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Friday, April 17, 2009

Homeschool Week 41 in Review

Would you look at that?!!? Week 41...woohoo! That means there's only 4 weeks left in Kindergarten...YIPPEE!!!!!! Here's how this week went (and a little rant/advice seeking at the end)...

Beginnings: Our theme for the week was "Yesterday's Trails." We talked about Christopher Columbus, the American flag, the White House, and Mount Vernon (which I'd really like to go see now). We added "do" to our list of service words, and "-ool", "-oon", "-ook", "-ow" (cow), and "-ound" were added to our list of word families. Our book for the week was God's Man.

Math: We finished up our chapter on the calendar, and Caleb got better with this by the end. It's still a work in progress, but that's okay...he'll get it in time.

Bible: We reviewed the First Catechism and all of our Bible verses for the year. I will not be adding anything new to our Bible studies for the remainder of the year. I think it's important that we take these next 4 weeks to review all of the information we've covered this year.

Now -- on to my therapy session. LOL! Moms of boys and other homeschooling moms -- HELP me out here! Why is it that they can remember the lyrics to songs, the commercial jingles, the lines from movies, etc...but they can't remember simple and necessary educational things?!!? I got so darn frustrated (and sadly and admittedly a little bit angry) with Caleb this morning. We were learning the "-ound" family as in hound, pound, sound, etc. Well, we always go over the family and make words (this is our normal word family routine). When it was time to do the worksheets (yes...I know...dreaded worksheets, but it's part of our curriculum), he couldn't remember the word family. I had just drilled it in him, and it hadn't even been 2 minutes, and he forgot?!!? What's up with that? And -- this isn't the first time it has happened. It just upset me so much.

So, there you have it...I'm not perfect. Yes, I'm a SAHM and a homeschooling mommy, but I'll admit...I lose my cool. We all do, right? Come on...don't go pulling the "I'm a perfect June Cleaver" crap on me...I know you lose your cool, too. You just might not admit it.

Anyway, session over. I'm open for ideas and suggestions from all of you experts. We sing the families, we make words, we do all of it...sometimes he just baffles me. He's soooooo smart...too smart sometimes, and I get this out of him?!!? Baffling I tell ya...

And next week we are taking a MUCH needed SPRING BREAK! Woohoo! We're leaving Monday night or Tuesday morning for Virginia to visit with Omi and Opa. Hopefully Caleb and I will both come back refreshed and ready to finish up Kindergarten. :)

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Kris said...

Wow!! I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm glad I have now--because I will start following it! I'm also a homeschooling mom, just getting into this whole blogging thing...and I'm glad to know that my children aren't the only ones to do that!! You say stuff like this to some other parents and they look at you like you have two heads!! Thank you so much for letting me know I'm not alone!! How about when they do something perfectly for a week and then suddenly forget--or you are talking to someone about how well they are doing so you try to show them--and the kids go blank....completely null and void on ya?

Sawatzky family said...

Oh man...i am sure I will be able to relate to this better in the fall when our homeschooling begins. I am sorry not to have any advice to offer but I am very interested to see what others have to say...for future use at our house lol.

Christi said...

That's why I drink. Not really but some days it might be more pleasant.

Seriously, if we could turn reading into a Wii game (or DS) my kindergartner would be reading college level.

BTW, girls do this too, but they also burst into tears. That's lotsa fun. And it can be over a word they have read multiple times before.

He is just in K so don't stress too much yet. Just take some deep breaths and try not to say anything you will really regret.

And it does get better.

My Lil Guyz said...

My experience with my boys is that they want to remember what "THEY" want to remember. I got a chance yesterday to volunteer in my sons kindergarten classroom. I could not believe how well behaved he was. I asked his teacher if he is normally like this or if he is being this way because I was there because he is a lot more hyper at home and does not listen to me. I have to repeat things all the time. She asked me, he doesn't listen to you or he doesn't obey you? Humm, that got me thinking. He IS listening to me, he just chooses not to do what I ask.
So my guess, if your son, "suddenly" forgot what you went over with him, that might just mean he is just not into it anymore. Maybe try again later.
After all, sometimes we forget, they are only in kindergarten :)

Amy Andrews said...

First off, I never, EVER lose my cool. I simply have NO idea what you're talking about...


Are you kidding me? I've got so many issues I'm a walking advertisement for why God's grace is necessary. :)

Why is it that they can remember the lyrics to songs, the commercial jingles, the lines from movies, etc...but they can't remember simple and necessary educational things?!!?The answer to your question is simple: We all learn things we want to learn.

So what about school and those things that they don't want to learn but probably should?

Well, as I see it, there are a few options:

1. Don't make 'em learn it. (I know, the curriculum says it's time to learn it, but really, is anyone gonna die if they don't learn it right now? Just sayin'.)

2. Find a fun way to get 'em to learn it. Could you make it into a game of some sort? Or use something like SpellingCity? Or Starfall?

