Winding Road Academy Update

As I take inventory on our first 9-10 weeks of this new school year, I am surprised and excited to see how much ground we have covered. We took a head-start on school this summer by adding a subject or two each week until we were going full speed ahead by mid-August. This works well for all of us.

We have a week Fall Break scheduled which will most likely be the week of our move. This works well for all of us, too.

As for a few of the particulars, here we go:

* We are almost finished with Unit 2 of Tapestry of Grace's Year 2. There were many favorites in this Unit - including Budding Author's Michelangelo project, the book I, Juan de Pareja which had me boo-hooing through the end, following the paths of world explorers, solidifying our map skills, learning about Aztecs & Incas, geography songs about Central & South America, giggling about Henry VIII's eating habits, learning the not-so-funny side of Henry VII and his poor wives and now finishing up with Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare. This curriculum is a God-send to me. There are interesting pieces for Little Mommy and more detail for Budding Author.

* If you ever want an easy-to-use Bible option, look at the Notgrass material. We are working through the Life of Jesus. It is drawing-based... I read the story and the kids follow the drawing directions at the bottom of the page. It is quick, but memorable.

* The older two kiddos are moving along well in Math. I'm happy that our selections have survived the early test period... home schooling Moms, you know what I mean. A curriculum might look great and never make it through the long haul. I hate it when that happens!

* Latin gets me laughing ... I know, it sounds so serious and everything, Latin! Latin was one of my favorite subjects in college. I knew Budding Author would love it last year when we started Prima Latina. He does love it. I still laugh, though. Little Mommy was desperate to 'do Latin.' I laughed. Then I found this adorable 'Song School Latin' and ordered it. She LOVES it. She feels like a big girl! I'm just flat out laughing at this. My kids are 8 and 5 and their favorite subject is Latin, who would have ever imagined such a crazy thing? There is a pronunciaton difference between the two curricula. My kids don't care and I don't either at this point in their education.

* Language Arts - Little Mommy continues moving forward in Explode the Code and homemade handwriting lessons. I also do Wordly Wise K with her once per week. Budding Author also does Wordly Wise 3 once or twice per week along-side his Easy Grammar, dictation with Spelling Wisdom and now the Phonetic Zoo.

* Writing - Budding Author is working through Institute for Excellence in Writing's Student Writing Intensive, Level A. We love this. There are so many positive things about this structured writing program. We work through it slowly, with little pressure from me. There is no staring at a blank page with nothing to write anymore. Maybe it is Mom who got a clue.

* Science - Some weeks I feel like all we've done in Science is read. We are moving quickly through NOEO Chemistry I. Lest the idea of Chemistry sound too lofty for elementary, let me reassure you that this is a basic, fun introduction. Most days we read and I try to rummage around looking for supplies to do the experiments. There is great retention for Budding Author with very little interest on the part of Little Mommy. We cover Rocks & Minerals in a few weeks which I bet will pique her interest. Then we move on to Mammals and back to Apologia Elementary books, which we have so enjoyed in the past.

* My very favorite time of day has to be our Circle Time. I pull out my little black box of large index cards and we pray for a friend/acquaintance whose pictures are inside. Then we work on memory verses, other memory work, geography facts and whatever else makes a way into the box. This is easy for my 40-year old brain because it is all right in the box. No worries about forgetfulness.

We have covered much in our 4-day school week. We work from approx. 8:30 until 3:00 or so with lots of breaks and diaper changes, etc. Our other day of the school week is devoted to time with friends.

Some days I'm just shocked and amazed that this is 'working.' When we decided to home school full-time, I could really only look ahead about a day, never knowing what the next years would look like. Now, I see much more clearly that my children can learn lots by spending time with me and catching the 'love of learning' bug. And as I've mentioned in the past, I can learn lots and lots and lots by spending time with them and catching their 'zest for life' bug.

This season of learning and fun are a gift to me!


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