Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Any Words of WISDOM?

I am in need of a little advice! I love homeschooling Sarah and Anna seems to do pretty well hanging out with us but I do need to get moving on a few preschool type activities for her.

I have a little problem... I am such a gunner, and a go go go list person. I love to write down what we need to do and then cross it off as we do it! I am loving Sarah's progress (it is incredible) but I feel like what I need is a few of you Moms to set me straight. I buy games to play but I don't do them. I have incredible books and Sonlight curriculums BUT I still lean towards the work books. Sarah is responding well to everything I do BUT I think we are missing out on some fun because of my desire to "catch up". Do you have any words of wisdom for me? I sure would appreciate it!

We are going to take the next week off, kind of :-) and try to do a few different things. I want to make sure we are all excited and ready for the new school year. Sarah just finished Saxon 1 math and Hop K last month! So we are at a nice point to take a deep breath- plus I feel like I need to take a moment to get the other kids ready for High school, for college, for their apartment, etc!

Thank you for your help!


Lori said...

You (and I) definitely need to think outside the box. Education doesn't have to look like a traditional classroom. Playing games...going on field trips, etc. can be as much, or more of a learning experience than sitting at the table doing workbooks. During your week off, just look for every opportunity to teach something new.

Mom to my China Posse said...

No help here only some encourgement that i to buy games that we don't seem to get played, buy books we don't seem to get done but I guess that just means were just all busy enjoying life. Sounds like Sarah as well as all your kids are doing great so just relax and it will all work out. Your family is just beautiful!

Hezra said...

Hey Jean, I have to say, the game thing. . . I HATE GAMES! I love that the kids like them. lol and they are old enough now that they play them together. Life, clue,scrabble, monopoly and yahtzee etc etc. AND they learn things from them and have a good time. BUT I don't play them. It would be like me watching Dora. lol NO WAY but I will let them watch her! It is like a spanish lesson. lol If you have sonlight books though, and aren't reading them, you are missing out! They are so good. But maybe you hate to read out loud. Maybe you could look for them on audio. I have a close friend who does this and her kids will listen to book after book. I have set up my cozy chair and bookshelf and we read at night. All together usually, though my biggest has read them so sometimes he chooses to read another book alone somewhere else. But this is one of our most precious times. I agree with Lori. Think outside the box. Wkbooks CAN get people burned out if they get overused. But I also understand why you use them.(I am like you! I make lists and LOVE checking it off and seeing our progress on paper) They do help us SEE what the kids have done. They give you the proof you have taught. But sometimes, the best teaching happens so unexpectedly. And it is usually so much sweeter. We do a lot of read aloud and answer questions. I have all of them doing the third grade science (rod and staff) this way. I picked a middle grade level between them and they just listen. Big guys play legos or something the girls color and the 5 yo plays blocks or puzzles.I think what you need most is a hug and a cuppa coffee and to hear you are doing well. HAVE fun with them. (I forget that sometimes in my need to complete my lists. lol) love you!

a Tonggu Momma said...

When I taught (in the classroom), I always strove for a thematic approach. In other words, we'd spend about four to eight weeks on a specific topic such as Native/ First Americans or China or Outer Space. I would use that theme to teach every subject.

So... if we were working on Native/ First Americans... books we read were all about or written by First Americans. Math focused on story problems using Native American vocabulary or objects for sorting, patterning, etc. History was obvious. Social studies involved comparing traditional and contemporary tribal societies. Science would involve cooking traditional recipes, learning how to tan leather, learning more about North American animals, make paints out of fruits and veggies, etc. Creative writing involved learning more about oral storytelling, totem poles and other ways in which Native Americans communicated. Yes, I seriously did all of this with my students. It's a lot of work, but it only has to involve as much as you want it to.

Think about how this could play out in your homeschooling. Is it possible to use a more thematic approach when teaching - picking a topic that you cover for one or two months? Then you could plan at least one or two more creative/ fun activities each week, making the learning time more fun. You could also strive to weave the topic into more routine (read: boring, but necessary) lessons.

Chad and Kristy said...

Bethany is on the 5th grade level with Sonlight and it is very time consuming!! I think I have to have everything checked off and everything completed on the day that it is listed on.... it would be tragic for me to be doing Tuesday work on Wednesday... I don't know if I could handle that:) THEN I got an email from Sonight talking about how most people do not finish their kits in a one year time period.. that gave me the ok in my head to let go of the schedule and just have fun learning. We have lots of field trips lined up with our home school group. Lots of good plays at the Children's Theater. I'm not a game person either. I love workbooks but my 4 year old and Anna Li hate them. They love to be read too. I think that is Anna li's favorite. I love doing art projects too but that will have to come later once we get adjusted to baby:) Gotta run!

Rebecca said...

Hi! I just recently found your blog and I love that you and your family are adopting these precious homes instead of falling for the myth that when the kids are grown it is time for "retirement." What an incredible testimony your family has!!

As a 3rd grade teacher, I wanted to just throw in that educational research has shown over and over that worksheets alone do NOT lead to authentic learning. In fact, we are *strongly* discouraged from using worksheets for anything other than assessing what a student is learning. For actual teaching, we do a lot of educational games and we use CDs with songs about everything from parts of speech to the water cycle! The kids LOVE to get up and follow along with the songs on CD and we use hand motions to help remember the concepts. The CDs we use are called SALT (Shake And Learn Together). For math specifically, we use tons of math manipulatives. Base-10 blocks are great for practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division! Of course, after we have used manipulatives for a day or two on a new concept, we show the students how to transfer that knowledge to working out a problem using pencil and paper. I would say the majority of teaching (about 80%) is not with worksheets these days!

David and Janet Hurley said...

Someone already mentioned books on tape, our library has tons of them, so check yours. My kids always love manipulatives. Check out teddy bear math, I just bought the frog set manipulatives and books from www.rainbowresource.com. Great company, great prices too.
For the list part of you-- When I make my schedule, I do not make it for M, T, W, etc. I use calendar blocks, but with no days written on it. I'll plan out about a week at a time, but if the 3rd day doesn't get done til Friday, for some reason, I don't feel pressured to get back on the correct day... does that make sense? The next day not crossed of on the schedule is what we do, no matter what day of the week it is. Don't stress over it, if this is your 1st year, it will take some time to loosen up and think outside the box of how you were schooled.