Category: Homeschool

School Happenings

IMG_0054
Cute as a button! ūüôā

Since I last posted on schooling we’ve made a shift that has made a huge difference for us. ¬†We’ve switched most of our subjects over to Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) and it has been a tremendous help. ¬†We are still using Christian Light Education (CLE) for our learning to read students and beginning math grades because it’s great and I know how to use it already ūüôā no sense in changing that. ¬†So why did we change to ACE?

  • self paced learning
  • self lead learning
  • guided parental supervision
  • the bible and character lessons are in EVERY subject
  • yes the cartoon drawings are out of date, but the content is not ūüôā
  • free’s up my mind space for the rest of life! ¬†No prep work or lesson planning needed

What have you been doing to make school easier, but still effective for your goals in your family this year?

Using McGuffey’s 2nd Reader

 photo mcguffey_primer_lesson_1_cat.gif

For my up and coming 3rd Grader we will be utilizing McGuffey’s 2nd Eclectic Reader (revised version) which is estimated to be for the 3rd and 4th grade..¬† It can be purchased digitally at Dollar Homeschool and printed as needed or printed and bound. ¬†You can also find free copies online with some searching, but the scan quality usually isn’t quite as good and some titles are difficult to find. ¬†Buying them from a source such as Dollar Homeschool saves you time and ensures you are getting the best quality scanned documents available.

Every time a lessons is read the student will…

  • FIRST: Decode the pronunciation of the vocabulary words at the beginning of each lesson, utilizing the phonetic markings and the key to pronunciation located at the beginning of each of these books.
  • SECOND: Use a dictionary to look up any the vocabulary words they are unfamiliar with and write them in their own “Book of Words” along with their definition and study them for memorization to be “quizzed” by mom at the end of the week. ¬†I believe that about half way through the 3rd reader, some word definitions are added at the bottom of the lesson. ¬†These should be copied into the “Book of Words” and studied for memorization.
  • THIRD: Read the lesson.
  • FOURTH: Give an oral narrative about what was read and discuss what we can glean from it.

We will do one of the below per lesson on a rotating basis…

  • Select a portion for Copy-work (narrative may be skipped if the copywork portion is extensive). ¬†Use as handwriting practice.
  • Dictation (Mom will read a selection, which is to be written by the student and then corrected for grammatical/spelling errors). ¬†*There is a guide to punctuation at the beginning of the 3rd reader which I will use as my “check list” and as a guide for my students to study.
  • Making Sentences using Vocabulary Words for the week.
  • Recite (read the selection aloud).

I believe we will attempt 1-2 lessons a week at this point and each lesson should take approximately 15 min from my day and about 20-30 min from the student’s day. ¬†When we make it through this book, if we find we are ready to move on to the next book we will, but if more time is needed we will use McGuffey’s 2nd Alternative Reader (also on the Dollar Homeschool CD).

What I hope to accomplish…

  • Increased vocabulary¬†
  • Dictionary Skills
  • Increased comprehension
  • Practice in Handwriting and Attention to detail
  • Practice summarizing
  • Practice in proper punctuation & spelling
  • Exposure to moral truths

I think this will be an excellent investment of time :).

Using McGuffey’s Primer and 1st Reader

 photo mcguffey_primer_lesson_1_cat.gif

I have one children who falls into this category right now and have several up and coming ūüôā so I’m laying out the plans now.

We will be utilizing¬†McGuffey’s Primer and 1st Eclectic Reader – revised version¬†(this is for children who know all their basic sounds and can decode short words according to these sounds “elementary” sounds). ¬†Again, they can be purchased digitally at¬†Dollar Homeschool¬†and printed as needed or printed and bound. ¬†You can also find free copies online with some searching, but the scan quality usually isn’t quite as good and some titles are difficult to find. ¬†Buying them from a source such as Dollar Homeschool saves you time and ensures you are getting the best quality scanned documents available.

Every time a lessons is read the student will…

  • FIRST: Decode the pronunciation of the vocabulary words at the beginning of each lesson, calling attention to the phonetic markings. ¬†Make flash cards of phonetic symbols that are introduced and drill for memorization.
  • SECOND: Talk about the meaning of the new words.
  • THIRD: Recite; Student reads aloud to mom.
  • FOURTH: Retell the story to mom in own words – talk about the lessons we can learn.

We will do¬†one of the below per lesson¬†on a rotating basis…

  • Select a portion for¬†Copy-work¬†(in the beginning lessons may be short enough to copy entirely). ¬†Use as handwriting practice.
  • Dictation:¬†Mom will read a sentence, which is to be written by the student and then corrected for punctuation and spelling errors. ¬†Gradually increase the length of dictation.

I believe we will attempt 2-3 lessons a week at this point and each lesson should take approximately 15 min from my day and about 15-20 min from the student’s day.

