Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A new "semester" of homeschool has begun!

We have joyfully started our homeschool back again after a very relaxing break for the holidays. It just feels so good to have done this before! That first semester was just stressful because it was The First! I feel so much more confident and relaxed now that I have a good idea what kind of things are working for us. I have chosen to give the older kids a bit more independent work than we did last semester so that they can get started and get most of their work regardless of what is happening with anyone else in the family. I think they are liking that independence. I am still reading out loud to them everyday, but I am moving that reading time to the evening after dinner so that it doesn't feel like a part of "school."

We started Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli with the older ones last night. Ben and I have been reading The Monster in the Third Dresser Drawer by Janice Lee Smith. We are almost done! Mark is starting a unit study on weather with them on Wednesday and Friday mornings and will start their piano lessons as soon as he can schedule them! Mark is learning how to fly an airplane and the kids are right behind him watching it all! They have all been learning how to use the flight simulator and yoke (steering wheel). So the weather unit is all within the context of aeronautics. It is good to have him taking the wheel on the science and music aspects of their learning. And it is also very nice that he has rearranged his schedule to go into the church late on those mornings so he can be a part of it all. I think it will give a nice rhythm to our weeks.

I am also adding some new types of work for Benjamin. He will be following the Five In A Row method of studying one book for five days in a row and focusing on different aspects of it each day. We started yesterday with Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey and will do lots of activities from that book this week. I also got the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann and have started preparing to teach him to read! According to the book, he should be reading very well by the end of the 100 Lessons which for us will be 100 days! The lessons are only about 15 minutes a day so it shouldn't be any big deal once we get used to the particular method that is uses. I can't wait to see him reading everything around him. I think it will make his school much more interesting for him. I really think he is ready so we will see! Let's see, if we started today..... we would finish the 100 Lessons on April 19. So I will pad the schedule a bit for days that we have to miss for whatever reason and will say that by April 30 he should be reading very well! How cool is that! Today we will make us a 100 Day Chart so that he can keep track of his progress!

I am considering switching to more of a year-round calendar for us. I have never really liked the extended break in the summer in regards to their learning. So we will probably be going for about 4 weeks and then taking a week or so off. That will give me some very clear blocks to schedule and plan. And we will make our read alouds and units fit within those blocks so that when we start back we get the excitment of beginning something new each time. Of course, I will not take breaks in Ben's reading lessons! I am too excited to see him soar!

Breakfast is ready! Mark cooked for us, so I had better head to the table! What a great way to start the morning!

1 comment:

  1. thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving your link. I'm adding you to my list of daily reads :) I hope your semester goes off splendidly!