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homeschool

Growing Up

Simple Questions from Saxon Math

As we progress through Saxon Math’s lower elementary levels, I fall more in love with the simple process for teaching math it provides. As I have written before, I need the help Saxon offers. Not just help: I need a script!

Thankfully, Saxon provides the exact words to say and the exact questions to ask at each stage of each lesson. I marvel at the simple ways it teaches concepts – like fractions and division. I definitely would have benefited from the Saxon methods of incremental development and constant review had I known about it in my elementary years. In fact, I am learning things as I teach my kids that I would love to have known!

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Growing Up

Saxon Math 5/4 Prep

This entry is part 23 of 24 in the series Homeschool

This will be our fifth year of homeschooling, our fourth year of teaching Saxon Math. And, I have a little secret. Pssst….I LOVE SAXON MATH! Not a highly popular opinion to those looking for something more fun for their students. But having taught three levels of Saxon Math successfully, I marvel at the easy method of helping a student to make connections for herself. I only wish I had been taught using the Saxon method in my grade school days!

A have another little secret. Pssst….I LOVE SAXON MATH PREP! Ahem…well, once I figured out how to prep for it, then I loved it.

Having solved the prep problem for the first three years of Saxon Math, I am taking on the challenge of prep for Saxon Math 5/4. To which you may be wondering: Isn’t 5/4 supposed to be more independent? Aren’t we just supposed to tuck the textbook and the worksheets book into our elementary student’s hands and stand back, hand extended to receive the completed and perfect work of our star student?

Not a question.

Not a struggle.

Just lock and load and off you go.

I don’t know if my student is ready for that.

I don’t know if I am ready for that.

Here are the two reasons I am prepping Saxon Math 5/4 for my 4th grader:

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Growing Up

Pennies from Heaven: Homeschool Savings

This entry is part 22 of 24 in the series Homeschool

Homeschooling can get expensive fast! The options out there for curricula are endless. The temptation for purchasing all.the.things. is real! This is not a post about which curricula to choose (although I will offer some suggestions). Rather, this post is about saving money on whatever curricula you settle on.

The suggestions I offer are, as always, super simple. So you may have thought of them before. But maybe there is some small blessing in here you can pass onto another. Let’s get started.

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Growing Up

Rough Schedules: Shakespeare

This entry is part 9 of 24 in the series Homeschool

I am in the planning stage of teaching G Shakespeare, following the Ambleside Online schedule of one selected Shakespeare play per term. And there is almost NO guidance of how to go about this on the Ambleside website. Forum-diving has proven none too helpful.

I must admit my excitement about teaching Shakespeare – the real-deal Bard stuff – is a bit over the top. As such, I have spent a bunch of time looking into just how to go about doing it. And I have reflected on what has worked well for us in our early explorations of Shakespeare.

Similar to a multitude of other things in our homeschool journey, I am taking the dive-right-in approach. We shall sink or swim based on the sturdiness of the small raft I fashioned in the form of these rough schedules I have crafted.

I am sharing them here. Not because I have gotten it all figured out and am ready to tell the world of my brilliance. Rather, humbly, I offer these rough schedules as a way to cast a small amount of light down the tunnel.

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Growing Up

A New Gathering

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Gathering

It has been such a long time since last summer when I created a year’s worth of Gathering Placemats for the 2019-2020 school year! My little idea to create simple placemats to share beautiful things with my kids was inspired by my desire to create a morning time routine that worked for us and didn’t make too much work for me! The original placemats were inspired by my kids love of reading the backs of cereal boxes.

Thus, as I sat down to start making the Gathering Placemats for the summer of 2020, I had all sorts of ideas of where to go with them. But it was my kids who once again inspired me and the result are these simple Gathering: Birds Placemats.

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Growing Up

Simply Independent Reading

This entry is part 15 of 24 in the series Homeschool

Lately I have noticed that we stand at a precipice. Once we step beyond it, we will be officially out of early-elementary years and into…e-le-ment-ary years? What does one call the later years of elementary? I always hear the term early-elementary and I can fully understand it. But not often is there a specific designation for the 4th and 5th grade years. Nevertheless, here we stand on the threshold between the two.

And, can I just be real for a moment? It excites me! Thrills me in all my optimistic homeschool teacher places! I know, I might be alone in that regard. But it is just SO neat to see my student ready for this.

On the other hand, she is ready for more independent learning. And I am NOT ready for that. We have been in this from the beginning, she and I. We have struggled through the harder parts of learning discipline (the tantrums, the tears, the triumphs gained at the expense of comfort). And now she is ready to take some of the reins herself and go for it.

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