Madison and I had a blast the other day listening to music and I decided to introduce her to Alabama because she’s lived in Texas since she was 18 months old and she should probably know a couple of country songs.
I had her listen to I’m in a Hurry (and I Don’t Know Why) by Alabama. After listening to it I told her it reminded me of her (and her self-set goals.) She gave me one of those looks with a smile…. I stopped in my tracks realizing that the song describes me too. And at that moment I realized we were a lot more alike than I had ever realized before. 😳
So this spurred some soul searching and is what lead me to the decision to homeschool with more living history books and hands on projects. My idea was that we would dig deeper and slow down and spend more time enjoying what we are learning instead of moving faster….
Well, it’s going very well, but it’s going a lot faster than I anticipated, because she loves it! That is great, except it also requires more planning on my part so I am going to have to make sure that I am always a step ahead. Ha! Regardless, this week was awesome and I hope it continues! I am sure it will slow down more when we start some projects.
I decided we would start with U.S. History. I went through all of the books we already own and categorized them in chronological order. Then I researched living history books. The majority of the additional books I chose came from 123Homeschool4me.
I decided to start at 1585. Madison hasn’t been too interested in the time period of exploration, so I will revisit it later.
We do have some overlap with the books I chose, but between them all we are getting a great amount of information and so far she doesn’t seem to mind…
I am reading to her out of two books throughout our U.S. History journey.
The first, is The American Story: 100 True Tales of American History by Jennifer Armstrong. I will give it the acronym of TAS.
The second, is We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose. I will give this one the acronym WWTT.
We started out with me reading The First City and People of the Longhouse outloud from TAS.
Then Madison read Who Was Queen Elizabeth? And You Wouldn’t Want to be an American Colonist!
I read The Lost Colony and Pocahontas of Virginia from TAS and Tom Savage: Living Two Lives from WWTT.
Then Madison read Blood on the River: Jamestown, 1607. She couldn’t put it down!
I am also reading to her out of Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself.
I am amazed by the Build it Yourself Series. After looking through The Great Colonial America book, I checked out all of the books from this publisher from our library to look through and ordered several on Amazon. It includes informational text, vocabulary with definitions and fun hands on projects. It was like striking gold!
She also read Colonial America: An Interactive History Adventure.
I read Saints and Strangers: Bound by Hope out of WWTT and The Wanderers out of TAS.
Madison read Dear America, A Journey to the New World. The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple. This series are books that are diaries of events throughout history written in the perspective of a 12 year old girl. They also have a version for boys as well.
We are continuing to read out of Great Colonial Projects and will start the projects next week.
Our other subjects are going great as well! Madison finished up Wordly Wise Book 4. She is on lesson 19 in Teaching Textbooks 7. She has mastered 3 digit by 3 digit multiplication and long division. She has memorized her speeches for speech and debate and is looking forward to the mock tournament on April 2nd. She continues to work on earning badges for American Heritage Girls everyday. She is in the 90’s for Nessy.com and will retest for spelling soon.
She is learning Latin slowly and is continuing to move ahead in EPGY. We are working through the states using the Little Passports State packets we have. We are currently on Rhode Island and she remembers the capitals from each state we have covered off of the top of her head. She has 4 division facts to master in XtraMath and then she will have mastered all of her math facts. (Thank goodness!!!!) Madison also has taken up learning how to code on Kahn Academy and I ordered Science curriculum from Real Science Odyssey. Madison’s art teacher introduced her to Zentangle and it looks really cool! I ordered Madison a Kids Zentangle book and I can’t wait to get it.
Madison had a blast building a stick fort with friends at park play date this week. They used roots to tie the branches together! She loves all of her extra classes and activities she participates in throughout the week.
She is currently motivated and on top of her game. I am looking forward to summer camps so I can have some ‘me time’ to catch up on projects that I would like to complete around the house.
We were blessed to be given a trip to Disney World for our 10th Anniversary at the end of February/beginning of March, so we all enjoyed a week of a much needed vacation. Pictures to come!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
We only have one shot at raising our children. Lately I have been making Madison do worksheets with our curriculum that she has already mastered. I tried getting her to read a book and she tried and didn’t want to. I asked her why she was making this hard and she told me that if she was learning something new that she’d read it, but that she already knew what was in the book.
I’ve already stated over and over again that she learns faster than I can keep up with on her own. It’s my job to provide her with the tools to do that. And when I fail to do that, I stop and revise. Again.
So, now I’m going to do that again. She’s young enough and far enough ahead that I feel I can.
We will continue with Nessy, teaching textbooks, Wordly wise and EPGY. The rest of her learning will come from reading books and hands on activities. Real life experiences. No more worksheets this year. No more needless repetion.
We will dig deeper into what she is interested in.
She’s made another jump that is beyond curriculum that I can find that isn’t common core and that she thrives doing, so we will pursue how she has always learned best.
I am grateful for the support of my husband and my dad who ‘get it.’ I understand it’s hard for me to wrap my head around how she learns, let alone anyone else. I guess we’re fortunate she tests well. If she didn’t then I would really doubt the path we are going to take.
I do trust my gut instinct and it’s funny how the memories that pop on Facebook remind me of the times I didn’t. The times I believed in those that thought they knew when they didn’t have a clue. And I didn’t listen to my gut instinct at that time. This reinforces that I do truly know what is best for my child. I should know this by now without any reinforcement needed. There are many times I did not trust my gut instinct and the outcome was less than favorable. Especially when it came to the influence of others on my child. I will never make the same mistake twice.
I will say that this time when I decided to change things up, it was much easier.
I am SO grateful for those who told me in the beginning that things would change, and I would need to adapt and that was ok and normal. God bless them. I count my blessings for their words everyday. They have no idea how much they have impacted our homeschool journey in such a positive way.
My main goal in homeschooling is that my daughter loves to learn and is happy. Regardless of her level or test scores, if I achieve those two things I have succeeded. ❤️
Madison is working on her Caring for My Environment badge today for American Heritage Girls. She took a hike and picked up trash along the way. Many of the items were recyclable so she placed them in our recycle bin when we got home.
It is important to take care of our environment so that it is a beautiful place to live for generations to come!
In January we enjoyed a trip to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. They generously offer educational symphonies for school and homeschool children throughout the year.
We were seated behind the orchestra and it was a treat to see it up close!
She also attend homeschool day at the Dallas Childrens Aquarium. She touched a sea urchin and a turtle and saw a penguin and a flamingo. She enjoyed studying a pond with a nature journal and feeding the sting rays.
We also had a great time at a Valentine’s Day party with our homeschool co-op.
Last, but not least, we attended a homeschool class at the Dallas Museum of Art. The class focused on their Jackson Pollock exhibit. Madison absolutely loves the classes at the DMA.
After the class was over we went accords the street to Klyde Warren Park and had lunch. They have the BEST food trucks. We chose to eat at Cousins Maine Lobster and we had New England Clam Chowder and a Maine Lobster Roll. It was delicious!
American Heritage Girls is a national character development organization for girls that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement. Madison is very proud to be part of such a wonderful organization.
Madison is a Tenderheart this year and will bridge to become an Explorer next year. This year she has the opportunity to earn a level award before she moves up. The level award for a Tenderheart is the Sacagawea award. One of the requirements is to present a poster of what she loves most about AHG.
Here is her video. Thank you for taking a moment to watch it and supporting her efforts to earn this award.