Monday, June 20, 2016

End of the Year Wrap-Up ~ Finally Done


It's hard to believe we have finished up another year of homeschooling! I swear it seem like this school year just started. It flew by really fast.....too fast if you ask me. Of course the kids don't agree. They are thrilled summer is here.
 For the most part, we are done with this year's lessons.  We are still working on math and the kids have to complete their end of year testing. We didn't quite get to all that we wanted to cover this year and that's fine. We will pick up anything we didn't cover next year! One of the many advantages of homeschooling.

So our homeschool lessons were pretty full. Did it all work? Nope, of course not. Every year I plan (or over plan) our lessons. So what did we enjoy? What did we not enjoy?

Here is what we were using this past year.....

Religion~ Faith and Life 6, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, Baltimore Catechism, and Classically Catholic Memory Delta Year.

Religion went pretty smoothly. We actually made no changes to this. We added a few saint stories, crafts, and other resources to our study, This was important during Advent and Lent. We learned a lot and are looking forward to our new books for next year.

English~ Voyages in English 5, Voyages in English 6, Editor in Chief, Diagramming Sentences, Catechism in Rhyme (handwriting)

English was a mess! We started with Voyages in English. I really didn't like it and the kids were not enjoying it, so we switched to Seton English for Young Catholics. Sadly, this was worse than Voyages in English. We ended up using Here to Help Learning and Logic of English. These worked for this year, but we are switching gears again next year.


We dropped Latina Christiana 1.The kids had no interest in learning Latin and I really didn't want the battle. I figure we will pick it up later or they can choose to learn a different language of their choice. We did focus on Latin prayers and hymns using our CCM Delta book and the Chant CD kit. 

Math~ Horizons Math 4, Saxon Math 65

With math, we scored a 50% success rate. Michael has done well with Saxon 65 and will continue to more through the books. Therese on the hand had some issues with math. We found Horizons Math lacking in explanations. We really didn't care for the layout of the book or the way concepts were taught, so we switched back to Saxon 54. This was going fairly well at first, but then the old issues we had with Saxon resurfaced for her. Saxon works fine for her if it is review, but once new concepts are introduced it becomes a nightmare. She just doesn't understand how they explain the concepts. So we stopped Saxon 54 and used some online math programs for her. LearnBop has been one of her favorite online programs that we tried and used. She is still using it during the summer. We also started using Rod and Staff Math this summer. It seems like the perfect fit for her. I think we will continue with it next year.


Spelling we made a lot of changes. We changed EVERYTHING! Michael found the Spectrum Spelling 6 too easy, so we switched back to Seton's Spelling for Young Catholics. They have a strong and solid spelling program. We did quit the program a few months early because he was scoring 100% on his tests. I decided to end spelling for him and work on his writing skills. Therese switched spelling because of a program we reviewed with the TOS crew. We switched her to Phonetic Zoo Spelling. She loves it. She can listen to the lessons on her own and correct her work. She loves the independence it gives her.

Poetry~ The Harp and the Laurel Wreath, Classically Catholic Memory Delta Year

This worked and we changed nothing. We read about the poets, learned the poems, and discussed what the meaning was behind the poems.

Geography~ Classically Catholic Memory Delta Year, Online Resources

This year, the kids learned about Continents & Oceans, Latitude & Longitude, South America, Central America, and Africa! We used the maps included with the CCM Delta year and maps and flag coloring pages I printed offline. It was a success!

U.S. History~ Classically Catholic Memory Delta Year, Pioneers and Patriots, History Study Time Travelers The Early 19th Century, History Study Time Travelers The Civil War

This was a favorite of the kids. They loved learned about the pioneers and heading west. They enjoyed it so much that we moved rather slowly with it. We took ALL YEAR to get through this part. We talked about heading west, the Oregon trail, the Santa Fe trail, the Gold Rush, various Native American tribes. We postponed the Civil War until next year.


We spent a lot of time with the CCM science sections. We were supposed to cover plants, biomes, and the human body. We talked about plants, seeds, and biomes. The kids wanted to learn more about biomes, so we spent a few weeks on each biome. This slowed down our science lessons. This put our science study of the human body on next year's schedule. The kids had so much fun learning about the different biomes that I wasn't concerned about pushing back the human body.
The kids were part of a science class through our local hoemschool group. In that class, they learned all about the oceans and the animals that lived there. They enjoyed this class, learned a lot, and had fun learning with their friends.

U.S. State Study~ Library, Online Resources, Notebooking Pages

Sadly, we never got around to this all year. We are picking it up again next year with a few changes since the kids are older.


Bird Study~ Memoria Press What's that Bird?, Peterson Field Guide Birds, Peterson Field Guide Color in book, All About Birds website

There was just not enough time to cover this, so we are doing this for our science next year. The kids are excited we will get back to it next year, They were bummed that we didn't get to it this year.


I though this program would be an added resource for our plant study from CCM Delta Year. We did the first 2 sections. After that the kids asked not to do it anymore. They found it rather boring.

Art~ 9 week study of various artists.... George Seurat, John James Audubon, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grandma Moses 

This got changed up too. We ended up using an art program we reviewed this year. I still have the lesson plans for the artist above. They'll go with the history and science we are learning next year, so I'll just bump them to next year.

            Music from the different time periods we will be covering in history   
                 ex. Civil War, Pioneer Days, War World I & War World II

We studied our hymns and listened to songs from the pioneering days. We usually did this while cleaning, working on projects, or in the car.

As you can see, we made a lot of changes to our curriculum this year. We found a few things that worked for us. It definitely seems like we found more that didn't work for us, but that's O.K. One reason I love homeschooling is that we can change it up and find what does work for us. There is always ways to learn. You don't need tons of workbooks. You just need the thirst for knowledge.



Reflections on our School Year 2016


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