Monday, May 2, 2011

Homeschool Weeks 27 and 28

I’m getting late with my weekly postings.  Not good, as I get the weeks mixed up or forget things I wanted to make note of.  Bad homeschooling mommy!

Things are moving along nicely with ds4 my 1st grader.  Thanks to his recent lessons in First Language Lessons he has just about mastered the days of the week.  I am also surprised that he can recall some of the poems we learned in the beginning and his full address as well.  I am impressed with FLL.  He is still liking the new Math Mammoth workbook and almost finished with his latest Code book.  I started using some You Can Read resources from Carissa at 1+1+1=1 and so far so good.  I was worried that they would be a tad too “toddlerish” for him, but he is liking it so far.  She has quite clever methods that work well with little boys.  :)

IMG_2866 Loving our new white board!

We finished Call of the Wild.  The boys have mixed feelings on this one.  I think they enjoyed the overall storyline, but the violence was a bit much for them.  We are moving on to The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Sometimes my boys really surprise me.  We have been having some issues lately with not giving school the proper attention.  There is general fussiness at doing lessons, dawdling or incomplete work, stopping and telling me completely unrelated stories in the middle of school.  I had enough one morning and said I was making up a chart where I would put an x next to their names for each infraction, and after a certain number the naughty boy would not receive “pay day.”  All of this was off the top of my head and in all honesty I may never have gone through with it.

Then ds3 got busy and made up his own version of the chart.  He wrote his and his brother’s names and at the bottom wrote, “You will get a x if you say rude things.”

IMG_2886 The x is actually a little stamp we have.  At first I was a little put off, thinking the child should not tell the parent how to discipline, but then I realized he was helping not only me but himself as well.  We have used the chart for about a week now.  As you can see, ds4 has more stamps at the moment.  His most frequent infraction is answering adults with grunting instead of words.  If I stamped his chart every time he did this he wouldn’t get pay day for years lol so I do give him a reminder or two…”You don’t want a stamp for that, do you?”  I even got away with it at our Easter party by just looking at him and saying “Stamp.”  He immediately stopped his naughty behavior and I didn’t have to yell or threaten in front of our family.  :)

I finally, finally got enough Amazon money and ordered The Well Trained Mind.  I don’t really like labels or confining myself to a certain method of homeschooling.  If anything I’d say we are eclectic, but honestly I just use whatever works.  It’s been different every year and with every child.  But the Classical method has always intrigued me and this year we’ve been using products that the Bauer family has published with success, so I got the book to learn more.  So far I am liking it and really relating to it.  I doubt it will turn me into a strict Classical homeschooling mom, but it’s the first resource I’ve found for years that has given me some new ideas for using with the boys.

I had planned on having May be our last month of school, taking all of June and July off and starting up again in August.  So of course things aren’t going as planned.  ;)  Dh is off this week.  I knew he had taken a week off, but I guess it just didn’t occur to me that it was so soon.  So now the boys have the week off as well, and we will just have to do a little schooling into June.  Dh is finally painting the monster, two-story shed and needs as many helpers as he can get.  I tell myself that this is perfect, I can spend the week making final plans and prepping for next year.  I like to tell myself stuff like that, ‘cause I know how gullible I am and will totally believe it lol.  So far I’ve helped build scaffolding and supervised young painters.  Such is life.

Maybe at the end of the week I’ll have a homeschool planning post, maybe it’ll be a surprise vacation post, maybe a trip to the ER post…who knows?  Just don’t make any plans around it. 


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