I’ve been gone a LONG time, haven’t I? Well, I’m finally back on solid ground. Ah, but the journey’s been fun! :o)
What am I talking about? Well… we’ve moved! In face, I feel a little deceptive even blogging on this page since we are no longer “homeschool on the hill”… in fact, we’re far from any hills that I can see. Maybe we should call ourselves “The Little Homeschool in the Town” LOL! It’s a strange, yet wonderful, change. We’re now “in town”… a small town to be sure, but a town just the same. There are “local” things… like a library, a post office, a GROCER! I can’t believe how much things have changed… but it’s all been for the good. I do miss my trees, I miss the mountain, I do… but this new home is just what our family needed, so I am Very Thankful.
As for school. Well, sometimes Life is enough of a learning experience, eh? My Bigs have learned about moving, about expenses, about the work involved in setting up a new home, about all kinds of important things like that, so I’m trying to let go of my paper pushing compulsions and just enjoy this season in our lives. We’re just now getting settled into our school rhythm.
We’ve made some changes from what we’d planned to do this year to what we’ve actually settled on, so let me give you all a little update:
Ev (16) is working through Sonlight Core 200 as planned, but we’ve switched his math to Math-U-See Algebra 1. Apparently he has retention issues where it comes to math… and although Life of Fred was engaging and he understood it in the moment and did very well on the immediate assignment, he quickly lost what he had learned and was unable to bring back stuff he’d “mastered” earlier. I don’t think it’s an issue with Life of Fred, I think it’s more his learning abilities. He’s just not a mathematical kid… I remember once when he was about 8 and had a math word problem along the lines of “if Johnny has to go get 24 apples for his mother, but his wagon only holds 8 apples, how many trips will he have to make to bring them all home?” and Ev just sitting there (looking like he was daydreaming). When asked what he was finding so hard about the question, he – looking surprised – answered, “oh, it’s not a hard problem… I was just trying to figure out how he could fix his wagon so he’d only have to make one trip!”… ya. That’s my boy! :o)
*Ahem* … back to lessons. SO, he’s still working through his novel, which is complete (all 36 chapters of it!) but in the editing stage. He’s editing it once, and then a very good Editor friend of mine has agreed to edit it in exchange for Ev working for her for a few days. This could be a good trade off! Then it’s through the process of manuscript submission with publishers, and lots of praying that it’s accepted. If anyone “knows” anyone in the business who would like to encourge a young author… please let me know!
Kenzi (14) is working through Sonlight Core 5, Math-U-See Pre-Algebra and working on a huge dog training project. She’s read some pretty hefty books on the subject and watched countless hours of DVD lessons (oh joy!). We’ve also applied to the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind to be puppy walkers (basically raising a pup from 7 weeks to about 18 months till they are ready to go back to the centre for Guide Dog instruction). Attending dog obedience classes with me and the pup will be part of her project.
Speaking of projects… I stumbled across an amazing site the other day, and I’m adapting the concept to my children… I’m hoping to be able to afford to work with this gentleman at a later date, but for right now the move has eaten up our “school budget” so we’ll have to make do on our own. Luckily there is enough information there to get me started.
Ev and Kenz will be heading off to England later this month, a gracious invitation by my father-in-law, to meet and get to know some of the family we have living over there. They have a great-grandmother who is 99 years old who they haven’t seen since they were 6 and 4 years old! This will be an exciting learning experience for them… just getting used to the changes in vocabulary will be interesting! My wonderful husband has tried to give them a British Primer with some words they may encounter that are different (such as, “boot” meaning the trunk of the car, or “rubber” meaning an eraser). We’re SUPER excited for them and can’t wait to hear their reaction and memories when they come back.
Greys (7) and Chae (4.5) are focused on phonics, play, numbers, and drawing at the moment. I’m trying to be as relaxed as possible with them in their education… without going “unschooling” altogether. Do I think that unschooling is bad? No… not at all. I know several unschoolers who blow my socks off with their passions and intelligence… but it’s just not my style. I like some structure to know I’m covering at least the basics.
Greyson can read words such as “activity”, “platform”, “calendar” and of course most smaller words. He is a very eager reader if he’s not asked to read… meaning, if he comes to me to show me how he sounded a word out, but not being asked to read. Greys loves numbers and what they represent and how they all work. Recently I was assuring a friend of mine that the main education of Littles comes from their play, and that they can learn and practice many of their “school” skills in play:
Greyson and Chaeli are sitting on the floor playing with their wedgits. No school happening here. BUT.. let’s listen in…
C: do you want to build a crystal?…
G: No.. you are the scientist. I will buy what you make.
C: okay… (builds up a pretty “crystal” with a pattern of all the wedgit colours) do you want to buy this one?
G: well, yes. But I have to check my money (counts up the small and large white “diamonds” he has). How much is that crystal?
C: 3 diamonds.
G: (I’m not kidding, he said this!) OH! I have 5 diamonds, so, if I give you my diamonds you owe me 2 diamonds back in change!
C: okay! Can I use the diamonds to make more crystals?
G: Sure! (hands over the diamonds, Chaeli makes “change” and gets busy working on more “crystals”).
That’s suply and demand/manufacturing/econo
mics/math(subtractions),an d customer service… all wrapped up in wedgits!
Chae on the other hand is starting to read blends (words like “hand” “flat” “this” and “toad”), but is definately my science kid. She’s constantly asking questions, contantly wanting to know how stuff works… she’s learned so much on the topic of scientific classification just because she thought it was neat that scientists make groups like she does. She loves patterning, building, all that mathy-sciency jazz.
I’m slowly working through First Language Lessons and Story of the World (Ancient Times with the Activity guide) with them… but we’re defiantely no where near Ms. Bauer’s schedule in The Well Trained Mind. Oh well.. if it takes me two years for each of the 4 books, we’ll still end up in grade 9 ready to start the 4 year cycle again, won’t we? It’s all good.
SO. That’s my update! I will be back more often now that everything is settled down… see y’all then!