Monday, August 6, 2012

T.I.P.sters: Schooling Kids of Different Ages

This week is Back to (home) School at our house.

Gavin is beginning 5th grade, Maddie will be in 3rd grade, Owen is entering 1st grade, Benjamin will be 4 in October, and Alaine is turning 2 in about three weeks. 

photo credit: Kati

I love how the start of a new school year signifies a fresh start.  We are making a few changes this year and going back to some old favorites, too.  (There are numerous links in this post.  Click to find out more about each product or book.  Some are Amazon affiliate links, some are not.)

Because I have five students to teach and care for, our goal is to do and learn the majority of our studies together.  With the exception of math and English, we are successful!  

"The Togethers"

For Bible this year, I have chosen to read aloud to them directly from the Bible, instead of a Bible story book or Bible study book.  We are beginning with Section 1 of this daily Bible reading plan for children

We are beginning the scripture memory box system for Bible memory which I hope will help all of us to retain the verses we're learning long after we're done memorizing them. 

We will also continue to learn with the What's in the Bible? DVDs during family devotional time. (The series is finishing up the study of  Old Testament and will begin releasing the DVDs covering the New Testament in January 2013.)


For history, we are beginning The Mystery of History, Volume 1 by Linda Lacour Hobar.  After scouring the library for the past four years during our living book approach to American history, I am looking forward to reading through a living textbook where everything is in one place!  I love how The Mystery of History is an integrated history program that weaves Biblical and secular history together chronologically.

We're also doing a weekly geography study using  Maps,  Charts, and Graphs: States and Regions with the three older kids sharing a workbook.  


For science, we are doing a living book approach to astronomy.  After the success of our living book and hands-on  study of trees last year, we are going to recreate the idea by learning about the moon, sun, comets, asteroids, constellations, and planets.

Our study of the human body that we completed this summer for health could also count for science.  

For art, we will continue our study of fine art.  This year, I've chosen to focus on two artists.  We'll study Grandma Moses from August through December.   We'll read a few biographies and focus on one of the her paintings each month.  Last year, the kids enjoyed trying to copy/sketch what they saw in each piece of artwork so we'll probably do that again, too.  During our second semester (February through May), I'm torn between Georgia O'Keefe and Edward Hicks.


For music, we are using Christmas Carols for Kid's Heart (Hymns For A Kid's Heart, Volume 3) by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada.  Everyone is excited about singing Christmas carols all year long.  We have used both Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Volume 1 and Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart in previous school years.  We'll read a short story or description of a song, then listen or sing along to the music on the accompanying CD for several weeks in a row.  Doesn't get much easier than that!

"The Independent Work"

I've had difficulties choosing a math program that we're all happy with.  I've struggled to find the  balance between engaging, challenging, affordable, and enjoyable.  Gavin will begin an older edition of Saxon Math 65 this year. I plan to have him do only the even-numbered problems every day (because 30 problems is a lot for any kid!) I'm hoping this is it and we can stick with Saxon through middle school and high school.

Maddie and Owen will doing Math Basics Grade 3 (from School Zone) together but with separate workbooks.  They are also begging to do the (non-consumable) Times Tales book by Jennie Von Eggers so I'll probably dig that back out by mid-year.  (If your children are having trouble with learning their times tables, Times Tales is the way to go!  Gavin learned the times tables in TWO DAYS using this book!) 


Maddie and Owen finished phonics last year so they are improving their reading proficiency by reading to themselves and reading aloud to me.  For handwriting, Maddie is beginning A Reason for Handwriting: Book C which introduces cursive and Owen will start  Mastering Manuscript  Book 2.  

Gavin will continue working through  Language Lessons for the Very Young: Volume 1 and Volume 2(from Queen Homeschooling) which combine copywork and grammar.  He loves the short (5-10 minutes  a day) lessons.  He'll also continue Natural Speller by Kathryn Stout. 

Have you made plans for your school year? 
What are you learning this year?

We're pleased to welcome another Guest T.I.P.ster this week! Suanna from Enjoying My Family will be sharing how she Schools Kids of Different Ages.  Please click over to her blog to read about her ideas...and tell her we sent you. 

As always...take a moment to visit my fellow T.I.P.sters,
Allyson and  Christy.
Coming Soon:
August 21: Teaching Kids to Read

Linking to...

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. Looks like a great year. We love the What's in the Bible dvds.

    Popping in from the blog hop.

  2. I want to get the What's in the Bible dvd's. They sound great.
    blessings, Dawn

  3. I hope MOH is just what you were looking for!

    just an FYI we all LOVED Grandma Moses, LOVED her. ... but NOBODY enjoyed O'Keefe.

    here's to a great year!

  4. It looks like you have a fun year planned. Saxon Math was more successful for me than some of the other programs out there when I was growing up. It has a lot of repetition which is what I needed in Math. I hope you've found the program you like.

  5. We will be using MOH for history as well this year! This will be our first year and I'm pretty excited about it!

    Hope you have a great year!


  6. Looks like a wonderful line up. I always struggle with bible. Last year we read from the bible old testament but I felt stories would be a better fit for my kids. (sigh) Wishing you a fantastic year.

  7. We love the "Hymns for a Child's Heart" series. The music is beautiful. Hope you have a great school year!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...