Monday, January 4, 2010

New bookkeeping

I'm trying out a new system for keeping track of assignments and logging notes and such. I think it may work much better, and it'll cut down on the amount of paper I need to keep. We'll see how it works over the course of the month.

Today J surprised me with his math. He was converting fractions to decimals in tenths, hundredths, and thousandths. He kept complaining that he didn't understand - that it didn't make any sense. I went over it several times, showing him on paper how it worked. When I checked in with him later I found that he'd done most of them in his head. At first I thought he wasn't doing them correctly, because he didn't show his work. But when I sat down with him to do some checking I found that he had them all correct! I was very impressed, to say the least. And sharing my amazement with him helped him to feel more confident in his work. He finished the assignment with no more complaints!

It was a good "first day" back from break. Even though we'd done some work last week, today was the official first day back. It took a bit of coaxing to get started. Even I didn't want to do any school work today. But we did it. Not everything on the schedule, but enough.

And tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I left off with week #3. The school year is almost half over now. A bit behind, eh?

Tomorrow we will begin again, fresh from Christmas break. Although, we did do some work this last week to get us warmed up :D

Right now, I need to be printing worksheets! See ya!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mid-week #3

The amount of handwriting is increasing and so are the moans...
But I must say their penmanship is improving :D

I started reading a new poetry book today. "Tour America: A Journey Through Poems and Art" by Diane Siebert. We only read the first two poems but they've already captured our attention!

We're still learning about daVinci, getting ready to write a biography report. We're also doing a state report, as well as writing various kinds of poetry. In a few more days they will both be finished with their books and will begin a book report. In their science class they will soon be doing some experiments that will require reports. I think it's safe to say that this year will be consumed by writing, writing, and more writing! I can almost hear the moans beginning...

Monday, September 21, 2009

New School Year!

With week one complete, week two is now underway. We've started a new schedule, a new rhythm, a new direction. We are not doing our SOS at the moment as we are waiting for the new curricula to arrive and I'm hoping a new computer? maybe? It certainly would make our school day progress with less frustration.

While we wait on those things, we are focusing on our Bible class. We've started a new Character Study, which I hope will help us all to become better people. And soon we'll be adding in a study of each book, and the names of God. As part of our bible study we are using the dictionary and practicing penmanship, as well as reading aloud. We are now using the Charlotte Mason method for learning our memory verses. It seems to be working quite well! I'm pleasantly surprised with how well the kids have adapted to using it.

Our spelling study is going well so far. The kids are having an easier time learning their words. Using the dictionary and writing sentences, using syllabication and decyphering the base words, and alphabetizing are all helping. At first, K&J were a little defiant against using the dictionary. No one likes the thing and they'd rather type the word into! But I believe dictionary skills are very important, even in this technological age, and so they are learning to use it.

Our literature study this year includes many readings from the Charlotte Mason reading lists as well as lots of poetry. We will be focusing on book reports as well. Right now K is reading "The Island of the Blue Dolphins" and J is reading "Treasure Island". And I am reading "Emma". :D

In art we are in the Renaissance period. Leonardo daVinci is our artist of the month. We've looked at some of his art, and played a mystery game on the internet. I wish we had access to a museum with some of his works. Seeing them in person would make such an impact, I think. It's just not the same in a book or on the net.

We are also learning Spanish and Sign Language this year. J really wants to learn Japanese. I'm not sure what I'll do for that. We used to have access to Rosetta Stone through the public library but they discontinued it. If we decide to learn japanese, I'll have to purchase something else.

We started signing today. K remembers the alphabet and a few other signs from last year. J doesn't remember it at all - except for "no". Probably because I use it a lot! J is a bit more receptive to learning sign this year, so we'll see how much he picks up. K is excited about it and plans to learn more languages than what I have planned. She's really interested in learning Portugese as well as French. The portugese is because of their friends from Brazil. She picks up words from them all the time.

The new school year is still fresh and I'm always looking things over. Always on the look out for something fun and interesting. Looking forward to what's to come!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I want to go back to paper and pencil!

Once again we fall behind - through no fault or laziness - just faulty technology. I'm not happy. Not happy at all. My computer succumbed to a dasterdly virus and is now being professionally cleaned and repaired. When I get it back I will need to reinstall every program I use. I am not happy.

And while we wait for the return of our hapless laptop, we do our daily math assignment, our bible, penmanship, and spelling...and grow further and further behind on everything else...

At this rate, we won't get our summer vacation!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back in the groove...

I've been working really hard to get us back on track with our schoolwork. I've planned out the rest of March on paper, and I hope we can stick to it!

The kids aren't exactly enthused, but once they've got a week of the new schedule under their belts they'll be okay.

We're studying the Middle Ages right now, and as you can imagine - if you know me at all - I am bursting with history and fun tidbits to pass on! We just finished up all the lessons in the Switched-on-Schoolhouse curriculum so now we'll do some research projects and read all kinds of books, learn lots of fun stuff about how life is different today and really dig in to the history of the period. We'll even go to a medieval faire or something - if I can find one in the area. Most of them are finished by February. But we can always travel to one further north too! :D

I'm ordering the new science curriculum this week. We're SO-O-O far behind! I'm sure we'll catch up fairly quickly though, since they enjoy science and love doing experiments. I even dug the microscope out of storage! We're going to have fun :D

I'm hoping we'll be renewing our memberships to the Orlando Science Center soon and I'd like to find some more museums to visit. It's difficult to find a good deal around tourist town! :/

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wasn't Christmas break a few weeks ago?

or....the case of the missing calendar...

It seems I don't know how to keep track of time anymore. We've taken too many days off once again. I don't really regret it. The kids have had so much fun. As soon as we moved back into the RV they were off on the bikes checking in with their friends and meeting new ones.

So the days have slipped away from me as I've watched them settle on the "lawn" and put together robots and challenge each other to build the best egg protector, then dropping their egg contraptions from the tip-top of the ladder. I've lost track of time while watching them zoom down the street on their bikes, racing their friends to see who can get back to the park first. And I've emptied the cupboards more than once feeding hungry boys and girls just back from a friendly game of backyard football, or a rousing round of basketball.

But even the balmiest of days must draw to a close. The next few days we will begin the process of organized learning once again.