The children reading one afternoon (very typical...as they all LOVE to read!)
Our curricula vaires for each child's needs, but usually only from 6th grade upwards, as the foundation I lay for each child is consistent from K5 - 6th grade. Our curricula is located under the tab "Our Homeschool Tools". We do combine both history and science from pre-school through 6th grade, and each child is only required to retain what is required for their age. This works very well for our family, as they are all able to share their excitement with each other about the content, while retaining only that which is necessary for their age.
The children LOVE choosing their extracurricular activities for the school year. This year their MAJOR activity is the local 4H group. Here they will learn about multiple subjects, such as horses, farm animals, horticulture, aerospace, small engines, computers, entomology, entrepreneurship, sewing, cooking, citizenship, photography, theater arts, woodworking, babysitting, soil and water, wildlife, healthy lifestyles, career exploration and SO MUCH MORE! They are PUMPED about 4H....and so is mommy! Another activitiy in which all of our children (ages 5 & up) will be participating is in piano lessons.
Kaitlyn auditioned for and was chosen for the CHEA (Charlotte Home Educators Association) Choir, where she will learn music theory and vocal parts. The CHEA Choir desires to produce skilled musicians who seek to serve others and glorify God through singing. The choirs rehearse one afternoon each week and perform 2 joint concerts each year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. The choir also does smaller concerts on their own at neighboring retirement communities and various community functions.
The boys will be studying robotics and working on projects through that class.
All the children will also randomly participate in homeschool clubs and a P.E. class at the area Recreation Center.
This year will be SO MUCH FUN!
Jake (and Julia) at an area abortion mill, ministering to moms
Weekly Community Outreach Day
This year, we plan on schooling 4 days a week and making Fridays our COMMUNITY OUTREACH DAY! We have really been doing it all summer (here and here and here), but are really just now starting to plan something more than what we've been doing.
We, as North Carolinian homeschoolers, have such freedom to conduct school as we see fit, as long as it complies with NC homeschool laws. Now, we are required to school 180 days each school year, to record attendance, keep immunization records on hand and to have our children take annual tests. Easy enough! We would test whether it was required or not, so we could tweak their education to improve their weaknesses and emphasize their strengths. We also EASILY meet the requirement to school 180 days each year, since we homeschool year-round. Schooling year-round prevents children from having that after summer brain freeze that most students have, so stopping to review is rarely needed. Since all our children are 1-2 years ahead of where they are required to be age-wise, it allows us the freedom to take days off when we can enjoy the outdoors OR donate our time to helping others - through community service!
Galatians 5:13 says, "You, my brothers, were called to be
free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
rather, serve one another in love."
Our Plan This Year
School will be "as usual" using the various chosen curricula Monday through Thursday. Because of our yearly schedule, we usually finish our seatwork (worksheets) by noon, as well as our history/science lessons. This frees our afternoons for reading, projects, outdoor explorations and fun...or chores that call for our attention and mastery! :)
This particular community outreach fulfills these verses:
Psalm 82:3-4 "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
Proverbs 24:11-12 "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?"
We have been blessed to see babies saved this summer through this ministry, as we simply stood on the sidewalk praying, handing out literature and talking to these moms. Our children have benefited much (more here and here). They have learned to speak and sing publically on a microphone, to have compassion on those being led astray, etc. The list goes on and on...
After our ministry on Friday mornings, we will break for lunch and then either do another activity out in the community or go back home to work on a project. These projects and activities will include:
- Making Linus Blankets
- Purchasing and delivering baby supplies to moms in need
- Bell ringing for the Salvation Army
- Volunteer at a friend's mission service for Guatemalan orphans (helping organize local soccer clinics to raise money for the orphans)
- Canned Food drive donation - Collecting and Donating
- Picking up trash on the road or at parks
- Volunteering at the Operation Christmas Child Packing Center
- Assembling boxes for Operation Christmas Child
- Donate to Samaritan's Purse's Gift Catalog to save lives and end suffering around the world
- Tree/flower planting in the community
- Salvation Army Angel Tree collections and donations
- Angel Tree Prison Ministry collections and donations
- Toys for Tots collections and donations
- Making and deliverying cookies to the EMT, fire and police departments
- Writing letters and sending care packages to the military
- Making a schoolyard habitat in our yards for community beautification and science projects
- Donate Stuffed animals for emergencies
- Cards, cookies and songs to nursing home patients…between our family and the other family who plans on doing the same, we have enough kids to put on a program!
- Make table decorations for nursing homes
- Collect children’s books for children’s hospital
- Volunteer at JAARS
This list is just the beginning of our project ideas! If you have a community service idea that would work for families and multiple age groups, please do leave a comment, as our list is not complete!
We are very much looking forward to this year! ACADEMICALLY - Our plan is to learn above and beyond what is required academically, applying ourselves to our school work and to develop our strengths and improve on our weaknesses! EXTRACURRICULAR - Our plan is to participate in all activities to which we have committed, while making every opportunity to apply ourselves to learning the most we can from each activity. COMMUNITY OUTREACH - Our plan is serve our community for JESUS, remembering that we are witnesses for Him in all we do! 1 Peter 4:10 "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."
What do YOU have planned for this academic school year? Have you thought about adding regular community service outreach to your schedule?