Homeschool Update

Homeschool Update – April 13

The Beginning…

I got up the morning to deal with my son who had decided that Lucky Charms cereal would help counter the fact that today is Friday the 13th.  He ended up spilling about a cup of it on the ground.  So the effectiveness of the “Lucky Charm” is debatable.

The Analysis…

It has been a rough last couple of weeks for homeschooling.  We wrapped up a giant theater production that all of the kids were involved in over Easter weekend.  It had been taking a ton of time and we are still trying to settle back into a regular routine.  The general atmostphere feels like it does after we travel and it takes a while to return to normal.  Instead of regular spelling tests, I have been having the kids take the tests as I get to it and assigning them new words as I notice them struggling with certain words in their writing rather than having them do regular spelling lessons.  Hopefully, by next week we can be back on our regular lesson and test schedule.

One benefit this week was the monthly homeschool support group meeting.  If you haven’t found a local group to plug in with, please look on Facebook or ask around.  Most areas have homeschool groups and it is really helpful to be able to connect with other moms (and dads) who are dealing with the same issues as you are and who might know what it is like to try and teach three different math lessons every day along with all the other important things like science, and art, and Spanish, and history, and writing, and grammar, and probably other things I just can’t think of right now,  while still managing to keep a toddler happy and everyone fed.  Maybe they have also been having breakfasts at 10 and lunches at 3.  Who knows.  Make sure and plug in.  It will help keep you sane.

Some Specifics…

Math has been fairly consistent.  One child is only 12 lessons away from finishing the textbook for the year which is always awkward.  I will be having him work on math anyway until we go on break sometime mid-June, so I suppose we will start next year’s math early.  Or we could use ALEKS math online to just make sure he has all of the concepts solidified.

Another of the kids (who didn’t finish their grade level math last year in time) is only about a fourth of the way through this year’s text book.  They will probably have to work on math throughout the summer to catch up.  Unless I have them repeat this year of school.  Since they started school a year earlier than the other kids did, and they are in early elementary school, this would just sort of even them out with the timeline I have been using with their siblings.  Other than math though, they are mostly on the earlier grade level.  Soooooo.   The joys of homeschool.

What I love about this situation is the fact that each child really can work at their own pace, not held back by any other kids or rushed ahead when they don’t understand the material.  It does make it a bit trickier for mom who wants to try and keep the grade levels consistent and stay pretty close to a traditional curriculum throughout the year though.

The other two look like they are on track to finish their work about the same time our school year will end so that will be perfect.

We have paused in our study of history (we are going through The Story of the World) for the younger set to study more deeply some regional history.  I am boycotting spending an entire year on a state’s history because I find it ridiculous to spend an entire year studying something just because you live in a state that really won’t likely matter very much later in your life.  I couldn’t tell you my home  state’s gem to save my life.  And honestly, it has never held me back from anything I have wanted to do with my life.  That being said, I think that there is value in learning a few things about your home state and even more value in delving more deeply into the history of the region you live in.

Looking Forward…

So we are spending some time pausing our regular history studies (we just finished up the studying the Civil War) to talk about those things.  Though we won’t take an entire year to do it.  I think there would be some value in taking a trip later this year to our state’s capitol and talking about local government (state, county, and town levels).  I also think it would be great if we could find a pow-wow close to home that we could attend as we talk about the Native Americans who live in this region and study the cultures of the different tribes.   Some possible field trips coming up to think about.

There is going to be a homeschool class on state history offered through one of our local homeschool classes next year.  If it is a quarter long class or even half the year, rather than the entire year, I may consider signing the younger ones up for it.  Always keep your eyes open for classes for your kids that would be interesting to them or that would help you in your teaching.  I have found them important not just in helping cover an area they need to learn academically, but in learning how to learn.  I make sure my kids take classes from other people so they can get an idea that there are all kinds of teachers and learn to work with them, as well as the other kids in those classes.  Plus they love them.

Next year we have several classes we are looking at for our high school student that are being offered locally – Biology (year long), Spanish (year long), Drama (depends on the number of hours), and possibly a college prep. writing class.  Additionally, next year he may be eligible to take a few dual enrollment classes at our local community college.  There is a lot to decide with him, but we are thankful for so many good options to consider.  And it really helps as the kids get older, to have classes for them that allow me a little more time to focus on the more direct instruction with the younger kids still in elementary and middle school.

I hope that your week has been happy and productive and that you go into next week with a peaceful attitude whatever it is you are doing – gardening, working outside the home, working in the home, teaching, etc.  The flowers are poking through the snow.  Spring is coming!

 

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