Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Homeschool Check-In

It's been a while since I did a homeschooling post and I feel like it's time for a check-in, because I know some of you out there homeschool and are "first years" like us, so it's worthwhile to have honest updates. There have been a lot of different things going on though, so this will be a mish-mash.

1) I was starting to kind of freak out over Sierra finishing each subject's book by the end of May. I felt like we were falling behind and felt guilty about that because we do have the time to do more in a day. I've decided it doesn't matter though. If I walked her down to the local school tomorrow, they'd put her in Kindergarten and she's WAY beyond that level of academics, so she's fine and there's no sense in either of us being miserable over a made up deadline. For the record though, she has finished her 2nd grade spelling book and 1st grade geography book. I have no doubt she will finish her 1st grade science book by the end of May. She has finished her 1st grade grammar and punctuation book and is half way through another 1st grade grammar and punctuation that requires her to put the rules she learned to use. Our hang ups are math and history. We got a late start to history, so I don't feel too bad about that, but as of now, I think we will realistically finish this year around the end of June or middle of July depending on what trips we take. Math has just been slower going at times than I expected. She has about 30 lessons left to get through the 1st grade book and while most of those are one day each, some take multiple days. We might get through it by the end of May, but I'm beginning to doubt it.

2)Sedona has suddenly decided she is interested in learning. All year long, I have asked her if she wanted to work and she has written one line of letters or read 5-10 words and then been done. Last weekend, she chose to take one of her LeapFrog DVDs with her on our trip. It has Letter Factory and Math to the Moon on it and she must've watched them at least 10 times each in the car while we drove. Since we've been home, she's requested nothing but LeapFrog movies on the Netflix instant view (and between settling in after the trip, my EGD on Monday and teaching Sierra, she's watched them A LOT). She already knew all her letter sounds, but she is suddenly trying to put the letter magnets on the fridge together to make words and is carrying her magnadoodle around copying letters and writing numbers and accurately identifying them all. She shouts that she can do letters and math now and does little happy dances and quizzes the rest of us. It's REALLY neat to just see the switch flip and have her be SO excited and eager to learn without having been pushed at all. Of course, this means I now need to re-evaluate my days and see how I'm going to fit in schooling for 2 children with a soon to be mobile baby around.

3)I feel like Sierra needs to do more creative writing. She's shown interest, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to encourage her since I've always been more drawn to non-fiction in both reading and writing.

4)Sierra and I finished reading the 2nd Harry Potter book today. A fabulous discussion point presented itself near the end. Harry is worried about his similarities to Voldemort and Dumbledore tells him, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." This point has come up many times in our schooling because Sierra is a little perfectionist (can't imagine who she gets that from...) and will get herself completely worked up and upset over just thinking she MIGHT get a wrong answer. I spend a lot of time telling her she doesn't have to always be right, she just has to try her best. This line in the book was a great opportunity to stop and talk about how the important thing is how hard we choose to work, how we treat others, what we choose to do with our time. All of that matters so much more than just whether or not we can get every problem on a worksheet correct.

1 comment:

Snyder Central said...

For creative writing - put "story starters" in a jar. Each time she has a writing time, she picks a story starter and starts writing.


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