top five :: school time

I could easily list the Top 5 books we like or my Top 5 curriculum choices of the moment. But since the kids themselves are an integral part to this whole homeschooling thing (ha), I figured it would be good to consult them and ask what they enjoyed about school. Here is the blended list of all our opinions:

1 :: Sonlight’s Read-Alouds. This is our third year using Sonlight’s suggested read-alouds. It’s basically just an age appropriate list of novels to read to the kids, but the kids have loved almost every book. Many book lists include books that kids read to themselves, but I love that with Sonlight’s suggested books, they are being exposed to stories and language that are more advanced but still not too over-their-heads.

2 :: I love geography. I love maps and globes and random facts about countries. My kids enjoy it, too, but they especially love it when it’s taught using Little Passport’s Sam and Sophia. Each month they get a package in the mail with contents about a specific country from travelers Sam and Sophia. They get stickers for their world map and little suitcase that comes with the initial package, a country sticker for their passport, a letter from Sam and Sophia, a postcard or picture, and a little souvenir. It’s simple but quite effective for my kids, and they love (LOVE) anything that combines mail, stickers, and postcards.

3 :: Writing With Ease. I’ll be honest. This choice for the Top 5 is more mine than Elisha’s, but this writing curriculum is one of those things that clicked for both of us. He enjoys writing (in small amounts), and I wanted something that combined copywork and narration and dictation using real books. This is a great fit for us right now. The amount of writing is not overwhelming, he’s not forced to come up with his own words or ideas, yet, and each week focuses on a different fairy tale or novel. To read a great intro to the philosophy behind this kind of writing, click here and scroll down to the Writing With Ease Instructor Text PDF sample.

4 :: SAINTS. This is essentially p.e. for homeschool kids. And they absolutely love it. And I absolutely love it. I drop the kids off once a week for three hours of everything from archery to capture the flag to dodgeball.

5 :: Spotify. This might seem like a random choice, but our days are filled with music. Most mornings start off with something along the lines of classical music. They have their own preferences and requests for when they are drawing or having snacks. If we are talking about a certain song or instrument, it’s a great resource for tracking down specific music. And the Jim Weiss story productions are listened to almost daily.

And to end, my boys make up stories all the time. Sometimes they make sense and other times they are random and creative thoughts. The little boy who narrates this video by a film student would fit in quite well around here.

(via The Wine Dark Sea)


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