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The 2012-2013 School Year | Speedkin

The 2012-2013 School Year

Now that we’re fully back into the swing of normal life, I figured it’s time to get back to posting bits & pieces of life here.  I’ve missed so much that happened this summer (as far as adding to our life’s journal, a.k.a. blog, here)!

This year, Isaac has decided to transfer into the local public school.  He went through the testing and I typed up transcripts of what he’d done last year and…  He’s in!  He’s now a sophomore at Monroe City High School.  He’s really enjoying it and I have no doubt whatsoever that he’ll do well.  He’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’s a hard worker when it comes to schoolwork.

As for the rest of the nutballs…  We’re continuing to cram more life skills into Cody’s skull so, even though he’s officially out of high school (graduated this past spring), he’s still in learning mode.  He’s also the Head Honcho of Work around here, doing all sorts of oddball things to help things run smoothly.  Josie is beginning preschool this year.  I’m not a preschool fan myself, preferring to just let them play (which is learning, afterall) until “real” school starts but she has been insisting on getting to “do school”, too.  So I throw some papers at her now & then and she sits in on various lessons the other kids are doing and, somehow, it works out.  Some days.

Charlie, Duke, and Nellie are my main students this  year.  Charlie is in 6th grade, Duke in 5th, and Nellie doing a combo of 1st and 2nd grades.  She got stuck behind a bit between the years of speech therapy, Steve’s accident drama, and the move.  She’ll be all caught up by the end of this year, though, so all is well.  (This is the first year that she is legally required to be schooled here in MO so the timing is perfect.)

Our day goes something like this:

Core Classes:


Charlie and Duke start their day with reading.  Any books of their choice but they do have to be real books, not comic books or whatever the modern equivalent is (manga, I think?).  They’re both excellent readers and read high school- and adult-level books so I have no worries about their abilities.  Right now, the main emphasis with them is to encourage their love of reading and, of course, all of the knowledge they unknowingly pick up along the way, such as writing styles, punctuation, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, etc.  Shhh…  Don’t tell them that reading for fun is learning, too.

At the same time, I’m working with Nellie on her phonics.  She’s now reading but, after a summer of brain rot, we needed to reinforce some basics.  She’s now starting to forge ahead into more complex phonics and starting to stumble through a few easy readers.  We’re using the Funnix programs for her phonics, along with some good, old fashioned sounding-out-with-Mom stuff.


Charlie and Duke are using a combination of the Life of Fred books independently and Teaching Textbooks with me to reinforce and ensure they are solid in the concepts they are learning.  We are also supplementing with First Lessons in Arithmetic, again with me to reinforce the concepts.

Nellie is using the Funnix math program and also using First Lessons in Arithmetic as a supplement.

Language Arts:

Charlie and Duke are using a new LA program this year:  the Writing Strands series.  I decided to go this route instead of what I had been doing because it nicely combines spelling, grammar, writing, and a whole slew of LA into one, compact program.  Hopefully we’ll like it and stick with it through the year.  So far, I’m impresssed.

Nellie is doing a willy-nilly approach to LA.  We’re using Handwriting Without Tears, my go-to workbooks for beginning handwriting.  Her Funnix reading program also includes handwriting practice.  We’ll be starting some copywork soon so she’ll be beginning to learn a bit about puncuation and grammar, etc.  In addition, we’re working pretty hard on the last of her speech issues.  I slacked off on her speech after we moved.  *hanging head in shame*  We’re finally going tackle the last of it this year!  For that, I’m reusing old speech worksheets & exercises we kept from her speech therapist in Oklahoma.


We all do science together:  Apologia’s Exploring Creation through Astronomy.  I love, love, love Apologia!  It’s so interesting, especially the upper grades, I’d read it even if I didn’t have kids.  Charlie and Duke have the companion Notebooking Journals to do along with them but I’m just having Nellie do a few random projects since I don’t think she’s yet ready for an entire journal.  I’m hoping we can complete Astronomy in the semester and move on to Botany or Zoology in the second semester.

Social Studies:

We’re continuing our history with the Story of the World series.  This is another one that I’d read just for myself if I didn’t homeschool.  We’ll be supplementing with the TruthQuest series and borrowed library books, along with my ever-growing, history-heavy home library.  I love history so much, it just seems to take care of itself.  Oh, and, this being a big election year, you can bet we’ll be taking a bit of time to talk government this fall.  We all do social studies as a group.

Non-Core Classes


Charlie and Duke have been, up to this point, hunt & peck typists.  Annoying.  So, this year, we’re starting them on some keyboard skills.  I can’t find my Mavis Beacon software I used with Isaac so I scrounged a couple of free programs from the internet:  TypingWeb.com and Learn2Type.com.  Once they get the basics down, they’ll be set free from The Most Boring Class in the Universe.  I’m thinking only a semester will be needed for this one and then they’ll just take off on their own, getting more accuracy and speed through everyday use.


