Wednesday, May 30, 2012

School Book Shopping & Homemaking LinkUp Weekend

**NOTE**  This week has been a wild and crazy one so I did not get a new post up for today's link-up!  However, I've extended the time on this one from last week so please link up below!

 Good evening!  It's almost time for the weekend!!

Tonight begins one of my most favorite times of the year:  school book shopping!  While many kids are just finishing up their school year, our family is just settling into our routine for this year of homeschooling!  In our family, it works best to school all year, taking breaks of a week or two at a time, as needed throughout the year .  We usually start our school year about the first of February and do a little here and there up until the middle of May.  Then, we really get rolling and do the majority of our school-related activities throughout the summer and fall.  We stop completely right around the beginning of November and take the holiday months off.  This works well for us!  Since we have a baby coming in January, I'm hoping to do a little extra this summer so we can extend our winter break out a bit more than usual!
Our lesson on mummification!
I thought I'd share a few of our most favorite schooling resources so you can get a glimpse of some of the fun we have learning together!

The majority of our lessons are done as a family.  This is the most sane way that I have found to school a family of 11 with children ranging in age from 12 down to infant!  The kids do have their own Math and English studies that are geared toward their specific abilities though.  I don't assign the kids a grade level---they just work along in each subject at their own pace.

For Math and English, we use books from Rod and Staff Publishing.  These are very sweet and gentle books that challenge my kids with concepts presented in a very basic and straightforward way.  Written for use in Mennonite schools, I love how the lessons incorporate God's word and proper courtesy and manners.  My kids really enjoy the "old-fashioned" illustrations as well.  Lynzie, 12, is currently working through the level 4 books in both subjects.  Michael (10) and Elisha (9) are working through level 3 in Math and level 2 in English.  Cainan (7) is just about finished with level 2 in Math and is also working through level 2 in English.  I really like that this curriculum requires copying onto notebook paper.  While the books are inexpensive to begin with, (especially when they're found on eBay.com, paperbackswap.com, or curriculum-sharing websites) the fact that we can reuse these books every year is such a blessing!

We also use Rod and Staff books for our group studies in Science and Health.

Since we're a family of history buffs, we do a LOT of different history lessons.  Most of these lessons are taught from "living books": novels and historical accounts, as opposed to textbooks.  Currently, we're discussing a couple different periods of history.  One resource we are using is H.E. Marshall's Our Island Story, which covers the history of Britain as far back as anyone has recorded. 

A second WONDERFUL series we are going through is the Mystery of History curriculum.  These lessons take portions of the Bible and match them up with what went on in other parts of the world at the same time that Jacob and Esau were fighting over their birthright or the Israelites were marching on Jericho.

The thing I love best about our homeschool is the way we can just run with an idea.  While I do have specific goals for the kids and somewhat of a routine to follow, we are free to spend a whole day reading about the many King Henrys or watching a mother squirrel give her baby climbing lessons.  What a blessing to be able to give my kids the resources and freedom to learn about things that are interesting to them.  I wouldn't have it any other way!

Please link up your favorite posts below and have a wonderful weekend!

Linking with:

Raising Homemakers' Homemaking Link-Up 
Loving Our Children Tuesday
Tesha's Treasures


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I was having problems with comments over the weekend but thankfully, I figured out the problem! Here is a sweet comment that my Aunt Sheila sent me about this post:

    "I love your posts! Wow! so "professional'! and I love all this little confetti that washes all over the page as I wave my magical cursor all over-especially in slow motion! I loved being able to combine reading/literature/history and even art/art history into one lesson, or feeding one lesson off from the other and spring-boarding from one subject to another within the same unit! Being able to use the same lesson but making it specific to the needs and goals for eah child individually but within the same class room. It was so dynamic. I'm so proud of you and your energy and ambition to fight the good fight and continue being your children's greatest teacher and advocate. It takes so much to be a good teacher and parent all under the same roof and I give you praise for a job well done that is evident in your children's growth, knowledge and talents. You are a good and faithful servant; a servant after God's own heart! You are that Wife of Nobel Character Proverbs 31:10-31. So proud of you Sarah! You are more valuable than silver or gold!"

  3. Hi Sarah, Hope all is well! I linked up a freebie, but although I show it done if anyone drops by the can grab the kit freebie & make it any way they like! Super easy to use! Although we don't home-school I try to keep Sammie working on reading & other throughout summer. I like to travel with her if I get a chance too, but that depends on funding. Sometimes we just go to family around the state & see sites.

  4. you point out the fun and flexibility of homeschooling!! If you say what my 7th grader was taught in health class....

  5. Hi Sarah,
    Happy to be able to 'talk' to you this week.
    I Would like to say I echo what your Aunt Shelia says about you.
    You are one special lady.
    My sister Home Schooled her two boys and loved every moment.
    I love your mummy wrapping demonstration.
    Have a good week
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  6. You are one busy lady but I can see how much fun you and the kids are having. Happy Memorial Day weekend!...Christine

  7. I so concur!! We only have 8, but doing more things together as a family help so much with Mom's sanity and builds a great camaraderie within the family!

    Thanks for linking this up today!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I read each one of them and love to respond back to those who visit! Please consider signing up for EMAIL NOTICES so you'll have a reminder of our weekly HOMEMAKING PARTY---and more! Have a wonderful day!

Mrs. Sarah Coller

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