Mid year homeschool update

I haven’t written much about the kids school this year. Our business has been hectic and so the kids schoolwork has fallen into a dull rut. We’ve managed to stay on track with things that have a workbook or can be done fairly independently (math, language arts, reading, science assignments and readings). However, things like science projects, history, and art haven’t really happened. As a result, my husband is a little panicked about getting it all finished up. He tends to do this every spring, but this year more than others since we are going on a month long trip in mid-April. We will take some school work with us, but not as much as we’d do at home.

So between now and when we leave, I’m trying to balance it all out. History and writing are now several times a week. Workbooks are less important because they are easier to take with us. Karen is studying Pilgrims and colonial America. Richard is up to WW2. Somehow I have to get her up to the civil war and him to the end of 20th century. This is the last of American Story 2 which we were supposed to finish last year. Right now he’s reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I was going to do some writing tonight, but decided to let him read more instead.

I’ve been doing some thinking and planning for next year (6th and 3rd grades). Here’s what I’ve come up with:

I’m not sure about social studies for Richard. Both of them will study health. Richard will just go into more depth. They will both continue in their current math, language arts, and reading programs. They are doing fairly well with science packages. I was probably going to do one of Sonlight’s core science kits (F?) for him next year.



Math: Math-U-See

Language Arts: Christian Light

Reading: Christian Light, literature

Science: Sonlight science 5/6 (health, first aid)



Math: Christian Light Math 300

Language Arts: Christian Light

Reading: Christian Light, literature

Science: Abeka health 3 (health, first aid) 1 semester

Handwititing: Christian Light cursive practice

History: American Story 2


Summer update and back to the books

Sorry for the long absence here. We have been busy this spring and early summer. In May, we went to Florida for a week vacation. Everyone had a great time at Epcot, Disney World, and Sea World. Pluto snuck up behind Richard while we were sitting on a bench taking a break. It was so funny! I took some pictures before he (Pluto) went to the group picture area where the line was about half an hour (!) for a picture. A stilt-walker teased Karen with a silk ribbon during a parade. We went to Cape Canavaral Space Port but missed the shuttle launch by 2 days. đŸ˜¦ We also spent a day at the beach and got the obligatory tourist sun burn.

Then a week with everyone back in Fairbanks before I took the kids and drove down the Alaska highway to visit their grandparents in Washington state. 2 weeks of driving (1 week each way) for 1 week visit, but it was better than not going and still cheaper than flying. We bought a new tent and camped out all but 2 nights along the way. We saw lots of wildlife including mountain sheep and little lambs, moose and calves, bison and calves, caribou, deer (one walked right through our camp just 10 feet from the tent!), elk, a coyote carrying its meal of ground squirrel, ground squirrels, a wolf, and a mama black bear with 2 little cubs. We also swam in hot springs and visited some museums.

While in Spokane, we went to Cat Tails wildlife park and Richard hand fed a lion! That’s right, he fed a lion. The cats are behind a tall chain link fence. There is a small plexiglass cage thing with a small hole in it facing the fence you stand in. The trainer puts chunks of raw meat on a plastic skewer and you push it through the hole for the lion to take. I did one piece. You can really tell how powerful they are. This was a big male lion. We were told it is the one that roars at the start of MGM movies. Whenever the train whistles or an emergency vehicle goes past with the siren on, he roars so that must have been how he was trained.

Now 10 days with everyone here. Tomorrow I leave with the kids again. This time to Wasilla and Kodiak for about week.

As a result, we haven’t yet finished the school year. There’s still about a month or so left. I squeezed in 3 days of school this week, but will start again in earnest when we get back from Kodiak. The good news is that the books for this upcoming school year arrived while we were traveling. After finishing up this year’s school, Richard will move up to 5th grade and Karen will start 2nd.

I haven’t decided yet if I want to use the Christian Light Education math or Math-U-See for her. She seems to do better with more traditional style textbooks like CLE.

Here’s what they will be studying:


MATH: Math-U-See Beta or CLE math 200

READING: CLE reading 200- phonics, comprehension

LANGUAGE ARTS: CLE LA 200- grammar, punctuation, handwriting, spelling

BIBLE: CLE Bible 200- Old Testament

SCIENCE: Alaskan biology coloring book, CLE science 200 (birds)


MATH: Math-U-See Gamma (fractions)

READING: CLE reading 500- context clues, figures of speech, poetry, inferences

LANGUAGE ARTS: CLE LA 500 – advanced sentence diagrams, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement

BIBLE: CLE Bible 500-Old Testament & maps

WRITING: Institute for Writing Excellence level A

SCIENCE: Alaskan biology written by my old college prof Ron Smith