Homeschool Nitty Gritty Update

by Edie Wadsworth on March 18, 2010

I think I’ve been a little gun shy about posting on our schooling progress without even realizing it.   Because I am a person who avoids conflict to a fault,  I don’t tend to deal well with snarky comments and emails and thankfully, they’ve been few and far between.   When they come, however, they seem to either be because of something I’ve posted about faith or homeschooling.  But since this blog has replaced scrapbooking for me, I want to document our lives, even what to others may seem mundane and/or offensive.   This will be a post about the details of our schooling so  if that makes you wanna jab sharp objects in your eardrums (and I don’t blame you one bit), you might enjoy this or this instead.  (the first one is ‘why we can’t keep the law of God’ and the second one is ‘reformation theology–the presence of God’)

The rest of you, come along and I’ll tell you what we’ve been doing lately.

I snapped this photo while the girls were painting byzantine crosses with paint we made from egg yolks and food coloring.  It could be my favorite photo of the year so far.   And it wasn’t posed.  This is just how they were sitting for a brief moment while they painted.   But it reminds me how wonderful it is to see the girls become each others’ best friends.   Knee to knee.   Toe to toe.  And often hand in hand.  (and occasionally not for good and pleasant purposes)

skating

History

We cut the crosses out of sugar cookie dough and painted them with the egg tempera paint and then baked them.   And then ate them, of course.    All the while, we discussed our history lesson about how the Ottoman Turks took over Constantinople and made the Hagia Sophia a muslim mosque.  {We are working our way through the Middle Ages from Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World part 2}.   This week, we’re studying the Black Death and making necklaces of herbs and garlic (to ward off the ‘evil spirits’ that were supposed to have caused all the deaths from the plague).    This history program is phenomenal.   And on days like today when I want to be packing and purging instead of teaching,  it’s the history and literature programs that keep me going strong.   I look forward to the coming chapters on Joan of Arc,  The War of the Roses,  Christopher Columbus, and of course Martin Luther.    I’m pretty sure that I’m learning more than they are.
skatingandpainting

Literature

In general, we use an amalgamation of Charlotte Mason and the Well Trained Mind for literature which means that we read a lot and  use whole books not textbooks.

We are still working our way through the Harry Potter books and are currently reading book 5.   We read HP anytime we get a chance, usually 30-45 minutes first thing in the morning and then whenever else we have time.   I’m also making my way through The Hidden Key to Harry Potter which explains all the christian symbolism in the books.   It is utterly amazing to me the depths of symbolism and hidden meaning and wonderful christian themes in the books, not to mention the sheer amount of words that we’ve read.  {book 5 is 83o something pages long!}   I can’t wait to do a final analysis and review of the books myself.   Rowling is right up there with Lewis and Tolkein and in my estimation may be one of the most gifted and brilliant minds of our time.   We use passages that we’ve read from Harry Potter for dictation and narration.

We also still read a Shakespeare story a week from Charles and Mary Lamb’s  Tales from Shakespeare .   We have 4-5 more stories to read to finish the book— which we should finish by the end of the year.  These are ~ten page summaries of the Shakespeare plays but told in somewhat complicated old english language so that they are easier to read than Shakespeare but rich in vocabulary and complex sentence structure.   I plan to read through this book every year until they are ready to tackle Shakespeare’s works by themselves.     By the time the girls are in 5th grade, they’ll know more Shakespeare than I currently know.  Heck, they may be there already.

We’re also still plugging along through Pilgrim’s Progress (the unabridged version).   We read about 5-10 pages per week and likely will just keep reading until we finish—which may take another 6 months to a year.

The girls are each reading their own books,  which they read aloud to me everyday.   Sweet 7 year old (almost 8 year old) is reading Eight Cousins.   And 9 year old is reading The Little Princess.

