Sunday, January 20, 2013

The post where I catch up seven months..oops!

Here's something about me:

I love starting new things and I am notorious for giving things up.

That's not the case for blogging...I really just took a little break and lost my momentum.  Now, it's October January and I have the whole beginning half of the school year to catch up on...oops! goes:

For the 2012-2013 school year Sofia will be in first grade and Maya will be in "pre-K 3."  I actually had her signed up for preschool at the same school Sofia attended for preschool.  We withdrew her from that school the week before it started because I realized that we would be spending so much of the school week driving her to and from preschool.  It was a hard decision for me because we really love the preschool AND I felt really bad that Maya would not have the same opportunities that Sofia had.

So, you would think that because this was my second year homeschooling that I would be free from the  first year jitters that I suffered last year...right?  I wish that were the truth but ONCE AGAIN, I panicked and actually called the catholic uniform supplier in the area to see if they had one girls size small uniform left "just in case."

Fortunately for our family, I didn't buy that uniform and we are happily almost 1/2 way through our school year.

Once again we are using Sonlight for our core.  We are currently using Core B and I'm finding the history literature quite advanced, but Sofia seems to like it.  I secretly wish that I had held out and did Core A this year and saved Core B for next year...but there's no holding back a new homeschooling I will live and learn!

What IS new this year is that in New York state, we have to start reporting once our child has turned 6. We have to submit an IHIP (Individualized home instruction plan) and quarterlies as well as a letter of intent to homeschool.  Here is a sample of Sofia's IHIP with the curriculum listed:

Sofia will be engaging in various aspects of reading including but not limited to reading aloud and silent reading using various leveled readers, short stories, chapter books and poetry.  This year she will focus on reading strategies, comprehension activities and listening skills.  She will also use the Grade 1 Weekly Readers.

English Language
*First Language Lessons, Wise, J.  Peace Hill Press (2010)
The goals of First Language Lessons for first grade are to listen correctly to spoken language, practicing correctly spoken grammar, reading aloud and narration and to teach beginning skills in grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.

*All About Spelling Level 2, Rippel, M.  All About Learning Press (2010)
Goals for first grade spelling include learning new spelling concepts, reviewing spelling words orally, segmenting words, recognizing and writing phonograms and building words.

*Writing with Ease: Level 1, Wise-Bauer, S.  Peace Hill Press (2008)
*Handwriting without Tears: Printing Power, Olsen, J.Z, (2008)
Writing skills covered in Writing with Ease include copywork, dictation, narration, grammar rules, comprehension exercises, punctuation and vocabulary.  Handwriting without tears is reviews correct printing handwriting as well as punctuation and sentence formation.

*Math U See Alpha, Demme, S.P.  (2004)
*Singapore Math - 1A/1B, Marshall Cavendish (2003)
*Lollipop Logic, Risby, B. Prufrock Press (2005)
The goals of first grade include counting to 100, single digit addition and subtraction, skip counting, telling time, solving for unknown, learning shapes, lengths, weight, analogies, pattern decoding and inference.

US and World History
*A Child’s History of the World, Hillyer, V. Calvert School (1997)
*The Usborne book of World History, Millard, A.  Usborne Publishing (2008)
*History Timeline
*The Usborne Book of Peoples of the World, Trundle, R.  Usborne Publishing (1990)
*The Usborne Time Traveler (1998)
First grade history will begin from creation through the Roman Empire and its fall.  US History will include learning about the presidential election, the US government, the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem.

*Daily Geography Practice - Grade 1- Evan-Moor Press (2004)
The goals of first grade geography include: learning about the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society and the uses of geography.  

*The Usborne Book of Science Activities - Volume 2  (2008)
*How Flowers Grow - Helbrough. E.  (2006)
*Magic School Bus Science Kits
First grade science will include lessons on the growth of flowers, acids & bases, bacteria and fungi, stars and planets, weather and magnets.
In addition, Sofia will be participating in four 4-week classes at the Buffalo Museum of Science with topics covering: Exploring the Living Environment, Investigating the Science of Cooking, Weather around the World & Journey to the Center of the Earth.

*Grossology, Branzei, S.  Price Stern Sloan (2002)
Health education will include good grooming and posture, dental health, healthy habits and lifestyle, exercise and fitness, family life, personal and public safety, accident prevention and diseases.

Physical Education
Formal sports education includes bi-weekly gymnastics lessons at Gymnastics Unlimited (West Seneca, NY), weekly Swim & Gym Class at South Towns YMCA, and indoor and outdoor athletic activities though both neighborhood activities and a local co-op.

*Suzuki Violin School - Volume 1
*I can read Music - a note reading book for Violin Students -Volume 1
Music education includes weekly violin lessons, Shea’s School time series, BPH school time performances and Theater of Youth Performances.

Visual Arts
Visual arts will be taught through various materials in the home and in a homeschool co op.  The goal for first grade will be to visit a local art gallery, to use different mediums to create art and to explore different art styles and periods.

My middle daughter Maya has just turned 4 and boy oh boy does she want to be like her big sister!  She has just started violin lessons and has started the reading program we used for Sofia.  She is so proud to be able to read sat, mat and at!  We have started some handwriting with Maya, basic things like upper and lower case letters.  Her favorite things, however, are mazes and she can fly though mazes for kids aged 5-7!

As for me, there are a few new things that I'm excited to blog stay tuned!



  1. Yay! My beautiful wife's triumphant return to blogging! It's like riding a bike... that you haven't ridden for months! Great post! Will we have to wait 7 more months to see your new blogging ideas?

  2. You are way ahead of me. I'm still in the 'planning stages' of my return to blogging after my 7 month absence. It looks like you have been very busy!
    Your girls are beautiful!

  3. This is great, Nicole, I'm glad to see what you've been doing with your beautiful daughters. We are using Sonlight F this year. This is my 6th year homeschooling and I still get the jitters...every year. ;)

  4. I'm SO glad to hear I'm not the only one that still gets the jitters! Thanks for visiting Susan!

  5. Yea! You're back! You are an awesome homeschooling mom, and your girls are amazing! I am so surprised to hear that you had the jitters this year!

  6. Such beautiful girls you have!
    Thank you for sharing this post. Me and my husband have been thinking about home-schooling our children too.
    Clearly, your girls are learning and having fun with the program you have for them. I hope to make a great job at this too, when the time comes!

  7. Nice to hear from you again! I just restarted my own blog after taking most of a sememster off, so you are not the only one. Having that third baby really put a cramp on my blogging/schooling time. God bless your spring semester.

  8. I've been homeschooling all three of my girls from the beginning and I still get the jitters each year. My oldest is in 7th grade. lol But I wanted to let you know that I have awarded you a Liebster award. You can check out my blog post for more info on this award.

  9. Your blog is beautiful! I recently found your blog. I homeschool my two kids. I have a daughter in 2nd grade and a son in 4th.
    I nominated your blog for an award. you can check it out here.

  10. Interesting list! I always enjoy seeing what other families use. My oldest daughter is going into fifth grade this year. I found your post about what do use after TYTR100EL. I started with Writing With Ease, but found that I missed the creative writing for my kids. Here's my curriculum list on my blog that I've used I really like Write About Me as a beginning introduction for creative writing in first and second grades and my girls both loved it. It's also a keepsake for me because they get to write about themselves. It's published by the same company that does ETC. I also have a list on my blog of free curriculum that I've found or written myself. :)

  11. +$3,624 profit last week...

    Subscribe For 5 Star verified winning picks on MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL + Anti-Vegas Smart Money Signals!!!