Saturday, October 2, 2010

How It's Going

I have been evaluating as we went along, but I wanted to take some time to really think about what is working, what is not, where we can improve...

We need to implement a bedtime and a start time.  We are going to start doing that this week.

I think I planned too many field trips in the beginning, I think one a month may be good.  Possibly two if it is really something great.  Since we do co-op, our actual academic time is only 4 days a week... I really need to stop thinking so "school-ey" as my friend Melissa says.  They are learning at co-op and on field trips and that is why we are doing learn outside the classroom.  But, I admit, I think most learning is done behind a desk with a lesson plan in hand and a white board and textbooks.  I want to change that.  I want to change the way I think.  I really think our Spelling curriculum may be partially to blame.  It's very "school-ey" ... a list of words presented at the beginning of the week, various exercises with the words all week and then a test at the end of the week...I want to make sure that we have time enough to work with all of the words during the week...3 days doesn't seem like enough time.  Although, I know that I have been to seminars where they say that lists of spelling words don't work, it's one of the things kids memorize and then forget a few minutes after the what do you think?  How do you handle spelling?

Life of Fred was beyond P's 3rd grade abilities, so after a lot of thought and reading reviews, I showed her the websites for both Math U See and Teaching Textbooks and hands-down, no questions asked she wants Teaching Textbooks.  A will continue with Life of Fred and worksheets for reinforcement.

We LOVE "Writing Strands".  We were was clicking, I could see it.  But I wanted to try "Writing Fabulous Sentences and Paragraphs" so we did that last week and it was very "school-ey" I didn't see improvement the way I did with "Writing Strands" it was just practice exercises.  Maybe that is the thing with the homeschool stuff...there is room to grow, you see growth, improvement, development...I love that!  The more "School" stuff is just rote exercises to practice the taught skill.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE - I can't say it enough times! -LOVE this TimeLine idea!  LOVE IT!  We have been adding to it and it is encouraging us to actually look for things to add...and to see it laid out like's like a wallop to my head---it just makes SO MUCH SENSE!  I just used computer printer paper and drew a line across the middle and started adding facts.  I did one page per century, but I will probably need to add a page to at least some centuries as we get going.

The girls pulled the beanbag chair into our Learning Area, and our dog likes to lay there and learn with us ;-)
So, my big question for my homeschooling peeps is, what do you do for spelling?  How do you handle it?