We also check out books from the library related to topics we’re studying in history and science.    And I like the short biographies from the kids’ section of our library.  We just read some books on Marco Polo and the Jewish people for history and then one of the girls checked out a biography on Mother Teresa which we read aloud.   We probably spend a good 3 hours a day just reading.
homeadeplaydohhomeade playdough family by emme

Math

We have gone back to Saxon.   I still use some Singapore for enrichment but despite the fact that Saxon kinda bores me,  my girls need the review.   We’re finishing our multiplication and division tables, learning to calculate area and perimeter, learning to measure to the nearest centimeter and counting back change from a dollar.   I struggle with how to teach math sometimes.  I’m not a math whiz but I’m fascinated by people who are and I love the patterns and beauty of numbers.   I ordered Isaac Newton’s Principia and have briefly read a little in it.  It’s over my head but I really want to give my girls a classical math education and I know that Saxon is not the way to do that.    The problem is—I don’t have the skill set to do it.   I’m sure I’ll be looking for a math tutor in a few years.  Or I may need to take a class myself.   Who else should I be reading to educate myself?   Euclid?  Descartes?   There was a great blog post on Gene Veith’s blog about teaching math classically {his comments’ section is always lively and informative} but some of the commenters were over my head.    I think  most people who are committed to classical education still teach math very traditionally.   Any insight or help would be appreciated.

Grammar

We switched from Shurley Grammar to Rod and Staff.   Bauer (author of The Well Trained Mind) recommends Rod and Staff because she says they are the only grammar program that teaches correct sentence diagramming.  I had been using Shurley Grammar because the classical school my children attended used it—and I didn’t want them to fall behind if I decided to send them back.   But it’s laborious to use at home and many have said that the results just weren’t there.  The kids knew the jingles (This little noun—floating around—-names a person, place, or thing….) but then couldn’t apply that knowledge well.    I love rod and staff and we’ve found a cute online song for memorizing the helping verbs that you might like.   I still also use the Daily Grams worksheets with the girls for extra practice.

Memory

I’ve said this before but memory work is one of my favorites of the classical curriculum.  Kids have an amazing capacity for memorization and if you don’t provide them quality pieces to memorize, they’ll memorize EVERYTHING else.   We’re currently working on Psalm 40,  ”The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth Longfellow,  the states and capitals,  ”My Dearest Friend”,  the Sacrament of the Altar from the small catechism (the girls are preparing for their first communion), and a poem called  ”The Paragraph”.   They often complain about having to do memory work but they LOVE reciting things that they’ve memorized.  Which reminds me of Susan Wise Bauer’s advice:   learning does not have to be made overly fun—-it is a reward unto itself.

Science

We have used various curriculum this year.   I like Considering God’s Creation, which I borrowed from Denise.   We just finished a unit on mammals from the Handbook of Nature and are about to do insects then birds.  I did that so that we’d be doing insects and birds in the spring.   I plan to do some human body stuff over the summer so if you have any good  curriculum suggestions for that, let me know.  I’m sure I will soon switch to Apologia which comes highly recommended by so many .

Latin and Spanish

We are still so blessed to have a wonderful teacher who tutors the girls 2 days a week.   We use Latin for Children and I’ve been very pleased with their progress.  I would curl up in a ball and cry if Ms. Susan decided she couldn’t do this.     I ought to be sitting in on the class and learning with them but I often use the time to run errands or exercise.

Spelling and Handwriting

We use Spelling Workout which I love.   I used to do the traditional “one lesson a week with a test on Friday”.  But I find that my girls can easily do two lessons a week so we just do it at our own pace.  We finished our handwriting books Classically Cursive and now just use various texts to copy in cursive.   We’re now working on copying the Sacrament of the Altar from the small catechism for extra practice.

So that’s the nitty gritty.

Many of you email me about homeschooling and I hope this kind of summary helps.   I would much rather write about the abstract aspect of homeschooling–which I will likely do again soon—-but it’s fun to look back and remember the details too.

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah at SmallWorld March 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I love that first picture. Pictures like that, for me, kinda explain the whole delight of homeschooling.

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2 Get Your Martha On (Anne) March 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I love hearing about what other homeschoolers are doing. Okay, not EVERY homeschooler, but I enjoy your HS posts.

I just ordered Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany. So far, we’ve been doing science with books about the animal kingdom and now human anatomy. But science is one of my weak subjects (in my opinion) and I feel as though an offiicial curriculum would be helpful, so botany will be our guinea pig.

Love the rollerblades, by the way! ;)

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3 Tracey @7294cottageway.blogspot March 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Hi…Just want to say I loved reading this! I am not a homeschooler however my closest friend, and several of my family are. I love filling in our kids education with great ideas like these! I really am sad you have had “jabs” or negative comments ever…I really wish there was not such animosity, and that we could take and learn the best from each other. Unfortunatly there are homeschoolers who represent not so nice (like the person who suggested to me that they were creating a “superior” child)…and there are pub. school folks who simply don’t take the time to learn from and celebrate the homeschoolers…ugh..all of that to say…by the grace of God go I…my kids and the rest of the world! I celebrate you doing what God has called you to! You are a blessing!

