Home Schooling

It's an incredible privildge to be able to home school my kids.  I love everything about it.....the bonding, the comfort of home, being in control of the education my kids receive, making the Word of God a major focus of our lives, etc.  There was a time, when I 'only' had seven kids, that I was able to homeschool all of them.  But, one by one, the older ones started slipping through the cracks, and I came to the realization, that, no matter how much I love homeschooling, my older, independent kids had to love it equally as much because I couldn't supervise their every move.  It came down to a choice...work one-on-one with the Bulgarian boys who are years behind academically, or send them to Special Ed classes so that I could better supervise my on-grade level "independent" kids. In the end, my older kids started attending public middle school (one in high school now) and though it was not my first choice for them, I can only do what I am physically able to do.  So, now, our four oldest are in public school, and thank God, the Lord is with them and keeping them, and they are making good choices with friends and activities, etc.  

Homeschooling David, the youngest, has been easy since he attends Veritas Classical Schools one day a week and since he is a little whip and pretty much learns every concept on his own, before I've even opened my mouth to explain it to him. When he gives me his 8-year-old, all boy, "I don't want to do this work" attitude, I just smile and say, "Sorry, but Mrs. Traylor feels this is important for you right now:)"  

Working with Josiah and Benjamin brings so much happiness to my heart because I saw where they once  were cognitively...... there were times I thought there might not be hope for them learning at all.  But I get to watch their brains develop week after week,  and I see them making leaps and bounds in their reading and logic and overall education.  Just three years ago, Benjamin, at 10, couldn't even write his own name in his Bulgarian language....he didn't even know any letters of his alphabet.  And now, he is reading on a second-grade level. He LOVES learning and would do it all weekend if I didn't need my time off!   

Matthew, our newest addition to the family, has been homeschooling this year and is making progress as well.  But, the maturity difference between him and the other three, makes it a challenge for him being home all day with younger kids.  He's been longing to go to middle school like three of his older siblings.  He is finally becoming comfortable being around kids his own age instead of always congregting around younger children as he used to.  So, we are having him tested at the public school to see what type of special ed program they can offer him. Steven, 16,  is in special ed for his visual impairment and learning deficits, and his teachers really go above and beyond to make sure he is successful.  If we can find the same set-up for Matthew, then that is likely the route we will go.  This will be a win-win for all of us because I will have more one-on-one time with Benjamin and Josiah--especially to work on Josiah's severe speech impediment.  Wow....imagine only home schooling three kids!  It'll be like a vacation!

By the way, if you live in the Metro Atlanta area and are looking for a great Christian school for your child to attend one to two days per week, look into Veritas.  This school has really been a blessing to our family!!

COMING SOON:  There will soon be a link for you to purchase the memory songs which I write for our kids year after year.  They are an incredible way for kids and adults to memorize scripture, as well as science, history, and math concepts.  The songs I have so far are:
**Scripture Memory Songs
**Ancient History Songs (To go with Story of the World and Mystery of History)
**Medieval History Songs (To go with Story of the World and Mystery of History)
**Flying Creatures Songs (To go along with Apologia Science)
**Swimming Creatures Songs (To go along with Apologia Science)
**Spanish Memory Songs
**Math Memory Songs


Some of Our Favorite Curriculum:

Math
**Math Mammoth workbooks—my absolute FAVORITE math program—teaches students to think mathematically!!
**IXL.com—Solid, sometimes "boring" math concept practice
**Mathbuddy.com—problem of the day
**Xtramath.org—fact practice for everyone
**Dreambox.com--Manipulating numbers in your brain
**Memory Songs (Written by me!)

History 
**Story of the World--chronological history curriculum
 (Mystery of History when kids are older)
**Supplemental library books and videos
**Memory Songs (written by me!)

Bible 
**Day By Day Kids Bible
**The Storybook Bible
**The Tree of Life (my book that I wrote!)
**Scripture Memory Songs (written by me!)

Science 
**Apologia Exploring Creation Science Series 
**Supplemental library books and DVDs
**Science Memory Songs (written by me!)

Reading 
**Pathway Readers—J, B, M
**Chapter Books--D
**Phonics based readers—J, B, M
**Handbook for Reading
**RAZ Kids/Headsprout.com
**ClickNread.com

Spelling
**ClickNSpell--J, B, M
**Saxon--D

Phonics
**Explode the Code series—J, B, M
**Saxon Phonics & Spelling--D

English
**Climbing to Good English—J, B, M
**Veritas English--D

Handwriting
**Cursive Workbook
**Draw, Write, Now

Writing
**Narration and Dictation

Geography (Individually and whole group)
**Map of the Month

Spanish 
**Memory Songs/ Memory Phrases (written by me)
**Risas Y Sonrisas curriculum
**Foreign Language for Kids by Kids videos
**Fun Spanish, by Study Cat (Kindle App)
**Spanish children’s books

Speech Therapy
**Josiah—TWICE per day 
**Benjamin--Once per week

Critical Thinking
**Analogies, by Educators Publishing Service
**Mindbenders, by Critical Thinking Co
**Dr. Dooriddles

Art 
**Discovering Great Artists
**Draw3D.com

Music 
**Composers and their music
**Ukulele practice
**Piano practice

Cooking
**Salud Cooking Scool--Matthew


A Thought Abbout Latin??:
Teaching children Latin (and sometimes Greek) is popular in the home school community, but I haven't heard a good argument as to why Latin is more beneficial to students than learning Spanish or another foreign language. In my opinion, you don't need to teach your children Latin or Greek in order to follow a Classical education model.  The original Greeks from whom we get our "classical" model, spoke Greek.  They didn't have to learn an ancient language so that they could read "classics" in that language.  To copy their style of learning doesn't mean we have to speak the same language and read the same literature that they read.  English is full of excellent literature, and if you want to read The Iliad or The Odyssey or the Vulgate, there are good English translations.  I'm not saying that it isn't valuable to study Latin and/or Greek if one so chooses, but I believe that learning languages in which one can actually communicate has far more merit than that found in studying the ancient languages.  And particularly, in the US, it's valuable to have a good handle on Spanish.  The fact that students who take Latin perform a little bit better on SAT's than students who take Spanish doesn't convince me. I'd assume that the students taking Latin were probably going to do better on the SAT's to begin with. One argument for learning Latin is that by studying Latin you can contrast it with English and better learn the rules of English.  But I do the very same thing with my kids with Spanish.    




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