Saturday, December 7, 2013

Home School Week 1 (Dec 1-6)

I'm not entirely sure that I will be able to keep up with this, but I'm going to follow my SIL's idea of using the blog as a sort of journal for what we did each week.  I realize that this is probably not going to be very interesting for most, but it may be helpful to some..and maybe even interesting to a couple:)  

Let me start by saying that this week was AMAZING.  Of course, I do realize that we are in the "honeymoon phase" of home schooling and that I only have one kid that I'm teaching and that every week won't be all daisies and roses....but this week sure felt that way!  Like I said in the previous post, I do believe that God has my back on this one.  What seemed so totally overwhelming only a few short weeks ago came together nicely and ultimately became the most natural feeling transition.  

The benefits of home schooling have become apparent very quickly.  There are SO many reasons why I am loving this already.  I love the time that I am spending with him.  I love that I know exactly what he is learning.  I love that I know if he is actually "getting" it and can go over something until he does.  I love that we can alter his schedule each day according to how other things need to fit in.  I love that he is able to do stuff that he hates (handwriting) right get it over with, but also to get it done when he is fresh.  I love that I can reinforce what he has learned at different points of the day..because I know exactly what he is learning.  I love that he can take breaks and do pull ups or run around with Truett or go outside and shoot hoops for a bit.  I love how much reading he is doing and I love how every part of his curriculum ties into scripture!  

I could go on and on about the things I love.  

This week, my biggest concern was the question "are we doing enough?".  I mean, we are doing the entire curriculum and he's doing the work, but because we can get through so much in such a short amount of time it leaves me questioning myself a bit.  

One of this week's projects was to write a letter to his classroom (his teacher suggested that he do this every so often).  When I was checking over his final draft it became obvious that I did not need to worry about whether we were doing enough!  In the letter he talked a bit about what he has been learning this week and seeing it written out like that made me realize that he (we) learned a TON!  

So with that said, I will share what it is that we are using for curriculum and just a tidbit of what he worked on this week.  

We are using Sonlight (Core D) "Intro to American History)  for his core subjects...History, Geography, Bible, Language Arts and Reading.  

Bible:  He has read Genesis 1-7 in his Adventure Bible and I have read to him Luke 1-2:20 from the NSV. We read together chapters 1-5 in the American Indian Prayer Guide.  This week we learned about the Mayans and prayed for them "that they would come to know Jesus so that Jesus would be their ruler".  Luke has also been working on memorizing Psalm 8..but this will take him more than a week:)  

History/Geography/Reading:  Luke is reading several books that cover all of these subjects. (and when I say that Luke is reading them..he is either reading them to me or I might read some to him....but we are reading them together) 
     "Pedro's Journal" (Luke's favorite)- this week he read Aug 3rd-Nov25th from the book. 
     "Walk the Worlds Rim" (a little more of a challenge for him)- preface-ch 4
     "Lawn Boy"- forward -chapter 3
     "A Lion to Guard us" - chapter 1-11
Throughout the reading of these books we are learning a bunch about American History.  We have a timeline book with stickers that we use as we go along.  This is a great visual for him.  We spend a lot of time consulting the maps to get a better understanding of the world!  

While he is doing all of this reading, we create a list of vocabulary words as he comes up on words that he doesn't understand.  By the end of this week he had around 20 words including words like "covenant", "rudder", "dinghy" and many, many more.  We created a little quiz using the app "Quizlet", but honestly, after he writes a word that he doesn't know and then looks it up in the dictionary, he usually gets a handle on it and doesn't really need to be quizzed on it.  He comes to an understanding of the word because it's usually one that is used several times throughout the reading that he is doing.  

Language Arts:  We work through different paragraphs (given to me in the curriculum).  We search out the different parts of the sentences..finding punctuation and capitalization etc.  There have been several different exercises each day.  This week we were working on nouns and adjectives.  At the end of the week I had to dictate a paragraph for him to write with the hopes that he would use the correct spelling, punctuation and capitalization.  We also worked on the letter to his class at school that he was able to finish and put in the mailbox on Friday before the mail lady came!  

Science:  We are using a curriculum called "Aplogia" and he chose the Astronomy textbook for this year.  He LOVES this.  In order to get through all of the lessons, we only have to do science twice each week.  He loves to talk about what he has learned this week.  He can tell you about Capernicus and Galileo and about NASA and, because of the sentence he created, he can list the names of the planets in order from the Sun to Pluto.  His sentence:  "My Very Earthly Mother Just Sat Until Neverland Pirates".  Of course, this is taking into consideration the question of Pluto's planet status:)  On Friday we made a solar system using balloons that were blown up in ratio with each other according to size.  This was a good project and visual for him.  

Math:  We are using the curriculum "Math U See".  So far I love this!  The idea is not to just memorize math facts, but to understand them AND memorize them.  The use of blocks to help visualize really helps with the overall understanding.  Because Luke has already been learning multiplication in school we are flying through the first part of this book.  I could just skip ahead but I want him to learn from the beginning using this style of teaching.  Each lesson in this book is supposed to take a week with several worksheets of practice for each day.  Right now, Luke is flying through a lesson PER DAY...but I am confident (because I looked ahead) that we will reach a point in the book when it starts to challenge him.  We are working quickly to get there so that he doesn't get bored!  I did have him take a placement test and he is in the curriculum that he needs to be in.  So..long story short, he's working on multiplication:)

Spelling:  He is working through a workbook called "Spelling Workout".  He is in the 4th grade book because at public school he was already working through the 4th grade list.  We really like this book with different lessons each day using his spelling words.  He aced the test at the end of the week....20/20:)  

Handwriting:  "A reason for Handwriting" uses scripture as the practice for cursive writing.  Right now he is just working on individual letters, but will soon get to writing (and memorizing) a verse each week.  He does not enjoy handwriting and chooses to do this first thing in the morning to get it over with.  He actually has great handwriting, especially for a lefty, but he just doesn't like the practice!

Phew!  So that was our week and now that I write it out myself, I certainly don't think he is slacking!  It's amazing to me how quickly we get through all of this and how completely relaxed we both are doing it!  

Each day he spends from around 8:30am-1:30 doing school work.  He gets several breaks in there including lunch.  This was also with me fumbling around a bit trying to figure out what I'm doing!  I think that we can make this time even shorter as we both settle into a routine.  

I consider week one a SUCCESS!!  :)  


Hydrangeas and Harmony said...

Sounds like you had a great week! That's wonderful. :) I have heard that the first three years of homeschooling are the hardest and that it takes about 1 month per year of other schooling for students to adjust. We were blessed to have a great first few years and a pretty easy adjustment. I pray yours goes well too.