Sunday, April 6, 2008

Week 25

I can barely get a weekly report in recently! I feel like I can barely get school lessons in either! This week especially felt like a 'checklist' week - not full of learning milestones or accomplishments. Something tells me that I am headed down the road to homeschool burnout - just feel like I've been pushing and pushing with no end in sight. I do have goals, it's just that I forget them sometimes when my energy is low and I just want a break. So if I feel this way, I wonder how Jefferson feels!

And next year's plans and curriculum ideas are swimming around in my head daily, clogging my focus on each day. I am starting to feel anxiety about this creep slowly up with each day of non-planning that goes by!

I attribute this poor attitude on my part to a couple of things: first, I still have not gotten my resolutions well established in our days (especially the consistent quiet time -yikes!), and second, we just need a break! Some time where the days are ordered differently and where I can actually think about next year's goal's without having to divide my mind among another million things. So next week, when dh is away on business, I will pray for energy, warm weather, and a clear head so that I can get some planning/organizing/ordering done and the kids and I can get out of this house a bit more than usual! I didn't plan it for this week but here it comes - SPRING BREAK!

So this past week:
  • Science -> Bears, bears, bears. Not my favorite animal but there's something attractive to a 6yo boy about a beast of this size. He's had a phobia last year about black bears showing up at his grandparent's log home in the woods so maybe this is where the interest comes from? This is our last week of animals. Next week-human body! It'll be nice to have a change of pace.

  • History -> More Ancient Greece -Sparta & Athens. It seems a bit repetitive since we looked at this in August but it's just so interesting. Also nice to see that Jefferson actually remembers a lot of what we learned then, just by reading Jason and the Argonauts once! Jefferson loved making paper dolls and fighting them against each other. We'll see how many nanoseconds it takes to lose the tiny little sword and spear!

  • Reading -> We finished "Nate Saint: On A Wing and A Prayer" and I think that it stirred quite an interest in Jefferson about flying and missionary work. I love books that teach about godly people! Still working on White Fang and daily Bible verses or chapters. I think he enjoys it but it's still part of "school" to him. I bought some wonderful chapter storybooks from Rod & Staff which illustrate wonderful scriptural lessons. He can read some and some we can do together - they are great! I really want his (their) education to be encompassed by biblical principles.

  • Phonics -> Only got two lessons in this week but they were kind of longer than usual and I get the feeling that he really learned the topic. We worked on rules for breaking down a long word into syllables and accents and vowel sounds.

  • Spelling -> We keep chugging right along here - lesson sare short and sweet. I'm trying to keep any stress from building here by correcting him right away rather than making him sweat it out for too long. I don't want him to stumble on a word because he got it wrong or stressed about it the first time. I also don't want it to 'stick' in his head incorrectly because of this. We just repeat it a few times over time if he can't get a word right (our spelling notebook marks his trouble words). Is this the way to do this? Not sure - suggestions are welcome...

  • Grammar -> Only two lessons this week also. I just didn't want to do this this week - don't know why. He copied a few sentences and labeled them N, P, or V.

Reagan just got jipped this past week. We read books but didn't have any sit down time for penmanship, math, phonics or even her Earobics software which she should be doing every week. I was just too tired to juggle it all. For the next week, I'll need to be sure to plan out what we'll be doing together more intentionally. She did enjoy practicing her new 'horse' drawing on the whiteboard.

However, we've made one small improvement with the screeching, tantrum-throwing 2 year old, Adam, which has helped with school. We've switched from using a rod as our span*king tool to using a flexible rubber spatula (we've don't use our hands). We have consistently flicked his jaw when he screeches or screams, in order to require him to use the few words or signs that he knows and to use a quieter tone. The spatula comes into play when he hits us (his way of showing his anger - he comes at us like an ape swingin' for bananas!) as we can use it on his hands w/o hurting any knuckles. With consistency, we have been able to read his body language (since he doesn't yet speak) and tell when his heart turns from rebellion to repentance and can then show him love and forgiveness. He is still a very loud kiddo, but the tantrums are becoming fewer and he is becoming happier. (Sigh of relief....)

So I'm off to break for spring!! I hope I can get something done and spend time doing fun things with the kids. We're ready for some bike riding, weeding, playgrounds, math cardgames and lots more!


Momma Roar said...

Ok, just popping in with my $.02

We use Spell to Write and Read, and they encourage you to help your children make the correct spelling - rather than having them guess and think that it is right. Does that help? I can look up some more specific directions about it if you like, just let me know!

I enjoy reading what you accomplish each week. I may have to start this for next year!! :)

mom24 said...

Thanks LA! I'm needing $.02 here!

I think that maybe I didn't write quite what I meant about spelling. What I'm trying to do is to give him the correct spelling right away if it doesn't come right out of his mouth quickly so that he doesn't get the wrong spelling stuck in his head and so that he doesn't get anxious in spending time guessing. Then I remind him of any relevant rules that apply and we review the word again another time.

Is that what you mean with the 'Spell to Write and Read?'


Momma Roar said...

yep :)

that's just $.01 LOL!!

I'll see if I can get a better explanation - b/c they word it so much better than I ever could. Hopefully I can get it this afternoon - I'll post a link if I can, here in the comments.

Momma Roar said...

Oh wait - by Spell to Write and Read, I meant that is the name of our actual phonics program

But, yes, help them with the spelling while they are still unfamiliar so that they learn it. I tried looking on the yahoo group site, but its hard to narrow it down to a topic to search for in the posts.

I'll keep searching for the complete wording and at some point I'll leave my *last* comment! ;-)