3. Just read a lot. I bet if you threw out the lesson plans and sat down with lots of good books, after a while, he'd learn it without even knowing he was learning it!

Just some ideas...

I can certainly relate to your frustration! Usually it happens with me and my son with math. Feelin' your pain over here!

heidi said...

Your son is normal. =o)

I'm laughing at what Christi said cause my eldest learned to read off of xbox games! My husband would play games that had word instructions across the bottom as he played and my son in all his eagerness began picking it up. Then enter Lego Star Wars...the intro...a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... HA! It sparked his interest. We used Expolde the Code and it worked for us.

Wii has reading games.

It gets better with time and there seems to be a season for understanding. Like a light bulb that finally flickers on after months of "why can't you understand???" They have selective memory and sometimes they only try to understand what interests them. I think that's why shorter lessons work better. Rome wasn't built in a day. AND 1st, 2nd, 3rd...all repeat what has been learned, it just builds a little as you go and the bonus of homeschooling is that you can adjust the speed at which you accelerate at certain subjects. Allow your child to guide you in your decision making. The longer you homeschool this will all make sense...I promise!!!!

My two boys (8) and (5) have the attention span of fleas and the energy to boot. We keep lessons short and spaced. They get a lot of exercise through out the day. And my 8 yr old didn't start writing till this year and just short bits. Nothing extensive. He has a ton of energy and writing brings him to tears. So we backed off for a while and I enrolled him in an outside art class...the boy HATES art. BUT I felt this would help him with fine motor skills as to holding a pencil, crayon, paintbrush and he'd never be the wiser as to my ulterior motive. Now he writes.

My daughter (10) is a perfectionist on an emotional roller coaster....interesting. Enough so that some days I COULD lose my mind.

We use Mystery of History, Apologia-Astronomy, Sequential Spelling by AVKO, Explode the Code, Math-U-See, First Language Lessons by Susan Wise, Beautiful Feet, Memoria Press, Educator Publishing Services (EPS) for reading comprehension...maybe I'm older than you but do you remember SRA's when you were in school?...kind of like that. And I use Writing Tales by Amy Hastings Olsen for my 10 yr old.

Sequential Spelling got my kids to remember how to spell.

I do a ton of reading to them. I'm an animated storyteller. I keep my windows open often. I had a neighbor stop to tell me he stopped to listen cause I was so exciting to listen to that he actually learned something!!! ROTFL

I joke w/my neighbors..."could you hear me screaming?" and on occasion I have. But my neighbors constantly tell me how well behaved mine are. Pediatrician thinks my kids are way smart and EXTREMELY well behaved...I asked, "whose children are you talking about???" They laugh cause my kids have this funny habit of walking behind me like a trail of ducklings...I feel like muttering, "quack, quack."

Musings of the Mrs. said...

How you do this is beyond me. BEYOND! My mother would not have had one ounce of success homeschooling me. Not one ounce. I promise, you are doing a great job. I love reading about your successes and there are many!

Angie said...

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Your post is at http://mumjunkie.blogspot.com

Together We Save said...

I could never have home schooled. I am so impressed with those who do. I have noe advice for you except patience and I guess that goes without saying. I will say since you have made this decision enjoy this time. It goes all to fast.

Anonymous said...

Amy Andrews said:
1. Don't make 'em learn it. (I know, the curriculum says it's time to learn it, but really, is anyone gonna die if they don't learn it right now? Just sayin'.)

this is scary to me and why some people shouldn't home school. Taking off certain aspects of a class or putting it off till later because your kid can't grasp it right away? There's a reason for most curriculum's schedules and to just toss it out because there's an obstacle is, well, sad for the kid.

I'm not against home schooling, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Going about it with such a lax attitude will not benefit your kids.

Sherrie said...

I want to thank all of you for your replies and advice. I will definitely be considering some of your suggestions. And -- after a much needed spring break, today went so much better. :)

And anonymous -- first of all, I really wish you would have left your name. I, myself, think it's quite cowardly to post an opinion and not own it. We are all entitled to our opinions, and it's okay if others disagree with us.

However, I don't think Amy Andrews is suggesting a lax attitude at all. In fact, being able to go at things at a slower pace (or skip and come back to things) is one of the main perks for homeschooling. There are so many kids in the public school system that get left behind just because they can't grasp something. If the teachers came back to said things at a later date, the child might be better suited to learn the concept. Instead they are shoved through the cracks. Trust me...I was a public school teacher for 8 years, so I know this first-hand.

You are right...home schooling is not for everyone. But -- suggesting that we aren't benefiting our children by skipping/postponing a part of the curriculum is just ridiculous. In fact, we are doing just the opposite...we are considering our student's needs and bettering them by doing so.

I'll step down off of my soapbox now, but next time...leave your name. It's okay to do so. :)

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