Saturday, August 25, 2012

3 weeks in, Review time!

Time to reflect on our first three weeks of school! We have had some highlights and some near disasters . . . We have made a few curriculum changes, and I am not certain there will not be more! (That is so unlike me, as I am a planner and researcher and rarely make choices we can't stick with).

OK, the Hits and misses so far!

E: Math and Language Arts (WWE, FLL, AAS, ETC, SL readers) are all continuations from last year and are all still working well. WWE 2 felt like a big leap from WWE 1 but so far she is rising to the occasion, though I wondered there for a moment! I decided to start AAS 3 over since we had such a big gap and she is now almost to where we left off in May. We are going rather slowly with math and I decided she was far enough ahead and I didn't think she is ready to forge ahead, so we have cut down to one page a down in Math Mammoth for now. It has been a good decision and helping us ease into the school year.




We started history on week 2 and while it went well I decided a change might be best in this area. The very thing I loved about Sonlight (diversity in literature) looked to be a distraction. I love Window on the World and the idea of praying for the nations as we study that geographical area, but I didn't want to do 3 sections a week. I wanted to read one section, add a notebooking page about it to our prayer journal and pray for that nation all week. I felt like some of the things I loved about SL were really making it difficult to dive into history as much as I wanted. So we are taking a break from SL, and we are trying Biblioplan (well, my version of it! Using BP as a spine, adding in Window on the World and Geography Songs which the kids and I are both enjoying, and adding many of the SL read alouds). We are also continuing with the SL readers. I already had the Biblioplan books on the shelf as I had changed my mind so many times for this year! If at any point I begin to not keep up on read alouds we will jump right back into SL, but for now we will try a few weeks of it this way. After the first day of having them listen to SOTW 2 on CD and letting them color while listening, E said "I like history now!" This was a first, and cause for major celebration!






I hesitated on my resolve and motivation with science this year, and it didn't get picked up until week 3. I even considered abandoning Elemental Science Earth Science and Astronomy, but it looks so good (its just that the things that make it look so awesome look like so much work!) Being covered in flour and water paste for a model of earth did nothing to help my resolve! However, the big grin on E's face as she said "I love science" might have. ;)






While making our model earth, E realized she was about to dip Papa's face into the mix. She got a good laugh out of that!




C: Handwriting without Tears is amazing! I think there K program is one of those must haves in homeschooling! It is always amazing to me how such little writing gives way to such great success in writing and letter formation. Right Start Math: we had a rocky start. Several days of scrambling for supplies all over the house to be able to do the lessons made me flashback to our Saxon days. Ugh. But after the initial few lessons it settled down to only needing the manipulatives I keep in the math box and all was better in the world! It has been a really good fit so far for C. A lot of hands on, and not a lot of writing, and the best part is I am really seeing him grasp the concepts and the "why" of math. I think we will finish RSA before the end of the year and he will be perfectly poised to start MM 1A.



Phonics. Ugh. After doing Abeka for 2 years with E, I knew I needed something different . . . mostly for me! I chose the Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading because it was simple and straightforward. However, after 6 days of Lesson 29 the fact that C needed more "instruction" was abundantly clear! My initial reaction was to try Abeka phonics K since it is on the shelf but it only took me 2 seconds to remember why I didn't want to do that again! After spending a few days of evaluating, I have decided to spend some time working on his articulation issues with Super Start Speech. I am waiting on All About Reading Pre level 1, but if that proves too easy, I will order level 1.  I don't want to frustrate him, and I want to give us time to work on speech as much as we can.

After the first day of K with C I was thinking "So this is what they were talking about! All of those people that thought I was crazy for what E did in K, they have kids like C!"  :) He is a boy. And he is five. And he acts like a 5 year old boy! Getting the picture?!? He actually is doing so well, and while I was surprised that I actually had to teach certain things, he is amazing in how well he is doing! His attention span has already increased abundantly, and for that I am very grateful!

J: Goodness she is hard to keep up with! She constantly wants to do school and goes through more activities than I can keep track of! I think this might be our last year she can officially be "left out" of official school. What she knows never ceases to amaze me! I definitely need to focus more one on one time with her as her "school" time, because well, because she is demanding it! I do hate the constant shhhh'ing I seem to do at her. She loves all the activities I have for her, but she is so me, and wants to dialogue about everything as she does it!



All in all, this homeschooling year is about different goals and I think we are meeting them! Being flexible, more read alouds, more projects, more grace! Even with the speed bumps along the way, we are having a great year so far!

3 comments:

  1. I also have a 2yo that loves to dialogue about what she is doing. Constantly! She has to do school, I've realised I need to have an actual plan for her. Crazy! We use much of the same curriculum you do. When we get an ipad one of the first apps I plan to get is that AAS app!

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    1. I keep telling myself as tough as a 2 year old is, it beats a one year old! :) The whiteboard app is a huge hit around here. I have heard rumor that AAS was planning to come out with a tile app, but I have not been able to confirm that rumor.

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