Here we are back to school again in 2010!  We are off to a great start, and I must say, my goals for this year are a bit different than from ’09.

We started a new filing system.
It basically consists of a medium size crate we got from WalMart and some simple file folders.

In it we’ve placed file folders and our subjects/books/materials in each folder to separate our subjects.  They are in order according to how our school day generally goes.

So in the first file folder we have our Children’s bible., a hymnal, catechism, scripture memory charts, anointing oil, etc.  Our second file folder contains our Saxon math materials, our third file folder contains all Language Arts , and so forth.
BabyZ has been sitting at her own little desk (you can see she’s marked it up really nicely):
NyGirl now has her own desk where she can ‘officially’ do her schoolwork rather than at the kitchen table:
(***Note January 2012***I lost a few of these pictures while transitioning my blog!! Sorry!!!)
This system has really been working out well for us.
I spent the better part of 2008/2009 really attempting to discover (or maybe re-discover) what it is I truly wanted for my children.  I had just had my second daughter and was learning the ropes with having a newborn, turned young toddler in the house (a really active one at that) while trying to find balance in the discovery of my role as homemaker, homeschool teacher, writer, and web designer.  Some of those things I eventually let go of completely (like designing sites for clients) while I ended up whole-heartedly persuing others (such as writing and plugging in more to my role as a homeschool mom).

While feeling my way around the homeschool community, I found that with all of the myriads of choices in educational curriculum and methods, I would need to quickly discover our family goals for our children’s education, and stick with them.  It took us a while to find our way to where we are now.  We plucked through several ideologies on home education, and tried our hands at the Classical Education method (as proposed by Susan Wise Bauer).  I bought all of her books and to this day still use First Language Lessons.  The ideas were great, but with time I began to realize that I couldn’t fit our educational plans and goals into the Trivium– it soon began to box me in and I was dying to get let out of the “cage”.  (This is no offense to those of you who use this method and have children who are flourishing well under this type of training.  I still think it is a great method…just not for us).

We have and are still trying a few different approaches (such as Charlotte Mason and Montessori), which I guess makes us very eclectic.  And all the while as we are adapting our way of doing things we have a true, main focus which is beginning to center us as a home school now…the idea of us teaching our children in the ways of God.  This has always been a part of our family motto…just something we normally do on a typical day with our kids.  We are Christians, and therefore we are raising our children as Christians.  But with our home school, we are going beyond the idea of simply raising Christian kids.  It is becoming more of a foundation for our school, where everything is beginning to center around our studies of the Bible, worship time, etc. I never thought I would be one to go straight for the “all Christian” curriculum or to try to find specific curriculum which was religious in nature.  Our math is Saxon (pretty streamline), our science  and social studies, Houghton Mifflin, and grammar is a combination of different workbooks (Spectrum), First Language Lessons…but our history, on the other hand, is from a free Christian-based online school for homeschoolers. My daughter is really enjoying her History lessons (currently is learning about Christopher Columbus).

But the thing I noticed about how our lives are already beginning to change because of our more pronounced focus on a Christian education this year, is that my daughter seems to be all the more content and peaceful at the end of our school hours.  School also has become more fun, for the both of us.  Everything – from reciting scripture, learning the books of the New Testament, learning hymnals and receiving prayer during “chapel”, reading bible stories from the New Testament, and getting tested on spelling and vocabulary words taken straight from the bible text…has been a blast both for me and for her!  We also located a great BJU Press 3rd grade reader in our stash of books and resources which has some hearty, old fashioned, good stories.  The kind of good stories that truly are good- (the focus being on courage, honor, commitment, honesty, etc.)

So we are having a good time…not to mention we’ve got some techie stuff up our sleeves that we’re planning for the new year.  Hopefully we get the podcast some wheels and start rolling out more audios.  I kind of liked VoiceThread, but I got a little bored of it.  NyGirl definitely enjoyed Power Point so we’ll be doing more presentations of that sort- maybe next time using open source.

Looking forward to a great year ahead!