Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another School Year Has Begun

Starting my 17th year of homeschooling......

My oldest 3 are all settled in their respective colleges and their classes have begun.  We began our homeschool last week and our Classical Conversations classes this week.  Matthew will start his special ed preschool after labor day.  We are so blessed to have gotten him into a small preschool that meets in a Baptist church that is 80% kids with Down Syndrome.  He will only have 7 other children his age in his class with 2 teachers.  It is a precious school that has very specific therapies for children with DS and is very language rich.  They also teach a good bit of sign language, which Matthew is so eager to learn and I have taught him about all I know.  He babbles all the time now, sometimes very loudly, and really wants to communicate.  I am so excited about him starting.  I feel like he has gotten into Harvard or something : )

Anyway, our homeschool is now in full swing. I have 5 different grades this year, as you can tell from the picture. We are again doing Classical Conversations for the second year.  We really enjoyed the structure it gave us last year and our classes we attend on Monday with the CC community.  It is also so very helpful for high school.  
There are a few things that I've changed this year......
All the kids, except one, are doing Saxon math.  I purchased their CD's that are used on the computer.  This helps so much because they each can watch their lesson in the morning and get started on their math.  Then they can watch the lady do the problems that they miss.  I also bought them each a storage box and placed good literature that is age/grade appropriate for them each to read through out the school year.  Most of my children are strong readers and love to read, but this gives me some structure for what they are reading.  Because we did Sonlight curriculum for so many years, I have a great library of children's literature.  Our schedule is similar to the one we had last year. (It's under one of my homeschooling posts) My older ones like to get up early and get going by 7:30 but we don't officially start up school with me until 9 and then are done by 1pm.  Afternoons are free for reading, running errands and, tennis, ballet, violin and piano.  
Happy New School Year!


  1. I will have to read your other homeschooling post. I would love it if we could also be done by 1 p.m. I have heard about Classical Conversations. I have a friend doing that now, and I have heard wonderful things about it. I ran into her the other day at the store, and she told me I should look into it. She is so happy with the results she is seeing.

    I really liked Sonlight too, and then got into Tapestry of Grace through a co-op and sort of drifted away from it. We are out of that co-op now, and I feel like I am still trying to find different curriculums and ideas about homeschooling even though this will be our seventh year. I ordered them Rod and Staff curriculum this year not knowing what to expect. But the price was good, and I really like all of their material. I am actually really pleased with what we have. I like their simple, godly approach. We will see how it goes. Plus, I have so much curriculum from other years that we will also be using. I have also wondered about Saxon math. Many people have said that it is the best. I need to look into it. They have been doing Math-U-See for a long time and love it. But I want to make sure they are getting everything they need for Math. They also began with Horizon. I have found that all the curriculums are so different, even for Math.

    I love hearing about what other moms are doing and how it works for your family. You have much experience!! That is wonderful that Matthew was able to get into that program at the church!! That really sounds great. I have a two year old with DS, and the next step for him at three is the school system. We will not be doing that, so it is exciting to hear what you have found. Right now, we have therapists coming into our home five times a week for speech, physical, occupational, and early intervention. I am so thankful they come into my home!! That is a blessing. They are telling me there are more home options for kids after three, so I will have to look into that. Can I ask you if your son has therapy now?? What do you think about it? I am wondering if Benji, our son, needs everything we are doing. I am thankful, but I am not sure it is all necessary. I need all the time I can get homeschooling, etc. I am also pregnant with #7 now with health issues, etc. But I feel guilty just dropping certain therapies. We are praying about these decisions now.

    It looks like you all will have a fun year!! You have a beautiful family.

    1. Hey Cara! We ordered some Rod and Staff things this year for the first time too. I'm really liking their spelling for my 3rd and 6th graders and their grammar for my 3rd grader. My 1st grader is still doing Explode the Code and my 4th and 6th grader are doing Essentials with Classical Conversations (that is their grammar and writing program which we do in a class on Monday afternoons. It is great!)
      As far as my DS son, yes we had the same thing......therapies at the house 4 days a week. It was good and it was so nice that they came to the house. I tried not to let it interrupt our HS too much, but of course it did. Most of the time, I would get Matthew started with them and then go in another room and do school with the others. I think it was worth it, but to be honest, if I had had to leave the house and take him, then I probably would of only done speech and physical therapy. He hasn't had any official therapies in the last 3 months but will get OT, PT and speech therapy in the school he will be attending. I'm so thankful for that!

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  3. Sunds like you will have a great year. I really wish my girls were staying home, they start school tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for sharing this! So happy for you and your son that he got into that preschool. Sounds great! It's wonderful that you get done around 1 every day and you have older kids. That gives me hope for the future. :) I only have two officially in school (3rd and 1st), but we also try to get done early in the day. Hope your year goes well this year!

  5. Cute picture!! Sounds like a very fun year ahead. I have almost the same grades as you, minus the 4th grader and add an 11th grader.

  6. Blessings on your new school year.

  7. Love the picture- it looks like Matthew is reading the back of his sign. So cute. Happy about his school. God is good and as your husband would say, "everything is as it should be".
    It's going to be a great school year.

  8. Thank you SO much for your input Becca!! I was thinking the same thing for us. I also think his PT and Speech are the most important for him. I love his therapist for Early Intervention, but I know he can do without it. She does give me a lot of good ideas, though. His OT is wonderful too, but I also think we could work on this stuff without it every week. Since we have started school this year, I am trying not to let it interfere with homeschooling. I am trying to have them at the table continuing with their work, and the little ones busy with crafts, etc. But it does because I am always getting prepared for them. I need to learn to let things go (like messes) before they come. I always like the downstairs bathroom perfect before they arrive because many times they have to use it. I think I am going to have to just be more relaxed. I always stay right there with them during the whole therapy session. Maybe I should be more relaxed about that too!!! You have some great tips for me.

    I also ordered the 6th grade Rod and Staff Spelling as well. I haven't looked at it yet. I ordered a lot of their material, so we are getting use to it all. I really like it, though. They have the sweetest books for little kids. I LOVE Explode the Code. It has really helped my kids with their reading.

    Thank you SO much!!


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.