Posts Tagged ‘homeschooling’

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Spring is here – time to think of the new!

April 27, 2012

Ok, spring has been here for a while now. 😛

I have started my thinking on the upcoming “school-year” in the past few weeks. So far, it isn’t nearly as involved, planning-wise, as last year because most of it is continuation of what we are doing.

Things we will be continuing:
Singapore Primary Math with Mr E, and possibly starting Singapore Math Essentials with Mr A.
Rex Barks for grammar.
Mind Benders logic puzzles.
– Spanish
– SOTW 1 and 2 when we get to it

Things we may be doing differently or adding:
– Latin
Mavis Beacon typing
– Chemistry and Physics
– I am currently undecided about English. I may have him continue with Spectrum, or I may have him start using First Language Lessons or Writing With Ease.
– Mr A will continue working through sounding things out, and pre-writing skills

In other news, Mr E has started speech therapy, finally. It is going great! He already recognizes when he slips up and uses the “F” sound instead of “TH”, and his therapist is pleased with his progress!

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Encouragement.

March 20, 2012

I frequent a forum of friends, many of whom homeschool. Recently one lady asked about homeschooling, requesting “convincing” and information as she ponders the decision to homeschool. I decided to share my response to her here, for anyone who may be reading and also pondering this decision. 🙂

“It is so intimidating when you are first pondering (and doing) it! But its so much more rewarding and easier than one would expect, at least it was/is for me.
Sure, there are challenging times, but the rewards have been so much better than any cons I have experienced.
I have a mix of public schooled/ing and homeschooled/ing kids. My oldest son and youngest daughter have been public schooled, and my oldest daughter has been public schooled for the most part, with the exception of homeschooling last year for at least half the year.
My middle son was public schooled for kindergarten and we pulled him out during 1st grade. His Dr (at the time) wanted us to try reintroducing him to public school in third grade, and it was a miserable, horrible fail. My youngest son will be our only child that will be homeschooled from the beginning and never entered into public school (that’s the plan). He has already learned more than I expected him to this year, as a 4 year old, and we really haven’t started “school”!

I always knew that school systems are just substandard (in my opinion and experience). They are institutions. I truly believe that the real goal is basically enough education to get by, but that the biggest thing is to create little soldiers, little “good citizens”, yes-men and a work force.
I want my kids to be individuals who think for themselves, have their own educated viewpoints, who learn at their pace and are not hindered by the institutions.

My middle son is so much better off and happier at home then in a school setting, and he has learned a whole lot!

Its interesting (and frustrating!) to have kids in both situations. Seeing both every day makes the public school’s lacking even more obvious to me, I really can’t say we have been lacking at home (I’m sure there is some bias, because this is dear to my heart, but when I look as objectively as possible, any lacking I find here at home are not so bad and entirely correctable). I can say that public school is a ton more demanding than homeschool, and my homeschool children learn much more. Public school creates a lot more stress on the entire family. Homeschooling is so much more relaxing and the stress level is minimal in comparison.

I don’t really consider myself a “teacher” – I am a facilitator. Sure, I teach things to (all of) my kids, but as a homeschooler my main job is providing the resources and planning. Its more a management position than a teaching position, sort of.
You don’t have to know everything for your kids to get a good education. We learn as we go, and what I don’t know, I can most certainly find out, or find someone who does!

There are lots of resources, and you don’t have to have lots of money invested to homeschool as well. Of course you can choose to, but it isn’t necessary.

Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in your area, then start thinking about how you want to proceed.
I suggest checking out HSDLA, and reading the books The Well Trained Mind by Bauer, Dumbing Us Down by Gatto and eventually later on The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Llewelyn.”

