Getting ready for the new school year

Last night we all went to the new homeschoolers meeting hosted by CFE (Christian Family Educators), which is the local branch of CHEF (Christian Home Educators Fellowship) of Louisiana.  Our school year starts a month from today, so I thought I would post today about our upcoming year.

Homeschooling in Louisiana is a little more regulated than it was in Michigan.  When you decide to homeschool your children, you must inform the state board of education of your decision and chose to register your homeschool under one of two classifications.  You can opt for the home study option or the private school option.  The home study option requires a little extra paperwork, along with a statement from a third party that the children are working at or above grade level, but registering your students under this option makes them eligible for college scholarships from the state.  The private school option requires only a letter to the state board of education stating that you are homeschooling and the names and ages of your children.  Both options require you to have 180 school days, however, there is no requirement that you teach every subject on every school day.  Since none of our children are in high school (yet – that’s only a year away!) we are going with the private school option.  Now we just need to design a school letterhead and send our letter off to the state.

We are using a mix of curricula this year for school.  For Bible and Social Studies, we are trying something new this year.  Both Rebecca and Timothy will be using the same book for each class, but will have slightly different assignments.  We are studying biblical worldview in Bible with Who is God (Hay and Webb).  For Social Studies, we are using Around the World in 180 Days (Apologia Press).  This should be interesting having both big kids together for these classes.

As for the other subjects, Rebecca will be continuing on in Algebra this fall.  We finished 4 of 10 units in Algebra this past spring, so she will most likely finish up with this class before the end of the year.  Not sure if we will move on to Geometry in the spring or just spend some time reviewing.  I guess we will make that decision once we see when she finishes Algebra!  Rebecca will be using the 8th grade Lifepac for language arts (Speaking & Writing Skills) and will be working through Physical Science (Apologia) to round our her coursework.  For computers, Rebecca has asked if she can start a cooking blog.  Friday will be our library and computer day this year, so she will be responsible for updating the site at the end of each week.  Once we get the site up and running, I will provide a link her on my blog.

Timothy will be in 5th grade this year and will be working through 5th grade math and language arts Lifepacs in those subjects.  He is really excited about science this year.  This year he will be working through Zoology 1, Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (Apologia Science).  Timothy loves animals and is really looking forward to the second book in this series – Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  I have no idea if we will get to the second book this year or next, but he is definitely excited about it.

Linden is going to be the biggest challenge for school this year.  After demanding that she go to “real ‘cool” all last year, she has done a complete 180 degree turn.  She has thrown several fits this summer when we talked about school and is demanding that she be homeschooled like the big kids.  Over the last few months she has really shown great progress with letters and letter sounds so Tim and I have decided to keep her home for school this year.  However, we have made it clear to her that if she doesn’t work with me for school then she will be going to “real ‘cool”.  Our primary focus for her will be reading this year.  We will also be working to improve her writing.  She has a good foundation with numbers and early math, which we will be building on throughout the year.

For all the kids there will be field trips, both through CFE and on our own, to round out the year.  One of the advantages of moving to a new location is that everything here is new and exciting so there is lots to explore!  We plan on starting our school year Monday, August 16 – which means I need to get busy finishing up lesson plans and buying the last of our books!

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