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4 Tara March 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Edie! I love this post…I’m amazed at how many things we are doing similarly. I love the classical approach! Story of the World is one of our favorites, too!!

Post about homeschooling as often as you can…I love everything you ever say about it!

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5 Kelly March 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for sharing Edie! I love these posts! You have given me a lot to think about when the time for school arrives for my daughter! I’ve been so inspired by the thoughts you have shared on your blog!

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6 Laura March 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

yes, the writing about the abstract is much more…mmm… comes more easily for me. It’s the doing & asessing I don’t want to post about. for me, it’s the fear of criticism or suggestion, only because I can get sooo distracted! I’ve had to jump in & do it. I love reading your posts, ‘Descartes…’ future reading. I think you are the most well-read person I read, up there with Semicolon.com & a couple of others. I read quickly, but not often enough.
LOVE THE roller skates, while talking about Hagia Sophia… ha!
Been there, and I hope to go back!

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7 Michela March 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I have been “lurking” on your blog for a while, but I had to come out of the shadows to commend you on the great job you are doing with your kids! I was homeschooled through high school, and I am hoping to homeschool my future children someday. It’s such an amazing gift to give your family. The homeschooled friends I had growing up were the most well-balanced, respectful, strong, joyful people I knew. It wasn’t always easy-I remember hating it sometimes, but now I thank my mom whenever I get a chance for the sacrifice she made.

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8 Nicole Rienstra March 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Giving your girls a classical education is so great – wish I could have had this type of education growing up! And it’s even better that you get to learn right alongside your girls. Way to go!

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9 Amanda March 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm

It makes me so sad that a subject as wholesome as homeschooling would provoke ugly comments. I applaud what you are doing and would like to apply to your school….I’m 30…is that too old?

My children attend a christian school where they go 2 days a week and are home 3. We have homeschooling assignments from the teachers. Our school is trying to move to a classical format but it’s a big ship to turn. I’m VERY excited though and reading this just fans that flame!

I admire what you are doing for your girls…it’s just priceless!!!!

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10 Valley Girl March 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Edie,
You certainly are a blessing!

I enjoy every post you share.
Could you find more time for posts *wink!

You are a wonderful inspiration…
oneday I hope to be just like you! *smiles*

Valley

Wish I was closer, I would buy your house up in an instant, just because of that kitchen!!

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11 Tricia March 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I always find your homeshooling posts to be terribly interesting, Edie. I homeschooled my girls for one year, and in many ways it was the very best thing for them. I find that I am not disciplined enough, however to do them the justice that they deserve.
Your commitment to teaching your girls classically is such a beautiful testament to your love for them. Please keep sharing your journey. It’s inspiring and encouraging (even for us homeschool drop-outs. ;)

XO*Tricia.

P.S. I have been reading you in my Reader but have not been here in far too long. Your blog looks so beautiful! I love the header of the girls, and the layout and colors. SO soothing.
Congrats on your new home as well. It looks wonderful!

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12 micah March 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Edie,
Thank you for this homeschool post! You are the reason I had the courage to homeschool when the Lord said do it! I guess I never thought you got the hurtful comments and weird looks like I do….The minute I say something we are doing in school to some people in my world….they fall silent and avert their eyes and say something dismissing…I immediately feel shame…like I said something wrong? I want to rise above it and keep going…I know our word of our testimony is so important to overcoming…so I do not want to keep silent any longer.

Your curriculum is fabulous…I needed the boost on the fun of it all…I am a little tired…and we are in the middle of a move and finding it hard to know when to do what.

We do Saxon and yes it is repetitive…but the boys are really getting it. We are doing story of the world also per your suggestion. Grammar is a subject that I have been surprised on how much we are learning….we are using Easy Grammar with daily grams…I cannot say enough about this program. I wish I would have learned grammar this way. I have never heard of rod and staff but I am going to check it out cause Susan Wise Bauer is my hero ;)

Thank you for inspiring…BTW that pic of your girls is precious…It epitomizes the joy of childhood and the freedom of being able to be a child in a world that makes them grow to soon!

