We've really been enjoying our abbreviated home school lessons over the last two weeks. When I found out my parents were coming for a visit, we kind of sped up our schooling to finish the unit we were in. That way, we could do the basics while they were here, and have shorter school days. It has worked out pretty well. We've spent our mornings concentrating on Math, Handwriting, Spelling, Memory Verses, Math Facts Drills, and Reading Aloud. This has left our afternoons free for outside play in the snow, building igloos or making snowballs. We've also been able to spend more time playing games, and just pursuing our own interests.
We've spent so much time "doing school" each day this year, we have often felt we didn't get to do much else during the week. That's one of the reasons I am excited about our curriculum choice for next year! Heart of Dakota covers all of the subjects I want, but it is done with shorter lessons and makes for a shorter school day. So, even with Corbin starting school, it should not take the entire day, and we will have time for other pursuits. Heart of Dakota is a company that I "discovered" when we began homeschooling in 2006. I was looking for something for Hailey, that would allow us to really concentrate on her reading skills, incorporate the Bible and God's word, as well as History, Science, etc. HOD was the perfect fit. By the end of the year, she was reading very well, and this year she has been able to follow the emerging reader's schedule in Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, by HOD. We switched to something else for this school year, because I was trying to find something more exciting than what we were using with Logan at the time. I wish I hadn't. The content is great, and the kids love it, but it is not going to work for us next year. Hailey will not be ready for the writing involved, and with Corbin being added to the mix of "school", I needed something that would cover all our bases but take less time. So, we are going back to HOD for all of the kids. Hailey and Logan will be using Bigger Hearts for His Glory, with Logan using the extension pack to add to his learning in History and Science. Also, they will both have their own LA and Math programs. Corbin will be using Little Hearts for His Glory for Kindergarten, but we are actually going to begin next week. He has been asking to "do school" for several weeks now, and though I've been putting some things together for him, I wanted to get something that I can just follow. So, I am very excited about beginning with him. This will last us from now until the end of his Kindergarten year, because we are going to go very slow with the program since he is beginning at 4.5 years of age. We have also begun using http://www.starfall.com/ to get him more familiar with the letters and their sounds. So, anyone who needs extra practice, check it out. We used it with Hailey too, and it really helped enforce what she was learning in her Phonics program. To find out more about the HOD products, visit http://www.heartofdakota.com/. There is also a link for the message board there, where you can get wonderful encouragement and advice about homeschooling and to ask questions about which program may work best for you.
Well, the kids have finished school for the day. We will probably not be going out today, as it is 3 degrees here, and http://www.weather.com/ tells me it 'feels like' -10 degrees. I actually went out this morning before 8:00 am to get some pictures of all the snow, and my fingers hurt from the cold. Anyway, we may play some checkers or a new Spelling game I got for the kids. And I need to get Mom to play Boggle with me, as she will not be here after Sunday. Well, y'all take care. I'll be on, or Karl will, soon, to tell some more of our adventures.