School Now

The original purpose of my blogging was to make contact with a wonderful group of women as I started my adventure in Homeschooling.  I had hoped that they could give advice and share their wisdom and knowledge as I undertook my journey into this wonderful world.  Since that forum shut down, I took the blog over here.  But long before that point, the blog had quickly wandered away from its original purpose.  That being said, there are time when I think to myself, hey, I should blog about school again.

This is one of those moments.  I sit here typing at lunch time, my puppy resting his heavy head on the crook of my right arm.  My son is in the kitchen preparing the canned tomato soup with hot dog pieces.  My daughter is at the dining table trying to finish up her “Date Code Conversion” worksheet that I made earlier today.

Right now school works kind of like this.  Both children have practical chores that I consider part of the ‘living part of school.’  So they both do laundry washing and drying.  In our house, no one folds.  Its messy… but that’s real!

They either load or unload the dishwasher.  My desire to actually have the job completed within 1 or 2 hours means that I’ve learned that they don’t work on this together.

The daughter is responsible for breakfast cooking.  This involves opening up the container of pre-mixed oatmeal, adding the right amounts of milk, water and mix.  Then standing at the stove while it heats on very low heat.  This is accompanied, much to my chagrin with alternate, “This is taking too long!” and “I’m scared I’m going to burn down the house!!!” and the odd, “Eeek! I spilled and turned it up too high and…”

The son is responsible for lunch.  Today his preparation is the Tomato and Hot Dog soup.  Other days it can be sandwiches, Tuna Melts, etc.  Usually this involves loads of conversation as well, but I’d rather spare you those comments.

Currently we have Adagio for Strings by Barber playing.  This morning we have a mix of composer’s playing.

The children are reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in what I call chorus reading.  This means we each have our own copy.  By this I hope to build up their libraries.  Also, they tend to read longer than if it was a proper Reader.  And it has the added benefit of stretching their vocabulary.  This is the fourth novel we are reading in this manner.

We are doing a Novel Study on The Courage of Sarah Noble at the same time.  This is because I want the children to do some thing more formal than our normal discussions.  I bought the CD from Progeny Press, and am augmenting it with a Lapbook Unit from Homeschool Helps.

We also throw the odd short story and a bit from Lang’s Midsummer’s Night Dream’s adaptations.

My daughter loves reading and my son is getting there, so my current strategy is to just be fluid with reading.  To read excellent writings for school and allow them the ‘age-level’ easy books for fun.

For math, we’ve switched away from MUS and kind of use that on a odd basis.  Mainly for those days when Mommy isn’t in the mood to put a lot of effort into Math.  Most days we do two calculadder drills first.  Each child has a series of double sided drills prepared for them in one section of a file folder.  They are typically addition on one side, and subtraction on the other.  They are timed with a stop watch.  Then we proceed to do some pages from the Mastering Mathematics Cirriculum.  For my son, he flips between the addition, subtraction and the multiplication book.  Mainly because I kind of pull the work according to how he seems to be doing with his math.  It is a wee bit odd but various things crop up at different times.  The daughter is mainly in the Addition book, but today both worked on home-made sheets.

The home-made sheets are great.  Right now we are working on two areas.  Time and Date.  Today, they had to switch time written in just minutes into hours and minutes and visa versa.  We covered multiplication as well.  There was board work together and then they split up into their own.  We also did the Date ‘Code.’  So they learned to convert Sept. 21, 09 into 9/21/09 and back and forth.  We’ll likely do this for the rest of the week.

We also just started a unit study on Mapping.  With my parents living in Cambodia, I noticed they had a real issue with being able to find places globally.  So we bought ourselves a medium quailty globe and are going through the mapping concepts.  This is great fun right now!

And for history, we are narrating ourselves through Nothing New Press’s The Greeks and Donalda Dickie’s first Canadian history book.  Branching out from this, we are building a popsicle stick Port Royal, and are doing a project based on this.  I’m tying in mapping into this project.

We are doing a lot of Nature Study and what I call Incidental Science at the moment as well.  The current economic climate has meant that a dear older gentleman from our church has had his hours reduced to two days a week.  But he is an avid naturalist.  So somehow, we’ve connected and he’s taking us out walking and hiking and we are learning lots.  Then we bring things home, slip them under our ‘scope, or journal or whatever.

We also do things like last Friday, where we headed out to Robin in the Hood, a festival in Elmira.  It was a great day of fun for the kids and exposure to ‘living’ history!

The kids are also currently ‘corking’ or doing that knitting that involves the 4 pegs and going round and round.  Ah, yes, Knitting Nancy.  This is to develop their fine motor skill but also to give them a ‘practical’ craft while I knit.

I’m working on pulling together a more formal artist/painting study, but at the moment, its still in the planning/painting sitting precariously on my ironing board stage.  I rearranged my home to create a space where I could hang the painting, but framing issues has halted my progress.  I need to find some of those tabs that you can screw into the frame so that I can change the picture with out nailing the back into the frame each time.  Plus I saw a friend’s method of Picture study prompts which I just adore and need to pull that together as well.  This area needs work, lol!

And that, at the moment is the where’s, why’s and how of our current method of schooling!

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