Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I discovered a secret yesterday!

As I noted, we've restarted our homeschooling with a different schedule. Monday we were having the worst time with arguing and the basic dilly-dallying that all kids who don't want to do their work like to do. I'll admit I got a bit frustrated. And since I was keeping a minute by minute handwritten schedule that day (basically too lazy to go print a schedule) I announced I was writing down all the times my daughter dilly-dallied. She asked 'what is the purpose of that?' all smart eleck like. I said 'so I can show your daddy just how much time you waste and when you have trouble arguing with me.' Well, she promptly picked up her work and went off to do her math problems. hehe

She had quite a few times of dilly-dallying. I don't think even she realizes how much time she wastes. But at the end of the day I did praise her for all the work she did get done. Her daddy reviewed the list and I think she was properly embarrassed of all the time she wasted.

So today, when I pulled out the notebook to start noting her minute by minute work, she said 'Today I'm not going to dilly dally as much.' She wants to do better than she did yesterday. It's like a challenge to herself against her own self! I found this astounding and very enlightening.

I think the chart will also show me where she has the most problems and I might need to modify the schedule, put in small breaks then, etc... The best thing I can do for her is pray for her continued willingness to work harder and happier.

I'm not telling her that I (unknowingly) tricked her into wanting to do better. I'm just going to enjoy this new drive she has. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hands-On Memorization

This is how we're learning the scriptures this week! lol

The little one was having trouble remembering the order of the 'Love is' and 'It Does Not' in the 1 Corinthians 13 scripture. I figured, she's looking at her hands all the time anyway, might as well 'advertise' on them! 

Worked so well, we need to trade out the information today, since she has learned all that I wrote on there yesterday!  Not that I'm condoning writing all over yourself but I'm kind of condoning writing all over yourself for a good cause.

Hey, whatever works, right?! RIGHT!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Restarting the Party

So yeah. Homeschooling. We're a bit more relaxed this year. I'm not breathing down the little one's neck with a pile-o-textbooks clutched at my already tense side. But the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is always an 'epic fail' for me. Regular school was a misnomer.

When it was time to go back to schoolwork after our week off for Thanksgiving, I just... didn't. We spent the next two weeks doing who knows what. I look now at our daily activities chart and had to write stuff down. We read a lot, listened to books on tape (our favorites being written by Richard Peck; see list below) while playing legos. My little one built lego forts, pyramids, had faux battles between warring parties of playmobil people. We did a good amount of baking, cooking, a few field trips to local Christmasy areas. The little one's singing group sang at one shopping area.

We did do bible, occasionally review our scripture we're trying to memorize (1 Corinthians 13) and visited the Latin DVDs and workbook sporadically. Science did play a part in our time 'off'. We bought a soldering kit as well as a bug robot kit and with her dad she learned how to solder and all about wires, circuits, etc... They're getting ready to work on a robot soon.

So yeah, not the monumental amount of work I had scheduled. But it felt relaxed. Now begins the climb back out of the hole of relaxation. The last couple weeks here of January we've struggled. Plus having two cycles of sickness go through our house back to back has not helped with regular schooling. Much reading has been going on but that is it (we did discover the game of Phase 10 though and it has become a favorite!)

Today we restarted. We began our day at 8 am (yes, I know. I was as shocked as you are.) I'm redesigning our schedule. The Charlotte Mason little times of learning worked for us for a bit. Right now we'll try something different. Cutting out many CM things or actually combining them, while keeping some in (such as scripture memory and Latin.)

Here's our new schedule (beginning at 8 each morning):
History/Geography  1-1 1/2 hours
Latin 1/2 hour
Math 1/2-1 hour
Piano 1/2 hour
Scripture Memory/Bible Lesson 1/2 hour
Writing/Dictation/Spelling/Typing/Grammar  3/4-1 hour
Literature/Poetry 1/2 hour
Science 1/2 hour
Reading 1 hour

I'm thinking on average, history will be 1 hour, Math 1 hour. The writing portion will have creative writing, words dictated, proper grammar practiced and most of it will be typed so she can practice typing at the same time.  After science we'll be done for the day and she is responsible for 1 hour of reading sometime in the rest of her day. I don't care if it's at night. 

I'm also introducing homework. Yes, that hated word from public/private school. But she is getting to the age where next year she'll be in 'Junior high' and additional work will be needed outside of the times I'm instructing her. For now it will include:
Extra Latin practice
Extra history projects (chosen by her)
Extra scripture memory practice

Crossing fingers this works for her. I know in a month or so we'll probably have to change it up again. Just need to get some work done now.

Books by Richard Peck that we've enjoyed:

We also have listened to:
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