The Homeschool Mother’s Journal 2011-2012 — Week 2

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week… we’ve celebrated a big birthday! Ben is now 6. We had a party and a family party. I have been struggling with how to organize and plan both my life and our homeschool. With my own work about to kick back into gear, I realized that none of the methods I currently used were going to work for me with two kids in homeschool. So, I’ve adjusted. Each kid has his/her own planner page for the unit/week and I have resurrected my Dayrunner from the depths of my old work boxes (from when I used to physically go places to teach) and have reconfigured it to work for my new life. At least I think I have. We’ll see. I also attended a webinar by Amy McCready on why time outs don’t work. As a result, P and I decided to take her parenting course at Positive Parenting Solutions. We’re hoping that it will make us a stronger family and better parents.

In our homeschool this week… it’s been a pretty intense struggle with the 1st grader. He is not liking the increased level of work that comes with being in first grade and he does not like that Katie gets attention for her schoolwork. He’s used to being the only school kid and sharing attention, time, and resources is proving to be a significant struggle for him. Katie has been working on the alphabet using the book:
We’re using ideas from Cara at Peanuts Are Evil though we are modifying them to suit Katie or changing them up entirely depending on the moods of those involved.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… we’ve spent a significant amount of time at the Y. We also went to the grocery store on Ben’s birthday to pick up some forgotten ingredients for his cake. He enjoyed thanking the bakers for his party cake and answering the man who asked him what school he goes to (though he did ask me in the car why people ALWAYS ask him that). Ben had a swimming lesson this afternoon that could have been better, but was not the worst he’s ever had and he had a play date with a friend who we enjoy. Katie had her very first dance class today. At first, I really thought she was going to refuse to do it, but she edged over to the rest of the girls and by the end of the class, she was a part of the class, which was so great to see. She informed me that she has to wear her dancing dress next week. She refused this week and wore shorts, a t-shirt, tights, and her ballet shoes. All the other little girls were wearing dancing dresses, and she wants to wear hers now, too.

My favorite thing this week was … Doing a letter hunt with Katie. When we cleaned up the living room for Ben’s birthday party, we dumped all of her puzzle pieces into two baskets and figured we’d sort them out later. Since she has a couple of alphabet puzzles, we picked one of them and then Katie searched through her baskets to find all the letters. She doesn’t like the feel of sand (or other gritty things) on her fingers on her fingers so traditional sensory bins don’t tend to work for her.

What’s working/not working for us… We’re changing up math, again, because something just not working with RightStart (and it may be that it’s not working with me more than it’s not working with him). We’re going to try the elementary series of Life of Fred. Apples arrived today. I’m excited and I hope that he likes it as much as I think he will. We’re also struggling with All About Spelling, but I think I’ve figured out why, so we’re going to change up the approach to it and try again. We’ll see. One thing that is working for us is using a “word of the week” and focusing on what it means. Our words of the week are related to character, and it’s a great way to segue into the kinds of things that we want Ben (and Katie) to think about as they grow. So far, we’ve used “considerate” and “trust.” Not sure what the next word of the week is going to be, so if you have suggestions, please share.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have… I’m constantly on the hunt for good character training books/life skills books that aren’t super-religious. While we are a religious family, we do not necessarily want our son to think that any job is “woman’s work” or our daughter to think that there are things she cannot do because she’s a girl. Any suggestions?

A photo, video, link, or quote I want to share… Trees were clearly part of the theme this week. Ben made a mustard seed tree as part of his Telling God’s Story curriculum. Katie made a coconut tree, of sorts, to go with her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom work this week.

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Make sure you check out the other journals linked up at The Homeschool Chick’s blog.

*Links to books are ALWAYS Amazon affiliate links.I make virtually nothing for linking there, but maybe someday I can buy one of my books that way :).

2 thoughts on “The Homeschool Mother’s Journal 2011-2012 — Week 2

  1. I have some homeschooling friends who are religious but not conservative. I’m going to share your blog with her – maybe she has some resource ideas. Here in Coloardo, homeschooling is as likely to be “crunchy” and “conservative.” : )
    Still, I don’t know how you do it.

  2. Hi there! My youngest just started 2nd grade, but he also struggled last year. He blew through our Kindergarten curriculum, but when 1st grade started, he quickly realized it was very different. To help him, we decided to ease into things and focus on one subject at a time, rather than jumping into the entire curriculum.

    As far as spelling, I like your word of the week approach! I haven’t done that…I have done many, many “this day in history” type weeks with our spelling words though, lol. We don’t have a formal homeschool spelling curriculum, like All About Spelling. We use VocabularySpellingCity. We are able to create and save our own word lists, or we can use ones that have already been imported and saved by other members. I can find words based on a holiday or occasion, or from a curriculum (for example, I just logged in and did a quick search and found a lot of lists from All About Spelling). The great thing is your lists can be as long or as short as you want them to be. Your kiddos can play games with those lists, you can make flash cards and printables, like handwriting worksheets, with your lists too.

    Ok, sorry for sounding like an ad, lol. Of all of the sites I have found over the years, that one has really become one of our favorites. I like sharing what I’ve found, but unfortunately I can’t figure out how to share without sounding like a commercial. đŸ˜€

    Enjoyed this post, and looking forward to reading more from your blog!
    Katie

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