I'm finally trying to put life back together or at least get back to some of my normal routine after the move. I am still surrounded by boxes here in my new "library/office" area as we don't have bookshelves yet and let's face it, I'm human without superpowers and even though a lot of my time has been dedicated to unpacking lately I'm just one person and can only do so much. After all, my family still needs to eat, learn and do other things as well. But I will persist and try to save my sanity (thus the post on stress the other day and yes, I am reading the book and doing my best to learn from it - more on that another day!) and attempt to get back to a somewhat regular blogging schedule if I can.
So today is day 28 of our homeschool year. If you recall, my oldest son (I go by his school year plan for the day) started school back in the beginning of August. At that time we planned on him having at least 8 flex days in the school year. Little did I know when we planned this that he would, for sure, be participating this year in football... That was a big goal for us when we decided to sell our house and move to the school district my husband would be working in....but we had no idea the sell of our house would take place so quickly! And I, as a not so big football fan, did not have a CLUE how much time pre-season football practice would actually entail. Yes, my son has fallen behind. But actually, I've been rather impressed. I think his responsibility with things have actually INCREASED rather than decreased. Football really is important to him you see and he knows that school is important to me. He knows to have both, school has to be going fairly well. So he has really been trying hard, in my opinion, especially considering he has to endure this in a smaller room than he's used to which is full of still unpacked boxes which were not packed well by the movers.... but I digress.... back to school.
Despite being a few days behind in quite a few subjects now, he's performing well. He got 100% on his first Chemistry exam - another testimony to having his father's brain cells 😉 and starts lab this Thursday with some friends at a local camp - the same one that offered a Biology lab last year. He's also doing well with Geometry and World Studies. He just started his online class for Russian and the Lost Tools of Writing class as part of his English course. He could stand to do better with Keyboarding (I'm still not sure if this is what I'm calling that course on the transcript.... I'd like to include some basic computer skills in the course besides typing....). I don't think I need to say much about physical education. He's DEFINITELY getting his hours in and he's definitely performing well.
I'm not really keeping track of days for my youngest. After all, he's only 4.... I'm still not even sure what I'm calling this year. Preschool? Pre-K? Kindergarten? He's definitely beyond preschool but I'm not sure if we'll get through enough to call it Kindergarten. But maybe we will - he certainly is catching onto the reading thing! And we're homeschoolers....it really doesn't matter what I call it. I don't need to call it anything really as we live in Pennsylvania and I don't have to report anything to the state until he's eight. So I think I have awhile before I NEED to decide what this year really is.
With that said, take a look at the words he already knows automatically - no sounding out!
We are still using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons but I'm also practicing the words he's learning in that book and other sources with the sight word flash cards I've made above and have started using the Delightful Reading Program I purchased from Simply Charlotte Mason at the Chap Convention in the spring.
He's doing really well. There are days he doesn't want to do it. On these days I attempt some encouragement....chocolate chips for words he gets, that sort of thing...but if he really seems off, we just put the things away and move on. It's OKAY. But he's really catching on to the 'making words' part of the Charlotte Mason program. He totally figured out how to change 'pain' into 'paint' the other day and I haven't even covered changing word endings yet!
We also make sure we READ EVERY DAY!!!!! That's the MOST important thing! Whether it be his Bible, books or magazines (He loves the stash of Highlights Magazine we have... I didn't do so good in reading them to him as they came in the mail so now I have a stash and we've been getting through one every week or so), we read together and now I pause every once in a while and point out a word I'm sure he knows. He LOVES to see that he can read part of the story too!
Other things we are using so far this year include the first book to Handwriting Without Tears. My goal this year is just to INTRODUCE the correct formation of letters. I am not worried that he uses it all the time nor do we write everyday. Right now I'll be glad if we get through the book ( a page or two, maybe three in a week) and work on his name and a few basic words. For math all I'm doing right now is having him count the words he gets right in his word cards every day (he gets a special treat if it's more than the day before). We also occasionally read out of the book "Everything Your Child Needs to Know in Kindergarten". I don't rely on these books to really know it all....but I like the variety of things all in one book to pick and choose from and help guide me in giving him information that is varied. The stories are nice and he loves the poems. He loves that we are finding a lot of sources here at home containing the Rain poem by Robert Louis Stevenson which he will be reading in the Charlotte Mason Delightful Reading program. Of course we start the day out with Morning Prayers (okay.... I admit it...I totally failed at this for the last couple of weeks but are now back on track) and Bible reading. I use his Bible Reader. Check out this online source! It's told on his level and has great illustrations!
Today I'm adding a Charlotte Mason type method to learning the words to the Our Father. He knows the prayer. But now we are going to learn the words and talk about what it means.
How is your homeschool year going??