Friday, September 10, 2010

DAY 6 a new home-schooler perspective

I had planned to post at the end of each week.  I found that I had so much I wanted to write in the blog that I have made several entries. However, to be truthful I began making an entry two other times this week and found that I had so much I wanted to say that I just did not have either the time or more stamina to finish the entry.

I did not expect it to be super easy but I was not prepared for how super hard it was.  As I mentioned, day one was boring to them and I was caught unaware.  On day two we took the field trip and it was easy. Not just because we were having fun and learning a wide variety of things but because their mother was participating as well in the process.

Then came day three, the day after a busy trip and concentration was low as everybody was feeling the stress from walking the trails.  I delayed the lessons a bit in the morning but enhanced the day with a trip to the library.

Day four was amazing!  Both girls were eager to take on the task in front of them and  F, the littlest one, also took on a great student roll.  F was not so great at taking her turn and waiting for me.  I suggested she get out her white slate and "doodle' a moment.  She did fine with and so it worked well in the beginning of the day. But being F she decided to do it HER way and rather than wait for me she began erasing the work in the book she had completed.  The other day four experience was one that really floored me.  I have been praising G's ability to read way above her level.  WELL I WAS WRONG.  She is a great reader, giving expression as well.  I have found out that the method used to teach her in Kindergarten was called the whole language approach.  I compare it to Suzuki violin, really impressive at the start but no appreciation for the art of the experience.  She has a wide range of "sight words" that she learned. As I review them it makes me wonder why they consider words like  "ATE" or RED"  a sight word. They are phonetic in nature and rules apply to each of them.

As it turns out G has learned ending sound combinations like "AT" and adds the beginning sound to it.  Sure it makes "SAT, FAT and RAT" easy to read but it seems she is almost reading backwards.  She looks at the end and adds the start sound. I wonder how we have come to this in our language skills.  What happened to blending, I believe that there had to be a lot of professional teachers in the states that never learned phonics so the began creating their own methods. So G has words that are long vowel sound and she is tossing around ideas of a word that would fit the context of the sentence or the story.  WHAT? I said to her.  You mean to tell me that you struggle with the word until you decide that you have it right just because it fits the sentence?  Sure that is a useful skill  but SOUND IT OUT. 

So back to the amazing day 4, I learned something new about my student and she learned the rule of two vowels.  By the end of day 4 she was amazed as well.  Then comes more revelation.  She adds so well only because the problems have always had a picture to support it.  When she adds 1+1 without a picture it becomes 11. This actually became a fight of me against the teacher that is no-more.  Miss. W told her that and she was always right. WHAT again I wonder!!!!  Miss. W often misunderstood G and I believe the G often misunderstood her. Certainly I can overcome this. Finally I did achieve this concept by proof and making her write a lot of 41 dots while I got to write only 5 in the sum box.  Turns out that 41 and 5 are very much different, no matter what she told me at first, seems when she has to perform a time consuming task while I get the pleasure of a brief task she can see my point.  Even if she did not, well she did concede.

What I liked most about day 4 was that we walked to the river bank, sat on a log and had story time. On the way we noticed many of God's natural wonders. While sitting on the log we noticed that several trees there had been cut by a beaver.  Both girls asked me if I could make a lesson about beavers.  OH YES day 4 is amazing and God is working in these girls.

So much for that last sentence on day 5. The morning routine was broken as they both had their  yearly check up at the doctor office.  Now I am not one for physical punishment, however, I found it necessary to be an enforcer onto F in a way that makes me cry. I must say however that the practitioner verbalized appreciation at discipline, telling me how many people do not do so.  F was so far away from the Lord on day 5 that one would consider an exorcist to be necessary.  Of course I know she is not truly a little demon but during  a period that day....well only God knows.  Lessons with her were difficult although she did complete some.  As we all know, a negative atmosphere spreads and I had reached my patience end.  I cannot say what G even did except that she would at times get F more stirred up.  I just know that by the end of the day I wondered what I had taken on.

Finally, day 6 comes and that would be today. F attempted a few huffs and turns away. Well, fine with me if she is not going to do any lessons but she will not be disrespectful to me.  Seems part of her lesson today including honoring mother and father.  I had a craft and paint for her to do, so she of course had do finish her number 5 worksheet which she eagerly did finally do.  OK...not so bad...not so beat. However, remember I also had to teach G.

Oh poor G, she broke down and cried at one time as I caught her cheating on the paper.  You see, I had to erase a few pages from the used book and I saw her write the answer and never even take a second glance at the problem.  She did that once the day before as well.  We got through it fine and she went on to do wonderful progress today in all subjects.  Today she was not afraid to complete addition facts and understand the concept FINALLY.  We moved on to TENS and ONES placement. 

What I have discovered is that I am exhausted. both physically and emotionally drained.  I tip my hat to you moms who are doing this job. You see, I am grandma, and as the saying goes "I get to send them home when I am done with them"

I really wanted to share everything but realize it would be impossible.  We began a lesson today on John Chapman...Johnny Appleseed.  Next week we will do a unit study on him as well as our other subjects. After-all, it is apple picking time.