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Finding Our Rythmn

I am having a wonderful school year despite the rocky start. We're on week 13 and although not one of my children are on Unit 13 of their Heart of Dakota Guides, I don't feel behind. I don't think we are either. Every day school gets done and the children are moving forward. Yes, I'd love if they were all on Unit 13 but I'm not going to stress out if they are not.

Through this school year I'm slowly finding our rhythm. I don't know how to explain it but I'm content this year. I have switched a few things but I don't feel like I'm curriculum hopping anymore. 

With Lance this year I felt a little lost with math. I didn't really want to purchase a program. We have enough workbooks laying around. Two Mathematical Reasoning and two The Complete Book of Math. They are both great and Lance doesn't mind using them but I was having trouble doing the pages with Lance. Professor B Math is a wonderful program and I love, love, it but I like books. Something I can hold. 

I had looked at the new elementary math books from Life of Fred Life math and The Verbal Math Lessons in the past but because of my busy homeschool schedule I didn't think I'd be able to fit them in. 

The past weeks Caleb and Brent have been taking on more of their school subjects. We still meet for writing, English, StoryTime, Geography, Poetry, and Bible, but they are doing science, math, history and Bible reading on their own. This is a huge help to me. Because the boys are doing these subjects on thier own I now wanted to try Life of Fred and The Verbal Math Lessons. 

A few weeks ago I ordered Life of Fred for Lance and this week I purchased The Verbal Math Lessons. I'm finding I really like Life of Fred. It feels like more math is getting done, even though we are not doing pages and pages of math.

This past week we have been memorizing the days of the week and talking about the months, practicing our skip counting, and memorizing the 7's addition facts. Before when using the workbooks all I was doing was teaching addition math. Lance, was learning what numbers are the difference by two, for instance 6 and 8 are so he is suppose to circle those two numbers, but he wouldn't circle the # 3 and 4. He wasn't able to wrap his little brain around it, so we were stuck. I tried explaining it but he just wasn't understanding what I was asking him to do. If I moved on we were skipping many pages, so math  wasn't getting done daily.

I decided to give Life of Fred a try and it's wonderful. I read the story, we went over previous chapter stuff, practice making addition facts with 7 using unifix cubes, then he'd do the LOF math page.

I ordered the next LOF book and purchased Life of Fred~Dogs. As soon as it arrives I'll have Ethan using the program too. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am comfortable with this math move. If this was last year I'd have felt like Life of Fred Math was not enough or there was no time to use it. 

So that's one thing I've added this year. He will still use the workbooks but in a relaxed kind of way.

Another area with Lance that I'm content with the pace we are going and what we are using is phonics. This year I have Horizons Phonics, Phonics Pathways, and Ready2Read. It sounds like a lot but I don't feel stressed or overwhelmed. His main program is Phonics Pathways. Horizons is a solid program but I'm using it as seat work. Ready2Read's purpose is for fluency practice, fun, and to read some words by sight.

My main goal is to use Phonics Pathways daily. Everything else is gravy. If it gets done great but if not my world is not going to fall apart. Do we have to finish the whole Horizons workbook, no and I'm fine with that. I like using it because it's giving him writing practice and at the same time he is practicing his reading.

Here is Lance reading to me via Phonics Pathways.
He is practicing his nonsense words.
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  1. Content! What a great word. So glad that the LORD has lead you there. I'm having to learn to be content because God did not give me children who strieve for A's like I did. He gave me children who just want to get the work done so that they have time to be free to create all the things He has floating around in their minds. And if that means C work, then that is fine with them, as long as they have time to create. It is such a mind shift for my personality, and one I've had such a hard time coming to grips with. But with HOD, at least I'm not wondering if they are doing enough. I will say that the one thing I REALLY miss from TOG is the teacher's notes. There are days when I really feel like I have not a clue what they are talking about because I don't have time to read what they are reading. I'm thinking that this summer I'm going to have to make it my business to read their history books ahead of time and take notes myself so that I have some grasp of what I'm doing.

    But Praise the LORD that you are having such a productive year! Blessings.

  2. Thank you Teacher/Mom. I agree about having some sort of parent guide with HOD. I would love a little more direction, just to give me an idea of what they are reading and such. I did read a few of Annette's books but like you I'll be reading over the summer.
    I am thankful to the Lord about feeling at peace.


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