Another class we all do together, we’ll be using The One Year Bible for Kids as our guide and supplementing with The One Year Bible and The Daily Bible, a chronological bible) to beef it up a bit.


First semester, we’ll be concentrating on animals so we’ll be studying Natural Goat Care and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.  Second semester, we’ll be switching gears to include plants and will be using a variety of books I’ve yet to dig out, along with one I just bought (and am so excited to dig into!):  The Holistic Orchard.  A few folks may snicker and roll their eyes that I include ag in our homeschool but I’m determined that the kids will know how to take care of themselves should they choose to do so.  I want them to grow up healthy & capable of being somewhat independent and, in my opinion, that means being at least somewhat involved in their food and not just buying crap from stores.  Of course, along with studying animals and plants, we’ll end up covering a lot of food & nutrition (which happens every day in this family anyway).


Art classes will be taken by all three every Friday through Hannibal Area Home Educators, our local homeschool cooperative.  (I don’t have an artistic bone in my body.)

Art & Movement:

This will just be a little half-hour activity for Nellie and Josie to “get the wiggles out” and do some art together.  Nellie will lead it because, again, art is so not my thing!


Another class taken by all three kids through the Hannibal Area Home Educators.


Oh, bowling.  How do I hate thee?  Let me count the ways…  Seriously, I detest bowling.  I cannot stand to even be in a bowling alley.  But the kids love it.  *sigh*  So Nellie, Duke, and Charlie will again be in the youth league bowling homeschool group thingymajig at PalBowl.  You’ll find me each Friday morning, trying really hard not to say bad words and screaming “Kill me now!” out loud.  At least the people there are really nice.  And they haven’t yet locked me in the bathroom when I start getting all grumbly (although, I wouldn’t blame them a bit).  PalBowl has a great program there and do an amazing job with the kids.  I just wish it wasn’t bowling!

Rotating Classes:

This year, Hannibal Area Home Educators is trying something new — doing a rotating class throughout the year.  Each month, someone will teach a short , 3-4 week class on… whatever.  It sounds really cool!  First up is soccer and I think drama is coming up later in the fall.  I don’t yet know what all classes there will be but I love the idea and I know the kids will want to do every one of them.

Looks like it’s going to be another full year!  What with the school schedules plus numerous extracurricular activities, such as Boy Scouts, 4-H, community activities, field trips, etc, etc…  Boy, I’m sure wishing I spent the summer resting up!

10 Responses to “The 2012-2013 School Year”

  1. Ilene August 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Wowee!! That’s quite a curriculum! And yes, I do believe Ag courses are worthwhile. Who knows what the future will be like? It just might be a version of “Country Boys (or girls) Can Survive”.

    Loved the picture of Nellie and Josie. You hang in there, Big Sis! Good luck to Isaac in high school, and to all the kids, in fact.

    PS: my chicken died. Hubs thinks she ate a blister bug. So far all the rest of the chickens seem ok. If it was a virus I may lose the whole flock. If that happens I’m not going to do chickens any more. They are a lot of work and they tie us down.


    • Diane August 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      I just emailed ya, Ilene, re: the hen.

  2. Jessica August 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Yeah, I need to start thinking about this a little more seriously. Your day sounds full!

    • Diane September 3, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      You’re not exactly a slacker yourself!

  3. Hollie Bastian August 25, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    I’m worn slick just listening to you…my hats is off lady…your the bomb!! You have the cutest kids, so nice and well behaved too. (stop laughing I mean it) I’m glad they were here with you today.

    Pinball is safe in his little pen, inside the hen house…I’ll let him free range with the geese and ducks…hold off introducing him again to Duke…

    Thank you so much and enjoy the new roos…(with salt and pepper) LOL


    • Diane September 3, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Would you like a dinner invitation? :-P

  4. Feather August 25, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    You’ve picked interesting classes and a wonderful way to keep the kids interested in learning. To me that’s what’s wrong with public schools, they don’t keep the kids interested in what they are doing. Kids get bored and that’s when they have problems.

    It was cute when my oldest son was a senior in high school. He took a class where they learned about the Greek, Roman and Norse Mythology. He had so much fun and knew more than the teacher did. When she asked him how he knew so much he told her about him and I watching The Adventures of Hercules and Zena Warrior Princess. LOL. They may be TV shows but they did have the connections between the different mythological people correct.

    • Diane September 3, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      We do love the freedom to switch things up!

      How cool about Zena and Hercules! I’ll never admit it in public but I liked those shows. ;-)

  5. Kris September 3, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Hello my name is Kris and I’m new to Hannibal mo and surrounding area also new to homeschooling and I have been looking for homeschool groups in this area. I’m wondering if you know of any.

    • Diane September 3, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Emailing you right now, Kris. Let me know if it doesn’t come through for some reason. :-)

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