Sunday, March 29, 2009

A quiet Sunday - ahhhh.....

We're enjoying a quiet day today. After church and lunch (and a quick game of cribbage), Chris had to go to work (he's so diligent). Abby is down for a nap and Allison is playing. We read a Magic Treehouse book. This is a series of books that include scientific and historical facts as part of their stories. Allison enjoys them.

I just thought I would mention something Chris and I found amusing this morning. We received comments about both the girls when we picked them up from Sunday school. The nursery workers asked if Abby had brothers. They were sure that she had picked up her rowdy ways from having several older brothers and were quite shocked, actually, to discover that she only has one older, somewhat demure, sister. They actually asked us if Abby ever tackled Allison to the ground. Sadly, we said's something we're working on! Shortly thereafter, we picked up Allison. Her teacher ran after us to say that she can tell Allison is obviously spiritually sensitive and really loves the Lord. She's so proud of Allison. Needless to say, Chris and I were very amused to hear two such contradictory comments about our daughters in such a brief time. We can only pray that Allison continues to love the Lord and stand firm in him....and that Abby will also grown in God's love and learn to be a little more gentle! :)

ALERT: The following part of this posting is mainly about my homeschool stuff, so you can feel free to skip it if you're not interested! :)

Last night, Chris generously provided the time I needed to (finally!) finish reviewing the different homeschool curriculum available. I needed to get this accomplished because Allison is basically finished with Kindergarten and on to first grade work. I had found one program (BJU Press) that looked like a good fit in many areas and included every subject, but I wasn't satisfied with the price or the amount of time required (about 1&1/2 hr teacher prep time per day, 4 hours teaching time per day/five days a week). We currently hold school for about 3 hours/day four days a week (with maybe 1&1/2 hour teacher prep time per week), therefore this seemed a bit exhaustive and unflexible. (I should also mention that we take a year-round approach to teaching. This allows us to take our time and leaves no lag time between grades. If Allison were in public school, she would not complete Kindergarten until the middle of June and start 1st grade in September. With our approach, she will be starting 1st grade in April and will be half way through the "school year" by September.) The material seems solid, however, and I believe it presents the material in a way that Allison will enjoy and easily learn from. I went through a lot of their sample material and decided that the teacher's guides were not necessary. First of all, let me state, for the record, that teacher's guides can be very helpful for many people. They are, however, a huge cost as they are very expensive and each subject requires a different guide. I believe that not relying on the guide will give us greater flexibility. SOOOO....after much reading, research, review studying and prayer, here's what we will be using for 1st grade (beginning sometime in April):

Adventures in My Father's World - this covers Bible, Science, History, Geography, Music and Art in a unit study on the United States. It looks like a lot of fun!

BJU (Bob Jones University) Press - 1st grade Math, 2nd grade Reading, 2nd grade Phonics, 2nd grade Spelling. We will be starting right off with the 1st grade Math (the beginning will be review) and 2nd grade Spelling. As far as Reading and Phonics go, I will be finishing the 1st grade Abeka workbook, that we are using now, before starting the BJU program.

Abeka - 2nd grade HandWriting. Allison will finish up the Abeka 1st grade HW unit before starting the 2nd grade unit. We are currently using Abeka for HW, so this should be a smooth transition. I considered using another program for HW, but Abeka is one of the only ones that presents cursive writing so early. Their program is really well presented, I believe, and Allison enjoys it very much so we will be sticking with it.

I know some of you have been praying for me about this decision. It's been a long and frustrating search, but I really feel that this will work for us AND I managed to cut the cost down from what I initially believed I would have to pay by $220 - praise the Lord!

Allison starts swim lessons on Friday and I will be taking Abby in the toddler pool to play during the lesson. Chris is pretty envious, so he may end up spending his lunch break at the pool with us! Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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