Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home Schooling Update:

Now, I don't even know if I ever wrote on here that in about mid-December we started using an online school for the girls we had been homeschooling. I was just too worried that I wasn't teaching them enough, never knew for sure which direction to take with planning curriculum, etc. The online program seemed to be just the solution!

Soon after becoming enrolled with this school, we were up and running, with all the lessons available online until the textbooks, workbooks, etc. started rolling in. The girls had LiveLessons scheduled regularily, we got a loaner is quite the amazing program, really.

The only problem? We weren't quite the amazing household that one is required to have in order to be able to school a 2nd, 4th, and 6th grader following a public school format...with stinky diapers parading by in the middle of a LiveLesson, or a toddler obsessed with getting in on every one of our 2nd grader's math lessons, 'cause it had a froggy wind-surfing on a lily pad that she found to be so enthralling, or a baby and toddler rocking (and crying loudly) in mom's lap while one of the girls was trying to listen to a lesson, concentrate on a test, or recording a fluency assessment for her teacher. It was a novel thought but it just didn't work for us! The girls kept falling farther and farther behind and, although they all were getting A's in their classes, we ended with them each about a week behind! OUCH!!! We were lucky enough to have the teachers just end them with the grades they had received for the completed assignments and leave it at that. We are now officially homeschoolers again! :) Whew!

Our first day of lessons as homeschoolers took place on the trampoline, with toddler right in the middle of it. We all sat down, started out with going around the circle doing math facts, then changed it to sitting, bouncing on our bottoms, moving our arms to assist with the bounce, rotating them in different directions and first straight out to our sides, then straight out in front of us....I had them show which muscles they could feel these actions were using..just getting them aware of the direct link from movement to exercise. While we did this little gym routine for about 15-20 minutes, we did poetry, each doing a line and passing it on to the next person to add on.

So there! A lesson in math, language arts, gym and health...oh, toss in gardening and composting too 'cause we were eating snack, consisting of oranges, apples, bread, cheese and grapes. We discussed then which byproducts of our lunch could go into the compost (orange peels, apple cores, grape vines) and the container to recycling. We then discussed what we learned last year what we learned about composting and gardening, each of the girls happily revealing what they still remembered from last spring...which was quite a bit, I was pleasantly surprised! From there, we decided who was going to research what topic, composting: what it is, what are the two types of compost materials, what are the components needed to make composting work, what is the end result; gardening: what seeds need to be planted when, how does a seed grow into a plant, explain how plants are nourished (nutrients and water moving up the veins of the plants), photosynthesis; and harvesting: what goods from our garden-to-be can be frozen or canned for use into the winter. We'll see if we get to those papers! :)

So now I'm feeling so peaceful and happy that we are doing our own thing again. I can clearly see that we will make much better use of our time learning our own way because we can fit toddler, baby, kindergartner, everyone into our schedule instead of trying to work around them, over them, ditch them, etc. to get our schooling in.

Now we'll see how long this sense of relief and peacefulness stay before they are replaced with worry, apprehension, fretting, and concern that we are not doing the right thing! We sure are enjoying it in the meantime though!


kristin said...

Fun to hear an update on the schooling front. And so much fun to visit tonight. Come again! You've gotta come so we can practice and win the guys!

Joni said...

I wanna come to your school! Sounds like fun, and you have it together to realize you're combining lots of lessons in at once. I also want your weather - that should be ours too, shouldn't it?! Well - I'll look at the bright side ... we've had many, many very beautifully sunshiny days in the last few weeks. And now we've snuck above zero a few days. The snow must be melting - I don't notice it yet, but it must be melting! :-)