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My Baby is So Grown Up!

Sometimes its hard to believe I’m the mom to 3 awesome kids, and then I remember my oldest is turning 14.

And then its extremely difficult to believe that I’m old enough to have a teenager! (One look in the mirror usually brings me back to reality pretty quick).

Yes, my baby boy who made me a mom for the first time, is turning 14 today *sniff*

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Roadschooling Curriculum

I’ve only managed to pack 3 boxes to keep in storage, cleaned out the outgrown clothes in Divagirl’s closet (4 paper bags full!), and start on the boys’ closet. But I’ve made progress on next year’s curriculum!

I must admit, I’m a planner. I get a thrill planning, organizing and researching.

Mr T will be in 9th grade, albeit an advanced Freshman.

He’ll be studying…
Core Subjects:
Math-Geometry and Trigonometry via khanacademy.com
Language Arts-Most of this will be correspondence through a private tutor
Science-Biology
Social Studies-US History & Biographies, US Geography, Current Events
Electives:
Foreign Language-French
Music-Acoustic Guitar
Art-Great Artists, Design Principles, Nature Study
Computers-Maya programming
Life Skills-Teen studies, finding oneself, Compassion
PE-This will be more of a daily activity including options such as circuit training, body weight exercises, hiking, swimming, biking, etc. depending on where we are and what’s available to us.

Mr. S will be starting 6th grade and he’ll be studying…

Core Subjects:
Math-Pre-Algebra via khanacademy.com
Language Arts-Some of this will be correspondence through a private tutor the rest will be First Language Lessons 3+, All About Spelling, and Wordly Wise 3000
Science-Biology
Social Studies-US History, US Geography, American Presidents
Electives:
Foreign Language-French
Music-Piano/Keyboard & Theory
Art-Great Artists, Design Principles, Nature Study
Computers-Keyboarding
Life Skills-Public speaking, Patience, Tolerance
PE-Same as above only he’ll also be doing parkour and hip hop dancing.

Divagirl will technically be going into 1st grade however we are currently homeschooling Kindergarten and its been a lot of 2 steps forward one step back so we will be taking it slow and moving at a pace that she’s comfortable with.

Core Subjects:
Math-Addition, Subtraction, Skip counting, Fractions, Time to quarter hour
Language ArtsFirst Language Lessons 1, All About Spelling, Cursive First, The Reading Lesson
Science-Animals, Nature, Anatomy, Sensory (similar to the biology subjects the boys will study but more hands on depending on what’s around us)
Social Studies-US History, US Geography, American Presidents
Electives:
Foreign Language-French
Music-Piano/Keyboard & Theory
Art-Great Artists, Design Principles, Nature Study
Life Skills-Patience, Resourcefulness, Caring, Perseverance, Truthfulness, Organization, Helpfulness (I’m currently the leader of her Daisy Troop and we plan on staying a Daisy while we travel, which will help with the character study and life skills)
PE-Hiking, Running, Swimming, Biking, Jump Rope, Ballet…again, dependent on where we are.

There was some discussion about the foreign language. Mr. T wanted Japanese, Mr. S wanted French and Divagirl wanted Chinese. Later Mr. T denied wanting Japanese and Divagirl refused to learn Chinese so it was agreed that we’d learn French. I took 3 years of HS French and was fluent, *ahem* 25 years ago, so it would much easier for me if we all learned something I had a prayer at teaching. Perhaps the following year I’ll be brave and offer another language.

I am excited though, I ordered some resources that two-thirds of them can work through. Easy French Reader and Le Petit Prince (en francais) will be introduced when they are ready to decipher written word. For Divagirl I got Let’s Learn French Coloring Book because she loves to color. She also loves Fancy Nancy so she knows a few French words already.

There’s an art lesson book that looks promising called Art Lab for Kidsbut I’d like to see it in real life first before I commit. I am an artist by education but sometimes its much nicer to just turn your brain off and follow the directions, provided its a quality lesson. And considering I’ll be home schooling 3 kids at 3 levels, a little brain “off” time would be nice.

The boys will be doing some of their Language Arts lessons via a private tutor. They happen to have a grandmother who has a Masters in English and Reading and she retired from teaching Junior High kids. Perfect!

I’m also planning a bunch of reading material but I haven’t finalized my lists yet, partly due to format issues. Space will be a premium and I’d rather not have all of their books in print, so I’m trying to whittle the list down to include a multitude of eBooks. Basically their literature will consist of several classics, myths and books about the US or written by American authors. I’m sure that will be another post.

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Initial Plan

We don’t really have a complete plan, but we have a tentative plan or rather a sketchy outline for our new lifestyle. We currently live in California and the highly-regulated-extremely-safe-family-friendly city in which we live does not allow one to keep a motorhome so we plan on having hubby and eldest take a cross-country road trip to Florida and keep the rig with relatives until the kids are out of school next June. At that time we’ll all be ready to join our new home and have time to do renovations on it and chart our course. This first trip will happen at the end of the November.

Currently the rig is still at the mechanics getting inspected and road ready. We still need to make a trip to the DMV to transfer the title and pay the (absolutely exorbitant) sales tax within the next week.

What about the kids’ education you ask?

All three kids are currently in public school and it takes everything in my power not to pull them out early and finish out the year homeschooling. But. I. Won’t. I’m not new to homeschooling. Historically I’ve used it when I felt the schools were failing my kids. I taught eldest, Mr. T, who is very bright, for Pre-K, 1st and 2nd grades so he could work at a challenging pace. I taught Mr. S 3/4 of 4th grade because he was slipping through the cracks of WA schools. I enrolled him for a few months in CA school after we moved so he could make new friends. I haven’t formally taught Divagirl yet but she’s only just started Kindergarten, that’s not to say we haven’t done tons of informal teaching.

I plan on “road-schooling” all three year round with generous breaks when needed. I think that works out better in the long run so their brains don’t turn to mush over the 3 month summer break.