Wednesday, September 29, 2010

home education schedule

this year, i decided to change a couple things with our lessons.

i decided to make out some "long-term" (semester) goals for getting through academic subjects and curriculum. up until now, i've allowed the boys to determine their own pace in learning and i've also allowed many things to interrupt our lessons so that many days we did not accomplish what we should have or could have because i did not have a goal to accomplish anything.

last year, i would make out a schedule of work to accomplish each week. if we did not get to a particular subject at all, i would just put all the same work on the next week's schedule. thus, we did not accomplish as much as we could have.

so this year, i've planned out the entire fall, from august 30-december 17. if we miss something, we'll have to make it up - this leaves me more motivated to get it done when it's scheduled. what a great idea! :)

i am still, of course, allowing grace when we don't understand something in any given subject and the schedule was already tweaked a little when the boys actually were moving more quickly through their math books than i had planned for. but overall, i am excited to have goals in place to guide us. afterall, "if you don't know where you're going, you'll probably never get there." right?

we've done well for several years now without academic goals.

our first year, my goal was to teach jojo to read. i figured if he could read, he could learn anything. in the spring, we added a formal math curriculum - after doing fun math activities i found in library books. we continued with the fun science activities from books i found at the library. (janice van cleave's play and find out about... math and nature and science.)

over the next year, as kik began "formal" lessons, we added cursive (cursive first & abeka) and spelling (spell to write and read - SWR), missionary biographies (ywam series) for history & geography, and a health curriculum (abeka).

this past year, we joined classical conversations (CC). it was perfect timing, as i felt the boys were ready for more substantial academics, but not boring, traditional, textbook learning. CC has been a blessing to our family. i am so pleased with what the boys have learned and the freedom i have to add to it or not and still feel good about their overall academic progress.

in the spring we added first language lessons and are working to get caught up to their proper "grade" level.

this year, we're enjoying adding lots of read-aloud literature that compliments what we're learning in other subjects, especially history. who knew learning could be so fun?!

the conclusion... we have a long list of subjects to accomplish each day, but each of them really does not require a lot of time. all of them are "slow and steady" works. if we do just a few minutes each day, a page a day, a chapter a day, we learn so much! consequently, i created a little schedule to keep us all "steady" in pushing toward our goal - to be better equipped, to know God and to make Him known.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the Angels won tonight

we had the privilege of watching the baseball game tonight - thankfully it cooled down quite a bit, so the weather was perfect for the outing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LA County Fair

i had never been to a fair. one more thing off my list of things i've never done.
the kids and i went to the fair with a few other families from CC. it was a ton of fun! i will definitely do this again.

first we saw the animals in the "farm" area. the kids milked a goat, watched a sheep shearing, fed the lambs, and spent time watching pigs, goats, horses, cows, and bees.
we had a quick lunch and then spent time in the "america's kids expo" which had a medieval theme this year. this was perfect since we're studying the middle ages right now! we had just finished a book called castle diary and had fun seeing many of the things we'd just read about in action at this exhibit.

stocks, catapults, archery, knights
we also visited the "heritage" area and the kids tried weaving, watched ladies spinning yarn from goat & rabbit hair (the animals were present, too), saw a blacksmith in action, saw rug making, doll making and soap making and, of course, saw some quilting being done. - i was a little bummed because the "quilters were just actors, but all of the other crafts were being done by people who really "do" these activities and are knowledgable in their skills.

finally, before we left we watched the pig races! the kids were begging over and over, "can we please go see the pig races now?!" as we chatted with the crafting ladies. (they sounded like country kids!)
fun times at the fair!
and ice cream on the way home!
(there was so much more to do than we could get to in one day... next year i plan to do a couple trips!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

science with the flowers

we had fun dissecting flowers after jojo did some weeding and planting in the front flower beds. i think he has his grandpa's love for gardening. for tomorrow's presentation he had to pick a hobby or interest to talk about and he chose planting.

September update

3 weeks have gone by! - and i was doing so well! -

we have officially begun our school year. we started on august 30th. hence the lack of posting. now that we're up and running, hopefully i'll be better about updating - especially since now we have family on the other side of the country!

i attempted to start school on august 30th to coincide with our CC starting on august 31st. i now know that we should ease into things, not start everything new all at once. live and learn. our lessons were postponed...
  • for mommy's errands in getting CC started,
  • for labor day weekend (our last trip to Arizona since gma & gpa have moved),
  • for the crazy week of single-parenting that happened while scott drove with his parents in the moving truck to Atlanta, Georgia - their new home, and
  • for our first games of the new soccer season - 3 separate teams with practices and games is yet another new challenge for me.

The kids have adjusted to the new lessons and away from attempting to memorize 5 new Bible verses a day. We are still doing Bible memorization of course, but at a much slower pace. :)

So our last 3 weeks have been super busy, but full of fun!