It’s back-to-school time again! This year, we’ll be homeschooling the following grades and ages:
- 10th Grade Son (age 15-16)
- 7th Grade Daughter (age 12-13)
- 6th Grade Son (age 11)
- 4th Grade Daughter (age 9)
- 1st Grade Daughter (age 6-7)
- Preschool Daughter (age 4)
- Little Guy (age 1-2)
Here is a peek at our plans for the coming school year.
We usually wake up around 7 a.m. at our house, and everyone gets dressed and ready for the day, some moving slower than others (that’s me!). The older kids take turns making breakfast, usually eggs with a rotating schedule of oatmeal, cream of wheat, oven pancakes, oatmeal casserole, coffee cake, or apple cake. As we finish eating together, Dad reads aloud from Keys for Kids, we all try to guess the day’s “key” (and I never can unless I’ve had my coffee), and then we have prayer together.
After breakfast, the kids do chores. Except for the youngest two, they each have a kitchen job plus a housekeeping job.
Our goal is to start on school work by 9 a.m. In previous years, we always had “together school” in the morning, but with several little ones, it’s just not working out. I recently read how another homeschooling mom plans her family’s together school in the afternoon, while the little ones are napping. I used to find myself falling asleep at that time of day, but since I’m not pregnant or with a newborn this year (for the first time in many years!), I think it would be the perfect time to give this a try.
So my plan is to have the kids start right in on their independent subjects, as soon as their chores are done. I will help them as needed, starting with the youngest ones and moving up to my high schooler. My little guy (age 1, almost 2) will probably need some attention, too. If I have any time left over, I’ll work online.
My Preschool Daughter
Our 4yo daughter is an affectionate “perceiver” who is loud one second and quiet the next. She has a great imagination, and she loves to sing.
She will be having a short school time each morning using Rod and Staff’s ABC Workbooks. We’ll just do one or two pages a day together. My goal is to help her continue to improve on her ability to sit still and concentrate. She will be learning to color in the lines, which will help her as she learns to hold a pencil and begin to write her letters. She’ll also learn her letter sounds, her numbers, and many Bible stories and verses.
My 1st Grade Daughter
Our 6yo daughter is my little “helper.” She’s rather quiet, but she also loves to play pranks on her siblings. She loves animals.
Her birthday is in November, and her skills are a little older than a first grader and a little younger than a second grader. I’ve decided to be easy on her and call her a first grader, not that it matters too much.
She loves math, so she’ll be using Abeka’s Arithmetic 2. For phonics, reading, handwriting, and spelling, she’ll be using Abeka’s first-grade curriculum. She’ll also be reading through their first-grade science book with me once or twice each week.
(I’m a big Abeka fan! I love their emphasis on daily review. It makes the work easy for them each day, but because they review so often and so thoroughly, my children learn their stuff well. I also love their handwriting and reading, which includes much Scripture. That’s very important to our family. Read my full Abeka math review here.)
She’s also taking piano lessons with Faber’s Piano Adventures. She’ll also begin to do typing lessons each day, using Keyboarding for the Christian School. I like it because it’s very simple and uses Scripture.
My 4th Grade Daughter
Our 9 yo daughter is our “exhorter,” and she never stops talking. She’s full of ideas of everything she wants to do. She especially loves technology, cameras, and video.
She’ll be using Abeka’s Arithmetic 4, as well as their reading, handwriting, and spelling. She’ll be using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy, which is a very gentle approach to science. We’ve used this book before with our older children, and I’m looking forward to using it again.
She also reads from a chapter book each day (from our family’s “library” shelves), plus she’ll be reading through the Old Testament.
She’s also taking piano lessons and flute lessons, as well as typing.
My 6th Grade Son
Our 11yo son has a combination of many gifts (just like his Daddy), and he’s pretty competitive. He loves learning about wild animals, especially fish. He also loves sports.
He’ll also read a chapter book each day, plus he’ll be reading through the New Testament.
He’ll do typing each day, plus piano lessons. He wants to start guitar lessons, but we haven’t got this all figured out yet.
My 7th Grade Daughter
Our 12yo daughter has the gift of “compassion,” and she’s a loving friend to girls in our neighborhood. She loves to sew, and she also loves horses.
She’ll also be reading a chapter book each day, plus reading from the New Testament. She especially loves biographies right now.
She’ll do typing (with Abeka’s Keyboarding text) and piano each day. She says she would prefer not to do flute any more.
My 10th Grade Son
Our 15yo son is our “administrator/teacher,” and he always has his nose in a book or in his laptop. He loves Lego robotics and anything else dealing with physics or engineering. He also loves to draw.
He’ll be doing Algebra 2 from Abeka. He’ll also be using their United States History and American Literature curriculum. He’ll also be doing Abeka’s Chemistry curriculum this year, as well as their 10th grade vocabulary.
In addition, he wants to do some advanced computer programming, using the Teen Coder curriculum, which has Windows and game programming. He’ll also be taking Science and Math for Technology, so this is going to be a science-and-math heavy year! (He’s considering a possible engineering major in college, but maybe it’s a little early to know for sure.)
Around noon, we’re planning to take a break, do some P.E. (our curriculum), exercise and play outside when the weather permits, then I’ll start on lunch. We keep lunch as simple as possible. I also enjoy spending some time with my husband. ♥
The “plan” is to put the youngest two down for naps around 2 p.m. Then we’ll do the following schoolwork together. (This is my favorite time of day.) Oh, and I should mention that we only do this on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. My husband is home each Monday, so we enjoy him instead (or do some shopping). On Friday, I clean the house and prepare for taking a day of rest on Saturday, as well as ministry on Sunday.
We use our own Bible curriculum. This year, we’re developing Foundations 4, which is a Bible doctrines and character course, so we’re trying it out with our own family. It includes Bible reading and discussion together, Scripture memory, and some Bible drill games. It should be for sale by next spring.
After Bible time, we enjoy singing together. I’m not planning anything official this year. We have a hymnbook we’re using, plus some fun folk songs that are on my shelf. The older ones are perfecting their ability to sing parts, so this should be fun.
We’ve been writing history curriculum all last year, and we’ll be using Seals and Trumpets: The Middle Ages, which is the 3rd year of world history. It will be for sale to the public by next spring, so we’ll be trying to work out all the bugs this year. This should be very fun.
We’ve also been developing our own grammar curriculum, which uses the Bible as its primary textbook and which we can use with all the older kids (4th grade and up) together. It will also be for sale soon. This is one of my favorite subjects.
Finally, I’ll be assigning them each writing assignments several times each week. We’ll finish our afternoon together with these.
In the time that’s left, I try to get some work done online. The kids take turns playing with the little ones and helping with supper. My 10th and 7th graders are wanting to start their own online businesses, so I’ll have to keep you posted on these. They also love doing arts and crafts projects, 4H projects, and just playing Legos and Littlest Pet Shops with their neighborhood friends.
After supper, no night is the same. However, as often as we can, Daddy reads aloud to the kids before bed. Right now, we’re reading an old book, Fight on for Hicklesnifter, by Stan Best. Dad and I choose books together, and our list of books we want to read is way longer than all our lifetimes combined. 🙂
I think that’s all. If you’d like, you can read more about our homeschooling philosophy and methods, my planning notebook, how we organize our toys, how we manage so many ages in one school day, and more.
If you’d like to send us a link to a post about YOUR homeschooling plans, just add it below in the comments.