Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Combining my older kids: Take a Look Tuesday

Welcome to Day Two of the 5 Days of Back to (Home)School Encouragement! Blog Hop! 

Today the topic is "take a look," with one idea being to talk about something that is new to your homeschool.  I had a few ideas of things I could write about here, and sat down to write one thing.  However, it occurred to me that the biggest new thing to my homeschool is just how much we are doing together this year.

One of my favorite read-alouds from those early years
Back when the kids were little (defined here as preschool and elementary), we did 'group school' for a huge part of our day.  We were using Sonlight, and I truly loved that time.  We had some amazing years in there reading such amazing books.  All of us.  Even if the little ones weren't remembering any of it.  I do know that they picked up on things that were totally appropriate to their age.

Somewhere around Connor's 7th grade year, keeping them together just fell apart.  They were in 7th, 5th, 3rd, K and PreK, and I could no longer target the oldest two and let the younger ones get what they could.  We had also recently joined the Homeschool Review Crew, so it was pretty easy to have them all moving in separate directions.

I missed our together time, but every time I tried to bring it back, we floundered.

I've now graduated two, so the students I have at home now are in 11th, 9th and 7th grades. I didn't exactly set out to combine them all, but it sure seems to be falling into place.

Our Sonlight shelf -- with their elementary US history below
The biggest thing was that Thomas needs US History, and I do try to combine my high school students as much as I can, so that means Richard will do US History this year too.  I presented them with a few options, talked about pros and cons of each, and they chose Sonlight Core 100.  I had also decided that it would make sense for Trina to do US History also, with a focus on earning a bunch of the America Heritage Girls badges.  I had a few ideas for how to accomplish that, but one day on the website, I noticed that this is recommended for ages 12-16, grades 7-11.  Trina is 12, in 7th grade.

So an idea was born.  Why not combine all three of them?

I presented some options to Trina, and she glommed on to the "Sonlight with her brothers" plan.  No hesitation, no doubt.  The plan is to definitely do the history, and to just listen to a lot of the literature.  And we do the majority of this out loud, because I want to really be a part of it all.  Discussions are so much better when I understand what is being discussed.

We are also going to be adding in the White House Holidays Unit Studies that were reviewed by the Crew a couple months ago.  Starting with Labor Day next wek.

For English, the plan was to work through Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings.  Richard, Thomas and I were all excited about that.  And then... and then everyone started on a huge Narnia kick, and we started talking about Further Up and Further In, which is intended for grades 5-8, so it is allegedly too young for my high schoolers.  But the more we looked at it online, the more we talked, the more we felt this was right.  All of us can do this, together.

Combining our CS Lewis study with actually doing the lit assignments for a few of the Sonlight titles (Tom Sawyer, To Kill a Mockingbird) and some other writing assignments from Power in Your Hands (going very slowly through that!) will comprise our English credit.

I think it is going to be fun!

We are using Apologia Health and Nutrition (watch for a review next week!) for both boys.

Science hasn't been totally decided yet, but at least Richard and Thomas will be doing that together.  I'll touch on that tomorrow.  And I may be making them all do Spanish as a group too.

If that is the case, we have five fairly "core" credits they are doing as a group.  Math is the one area where each student will be doing their own thing.

I am so stinkin' excited.  We've started Sonlight, and the Health.  We're starting CS Lewis this week.  The rest is waiting until after Labor Day.

Go check out some of the other posts in this hop!  There is a linky at the bottom, and here are a few of the folks who planned to be posting:

Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Patti @ Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Yvie @ Gypsy Road


Stacy said...

We have had Further Up Further In for a few years now and I haven't been brave enough yet to try it! I want to do it when both of my boys are old enough to enjoy it! Hope there's some review stuff on it soon I'm interested to know what you think!!!

Amanda Hopkins said...

I love the idea of doing things together! Now that my middle two are both active in homeschool, I have found a lot of things we can do together! It is so much more fun to have multiple ideas and opinions when it comes to the lessons.

Dawn said...

We loved Further Up and Further In. We did it in middle school, but it could easily be used for high school.
Blessings, Dawn