Friday, August 26, 2011

Week 01: Mostly Fail

Monday: Homeschool FAIL. I forgot we planned to start school this day and ended up just putting on educational cartoons for a couple hours. All of our textbooks are in storage and there is such a large amount of boxes in there, we don't know where to begin. Spent the day watching educational cartoons on Nick, Jr and discussed the topics within the episodes.

Tuesday: For the time being, I went ot Target and grabbed some basic educational supplies, and then to Walmart to replace our dry erase and bulletin boards. I also bought basic school supplies that needed replenishing that had been, unfortunately, destroyed during the move thanks to the triple-digit weather the south is suffering through these past two months. The girls spent time going over the books (not doing work, just skimming through pages) and asking questions about the material provided.

Wednesday: Absolutely nothing. J was studying for his finals and I was sick. Girls had a free day but we talked about being a hero without super powers and how to measure.

Thursday: All the boards and supplies were still not situated, but that didn't stop me. We still did our foreign language with the month, day of the week, number of the day, and color (orange) of the day in English, Spanish, French, German, and (phonetic) Chinese. Lily worked on her cursive by writing letters A - H and the sentence "Amanda eats apples." For math, I gave her a pretend object that she had to pay for. She had to add pretend coins in the exact change to buy the product.

Iris refused to do any work whatsoever that morning and kept making up excuses, so since she didn't want to "go to school" she spent the entire time in her room and missed out on 1/2 an hour of TV. For math, Lily took over while I made lunch (I didn't ask her to, she just did it anyway) and helped Iris practice addition using Othello pieces.

Rose worked on identifying colors. She refused all colors except orange (ownj) and black (back) and then threw a fit because she wanted to "write," too. Lol.

The day's lesson was: "Try new things; you never know if you may like it."

After lunch we tried some reading and comprehension. Iris actually did it, but was terrible at it. :) Lily refused. Rose enjoyed the pictures. The book I was trying to have Lily read was at a higher level than she was used to and she didn't want to try. She just refused. I had to remind her about the day's lesson and told her to sit at her bed and think about the lesson for the day and how it pertained to her assignment. Eventually Lily caved after some time spent contemplating in her room and read her story wonderfully (with minimal help from me) and did great at her quiz afterward.

By then it was already 3pm (we start our lessons at 10am) and I was pooped from all the whining and excuses laid out that day as to why no one wanted to do anything. I called it a day and took a nap.

Friday: The girls had an uncle and aunt come to visit so they didn't get started until sometime after 1:30. We did our basic foreign language with Yellow as the color of the day, then proceeded to our new arrival. Last week, J sent out for the Team UmiZoomi math kits and we broke one of them in, partially anyway. This covered reading and comprehension, math and recognition, and all three of the children were able to participate.

Rose surprised me by being able to point out the shapes when asked. She can't say the names at all, but knew which ones to point to. Lily read the entire story by herself as well as did some of the activities. Iris did the activities requested, and all three of them had a great time. Even the older two girls excelled at the reading comprehension quiz I surprised them with at the end of the story. They then watched a DVD of TUZ and took turns filling out the pages of the corresponding workbook.

We finished everything up by 4, which was nice. Hitting so many subjects at the same time is pretty awesome.

I wonder what next week will bring...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Secular Thursday: Sometimes, They Want "Proof"...

...even if it's not required.

So, to get welfare assistance where I am at, the application process is pretty extensive. One of the proofs needed is who is going to school, what school, and what are they learning. Since my husband and I both go to university, that's a bit easy. We can give them a partial transcript that has all of that information. There is the cumpolsory attendance here in Texas, but if you homeschool, according to state law, you don't need any paperwork. You don't even have to notify the school. However, the department of health and human services wants to make sure that your children are at least being taught the basics of every grade level. When I was told this by my caseworker at my interview yesterday, I almost threw a fit.

It is not mandatory to get this information unless requested. Most children go to public school, so they could always just check with the school, but it is still not a requirement for *me* to give them any sort of paperwork, and I told my caseworker that same thing. I understand she is trying to do her job, and this is apparently a first for her, so she just asked me to write her a letter saying that I am homeschooling so that no one gets up my ass about not sending my child to public school. Either way, no court could convict me. To be nice, however, I'm making a copy of what we plan to do this year, which is where I hit the roadblock.

I have absolutely no idea what we are doing this year. We've started taking an unschooling approach. We have a personal library full of non-fiction that the girls can peruse through. We like it when they pick a book and say "I want to learn that." They even have a set of encyclopedias for that purpose. We then take whatever information we can find on that topic and teach it to the girls. So I'm thinking I might as well just pull something out of my butt like I normally do. I didn't create the OMB curriculum last year just for S & Gs.

So this is what I'm planning...

Lily: age 5, grade 3
  • Reading: Short-story workbook for reading comprehension practice. Books to read (in no specific order) - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Veleveteen Rabbit, The Phantom Toll Booth. Reading comprehension tested.
  • Writing: Composition practice in manuscript - daily journal. Practice cursive.
  • Mathematics: Adding and Subtraction practice. Introduce multiplication
  • Social Studies: History Channel documentary - America: The Story of Us. in conjunction with The American Nation, Volume 1, John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes
  • Science: Introduce basic chemistry with toddler-safe expirements
  • Art: A World of Art by Henry M Sayre, third edition
  • Physical Education: 1/2 hour of Nick Jr. Wii Fit
  • Foreign language: Continued from last year - Bookwork: Using BBC's Muzzy series, draw picture, label picture in English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese. Continue practice of these languages.
  • Theology: basic history and practices of holidays
Iris: age 3, grade 1
  • Reading: Phonics practice. Read level 1 books (with help when needed). Lapbook activities for reading comprehension
  • Writing: Practice manuscript. Daily journal - topic given, picture drawn with descriptive words below.
  • Mathematics: Practice addition
  • Science: Basic chemistry with toddler-friendly expirement
  • Physical Education: 1/2 hour of Nick Jr. Wii Fit
  • Foreign language: Continued from last year - Using BBC's Muzzy series, practice English, Spanish, French, German, and Chinese
  • Theology: basic history and practices of holidays.

Rose: age 2, grade PK
  • Continue to work with vocabulary, shapes, colors, and letters. Story and nap times included.
FIN. That looks presentable, right? It's nothing fancy, and I literally just made this up on the spot, but I think we can work with this and still be able to add on to it whenever the girls get a bug up their butt to learn something new. I have absolutely no intention to be super committed to this curriculum considering I'm 4 months pregnant and my body HATES it, but this will do and show anyone who wants to be a pain in the ass we *know* what we are doing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 1: OOPS!

Hi, Everyone! Summer vacation is over and it's time to get back in the groove!

So, we have finally settled into our new home. As many of you already know, due to the economy, we could not keep our beloved house. We moved from our small town in Iowa to our hometown back in Texas. It took us two weeks to pack all of our things, two days to move, and two more weeks to settle down and not be so stressed. We are currenlty staying at my mother-in-law's house and have 90% of our things in a storage unit not too far from us.

Today is the first day of school here. We try and keep our school year similar to that of the public school system. There are a few changes, such as the Pagan holidays we observe are days off from our studies and we focus only on the history and celebration of that day. Not completely a day off, but not a complete day, either. (Every day is a learning day!) BUT, I *just* realized today is supposed to be the first day of school. Guess who still has the textbooks in storage? Yeah, that would be me. *facepalm* HOWEVER, Rose has been practicing her words by rhyming, so it hasn't been a complete homeschool fail. ;)

We'll see what the week brings...