Friday, April 22, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I wigged out last Sunday.  Had a complete and total meltdown.  I really can't say why...  (PMS?) My poor, sweet husband gets the brunt of my meltdowns, fortunately they don't come often but when they out!  The good thing is, we all ended up with a better understanding of each other.  I have a tendency to let things build up...then I blow up.  And then it's over and I feel better (except for feeling bad about how I blew up!).
In our homeschool this week... I had thought that A was struggling with Grammar, only to find her making sheets for her "class" when she plays school where she was correctly diagramming sentences!  
The girls continued to plug away at math.
  We covered determining if a verb states a fact or expresses an action, learned more about verb phrases, learned the differences between "Your" and "You're" and "Their" and "There", etc.  My girls actually agreed with me that Grammar is fun and it should be a game...we are trying to create our own grammar game!
History has been awesome!  We are moving right along and loving it.  Jason read the chapters on Julius Caesar before we went to the play last weekend and he agreed Story of the World is incredibly well written.
We are also using The Complete Writer.  Any of my friends who have children (public schooled or homeschooled) who struggle with summarizing and clearly expressing themselves, I HIGHLY recommend this book by Susan Wise Bauer.  We've been doing the accelerated program for Years 1 & 2, we started Year 3 and I think we are okay to continue on the accelerated track.  I am strongly considering doing Year 4 in detail next year, as P will be in fourth grade.  So far she has been mastering the skills, and it's probably terrible that I am hoping she needs to do year 4 in depth...but I just REALLY love this style of teaching.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…The public schools are on spring break this week, so both girls have been over the homes of some of their ps friends several times this week.  

On Monday we went on a shopping spree...spring clothes and shoes and all kinds of things.  It was a blast.  We usually just pick up things when we are out and about and see them, a shirt here, a dress there...but our schedule just doesn't make that possible anymore, so a BIG SHOPPING SPREE was in order!
My favorite thing this week was…One of the things that came up in my meltdown was that the hubs told me that I just need to trust fate sometimes.  I'm not a planner when it comes to lesson plans, but I kind of like to have some sense of what lies ahead.  When I planned my lesson plans a few weeks ago (& then abandoned them once again) I never would have thought that we would be covering the chapter on the BEGINNING OF CHRISTIANITY during Holy Week...but WE DID!  And it just made Holy Week that much more special.

We made these wonderful cookies which taught all about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
We painted these wooden crosses.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…We should be done with Story of the World, The Complete Writer Year 3 and our grammar unit on verbs in two weeks!!  We will take May and June off and then start on Science and Latin after July Fourth!
What’s working/not working for us…Lesson plans don't work for me, sometimes we move faster or slower.  Now that I realize we will be done with our curriculum in two weeks, I am starting to think a little differently.  I was not very effective at covering science, history, reading, writing, grammar, phonics, vocabulary, math, latin, spanish, art and music all at the same time, all year.  So...what if I approach this almost like college...we do daily grams & math all year and focus on the other things at different times of the year.  Writing can easily be woven in anywhere or left on its own.  We can focus on History for a few months, finish that book, take a break and then focus on Science and latin for a few months, take a break, then focus on...whatever else interests us.  I sometimes felt like we were all over the place, doing a little of this and a little of that; we tried doing science two days a week and history two days a week...but I really want to be able to really get into them and just focus my energies on less subjects.  I think I will be more effective that way and the girls, I hope, will get even more out of it.
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