Thursday, August 28, 2008

Getting ready

As homeschoolers, we are getting ready to begin our new school year. I am trying something different this year, well, at least with the youngest and oldest....I did not purchase pre-written lesson plans this year. The last several years, I used the CHC curriculum lesson plan guides for my youngest. This year I borrowed a friend's MODG third grade syllabus. I will adapt this to suit our books and needs. This really means a good deal more work on my part. The oldest(at home-we have 2 in college and one who is floundering right now) is a freshman this year. He will be using Saxon Algebra 1 and Switched on Schoolhouse for language arts, science and history. He enjoys the computer, so I am hoping SOS is a good fit for him. My daughter, who is 12 and driving me crazy with the attitude, will be following a MODG syllabus. Again, we will use only some of the books that are listed. We will substitute in other areas.

The biggest difference for her, however, is her math program. Her math program is called Applying Mathematics and is from Systematic Mathematics. I started using "Systemath" last year, and we saw a 57 point increase in DD's standardized test scores. Systematic Mathematics does not use a spiral method as most math programs do. It, instead, teaches one concept at a time until it is mastered. It also uses real life applications (recipes, sqare footage of houses) to demonstrate a concept. This year there are amortization schedules for a mortgage in the packet.

My daughter does not enjoy math at all. She does not even like this program. The program includes DVD's and a CD-ROM that includes all the worksheets, answer sheets, tests and other data for the year. I enjoy the dry wit of the teach on the DVD's. His name is Paul Ziegler, and he is a retired math teacher who set out to create a math program for homeschoolers after retiring. He occasionally makes an error, but usually catches himself. I know my daughter usually catches the errors. Of course, maybe this is part of the education...if the student is catching the errors, the student is really learning.

Well, I need to make a couple of phone calls and gather the last few books I will need for the school year. I also need to drop off a book to a friend.


Please bless our little homeschool as we begin a new year. Please be with me as I write out lesson plans. Please help me to be more attentive to my children's needs. I need to remember that they learn better from hearing things. This really means I need to read out loud to them at least some of the time. Please help me to do this. Our little homeschool is dedicated to Your Grace. Help us to remember to call on You in prayer each morning as we begin.



one_big_pain said...

Blessings to you and your home-schoolers! There are so many benefits to getting an education this way. By using daily events as examples and as a classroom you not only are teaching your children - but opening their minds and hearts to be taught by every day by their surroundings.

Have an exciting year in your 'classroom'! -cindy

AOP said...

Hello, my name is Kristi Gesink and I work for the Homeschooling Company Alpha Omega Publications. As I read through your blog I noticed the mention of our Switched on Schoolhouse Program as some of the curriculum you use to teach your children.
We would like to say thank you very much for mentioning our company on your blog and we would appreciate it very much if you would please post a link from your blog to our site

Thanks so much and if you have any questions please email me at

Have a wonderful year teaching your children and may God bless you!

Kristi Gesink
Alpha Omega Publications