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13 Rachel March 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I love your homeschooling posts! They are so encouraging. We homeschooled for a semester but I was far to overwhelmed with all the little ones at home. I’m hoping when they are older that we will be able to try it again. I’d love to know where I can sign up to be one of your homeschoolers….it sounds so fun and interesting. I’d love to learn all those awesome things that you are.

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14 Mrs. Dunbar March 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Sounds like you are doing a great job. I always love the nitty gritty homeschool posts you do and which curriculum you are using and I love Harry Potter and Rod and Staff. So kudos to you!

And wow, I just read you are moving. Good for you. Change can be good. Just think of how many more projects you can take on now.

Hugs.

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15 Beth March 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I guess what I don’t understand is if someone was offended by what a blogger writes, WHY GO THERE?? personally, didn’t find this offensive at all :) This is YOUR blog, girl, write what you want!!

beth

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16 Laura March 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Edie- you’re amazing, and don’t let anyone discourage you from this awesome thing that you are doing for your kids. Post as much as you like!

I didn’t get to read most of the books your girls are reading till I was an adult. Eight Cousins is a real favorite. I read a lot of adult and inappropriate and scary things when I was your girls’ age, and how I wish I had someone to put these books in my hands then! I don’t homeschool my son and daughter, but you have inspired me to make sure that they get these kinds of books to read. Now I’m just gonna have to figure out what the great books for boys are…

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17 Lisa March 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I haven’t been out on the blogs lately and I return asking favors…lol :-/

I’m trying to win a party contest and would love your help! Would you go here:

http://thecitycradle.com/party-3-spy-agent

and leave a comment at the end of the article? Your comment will give me a vote. Thanks so much! I appreciate it lots. <3

NOW…about home schooling! I was home schooled through high school and we used a LOT of the curriculum you talk about here. I'm a big fan of Saxon math for sure. Home Schooling was the BEST thing my parents could have done for me so way to go! It looks like you do an absolutely incredible job. Your kids are blessed.

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18 Jenn March 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Okay, I’m de-lurking today to tell you, I enjoy your homeschool posts. I like to see what other homeschoolers are doing. Thanks for sharing and your pictures are beautiful.

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19 Lee Ann March 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

I love reading your posts about homeschooling! Props to any homeschool mom as thorough & dedicated as you!

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20 Charity March 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I love this post! I’m a homeschool mom (who also follows reformed theology) and your posts are so encouraging. Although we haven’t tackled Latin yet, I use much of the same curriculum and methods as you do. I have struggled a little with our history – my girls love it – I just haven’t taken advantage of the activity book. I love that your girls were doing the activity while you read their lesson. I am going to do that from now on. We are almost out of the Ancient Civilizations. We will start Middle Ages next school year and I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for these post and keep writing what you do. You never know how the Lord may use you.

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21 Kim W March 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Isn’t it the truth, as homeschooling moms, we are learning so much! I’ve homeschooled my kids for 13 years and I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your homeschooling with us. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, (since you redid your laundry room!) I love it!

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22 Cairen March 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I am so impressed with your homeschooling. Your children are so blessed to have a mother so involved in what they are learning. I don’t have kids in school yet, but would love to incorporate the idea of home being a place of learning and growth. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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23 new every morning March 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm

As a brand new homeschooler to a 5th, 3rd and kindergartener, I am like a sponge when it comes to other mom’s ideas. Thank you for sharing the details. We started Story of the World (Ancient history) this year and you’ve made me excited about what’s to come next year. LOVE all of your creative ideas!!!

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24 Vicki K March 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm

It’s fun to read your homeschooling details…we used Story of the World and some of the same programs you have mentioned. As far as Saxon goes, the children need to have a solid base of the nitty-gritty and then the beauty of it can follow – so I think you are making a good choice.

Blessings on you!

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25 Nanci White March 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Dear Eddie, I am a public school teacher in Chino Hills, CA. I just wanted you to know how impressed I am with your homeschooling program and your commitment to your family. I love reading what you are teaching your children, and using classic literature inspires me to be a better teacher. Don’t listen to the critical remarks, and keep doing what you are doing. You are an inspiration, and someone who is following God’s design for you and your family. Sincerely, Nanci White P.S. I love what you did with your home and can’t wait to see what you do with your new lake house!

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26 Angie March 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Why on earth would anyone leave negative comments?? Why are they here if they don’t like what you have to talk about? My religion my be different then yours but my goal is the same. Raise spiritual, intellegent, loving children. You are such a source of inspiration. You make me want to strive to be a better parent and person. You make me want to read more and do more in life. Thank you for sharing your stories.

