Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A better day all round

Well today Daddy gave us all a hand. He helped me and the kids tidy up this morning and then took R up to his room to work on math. The mail came and there was a package for R from my sis, a new video game-skateboarding! Well talk about lighting a fire, that boy broke a personal math speed record, lol.
We then did spelling, again quickly and easily. We started Foundational Grammar today, it went very well, especially the part where we played I Spy! We had been doing the dictation/grammar worksheets from Sonlight last year, but the grade six grammar exercises were way above my head, never mind B's. So I thought we would start at the beginning, nouns. We will all learn it together, just like the Rosetta Stone French. I can't wait to start that! We need to set up our computer in a more convenient spot though, and buy another.
My mom is off to Europe this week, I think she landed in Paris last night. I decided that we should do a little project about the places she goes, so I printed off some maps today. I thought we could follow her itinerary, plot it and research her stops. A nice way for them to connect with Nana and learn something at the same time. It is also a perfect opportunity to practice that report writing that always seem to get pushed to the back burner.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Avoidance tactics

So I am avoiding my work today by uploading my CD collection to itunes and creating a spreadsheet to catalogue my Cd's before I store them.
R. is avoiding actually completing his math at all costs. He started talking to me about Pokemon, so I told him that when he is done his math assignment, he could create a spreadsheet about Pokemon. He thought that was cool, so I am excited to teach him how. I love the methodicalness of spreadsheets and lists! I am a geek, I know.
B did his math and spelling and is now playing castle Playmobil with J. I don't mind, as B is keeping J occupied and busy and teaching him how to play make believe and all about knights and castles.
Braeden seems to have matured a bit this year, I think that I am going to be able to just give him a daily schedule, checklist, and let him get to work. Time to get to work on the scheduling.

Friday, September 08, 2006


What a frustrating day for mama! Back to our old rut of the kids sitting and staring into space and me saying repeatedly, "Do your work. Get back to work. Do your math. Do you need help? No? Then get back to work. Where did those toys come from? Put them away and finish your math. DO YOUR MATH! AHAHHHHHHH!"

I want them to love learning, I want them to be literate and productive members of society. Shouldn't they be able to do a lesson of math in less that 3 or 4 hours? Shouldn't they have to do a lesson of math?

I wish I knew how to make learning fun for all of us in a practical way that we can all accomplish. We tried a reward system last year, that worked well for a few weeks. Then we all lost our motivation.

B did do his math, spelling, dictation and grammar, and work on his letter-still no good copy though. That took him til almost 4.

R finally finished his math after 4, I did interrupt him at one point to work on spelling. Spelling did not go well. He got 5 out of 7 words wrong on his pretest. We use Spelling Power and the kids are pre-tested on the list before they see the words. Then they only study the words that they spell wrong. He gets discouraged when he gets a lot wrong though. Once we get to 5 mistakes we stop and he does the study section.

We did get some 'school' done today, but no fun, no impromptu learning. I don't want to fight with them and have to make them do their work all the time. I don't want them to hate learning. I need direction God. Help!

The boys had a big reward to look forward to tonight. A CFL game. B is supposed to go with the church youth group, and R with his dad. They are so lucky to have that opportunity! How fun. I had also told them that we could go to the space and science centre with some other homeschoolers in the afternoon if they got their assignments completed in the morning. That did not happen of course.

The boys did get to go to the game and the Eskimos won!! They are so excited.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Graduation day

Today I let my husband convince the children to get their math completed. That was nice for me, both of the boys love math and are great at it, but they like to stare into space instead of completing their assignments. argh.
They just left with their dad to go to their uncle's police academy graduation. They seemed to be really psyched about it!
This evening after dinner and dinner chores we finished delivering the flyers in our neighborhood. I am going to spend the next few days getting organized and making schedules for the kids so that they can complete their assignments independently.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Official day 2 of the school year.

Well today is the second day back for all the school kids around here. There are a lot of little boys running around our cul-de-sac, lots of built in playmates for our kids. Of course they all go to school, so our 2 were a little sad that summer was over and all their friends were gone.

I knew they would feel that way, so yesterday afternoon we took the kids to the 'not going back to school' picnic. It was really nice for the kids to meet a bunch of other home educating kids and for me to meet some other parents. I haven't gotten together with other home educators since we moved here.

The boys did math in the morning, as they did yesterday, and they worked on letters to our sponsor child. They also helped us deliver flyers for our church fall carnival. They thought that it was pretty cool that they got to invite all their friends and neighbors.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of starting another school year. I really don't know what I believe to be the best way to help my children learn. My natural instinct is to schedule their day with lessons and subjects. I do not want to stifle their love of learning, but I cannot escape from the feeling that there should be fruit to show for their endeavors. I also realize that I need to be a more active participant in what they are about. I have been so distracted with babies the last few years that I feel I have disconnected from the older boys a bit.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this blog is so that I would have a place to record our days and be able to look at it and see what works; what and how they are learning; and what needs to change.
I pray that this will be a year of discovery and growth for us all, and that God will help me create a rhythm in our home to facilitate this.