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Some New Links

March 14, 2012

This is just a quick post to lend awareness to a few new links I have added.
Starfall
Discovery Kids fun Mummy Maker game
JUMP Math, which came highly recommended by a friend of mine
Awesome Knot Tying videos
Free Advanced High School courses

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3.1415926535…

March 14, 2012

It is Pi Day!
Pi Day was founded at the Exploratorium by physicist Larry Shaw, and has since become an official international holiday, celebrated live and online all around the world.
We are planning to do a little celebrating of Pi Day ourselves, in the form of pie. 🙂
Celebrate by making a Pi necklace or by making pies and pizzas.
It is a perfect opportunity to explore math and Pi with our kids!

Happy Pi Day!

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Leapfrog Letter Factory!

March 14, 2012

Seriously amazing!

Leapfrog Letter Factory is truly amazing. Mr A started learning phonics using the free games at Starfall, which is a great site. However, it wasn’t until he started watching Letter Factory that he really got it. Everything is changing so fast now! I know I have said it already, but it has done absolutely amazing things. He went from not recognizing most of his letters – to recognizing them, knowing their sounds and reading words by sounding them out!

On top of that, he can easily write his name and this morning, Mr A decided to write his alphabet with his new crayons. We haven’t even begun to learn how to write his letters, we have just been working on paths and mazes, as pre-writing skills. Apparently, I need to step it up a notch!

I simply can not recommend this video enough.

Here is the alphabet written by Mr A, spontaneously, this morning. It is written backwards, but that isn't uncommon for young children when they are first learning to write.

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My Fabulous Keeping Up With The Blog Skills – a.k.a. It’s March already!

March 6, 2012

We all learn new things almost every day of our lives. Fabulous that we do, even if sometimes what we learn isn’t the most flattering thing about ourselves!
This winter I have been learning that winter is a bad time for me to try to keep up with school. I am fairly certain that I suffer from SAD and doing anything consistently through the doldrums of yucky, gloomy, grey winter is pretty difficult for me. So, I have been doing the best I can, as I can.
Since my last post, we did in fact get mostly back on track, just not quite as on track as I would like. My 9 year old is slightly behind schedule, but all things considered he isn’t very far behind where the public schools are as far as days, so I am not really worried about it.
He has been learning so much this year – I am so pleased!
He started the second set of books in Singapore Math 4. He has been working on decimals in 4B so far and doing splendidly at it! Fractions, which were in 4A, were more difficult, but that isn’t shocking for me, as it is typically more difficult for most people.
He has been continuing with diagramming sentences in Rex Barks, and has really been doing very well! It seems to be starting to make sense to him. It isn’t the easiest subject to grasp either, and it has been getting easier for him.

This is a somewhat recent Rex Barks assignment that I was very pleased to see. He only had to correct one of the diagrams!

We are getting close to finishing with learning about Ancient Egypt, and are about to begin learning about the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Ancient India. Egypt has been a subject that I actually didn’t think we would be focusing on as long as we have, but there is just so much to learn about it! I certainly don’t mind taking our time through history, that is much better than rushing, in my opinion.
As ever, he has been reading lots of science books from the library, he has been reading all about mammals and how they live and behave.
Today, amongst other things I am scanning and printing, I am printing out Spanish worksheets from two new books I purchased with Christmas book money. He will be learning Spanish much more regularly than we have been up until this point. I am also adding in some extra math work, in the form of word problems.
My 4 year old has been doing workbook activities that I have been scanning. He absolutely loves mazes! I have had him doing mazes from Kumon, and he will be starting more pre-writing skills, such as mazes in another workbook I have for him. He really enjoys “doing school”!
We are loving the spring like weather that we have been having! The less winter there seems to be, the happier I am!
🙂

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It’s January.

January 10, 2012

This is what I am telling myself.
We have taken a lengthy winter break, (and it was a nice one) and we need to get started back up. I was aiming for Monday, but randomness decided to get in my way.
Our schooling area is a post-holiday, disorganized catastrophe, and it needs to be reorganized and cleaned up so we can get back to work.
Secretly (ok, not so secretly as I just posted this – haha) I am hoping this post will get the ball rolling.
I have lots of goals for us, so I need to get this all straightened up!

*laughing maniacally as she walks away*