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27 Angie March 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Oops! Noticed I spelled intelligent wrong. Of ALL the words to misspell it HAD to be that one!?! HA! ;)

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28 Julia in West Des Moines March 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Your school sounds a lot like ours for the core subjects! Love charlotte mason, love SOTW for history, love classical education (hubs and my background). Can’t help you with the math. We’re committed to Saxon, we’re both engineers. We don’t do spanish, we use Seton for english/grammar, and spelling power for spelling (love the concept to death). I say whatever works for you, works for you! Keep on keepin’ on!

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29 Ruby Red Slippers March 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I love how you showed what you are doing in homeschooling.
My kids attend a private school, but homeschooling is so impressive to me-As a teacher myself-I love all your curiculum! {I want to spend three hours a day reading-how heavenly!!!}
Keep up the good work-

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30 Amy F March 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I very much enjoy both your homeschooling and religious posts, although I am neither a homeschooler (yet) or Lutheran! So I say, “keep ‘em coming!”

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31 Cat March 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Beauty of hs!!!

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32 Bethany March 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I say keep the homeschool post coming! I’m taking notes- we are starting homeschool with our twins this fall. I loved to see that you are using Charlotte Mason literature, so far in my homeschool prep, her method has been my absolute favorite. Keep sharing!

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33 caitie March 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I think that is it great that you are posting the details of your schooling! You and your girls are doing so many great things, why NOT share? I am planning to homeschool my boys in the future (oldest is only two, so we have a little while), so I find it very inspiring to see what other families are doing. I also liked that you discussed the history lesson WHILE the girls were working on their crosses. That’s a great use of time!

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34 patty March 18, 2010 at 6:59 pm

great photos, edie, and i love that toe-to-toe one, too!

{love the banner, too!}

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35 Paula March 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

We use apologia for science…we use sequential spelling…we use growing with grammar…don’t think I could handle rod & staff…

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36 Crystal March 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I just wanted to say that your homeschooling posts inspire me. It is so evident that your girls are receiving an education that is rich in what really matters. I want to have a similar atmosphere in our home.

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37 Trudy Royston March 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm

I cherish the memories of my sons homeschooling days, warts and all! Thank you for sharing your world.

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38 Jaime March 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Thanks so much for the run down on your homeschooling practices! I’m just beginning my journey into the homeschooling world. My daughter is just in kindergarten but I find any and all advice somewhat helpful for me.
Blessings,
Jaime
ps. We just moved from the city (which I’m a City girl through and through) to the country (which is my husband homeland, hehe). Let’s just say moving takes Adjusting, and working through the emotions of Change. Even though I’m super thankful, I give myself grace in knowing all good things come with a little adjusting and trial. Best of blessings through your move!

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39 Anna March 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Thank you for sharing! Even though your girls are much older than mine, I still like to see what others are doing during their days

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40 Melanie March 18, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Love your post. We are on about the same page curriculum wise. I am struggling with my math and science choices for next year.

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to dive into the waters of Living Math, but I really think I should. It seems whenever I dip my toe into of a more hands on approach to math and fewer pages to fill out, my daughter’s understanding explodes. Somehow that’s not enough encouragement for a math-phobe like me.

It’s so much easier with a check list! *sigh*

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41 Laura March 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I love reading about your homeschooling adventures…and the daily plodding, too. My daughter is finishing up kindergarten and our first year of homeschooling. I am looking forward to traveling a similar road to yours–modified classical education, using Bauer, Mason, Singapore or Saxon, etc. So fun to hear about what you do and how it’s going–it’s an encouragement and an inspiration.

Thanks for sharing!

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42 Laura March 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I love reading about your homeschooling adventures…and the daily plodding, too. My daughter is finishing up kindergarten and our first year of homeschooling. I am looking forward to traveling a similar road to yours–modified classical education, using Bauer, Mason, Singapore or Saxon, etc. So fun to hear about what you do and how it’s going–it’s an encouragement and an inspiration.

Thanks for sharing!

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43 Candace March 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

it won’t let me comment! uggg…trying one more time!

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44 Ginny March 19, 2010 at 12:13 am

I found your blog because of your turquoise kitchen, but you introduced me to The Well Trained Mind, which I loved. My kids go to public school, but we homeschool math, reading, and Latin during summer. Please keep your homeschool posts coming! And good luck with your move!

