Our Summer Favorites

Well, this post isn’t the norm. I’m just gonna list some of our favorite “stuff” this summer as promised. Here goes…

Books:
This summer we’ve gotten into books…like big time. Part of this is due to me finding the Podcast Read Aloud Revival. We’ve maxed out library cards. Gotten addicted to audiobooks. And the free app “Libby”¬†from the library was a game changer!

Our favorites have been (there are links but most are at the library):
Mercy Watson series (Jonathan)
39 Clues series (Caleb)
Big Nate (Stephen)
Squish & Amulet (comic books…all the boys)
Madeline series (Esther & Kenan)
Iggie’s House (read aloud)
The Green Ember (read loud)
The Color of Water (Me)
The ONE Thing (Me)
Essentialism (Me)
The Power of Moments (Me)
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (Me)

Music:
The boys have a varied taste in music that I’m a little embarrassed to share (you would judge us). So I’ll share 3 of my “cling to” songs this summer:

Great is Thy Faithfulness by One Sonic Society
Scandal of Grace by Hillsong United
Build My Life by Housefires III

Study:
Jen Wilkin’s Genesis study was great!

It’s been a fine summer. Really. We’ve made simple memories together. Taken only 1 trip. But it’s been sweet.

I’m thankful for what was. What is. And what’s to come.

And super thankful that He knows about all of it!

“Do not boast about tomorrow,¬†for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1)

IMG_5369

(That time we rode with Jeremy to a wedding rehearsal thinking it was near one of our favorite stores. Only to find ourselves in the middle of nowhere with an hour and a half to spare. Sigh. Thankful for GPS and random parks and trails!)

 

 

 

Advertisements

Thoughts on Online Homeschool

Several people this school year have asked me about our experience with Liberty University Online Academy. Yes, this is a little off my blog’s focus (and long), but I thought it could be beneficial.

Some background info.:
-Stephen did the 3rd grade program with LUOA.
-He struggles with reading and has never liked school.
-I have a background in education but somehow lose resolve when teaching my own kids.
-We are very laid back around here when it comes to school. I love for the kids to learn hands-on (We lean toward Charlotte Mason ideas).

With that being said, LUOA could have set us up for failure. But it DIDN’T!

Here are some pros:
-All the lessons and quizzes are set up for you so there’s minimal planning. (It’s like reading a textbook on the computer. It’s not video school where you watch a teacher all day. Often they include links to games and videos that further explain the lesson. Stephen loved these.)
-It includes a subscription to Reading Eggs and Education City (which we loved and shared with all 3 boys).
-I don’t have to keep up with piles of papers in case we’re “homeschool audited.”
-Stephen’s teacher was awesome and remained in contact with us throughout the year (including his adviser who was precious).
-We had to be focused to get everything done by our yearly deadline-instead of floundering around and never doing school. (We ended up finishing in 9 months as opposed to 10 and took about 4 weeks off during the year).
-Stephen rarely complained about school because it was no longer me asking him but “Mrs. Taylor.”
-I quit comparing myself to other homeschool Moms and what they were doing, because I trusted LUOA would provide a solid curriculum. (This nearly makes it all worth it!)

Here are some cons:
-We used a lot of printer ink and paper.
-I often got behind scanning and sending in written assignments.
-It’s a little costly at $250 a month for 10 months (but not compared to private/Christian schools I’m told). Oh, and if your child ends up going to Liberty University, you get all your money back in a college scholarship.
-I had to read a lot of the assignments with Stephen (he has some reading delays), so we were one on one about 2-3 hours a day (this isn’t necessarily a negative thing but hard to manage with 4 other kids).
-We couldn’t take off all the days I would have liked to. We had to stay on task to finish. (This is also a pro.)

To summarize, Stephen ended the year liking school (He’s not the type that will ever love it.). His reading jumped nearly 2 grade levels. He learned a ton and read some awesome books. We are so pleased with the results that we’ve re-enrolled him and enrolled Caleb for 1st grade.

No, it wasn’t easy. Yes, there were times I thought we’d made a mistake. No, the curriculum wasn’t perfect and sometimes I wanted to spend more time on certain topics than was given.

But it worked. I kept my sanity. And we’re doing it again.

If you’re thinking homeschool (or maybe burned out), I’d say give it a shot. LUOA gives you an excellent curriculum and accountability with the perk of being home and planning your own schedule.

Hope that helps someone. Please comment or email me if you have questions! I’d love to chat more about it!

photo 1 (23)

Last day of school!

photo 2 (23)

Our end of year cake…We were all celebrating!