Homeschool with Abby Grace, age 9 {How We Homeschool}

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I am glad to be back with my How We Homeschool series. Abby Grace is our oldest, and she is nine years old.

How We Homeschool Series

Abby Grace is fairly independent, and can do most of her work alone. I recently purchased a planner for her, as when she hits Middle School, her school will drastically change. She will begin the Challenge program of Classical Conversations, and it is pretty hardcore. A planner is a necessity for Challenge, so I thought I would go ahead and let her practice working with a planner now. This has been one of the BEST things I have ever done, as she loves having “control” over when she does her work.

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I assign her an entire week’s worth of work on Monday, and for the most part, she chooses what she does and when. For example, she can do all of her math lessons on Monday, or all of her reading lessons on Wednesday. She is entirely responsible for copying her spelling words, completing her math, working on her facts, diagramming her assigned sentence, copying her handwriting, doing her typing lesson, and reading a chapter in her reading book. This work is either found on the computer, or is filed in her work folder. The few stipulations are that she has to do handwriting, spelling, devotion, and reading for pleasure every day, and that all of the work has to be completed by 5 pm on Friday. Her checklist is in her planner, and we have also printed off a Daily Tasks sheet that includes her chore work.

Reading

In July, I broke down our Fall Curriculum plans, but we have moved on from a few things since then. She completed her Rod & Staff book, and now I simply have her reading a chapter from Story of the World: The Middle Ages. This particular book, while not affiliated, coincides with the writing we are doing in her Essentials curriculum. It also gets in an extra bit of history! I like to spot-check her reading, so I also have her read from McGuffey Readers on the iPad a few times a week.

Spelling

Oh, y’all. I have this thing about writing out Spelling words. I’m not sure why I dislike it so much, but I fought with myself over having any of my children write out their Spelling words “5 times each.” I loved Spelling in school, but I absolutely hated writing out the words. I’m a visual learner, so you would think I wouldn’t be so averse to it, but I am. I was determined to not make my children do this “awful” task. And then my very visual eldest changed my mind. She spells so. much. better. when she writes out her words every day. She is retaining so. much. more. by writing out the words and spelling them to herself as she does so. Learn from me, Mommas. If your child does better doing something you dislike, give it a try. It’s just easier to give in than to continue to fight it! {wink}

Math

Abby Grace continues to work on her Teaching Textbooks, as well as, her multiplication facts. The facts memorization is supplemented with facts cards, a verbal quiz from me several times a week, and drill sheets. She is excellent with her memory work, but for some reason, we have a hard time with multiplication facts! In addition to this, we are learning to count back change. Abby Grace aspires to work with her grandparents at their jewelry store, and counting back change is a skill many people lack these days, so we have added it to our curriculum.

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Classical Conversations and Essentials

I have all of the girls much more focused on drawing their weekly Geography memory work. This is a skill they will need once they hit the Challenge part of CC, so they have to draw and label each week’s work every day. As far as the other memory work, Abby Grace works on most of it herself, or she “teaches” it to her sisters. She is always coming up with a fun game to play with them, and she is very effective!

Essentials is the writing program of Classical Conversations. In it, we work on language arts and structure, writing, and arithmetic mastery. This includes sentence structure and diagramming. At home, work on diagramming a new sentence every day, and she loves this as much as her Momma does. You could say it warms my heart to diagram sentences with my girl!

Part of Essentials is memorizing the different parts of writing and sentence structure, so Abby gets to copy one of the corresponding charts every day. This gives her an opportunity to see them in a different context and put a picture in her mind.

Typing, Handwriting, Piano, and Reading for Pleasure

Abby is going through the Dance Mat Typing again, as I don’t think you can get enough typing practice! For handwriting, Abby copies a different Scripture every day. Piano practice is also part of our daily work, and Abby practices for at least 30 minutes every day.

We have all gotten off track in our reading for pleasure, so she has an “assigned” time of 15 minutes daily. She is working up to 30 minutes a day, so next week, she will read 20 minutes, and the next we will move to 30. For pleasure reading, she gets to choose the book; except for twaddle. No twaddle for pleasure reading! ;)

Bible Devotion

Abby Grace has recently begun the daily devotion from Point of Grace, called Girls of Grace. Shane narrowed it down to this one and two others, and we decided to start her on Girls of Grace. We like the way it is written and set up with notes at the end of each lesson. So far, she is really enjoying it!

And that’s how we homeschool with our 9-year-old, who is actually closer to being 10 than 9. She likes to remind us of that on a regular basis.

Note – The planner is really expensive. I made a snafu when I ordered a planner for myself, so I gave that one to Abby. I don’t plan on paying that much for her planner in the future. However, it is an excellent planner and is working well for our needs. So. Who knows? Plus, she likes planners as much as I do. Ha!

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