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45 melissa stover March 19, 2010 at 12:21 am

hate that you get mean comments.

love when you share your schooling. rod and staff? hmmm. i use shurley, but i may switch on your recommendation.

i hate math. i skipped the paragraph on math.

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46 Wendy March 19, 2010 at 12:47 am

Hello, I just read what you were using with homeschooling. I was just suggesting MathUsee, it works well with the Charlotte Mason you are using, is very hands on. I have been doing it with my boys and they love it. If you check out the website you can give your girls a quiz to see which books they could start in.

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47 Judith March 19, 2010 at 12:53 am

Edie, I’ve never posted on your site, but have been blog-stalking you for a year now… I love your commitment to homeschooling your girls. My husband, a mathematician, says that Euclid and Descartes are perfect and I have full faith and confidence you’ll understand them! He also recommends Pascal. I also wanted to let you know that I take classes through the Harvard Extension School and am in class with a number of teenage homeschoolers who supplement their home learning with online classes at Harvard… something to shoot for? =)

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48 Jessica March 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

Thank you for giving us a homeschooling update! I love reading your updates! I cannot imagine reading with the kids for 3 hours a day, but I really need to do more. You’ve given me some ideas!

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49 Linda (a bushel and a pickle) March 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

Love reading about your home schooling adventure. Like any adventure, it does have ups, downs, risks and victories. My girls and I still miss home schooling sometimes and rally miss Story of the World and Apologia Science. We stopped this year for all sorts of reasons including a major move. And I get the urge when I read posts from you like this one.

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50 Maria Burke March 19, 2010 at 2:32 am

This is our first year home schooling our girls and I have to say that I’m SO thankful I found your blog! I get to much inspiration and encouragment from here, you have no idea. Reading your blog feels like a hot cup of creamy coffee (and I LOVE coffee ;-) Thanks for doing what you do – and for posting about it!

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51 Jenn March 19, 2010 at 2:52 am

LOVE your homeschooling posts! We are going to home school our boys (they are three and one, and I do as much as I can with them already), and your posts make me so excited about it! I plan on using a similar approach as you are using with your girls, so I find it very helpful to hear specifically what you are doing as it seems so vague to me right now. I know it’s going to be hard so I’m doing lots of reading and preparing now! Thanks for sharing!

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52 Staci Amy March 19, 2010 at 3:08 am

Soooo completely impressed with all your homeschooling :) Those girls are going to change the world some day :) Or at least make it beautiful with all those crafts :) And wahoooo about your new house ;) You should sooo totally paint that deck turquoise :)

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53 Jacquelin March 19, 2010 at 3:24 am

I always love reading your homeschool posts, well all your posts for that matter. This is our first year and we are using Sonlight, which I love for the Core. I am going to change some things up for the next school year. It is interested that you say you switched from Shurley to Rod and Staff? Do you feel your girls “get” it now? I love having my girls at home. The picture with the skates is priceless. Do you have both of your girls doing 3rd grade work? So for all the questions :-), thanks for doing all you do, you won’t be getting any jabs from me!

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54 Melanie March 19, 2010 at 3:48 am

I love your homeschooling style Edie! Especially love your History and literature focus! We are following a similar approach except we use a mix of Charlotte Mason and Story of the World, with a bit of Sonlight thrown in. We’re also reading aloud from Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales From Shakespeare. We really love it and the kids often perform the plays or make up puppet shows as a narration. Lots of fun! Today we began The Taming of the Shrew. I’m really enjoying reading this one aloud :) We’ve listened to Jim Weiss’ audio of this story so the pressure is on for me to read it well!! I love the pic of your girls in roller skates too – that’s style! Hey, I totally love reading your blog and find you very inspiring – you rock!

Mel xx

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55 Trina March 19, 2010 at 11:58 am

Please don’t hesitate to post your homeschooling updates! A quick peruse through the comments indicates that there are a whole pile of us who appreciate them. As homeschoolers, it’s so great to hear encouragement and get a taste of what other families are doing. Keep ‘em coming!!

I always think of math as the one subject that I have to handle a bit differently than everything else. It requires a bit more bookwork than what we usually do. We’ve been using Math U See for a year and my school aged kids (10 and 7) LOVE it. It’s logical and each lesson includes review – a very big plus in my mind. I am learning tricks I wish I knew in Grade 4!

