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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our 2013/14 School Year

Monday we start our SEVENTEENTH year of homeschooling! This year we will have a 1st grader, 8th grader and an 11th grader!

I have to be honest and say that the thought of already having homeschooled for 16 years with TWELVE more to go kind of overwhelmed me. No, that's an understatement to say the least. The thought of homeschooling for a total of TWENTY EIGHT years scared me to death! So much so, that I seriously considered putting my new 1st grader in a small local Christian school this year. I came so close in fact, that papers were filled out and we even attended orientation.

It was only last Tuesday that I finally made up my mind to keep him home. When I thought of paying someone else a rather large sum of money every month to use what I feel is a less than adequate curriculum, not to mention six and a half hours a day of being taught a religious philosophy that doesn't totally line up with our own, well...the answer was very clear what we had/have to do.

With all that out of the way, I am actually really looking forward to our new year.

Our first grader is fully enrolled with Seton Home Study School. We tried Seton last year for the first time, and I was VERY impressed with their program at all grade levels. It moves at a gentle pace in the early grades, but as it moves on, becomes more rigorous and challenging, but with their well written lesson plans, very doable, as everything is broken down step by step. Even though it is a Catholic program(VERY Catholic at that!) I have to say, I feel it has one of the best, if not THE best English, especially writing programs I have yet to find in sixteen years of homeschooling. While my family is not yet, and may or may not ever be Catholic, this is a program I plan on sticking with as it is truly THAT good!

My 8th grader has some catching up to do in some areas to fully prepare him for Seton's fully enrolled high school program next year. So we are still using many Seton materials, but not fully enrolled this year. Here's what his program for this year looks like so far:

English& Composition: Seton
Vocabulary: Seton
Math: Saxon Algebra 1/2 & Homeschool Connections
History: Notgrass Uncle Sam and You
Science: Life Science All Creatures Great and Small
ASL: ASL University
Latin: Homeschool Connections
Reading and Literature: Selections of novels and historical fiction from the Notgrass History book as well as the Reading Comprehension and Thinking Skills books from Seton.

Our 11th grader was already a little too old to start all over for a Seton diploma, and a bit behind in Math, so we are putting together his own program and working through the summers to hopefully graduate on time.

English: Easy Grammar.
Writing and Composition: Classes from Homeschool Connections
Science: ABeka Books Biology
History: Notgrass He will finish their World History and begin their American History
Math: Saxon Algebra 1/2 & Homeschool Connections
ASL: ASL University
Latin: Homeschool Connections
Music: Weekly violin lessons with local instructor.

For both the older boys we are still looking for a Bible/Religion program. If we don't find something that suits our needs better they will use a course through Homeschool Connections.

So, that's our plan for now. I am sure as the year progresses, there may be changes. Then again, maybe not. Having used most of these programs at one time or another, we are familiar with most and have thought our choices out quite a bit.

We're looking forward to our year. We love the structure and routine our school year brings and are looking forward to that as well as all new books, supplies, etc..