Year of Homeschooling Days 287-302 (Mar. 5-20)
Geez! I have been throwing a bit of a hissy fit (and not posting) as I was having all sorts of trouble uploading pictures. I now have a theory as to why my pictures weren’t uploading, so I have a test to prove. . .(It’ll take a couple more posts to do that though.) However, I spent all day yesterday uploading the photos for today. . .(Well, they were supposed to be yesterday, but there you have it. I’m sure you can understand the fits now.)
Of course, I haven’t kept good notes on what the heck has been going on, so this is just a rough sketch of the last couple of weeks.
The weekend of the 5-6th I essentially just let the kids be, as I was working on a video for my MADness class. And I want you to know that the little 22 minute video took me about 12 hours to piece together! I have a much greater appreciation for people who do that sort of work all the time! Anyway, during the time I was missing, the boys created the above necklaces. Both of them have fossilized shark teeth and they used them as their focus piece. (Garrett’s is on the left and Mikhail’s is on the right.)
We have done quite well getting our school work done, but changes have occurred hand over fist.
I got utterly fed up with our phonics program that we’ve been using nearly 2 years now. But the kicker was when Mikhail came to me and thanked me for teaching them how to spell (something I implemented about a month ago), as “reading is so much easier now”. The phonics books hit the trash that day in an amazing 3 point shot! (I know people swear by phonics; and it’s just great if it works for you — however that happens. But, honestly, there has got to be a point when the sheer number of exceptions completely wipe out the “rule”.)
The kids reading has seen a tremendous increase! Not that it’s great or anything like that, but it is happening and they are wanting to read more.
I also chucked the grammar program we were using, and decided to go with First Language Lessons.
I decided to start with the first book, as I have this thing about starting at the beginning, but we are doing ~ 1 lesson a day, so it will go fairly quickly.
The boys are actually enjoying it immensely and even came up with their own idea of how to do it.
They are creating workbooks to go along with each lesson, and because they are so proud of their work they wanted to show off their books here. These pages are from the first part of the book. Garrett’s will be on the right and Mikhail’s on the left.
Now, what shocks the pants off of me is the fact that Garrett hates drawing, but he does these assignments each day with great cheer.
I had an interesting phone call from Alpha Omega Publishing a bit ago. They were asking how we liked the Spanish program.
“We aren’t using it anymore.”
“Oh, goodness! Would you mind telling me why?”
“Well, I bought it so that my child could learn to read and write in the language, but even though it has writing questions on the exams, it does not have grammatical lessons (it’s “intuitive” learning), nor does it give you, the parent / teacher, the slightest idea as to how to grade those items.”
“What? That doesn’t sound right. Maybe you are missing a disk. Just one minute please. . .”
“. . .er, Ma’am, you’re right. We don’t offer any help in how to grade the written exercises. I’m so sorry. But, we do offer an online tutoring class that you could sign up for, for a fee. . .”
[end of phone call]
We also changed our Bible curricula. Maybe graduated from is a better word, as we finished the first and have moved onto something else. The boys are listening to Bible stories (from the Bible Comes Alive series), and doing a coloring page to go along with the story. Takes about 15-20 extra minutes every day, but they love it.
I think that’s it for the changes. . .
We did a health experiment on how your body breaks down fat.
We did an art project making window cling-ons using paint:
We’ve done another two sections in our science and read the following books that correlate
One day, I just couldn’t handle being stuck inside anymore with the spring rains (which had blissfully, given us a day’s reprieve), so I packed up the crew and we went for a hike.
I just think the roots of this tree are so cool on this rock!
And the plants are finally recognizing that spring is just around the bend.
Jay and Tyler have each had a great deal of schoolwork that needs to take place on the computer which is seriously cutting down on my computer time. So, I’ve been working through my new camera’s instruction manual (SLOWLY). I have one critter that loves to be around when I’m sitting still and so she gets an insane amount of pictures taken of her.
I suspect she’s developing a complex now and always wants to appear neat and tidy.
Yesterday the boys spent the day with friends at the zoo.
And that, I think, brings us up to today. And today, as it happens, is Sunday, so my family is just going to cool it and chill. I’ll post again tomorrow.