Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Year, New Ideas

We're back!  It is the start of third grade.  I can't believe how quickly the summer went by.  We did not do much "school" during the summer but we spent a lot of time outside, took a few trips to the zoo and aquarium, and read a lot of books.  Ms. Q has decided that she does not want to make lapbooks this year.  I am more than a little disappointed about this.  I really, really like lapbooks.  I like looking for templates for minibooks, I like getting colored paper and cutting out intricate shapes and folding them.  But alas, Ms. Q has said no.  I guess I will have to wait to get my fix until M is old enough for lapbooking!

So what ARE we doing this year?  I thought about using a boxed curriculum but I had difficulty finding one that can be used in a Charlotte Mason style and is secular.  Creating one from scratch just seemed too difficult with a toddler and an infant taking up most of my time.  We are totally loving Lesson Pathways.  We will be using the majority of units in 3rd year History, Science, and Language Arts. Lesson Pathways provides many of the resources for each unit as well as great hands-on projects and assignments and is FREE!  We will be supplementing with "living books" from the library and there is plenty of room for Q to follow her passion of the moment.  Ambleside Online has a great schedule of artists, composers, and topics for nature study.  I'm not sure if we will follow it exactly but it's a good start. We are also trying out Math U See, we kept Growing with Grammar, Handwriting Without Tears, and Explode the Code.  I know the workbooks are not in keeping with the CM style but Ms. Q likes workbooks and she really needs some help with these subjects.

Little M is starting "school" this year.  He is only two years old so it will not be actual school but he is too interested in what Ms. Q is doing for her to get much done.  He likes to climb up on her work table, lay on top of her papers, a grab her pencil out of her hand.  He loves it when she screams about this and it takes almost a half hour for the chaos to end.  So Little M is going to school.  I bought some large plastic tubs and I filled them with all sorts of goodies that Little M likes.  Each one has different items inside like puzzles, flash cards, paints, markers, play dough, glue sticks, safety scissors, you get the idea.  He gets a different box each morning and he can only use the items inside during school time (from 9am until lunch).  So far so good.  He has not bothered Ms. Q while she is working, although sometimes she gets distracted watching him work on something, and he is quiet while she and I work together on a lesson.  Every morning he asks if there is school today and he actually cried on Saturday when I said there was no school that day!

Well that's my plan for the year: here's hoping for a great year!


Dana said...

We’re so happy you’ve discovered for your homeschool. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at

Be sure to stop by our blog and Facebook page for more education inspiration!

-Christina S. Team Member

Jess said...

We used some of the pathways last year and really enjoyed them. Both Quin and I are looking forward to using them again this year. I love the blog too. Thank you so much for making our homeschooling so much simpiler and enjoyable.