Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homeschool Week 2- almost done!

(I wish I could get my blogger template back to normal. The spacing is still off. It is starting sentences in weird places. I can't figure it out. I struggle to read blogs with formatting issues. Please excuse the mess. I don't know what to do!)

I made some book changes on the second day of school. I decided to spend a little more time choosing our Literature reading and Josiah's free reading. I am not a fan of reading comprehension guides because I hate "busy work". Those guides are nothing but "busy work"! After a little more research, I headed to the library and brought home a huge stack of books. Josiah and I went over each book.We talked about the subject, the theme and his interests. He had to choose one for Literature (which he reads with me), and one for "free reading" (alone time, bed time or any other time he chooses to read). I chose Ava Beth's Literature book (one we already owned) and she chose a ton of books from the library for "free reading" (her book basket). She is my avid reader and flies through books!She LOVES reading! Josiah takes a little more prodding. Once he's hooked to the story line, he's all in!

After we narrowed it down to a few books, I googled for "online" reading comprehension guides. Sure you can spend a lot of money buying these guides and having your child fill in all the answers, but I think it takes away the joy and leisure of reading. I used comp guides with Josiah last year for one month. I quickly realized it was creating unnecessary busy work, and he began to dread reading because of the guides. Many homeschool Moms post reading guides online and they are free! I have them saved on the iPad. When Josiah finishes his reading time, I pull up the guide and ask questions about the chapter. This takes less than five minutes. There are usually about five questions. We also discuss vocabulary from the book. I choose a few words to focus on. This is also our spelling. I LOVE this method. This is all oral work. I love the discussion it often creates. If your child is reading, there is no need for "busy work". We do not use a spelling curriculum either. After reading this book, I felt confident in putting the Spelling curriculum aside. If I begin to see Josiah struggling with Spelling, we can use it. We read more than we do anything else. No need for busy work!

I'm in the midst of morning sickness. This is making our days pretty long. I learned last week that a time allotted schedule was NOT for us. Instead, I focus on my lesson plans. I find I am more in tune with each child, instead of the CLOCK! The lesson plan is my checklist and we love  mixing it up. Today we started with Math. Yesterday we started with History. Tomorrow we may start with Science. Another reason I had to ditch my time allotted schedule has a lot to do with having a baby, and being pregnant at the same time. Jude does not always sleep through the night, and I am exhausted.Getting up at 6am right now, even 7am, is not realistic for me right now. The goal is to start by 10am, but we usually make it by 9am.

We love our schedule this year. We love our Math, History, Science, and Latin! By the end of the second week I usually know if there is something I need to cut. I think everything we are doing is wonderful! I am thankful for the weeks of prayer I put into this school year. I can see God's hand in everything we are doing. I feel like all those weeks of prayer back in the Summer, prepared me for now. God knew I would be pregnant. He knew how sick and tired I would feel. He prepared me back then.He is so good!

Oh and we are memorizing a new verse each week this year. The kids LOVE this! We create hand motions for each verse (a trick I learned from The Duggar's newest book), and it has helped us all remember. I love starting our day with this! I have a ton of pictures from last week that I hope to share soon!

Hope all of you are off to a great start!


Karen said...

No better way to start the day than with the WORD.

luv all of you

Wendy said...

Glad you are making things work for you. Again, one of my favorite things about homeschooling--it's on your schedule. Yeah, we like the simple way the Duggars teach their children scripture memorization as well. I couldn't wait to try that this year and lo and behold not only does it work but it's fun, too! :)

Noel said...

The task with library books is to peruse them first before just handing them to the kids. So I grab a pile and bring them home before I hand them out. Good thing, too. I've found some real humdingers doing that. Had some "Oh my goodness, I almost gave this to the kids." Not as much a challenge in the grammar stage, but boy does it get important once they reach upper grammar/dialectic. Remember the good old days of the safe library? :D

Amanda said...

Thank you Mom!! I love you!

Wendy, yes the scripture thing is awesome!

Noel, I always go through them first. I don't turn them loose with anything except for Cat and the Hat before checking it. :)