Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I recently began using the letter of the week program created by confessionsofahomeschooler.com for my three and a half year old and so far we love it! My daughter enjoys all of the activities and moves through them rather quickly. Plus, as we complete many of the activities and file them in a three ring binder I realize that a portfolio is being created without even trying. In the beginning, I was laminating everything but since my daughter is the last in line in our home and I don't have any friends interested in the program for their very young ones I need not spend so much money and time laminating everything. I do highly recommend this for anyone who has multiple young children that will be using a preschool program. It's very simple and straight forward with complete lesson plans included. For my six year old son, we began using the PACE program last year and moved through the Kindergarten pretty quickly but I wasn't overly thrilled with how things have been going since he started the first twelve weeks of first grade back in February. I was starting to cut things I didn't like out of his daily work and finding myself increasing his work in other areas. He wasn't really enjoying things and neither was I, so I decided to totally change things up for him. I already had (for years) the Which Way USA? program from Highlights magazine so we decided to start doing a state a week as our Social Studies. We also have a very expansive collection of World Explorer binders covering hundreds of animals which has become our new Animal Sciences curriculum. We intend to study a new animal each week where we will build a lapbook on all that we have learned throughout the week. We are going to continue using the Mathematics PACE's, however, we are definitely going to pick up the pace. The program had him working on the first PACE while he wanted to do more and worked so well that he moved himself to the fourth PACE before he would have even finished the first one. For Reading, I am turning to the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading because I like the straightforward direct instruction approach offered. I am also using the Speechercise CD to assist him with his speech delay. Of course, we are getting lots of reading during our library time for both of the little ones. My oldest two are continuing with School of Tomorrow's Accelerated Christian Education and working fairly well at their own paces. It may take my older son a little longer than is the norm to complete his high school program, however, I would much rather that they take the time they need than just be socially promoted and passed through a system with the mere goal of getting done. We aren't sure where the older two are headed yet but our 16 year old son has begun expressing an interest in Computer Sciences and our 14 year old daughter has expressed an interest in Early Childhood Education. I'm excited for what lies ahead and nervous at the same time! What an exciting time in all our lives!!!
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Last night, Shawn and his girlfriend of 6 months had a little bit of an argument. Ok, it was kind of monumental to talk to Shawn. I'm worn out! Fortunately, after spending some time together at our house today everything is back to smooth sailing. But it made me stop and realize something. If the worry and concern for my son and his relationship with his girlfriend and the hurt that he was feeling was forefront in my mind and heart, I wonder how hard it was on my parents when I was a teenager and my relationships were my entire world. It's easy to look back on as an adult and realize that it was such a small part of things but boy was it EVERYTHING to me back then. I remember at one point feeling like I didn't want to live if I couldn't be with my boyfriend. Wow! And where is he now? Who knows? And really, who cares? It's hard to impart the knowledge that I have based on my life experiences to my own teenagers who are dealing with the same things now. For one, teenagers don't believe that we, the adults, were ever teenagers and faced these same sorts of issues. Second, do teenagers really listen to us...I mean really? For the most part, I do think my son takes my advice and hears what I have to say as long as it doesn't involve chores or school. Third, they just don't believe or want to believe that the likelihood of a serious, long lasting relationship developing from the one they have at sixteen is unlikely at best. Well, for now, crisis averted and all is well with the kiddos again! Phew! She is a great girl and we love her!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Well, my awesomely wonderful husband got me my own computer separate from our children so that I can take care of our family bills and important things without having it affected by the children's games and such. It's been awesome being able to access whatever I want whenever I want. Something that is mine...ALL mine! With four children I find that there are very, very few things that are just mine. I always find something of mine in someone else's room, usually my teenage daughter's room. Anyway, now that I have my computer set up I'm going to try to blog more often...again. So...what's been happening with us? Well, my teenage son is driving me nuts! Appropriately so, I would imagine, for being 16! He has a super sweet girl friend and is really a good kid at heart. He doesn't get into any of the "usual" teenage trouble you hear so much about kids his age getting into these days. Sure, he's homeschooled (that's another story), but he gets out with friends and chats with friends on his game system quite frequently. He's been around peer pressure but fortunately has enough intelligence, to this point, to not succumb to it. He does help out often around the house since my husband (his step-dad) has been away driving over-the-road, but is there more he could be doing...most definitely. He doesn't understand why he has to do so much more than his 14 year old sister. It isn't really that he has to do more, as I've pointed out to him, but he does have a ton more privelages than any of the other kids since he is the oldest. We pay for his cell phone monthly and I pretty much drive him wherever he wants to go including picking up his girlfriend so they can spend time together. Here's my only real issue with him....He no longer seems motivated to excel academically. We have been using a PACE program which encourages the students to work at their own pace, however, with much prodding his pace has slowed to a snail's creep. He has begun to work more diligently lately, only because the status of his phone and games has been threatened, however, still not interested in anything he is learning. UGH!