating and recording in personal journals, and not testing or filling out worksheets. Why it's fresh on my mind today is because we made 4 different types of bird feeders today (so easy!), and are looking forward to seeing if we get any extra bird traffic in our back yard.

As I wondered whether or not our study of birds was sinking into Amaleah's mind, I found out yesterday at the zoo that her interest is definitly tweaked. She was noticing different details about birds, even the common San Antonio pigeon, and getting all excited about it!
We also read The Burgess Bird Book for Children, by Thornton W. Burgess, one chapter almost every day as the girls explore in the back yard or draw in their nature journals. This book is in story form and makes learning about all the species of birds so natural and enjoyable.

Some other supplemental resources for us this year:
~ Handbook of Nature Study (Anna Botsford Comstock)
~ Usborne Science & Nature Ornithology
~ About Birds, A Guide for Children (for preschool ages)
~ Bird field guides of the Texas area
~ any of Thornton W. Burgess's animal books
Websites I've loved from Charlotte Mason approach:

1 comment:

sara said...

Hey Gab - Thanks so much for sharing your daily details! I would love to talk more about the planning aspect. I should probably call before LJ (Luke Jr.!) arrives! I'm so glad to hear it is going well. Talk to you soon. - Sara