What I hope to accomplish…

  • Phonics practice
  • Increased vocabulary
  • Increased comprehension
  • Practice in Handwriting and Attention to detail
  • Practice summarizing
  • Practice in proper punctuation & spelling
  • Exposure to moral truths

Using McGuffey’s 3rd Reader

 photo mcguffey_primer_lesson_1_cat.gif

I have two children who fall into this category right now and am determined to figure out how to utilize older texts to cover major areas of language arts. ¬†I’ve read several different “guides” for how to use these types of texts, but I need a routine of some kind. ¬†So here is what I’ve come up with to get us start and I’ll post later in the summer how it’s working out for us.

We will be utilizing McGuffey’s 3rd Eclectic Reader (revised version) and the Progressive Reading Course Book 3 (these are all approximately for grades 5-6). ¬†Both can be purchased digitally at Dollar Homeschool and printed as needed or printed and bound. ¬†You can also find free copies online with some searching, but the scan quality usually isn’t quite as good and some titles are difficult to find. ¬†Buying them from a source such as Dollar Homeschool saves you time and ensures you are getting the best quality scanned documents available.

Every time a lessons is read the student will…

  • FIRST: Decode the pronunciation of the vocabulary words at the beginning of each lesson, utilizing the phonetic markings and the key to pronunciation located at the beginning of each of these books.
  • SECOND: Use a dictionary to look up any the vocabulary words they are unfamiliar with and write them in their own “Book of Words” along with their definition and study them for memorization to be “quizzed” by mom at the end of the week. ¬†I believe that about half way through the 3rd reader, some word definitions are added at the bottom of the lesson. ¬†These should be copied into the “Book of Words” and studied for memorization.
  • THIRD: Read the lesson (duh, lol)
  • FOURTH: Write a short narrative of what was read, and/or the lesson that was learned if applicable, in written form. ¬†Use vocabulary words if possible.

We will do one of the below per lesson on a rotating basis…

  • Select a portion for Copy-work (narrative may be skipped if the copywork portion is extensive). ¬†Use as handwriting practice.
  • Dictation (Mom will read a selection, which is to be written by the student and then corrected for grammatical/spelling errors). ¬†*There is a guide to punctuation at the beginning of the 3rd reader which I will use as my “check list” and as a guide for my students to study.
  • Making Sentences using Vocabulary Words for the week.
  • Recite (read the selection aloud).

I believe we will attempt 2-3 lessons a week at this point and each lesson should take approximately 10 min from my day and about 20-30 min from the student’s day.

What I hope to accomplish…

  • Increased vocabulary¬†
  • Dictionary Skills
  • Increased comprehension
  • Practice in Handwriting and Attention to detail
  • Practice summarizing
  • Practice in proper punctuation & spelling
  • Exposure to moral truths

I think this will be an excellent investment of time :).

Oh my achy back!

We’re preparing for three days of fun and learning at our local Classical Conversations Practicum (practicum is a fancy word that means – a¬†practical section of a course of study). ¬†They kids will be attending the learning camps which include Latin Camp, Geography Drawing Camp, Play Camp and then the good ol’ nursery while MommyScott (me!) will be getting some tutor training as I will be tutoring at our local campus this coming school year. ¬†I love the practicum (this will be my third) as it has been a chance to refresh the vision of why we do things how we do them and it get’s me excited to start the new year of work with my kiddos. ¬†I was a substitute tutor several times this past year and it worked out well, so I am hoping to be blessed with the same sort of “smooth sailing” I experienced before. ¬†Baby is due Nov 29th, just after our first semester of CC ends (God is so funny with how perfect the timing is!) and then we’ll enjoy 6 weeks off before the next semester begins.

So why my achy back?? ¬†Well I’m up late, doing those few last minute things that must be done and I am almost finished, but oh my back! ¬†My tummy is growing and my back can’t take standing up quite as long as it use to. ¬†So I’m taking a moment to rest, to get excited about tomorrow and then I’ll finish cleaning up my kitchen and head to bed. ¬†What’s keeping you busy for the next few days?

And for your viewing pleasure, here is some Henry cuteness to brighten your day :D.

Adventures with McGuffey’s Readers

Over the past year, I’ve heard the name “McGuffey’s Readers” floating through the air as I read blogs and interacted with other homeschooling moms online. ¬†I knew they were published a long time ago (1879 for the revised editions), I knew that they were once used in One-Room school houses across America, and I knew they were a non-consumable resource that could be used from learning to read through the high school level, all of which appealed to me.
They are available to view online for free, and had I been ambitious enough, I could have printed them for myself! ¬†After looking them over for a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that they would be a good investment for our family and instead of placing an order for the consumable workbooks for LA that I originally planned on purchasing, I purchased our very own set of McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers & Spelling Book, revised editions. ¬†Once they arrived, I spent a week looking them over, doing more researching online to learn even more about how others have used them. ¬†I took the knowledge that I gained, my own personal philosophies and outlined my simple plan for each of my students (there currently are three who will use these).
To be continued…. ūüôā