The Many Hats of an Orthodox Homeschool 2015

I wear a lot of hats with homeschool these days as the homeschool mom of a college student (she still asks my opinion on some things), a high school student and a kindergartener! And there's so much going on in our homeschool year now.  Being that I haven't really posted much about homeschooling (or anything else for that matter) for so long that I don't really know where to begin!

Hmmmm.... so let's start with the oldest child- she's not even home any more so that will be short! LOL.  Our daughter just started her junior year at our Alma Mater!
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We homeschooled our daughter from the middle of 5th grade through her graduation and are very proud of her accomplishments.  She is a criminology major and has added owning her own car and working part-time off campus to her academic responsibilities for this year.

2014-11-14 21.43.05Our oldest son is 16. He's beginning his junior year of high school here at home.  We have planned it to be a somewhat low-key year- at least in comparison to last year. He's doing a variety of classes.  English is a requirement every year as well it should be.  This year he is focusing on literature - reading a required number of books/pages and doing an oral narration weekly and a written narration biweekly of whatever book he is currently reading.  This is a bit of the Charlotte Mason method I'm borrowing to place into his basic traditional type curriculum to make it less of a workload for me and focus on the real reason for reading literature for him.  No more tests for literature in this house! (I'll be sure to post about that another time!)He'll be taking an online Research Paper class in the spring as well - AFTER football season is over! Math is another requirement for 3 of the 4 high school years.  My son has always been ahead in math so he already completed two years of Algebra and Geometry.  As advanced as he is in math and as quickly as he tends to catch on, he absolutely loathes it.  So we made the decision not to push further into the math realm.  If he needs higher math later in life, he can choose to go further at that time. There's truly no urgent need to do it now. This year he will be working to get a credit in a class we are titling Consumer Math & Finance.  It is a combination class of a Consumer Math Curriculum from Abeka and a Finance Curriculum we obtained from Dave Ramsey's website.  For Social Studies,  he is taking an economics course this year using various materials including the well renowned (at least among the homeschool circles) book "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?".  Elective courses will include a full credit Home Economics course (I developed my own), a half credit Introduction to Christianity course and a half credit Study Skills course.  He also participates with the local public school on the football team( that's the reason for putting off the research paper course until Spring - just a better way to manage the time it will take to write a research paper properly!)  Aside from that he is a boy scout (working to figure out his eagle project) and an active member in our church, serving as an altar boy every Sunday and a dependable volunteer for the monthly pirogi project!

And now on to the youngest  (he's 5) which is the one I'm making the most changes for.

Mailing a letter to his sister at college
Mailing a letter to his sister at college

While I used an eclectic but mostly traditional method of homeschooling for the other two kids ( I just couldn't completely wipe clean the traditional methods  used  from those years as a public school teacher), I am strongly studying Charlotte Mason and her method of schooling to use for this child.  I am intrigued by the strong focus on living books and nature study and her focus on the child as a person among many other positive facets of her practical approach to education.

So his kindergarten year is completely different from a traditional classroom setting would involve. While there are reading lessons and a bit of writing and yes, even some math - the focus is on good quality living books and nature (which reminds me!  I need to get going soon and get out there and do our nature walk for the day!).  We cover a variety of topics from bible, our Orthodox faith, habit training,literature, history and geography to addition, time, the mud wasp, butterflies, birds, deer, tornadoes, Vincent Van Gogh and various pieces of classical music and Spanish and- oh! SO much more!

Hopefully you will join me in my posts about our homeschool year and what I am learning about Charlotte Mason and Ambleside (a great site to guide one into the Charlotte Mason method).  Drop a line and tell me how your year has started out (and if you are a user of public school - how's it going there?) Let me know if you have any questions.




4 thoughts on “The Many Hats of an Orthodox Homeschool 2015

  1. Janice M. Biscoe

    Interesting on how your methods have changed during the years which, to me, is a good thing. You have seen the results with your other children and are changing the curriculum to a more 'natural' based one for the youngest. I am eager to follow the changes, the ups and the downs that you experience. Good luck as always and blessings to you and Ted and the rest of your wonderful family.

  2. Deb P.

    It was nice to read an update on your family! It sounds like the start to a great year! We are in the process of moving (closing day is being worked out but should be before the end of this month) and my oldest started his first year of high school this year. So far, so good! My youngest is a 6th grader. I think our biggest challenge is going to be the fact that my boys each have their own set of curriculum this year. We are still using My Father's World, and really enjoy the material.
    Looking forward to more posts! Have a great year!

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