Wednesday, April 20, 2011

School News

I. am. not. creative.


I am a homeschool mom.  Those two are difficult to mesh together successfully, I think.  I actually have to stretch my creative muscles in order to do anything not out of a story or workbook.

In other words, I am the most boring teacher ever.

Not really.  My kids seem to enjoy school and they are learning a lot.  And I must say, the wannabe creative mom in me came out yesterday in an effort to keep the interest going.

1. We sang our math lessons.  Made-up melodies for math problems.  It was hilarious, but it kept my son's attention- and we were having some attention issues yesterday... It was his idea to sing and we ended having a lot of fun!

2. The kids created "cave paintings" to go along with the lessons about early humans.  I crumbled up some grocery bags to give the paper some texture and they painted something from their daily lives- Alex did an amusement park (not part of our daily lives, but still pretty cool).  Sophia did... well... a Jackson Pollack, also not part of our daily lives.  But they had fun AND did some art.  Alex really enjoyed it which brought me joy because he's not an art kind of kid at all.

In other homeschool news:

I picked up the Simply Charlotte Mason All-Day Seminar and our homeschool was lifted out of the doldrums overnight!  Katherine over at Evlogia suggested that using the wisdom found in this seminar would be the best thing we could do for our homeschool and she was totally right.  I am THRILLED and recommend this DVD set wholeheartedly.

I am starting to wonder whether or not we need the charter school to fund our homeschool... We will be using A LOT of Simply Charlotte Mason products and recommendations (Spelling Wisdom, Delightful Reading, English for the Thoughtful Child, Outdoor Secrets, etc.) and the school won't fund those purchases.  Totally fine.  So what do I need the school for?  Yes, the school will pay for extracurricular activities and field trips but is it worth it?  The only drawback to leaving now is that we'd have to give back everything they've bought for us and repurchasing those things would cost us significantly.  So, for now, we're sticking with it.

We recently revolutionized our math lessons by FINALLY picking up the Singapore Home Instructor's Guide which, I must begrudgingly admit, is the KEY to teaching math the "Singapore Way."  Manipulatives Manipulatives Manipulatives!  Less text/workbook.

I picked up A Child's History of the World which I LOVE because it does not come from a Young Earth Creationist perspective.  My kids love the stories. They are far more engaging then Story of the World.

Along with "A Child's History," I did purchase the first set of timeline figures from Homeschool in the Woods. These figures are beautiful and the descriptions will be really helpful... but the dates are wrong.  A lot of the dates are wrong.  I don't have a problem with the timeline beginning in 5005 BC- if they want to come from that perspective, that's fine.  We just won't use their dates for anything before Genesis 12.  Not a problem.  BUT, I'm finding that a lot of the ancient history dates are incorrect- some of them are off by centuries.  And this does present a problem for us because we are putting together a Book of Centuries.  I don't mind changing pre-history dates because I expect that they will have their dates wrong on those events, but I do not want to have to change 700 dates.  That is definitely no bueno.

We have eight weeks left in the school year and I intend to finish STRONG!  I feel like I have finally hit my stride as a teacher.  My kids don't complain about the lessons anymore (thank you Sonya Shafer!) and I'm hitting every subject I want to cover.  We've even managed to have a school week during Holy Week, the busiest time of year for us liturgically speaking.  But if you keep the lessons short, sweet, and interesting, its easier to fit school in to the rhythm of liturgical life.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for keeping it exciting. That's 90% of the battle.