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend! I suspect it will be busy for you… :o)

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56 Candace March 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

By golly I’m determined to get a comment posted. :)

Did you use a different Latin program before the one you mentioned? I see on their website they have Song School Latin, which I am thinking about using…what do you think? We used Prima Latina this past year, and while I loved the dvd aspect of the curriculum, I don’t totally love the overall thing.

How old are your girls, too? They look like they could be close to my girls ages but maybe they are a bit older?

Yesterday I looked at every Latin program online that is possible (I think!) and just am not sure. I’m also really crazy and thinking of starting Spanish! LOL!

Finally, we are starting a human body unit also, in June probably. The Magic School Bus human body DVD and science kit look to be really fun, I think we’ll try those! :) And there is a free lapbook and unit study on Homeschool Share that i’ll use parts of too…

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57 KB March 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Apologia just came out with Human Anatomy! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. We are finishing up Apologia Astronomy in a small co-op setting with five boys and 3 girls ages 7-10 years. A huge asset was the purchased notebook guide I found to accompany it on Jeanne Fulbright’s website. Teaching this group was very rewarding.

I hope you like Apologia, too.

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58 Taylor March 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Edie, just wanted to say that all of the content on your blog is a blessed inspiration. I’m young and still trying to figure out a lot of things, but I so enjoy seeing you be continue to be youthful and joyful as a mother.
Also, I know this is not the right post but congratulations on your lake house! I’m thrilled for you because of the beautiful blessing of a house … and thrilled for me because it will be so fun to read about your move.

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59 Ruth March 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

I completely enjoy your homeschooling posts. Story of the World is one of may favorites. I love Charlotte Mason and classical education. We have done Considering God’s Creation and Saxon math. Right now we are using Math U See.

We love Easy Grammar here. My son was not doing well with grammar. He could not remember what a noun, verb, pronoun, etc. was. With this program he has improved so much in this past year.

We love to spend time reading here, too. I love the Charles and Mary Lamb Shakespeare. When I taught first grade I would read that to my class.

Thanks for sharing this great post. You are an encouragement to so many.
Ruth

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60 Elaine/TinkerVerve March 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I have some sweet/fond memories of the years that I was able to homeschool our kids! I wouldn’t trade a day of it!!!!

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61 jen March 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm

First, let me just say that I love, love, love your homeschooling posts; they are the reason that I started reading here. So let me encouraging you to do more homeschool posts.

Second, I have to tell you that when I read that paragraph about your take on HP, I leaned over to my husband and said, “OH, I love it! There are Christians out there who THINK!” Yay!

Math: I don’t know what category it falls into, but we use Horizons math and really, really like it. It uses a spiral method of teaching that has been great for my kids. It allows them to work on fairly complex things one little “bite” at a time. My third grader (who went to public school last year) just about died at the beginning of the year, because it was so different than what she was used to. After a couple weeks though, she was up to speed; now she is doing great and is able to apply her math to her everyday life.

Thanks for the link to the helping verbs song – will share it with my third grader this week!

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62 Ohio12 March 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I am one that always asks for more on homeschooling. Thank you so much for indulging us. Please continue to update us occasionally! Love the poem and literature recs especially

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63 Misty March 21, 2010 at 12:19 am

Your homeschool sounds wonderful. I know people are very opinionated on this topic but I say keep up the good work. We LOVE Story of the World Book 2 also. It is a fabulous history program. I am learning right along with my kids. And I was SO happy to finally meet a Christian homeschooler who shares my opinion about Harry Potter!

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64 Rhonda March 21, 2010 at 2:50 am

Wow – this post just impresses me even more! Physician, mother, teacher… sheesh lady!

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65 Ann Onomus March 21, 2010 at 4:44 am

I found this link on a Christian site. I was shocked to see that you are teaching your children the Harry Potter books. Maybe you are not aware of the danger of exposing children to the occult themes in the books. Please do some research on this.

Grace and peace

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66 maddie March 21, 2010 at 5:18 am

Edie~ thank you for this post. I also have two girls I am homeschooling. My teenage boys just started at the local public school (of course, we were *never* going to send them, but circumstances changed and thank the LORD, it’s been a good experience so far.)

Your post is just the boost I needed to get on track with my girls. We have always done a relaxed classical method along w/ Calvert curriculum. I have been rather burnt out the last year and a half and I realize that my girls are missing out on a lot of good reading that I did w/ my boys.

