Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A little background on our home-school blog

I had another blog by the same name at another site. It seems that this past week I have been unable to access the sites at all.  I have seen others at that site who moved to this blog keeper so I will give it a try.  I hope to find a way to bring my other material here as the whole purpose was to keep a record for all to see of our progress.

This page will be one that friends and family will check in on as well to see what is happening at our home-school.

This is the first year be have done this. I never had the opportunity with my own children although I thought about it many times.  Home-schooling was also more difficult then to connect to others while now it is becoming more mainstream and so many opportunities are available to connect with others who do as we do, who believe as we believe. 

So far we are going great. We began on Sept. 2, 2010.  We are teaching Kindergarten and First grade.

G is 6 and doing well with the idea of home-school. She does not miss the public school AT ALL which is in a way rather sad.  Everyone should have a positive experience in Kindergarten and when that does not happen it can shape their view and future education tremendously.  G is very very bright and loves to learn.  She is a great learner of why and how, not a great at memorizing which slowed math for a while but the concepts she completely understood.  Her reading skills are great. I remember as well when I first introduced cursive writing to her. She enjoyed it but thought she would have not use for it. Now I find her doing more and more work in cursive as for now it is her choice at each assignment. 

F is 4 but with a late birthday so she has 3 years before she can attend Kindergarten in the public school. So we began a K5  curriculum with her, mainly because the K4 was too toddler-like for her academic abilities. She has learned along with big sister all this time and knows a lot by accidental learning.  She is currently blending phonics sounds of three letter and some four letter words using short vowel sounds.  We are ready to go onto the next reader in the curriculum that we are using and we introduced it early in the year adjusting the lesson plans to what fits the need of each child.  She is a great at memorizing but when she does not understand a concept--because she is only 4-- she has a funny way of turning off her ears.  She expects that her learning comes easy so I see the future will be challenging.  For that reason, not wanting to injure her desire to learn, we do not care if she completes this Kindergarten curriculum this year or if it takes two years. I do expect that she will get through math this year but it may take another six months to get some other subjects done.  At  the beginning he age clearly had an effect on her ability to write as he motor skills are those of a 4 year old. Oddly she enjoys that challenge and has really become good at her manuscript.

We use the same science/social science/health for the two of them.  We use the first grade curriculum for those subjects as they are very easy understanding and basic introduction of information to be  covered later in their education.

The curriculum we us is A Beka and although I have their science and we utilize that book we use Bob Jones Science.  The lesson plans for the later is filled with so many teacher helps. 

This year we have taken advantage of several opportunities for out of the class lessons.  Rather than taking Labor Day as a holiday we took a trip to Giant City State Park in Southern Illinois.  The girls enjoyed the day and in the middle of the fun the went to the interpretive  center and watched a movie about the park. It was really great when we ate at the lounge later in the day and they saw for themselves as well as pointed  it out...that the CCC carved those stones and that the corner of the pillar their hands were touching was American History. They also explored different tress in Illinois and completed leaf rubbings. The trip was topped off by hiking a trail to a stone wall created by unknown natives. We sat at the wall discussing why it could be here in the first place.  We joined a co-op that has what they call Master's Lyceum on Fridays for ten weeks each semester. The girls interact with other children there, go from classroom to classroom in a calm manner where other parents take the time to enrich children with a study topic. I taught science this Fall with hands on experiments.  In St. Louis is a wonderful child's learning museum called The Magic House and they have programs one Monday a month open only to home-school families. We have use math in the kitchen and while creating Christmas ornaments. 

Besides the Lyceum to socialize they have Sunday School, a large family network of children, a large friend network with children. G attends girls scouts and they both participate in 4H Cloverbuds. F is too young to be a Cloverbud but she is a tag-a-long as I am assisting the leader of the group.

Here are two pictures of our Magic House experience. G is inside of a bubble and F is following her fish to the pond down stream.

WOW this got long as I tried to catch up on a new site. I will get some pictures of our experiences posted soon and will keep up the blog here in the future.  I must remember to tell MawMaw Jean we moved.