This is our second year home schooling and we are using almost everything different than we did last year. I've switched from Tapestry of Grace to Mystery of History, from Singapore Math to Mindsprinting.com, from Easy Grammar to Growing with Grammar, and we're trying Writing Strands. We are still going to continue using Apologia, but we're going to implement Nature Study as well. I'm also supplementing MOH with a Charlotte Mason program at simplycharlottemason.com.
I'm also going to implement a new system of accountability to keep the kids on task and to nip the complaining and whining in the bud. My goal is to get them to where they are whining less, and yelling less.
What I did was wrote out what I expect from them everyday: completed chores without complaining, completed school work without complaining or nagging from mom to finish, respect for each other and mom/dad, etc. Everyday they start the day with 5 stars. Any time they do something that doesn't meet the responsibilities they will lose a star. At the end of the day the remaining stars are tallied and the total is written on a chart. At the end of the month their total points are tallied and they receive a reward based on the number of points they have earned. The rewards range from pencils and stickers, to going to a movie or Chuck E. Cheese. I'm hoping that offering rewards for them to work toward will encourage them to mind themselves and remain accountable for their actions.
It's sure to be an exciting year!