School Musings...

I must be insane! Today we are concluding the first semester of the school year, Christmas is fast approaching and I am already looking ahead and trying to figure out how to make it better. It's a sickness I tell you. I truly love being a child-shuttling, home-schooling, stay-at-home mom. So with that said, I thought I would jot down my thoughts here and maybe make some sense out of all of it.
Ironically this one has evaded me. Cursive? Print? Neatness? Copywork? Workbook? Each child has done it differently and I am plain stumped. The youngest's handwriting is awful. The youngest is also a boy. Does poor handwriting and the male gender go hand in hand? Recently I went back and visited Donna Young and liked her posts on copywork. She suggested using a composition book and writing a sentence for the child to copy down x amount of times on the right hand side of the paper. On the left glue a sample of the handwriting using either the cursive or print font found on her website. The left hand side is also used for practicing problem letters. This sounds fairly simple and yet focused.

I am not opposed to a workbook in certain circumstances. Let's face it, there are days where saying, "Turn to page so-and-so" is just what the doctor ordered if you intend to keep your sanity. However I do not want this to be my primary teaching tool. We have been doing oral dictation using the Bible verses and quotes from my favorite planner and that has been going fairly well. The youngest is required to sit beside me so that I can keep an eye on his work and we have tweaked the process a bit from the example I participated in at the Childlight conference. We have added the step of silently raising a finger if there is a word they are unsure how to spell. Then I use fingerspelling (from Spell to Write & Read) of the word and allow them to copy the work correctly in their book. At the end of the dictation one child reads the whole passage and then I ask for punctuation. This is a gentle way to introduce grammar. They are getting better and finding the natural breaks in a sentence so we will see what fruit this particular seed bears. Finally we may take a moment to talk about the passage. I don't do this all the time because I fear it will become too forced and that is not my intention. If they are expressing an interest or asking questions we may pause and discuss.

I will be frank here and share that I am not a lover of the sciences as I should be. Every year I try to get excited but honestly I struggle. I enjoy sitting outside on my deck or having my quiet time on a bench but this has yet to translate in to my school time. This is where I look for a wonderful co-op or friend to help me. :-) So how do I tackle this subject in a non-literary way and still capture the necessary foundations? I am thinking about trying our hand at journaling the second half of Apologia Physical Science. I just need to be more organized when it comes to the science experiments and more diligent in my prep-work....**big sigh**

This is a subject I think I need to tone down. Being a lover of language I find myself overwhelmed with all the books I hope to share with my children. I am really clinging to the "do not exasperate your child" philosophy and find myself saddened by the books being left along the wayside. I just remember seeing my father sitting in his chair reading. This was a powerful teacher for me and I am praying that my children will remember my love for books with similar fondness.

We are still building our century charts and have to admit that I am thoroughly enjoying this new tool. My hope is to build a Book of Centuries with this format as we begin our new history cycle next year. I do think my youngest is not quite ready for it though. He is not as patient with his drawing and this is something I would like to work in with great intention and purpose. He and I are still enjoying building his history book. We recently added two lapbook pages on World War II and it about wore me out. We did add a narration of the war after all our readings and that was enjoyable.

I think for now I will place these thoughts the best of my ability that is...and put my teaching hat aside. Next week we will be baking, singing Christmas carols, and enjoying some family traditions. Soon enough school will start back up and hopefully I will be prepared! Thanks for listening...


Copyright © 2009 - Our Story in Progress - is proudly powered by Blogger
Smashing Magazine - Design Disease - Blog and Web - Dilectio Blogger Template