The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us


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First Day of School Pics – August 2015

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Just wanted to put up some updated pics of the kids while we slowly work on getting some more in-depth updates ready.
Clockwise, starting from the top left:
Miriam (1st grade)
Josiah (Preschool)
Heaven (2nd grade)
Ariana (4th grade)
Victoria (Pre-K)
Aiden (Preschool)
Esther (2nd grade)
Liam (5th grade)

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Homeschooling Questions

O.K. this is a use-and-abuse-my-oh-so-wise-and-more-experienced-homeschooling-friends post.  I have many questions, and I thought it would be easier to get to all of you here since many of you read our posts.  If you don’t homeschool or don’t plan to, this probably is not a post that would interest you at all.  🙂

I pretty much had all our curriculum picked for next year until I got wise counsel from a friend that it might be best to wait for a classical approach another year (starting 1st grade instead of kindergarten).  After doing some research, I completely agree that at least Liam will be benefited more if we wait.  So, that means we’re back to the drawing board, and now I’m not sure how to balance what he needs.

Science–do you really need it at the kindergarten level, or is it best to simply explore the world God gave us?

Math–I’m looking at Horizons, but I have also heard many good things about Math U See.  Does anyone have any insights here?  I like the order and repetition of Horizons, but I want some hands-on learning for my kiddos.

Critical Thinking–Just want some thoughts and explanations here of benefits/negatives to adding this in.  I did Sonlight’s workbooks last year but was disappointed that they didn’t really teach Liam how to do the activities.  Though he did improve throughout the year, the workbooks felt more like tests to me than instructions.  After some research, I’m really enjoying The Critical Thinking Co., but I don’t know if this is even good or what would be best to buy (I’m kind of having one of those “Let’s buy it all!” moments–praise God for a husband who is able to balance much better that me!).

As far as Sonlight K, I most likely don’t want to buy the whole curriculum, so what did you like/dislike the most about that program if you used it?  What about Readers 1?  Do you think the books are worth it or would I be better off checking out books from the library?  We are already using a phonics program we love, so I’m really just asking about readers here.

Co-ops–ahhh!  What do you do here?  Some of my children really excel in group settings, but one (and I mean one) of the reasons we are homeschooling is to be able to cater to each child’s needs.  Sometimes I feel like co-ops can look just like a typical school setting that just happens to consist of only homeschooled children.  I would love for a co-op to be 3-4 families that meet in the evenings so dads can be involved that only teach subjects that typically work in group settings (I’m thinking electives here [music, art, P.E.] instead of math or science, etc.).  Does that even exist, or would I need to create it?

What do you do over summer break?

People required to chime in to as many questions as possible–any homeschooling Sojourner who reads this, Kacie, Becky, Anna Lee, Vickie, and Christie.  If you don’t, I will circle “no” on the next “Will you be my friend?  Circle one” note you pass me.  🙂