Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Getting ready...

Here in New Jersey, summer goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so we chose tomorrow as our "official start date".

I had been afraid that the weather may delay our start, but I was able to get a lot of work done this weekend.

I wrote each girl a letter welcoming her to her prospective grade and explaining the fun we had planned for the year.  I outlined the goals that I had for each girl and how I hoped we would work together to achieve the goals.  I acknowledged each girl's strengths and interests and how I intended to honor and encourage them.

We are all going to start each day with a journal entry.
I have kept a journal since I was very young and think it is a great way to express one's self.
The girls will be free to write about anything they want in their individual journal.
I will be checking to make sure that they are writing something.
We will also spend some time tomorrow coming up with possible topics for when we get writer's block.
If nothing else, I hope that both girls get used to writing "on demand" and feeling the writing flow.

I am VERY excited about our writing program.
We did an accelerated version of Writing with Ease last year, P will be working through Level 4 this year.  I was blessed to have met Susan Wise Bauer this year and she sent me the pdf for Writing with Skill for A...look for a review soon!  I printed out the first ten weeks, punched the holes and organized them in a binder for A.  Looking over this makes me feel SO CONFIDENT that using this program will prepare my girls for effective informational writing.

It took us most of last year, but we finally found a Math program that she didn't mind.  
We decided to switch P over as well.
I LOVE how this program teaches for mastery but includes a spiral review several days a week!

I think the subject I am most excited about is Science.
If you knew me even just a few years ago you would probably be shocked, but doing experiments with the girls last year has ignited an unquenchable interest in science in me.  I took lab sciences in high school and college, but it was just not the same as doing the experiments we did last year when there was no pressure to remember things for a test.
I chose Real Science 4 Kids because of their in-depth exploration of each topic AND the experiments that go along with EVERY topic.  Woo HOO!!

I ordered Story of the World Volume 2 Activity Book at the beginning of August,
but the textbook was backordered.  I just remembered to order it the other day and it should arrive for Thursday!  But, I did get all of the maps copied and several of the activity pages for each chapter that I think we will use.  Read: I ROCK!

We will continue with our Latin & Greek roots study,
P will do copywork to become more comfortable with cursive, 
we will continue our fashion study
and we will continue our Geography study.

I have always used a notebook for my household chores,
and I decided to try what Christine at Fruit in Season does
and keep a notebook for homeschool as well...

What a difference a year makes!
A year ago, I was VERY excited to start, but I had NO IDEA what I was doing
and I knew it...I just had faith that we were doing the right thing and it would all work out.
Now I feel a little more that I know what works for us, but I still have that healthy dose of faith that it will all work out!