Why I felt so insecure at the start of this our 18th year of homeschooling, I do not know for sure. I’m pretty sure it had something to do with super high expectations paired with years of experience that has taught me that what I can really expect is often quite different than that which is hoped for. <sigh>
Well, what a difference a week can make! Seriously. Last week ended with me laying all of those expectations down. Box-checking is a personality trait of mine that is hard to kick. I really like to get things done. All at once. Without interruptions. I know, right? Ridiculous.
So this week began with our schedule loosly set, planners filled out (in pencil) and the reasonable goal of finding a rhythm that works for our days.
I have always found first grade a breeze to teach; however, our current first grader is putting all of my theories to the test. He is a delightful young man until his patience is tried beyond what he can bear – which I might add, doesn’t take much. Strong-willed, slightly ADD, dyslexic and growing by grace everyday – he is both a blessing and a challenge. I have been immensely encouraged by the Discipleship and Discipline Seminar put on by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae this week. (Not sure but I think you can still sign up and get the recordings. Worth every penny!)
She spoke about accepting the personality, strengths, weaknesses and limitations of our children; reminding me that is is the kindness and mercy of God that leads us to repentance.
Just what I needed to hear this week. Especially when this charming 6 year old stormed out of his first tutoring session declaring that he was ‘done’! We talked, we prayed and I committed to stay with him (and not go to the library to write) through this so he can learn the skills he needs to be successful in school.
4th & 5th Grades
I distinctly remember my grandmother saying how she wanted to freeze her daughters when they were about 12 years old. I now understand what she meant. Eight and ten year-olds are some of the most delightful people on the planet. They are competant, eager, helpful and capable. A busy mom-of-many’s dream come true! They definitely tip the scales back a bit from the weight of their younger brothers!
We spend about an hour and a half to two hours each mid-morning focusing on most of their core subjects. Our Apologia Bible is amazing and ministers to me every day.
We finished the first chapter of Apologia Anatomy and Physiology by making an edible cell that was just the thing that kids love. Although, in hind sight, it may not have been a great idea to let the kids eat all of that candy at 10:00am and may very well be why my first-grader stomped out of his tutoring session later that afternoon. <sigh>
There has been lots of learning going on over here and that makes this mama happy.
High School: Towards Independence
One of my goals for my two 10th-graders this year is to move them towards more independent learning. Because our dyslexic kids don’t usually read independently until they are 10 -12 years old and still struggle at 14 and 15 with unfamiliar science terms and the language used in older literature (we are reading/listening to The Scarlet Letter), mom is in high demand.
One of the ways that we worked towards more independence this week was to use a weekly planner. These are great. Each 10th grader has a small, spiral-bound planner in which I enter all of their lessons for the week. Of course one was lost after a few days. We will be working on organizational skills as well. <grin>
When I first wrote about our choice of Notgrass American History, I mentioned my concern for the amount of reading that it would entail. So far, both kids are keeping up. As usual, one 10th grader loves and the other dislikes it. We scheduled in one day this week (at both students’ request) to have a discussion day. We went back over each chapter and discussed the ideas presented. One reason that I chose Notgrass is that it is full of ideas and thought-provoking content; not a bunch of dry unrelated facts.
All of our kids are studying Anatomy and Physiology this year and both of our high school kids prefer the younger kids’ Apologia curriculum. It was probably the Jello-O cell implanted with a pound of candy organelles. It has been fun seeing how their lessons intersect here and there as everyone studied cells this week.
We are doing our usual tweak and modify but overall both kids are diligently working through most of their school load.
Thanks for checking in today. Take a minute and let me know how your week went. I love the encouragement!
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