I am going to work on some reading goals for the rest of this school year…much thanks to you!:)

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67 the domestic fringe March 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I don’t homeschool and I’ve said at least a hundred times that I don’t want to/won’t homeschool, but recently I have been considering homeschooling my daughter next year. I can’t believe how many of the same books you are using that I have on my list. I don’t know for sure that I’m going to homeschool (money is definitely an issue), but if I do, I’d like to go the classical education route. It’s nice to hear from someone who is using some of these books.

As a side note, I have one of the Apologia science books…not for schooling, but just because and I love it. My son does too. I know they have one for anatomy/physiology.

Great post! I’m always afraid of the mean comments too. I use a multitude of disclaimers in my posts. ;-)
-FringeGirl

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68 Julianna March 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. My oldest child is in his first year of public school, but I think all parents, who choose to, home school everyday. We certainly want to be the authority of our children’s learning, whether grammar or Bible knowledge. I love your blog. Thanks!

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69 Ashley March 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for your real life account of homeschooling. My kids are still little but we are seriously considering a classical homeschool education. Your blog is very insightful and inspiring to me!

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70 Talysa March 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Love this post Edie…I commend you for sticking to who you are on your blog…despite what someone “may” think or say. You are a homeschooler!

With my oldest (8th grade) we used Saxon up through 6th grade…he was BORED to death. Not because it was remedial to him…he was still being challenged…but because it was a workbook and written in black and white. He is a VERY visual learner. I was basically torturing him with that style of Math. We discovered Teaching Textbooks and what once was like pulling teeth to get him to do has now become what he requests to do first in the day! :-)

My daughter is in 4th grade and this was our first year switching to Teaching Textbooks with her….she isn’t the visual learner her brother is…she will devour workbooks if you let her…BUT she seems to love the Teaching Textbooks and has done very well with it. TT is repetitive like Saxon..always incorporating what they have learned but a bit toned down in that area from Saxon.

We hit a rut last year in 3rd grade while using Saxon and learning Multiplication…she was in tears and so was I. We would do the flash cards over and over and she would have it…then I would ask her a problem and it was like she never had studied them. I knew I had to take a break and regroup with her. What I discovered was that she can’t memorize numbers well but she CAN however memorize songs and stories very well…so I bought “Times Tales” which is a mnemonic device to remembering the upper harder problems of mult. WOW! What a difference it made!

And for Spelling…we LOVE LOVE LOVE Spelling Power! Can’t say enough about this program!

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71 emily March 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

Hi Girl! I had to pop in and say I 100% agree with you on JK Rowling. O my word. Brilliant. I’ve been meaning to read that symbolism book and I’m glad for this reminder! This post makes me want to homeschool my kids :)

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72 Kim March 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Another homeschooler here – awesome post! We follow TWTM and do a lot of the same things you do. We LOVE IT! It sounds like we’re in the same place in the SOTW2 book, also. I remember NOTHING from my history classes, and love re-learning along with my kids. :)

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73 Anna March 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Hi Edie! I am coming out of hiding to say I LOVE your homeschooling posts! LOVE them!! You give me ideas too!! I also homeschool – a 3rd, 2nd, K, and a 2 year old to keep things interesting. ;) I mostly use Seton, but I add in as much literature as possible, Latin (Prima Latina/Latina Christiana), piano, and Saxon. We started listening to The Story of the World in the car/during lunch because it was so darn interesting! (in addition to our Seton History) Do you use the workbooks as well or just the cd’s?? I could see myself switching to only SOTW.

Here is another question for you!! Do you have some sort of reading goal/list at the beginning of the year or quarter to quarter??
Thanks for the post!!

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74 Sarah April 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I have yet to not enjoy – any of your post. So 1st a big thank you for being a fun, unlifting, & inspirng place to visit. I almost always learn something. Or have a good laugh, it’s fun to know that others think the way that I do.

I loved your old house & wait with excitment to see what you do to this one to add your personal touch, I know it will be great.

I love & even refer back to your post on Home schooling -we are in our 2nd year. I have a 2nd grade girl & 4th grade boy. I’m trying hard to use the Classical education. So I always check out your sources.
Which leads me to my question – which version of Pilgram’s Progress are you using. I assume not the modern one, but wanted to ask. I’m looking into those.

FYI -we used Apologia this year, Astronomy. We really liked it & will continue with it next yr.

Thanks again & blessings to you!

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