Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Keeping it Balanced

So the last couple of weeks, I have been focused on balance. Trying to balance time online with time teaching with time crafting etc etc. I don't think I am there yet.
BUT I have learned a few things.

1. Mondays are always bad. So now we have nature study on Mondays. This gives us the opportunity to gradually start the school week. It works really well, and Rebel actually will provide work for it too :) Both Monday and Tuesday are far less stressful. Not to mention when you suggest the kids keep an eye open for autumnal things, they will spend the rest of the week looking.

2. Reading and/or knitting while the kids school is better than the computer. Unfortunately, the book you are reading or your knitting bag do NOT happen to have those files you want to listen to/print out. If you want to only turn on the computer in the afternoon, you are going to lose. So you will turn on the computer, you just have to NOT turn on the emails ;)

3. If you keep the kids out of their rooms for studying, then you will not have to fight over Lego's and Nintendo DS's. These things are quite safe when applying the rule "out of sight, out of mind".

4. Husband's working at home on the occasional one day a week are a novelty. The kids WILL interrupt him even if you promise they wont. However, after a week or two, it becomes a treat- the kids realise they can work while your husband does and when they are done, DAD will take them places :) Great motivation!!

5. The stereotypical table in the kitchen really is a nice place to make them work, BUT the little one will disrupt the older, who will try to do the younger's work- "because it is so EASY"! However, your control is a lot greater when they are forced to sit on a chair. It is NOT the best place for them to listen to read alouds- invariably they need to fidget!

6. Reading some of the 'My First Little House' books will lead to reading the real "Little House on the Prairie" because your 4 year old will demand to know "what happens next?" Your 9 year old son will want to listen too :)

7. Birthdays should always be taken off if you are a homeschooled kid :) After all, those presents are way too tempting otherwise! Yes, Rebel turned 9 in my time away! Wow... how those kids age FAST!

8. Sickness should be dealt with by unschooling. Hopefully some family friends will leave you with a supply of National Geographic magazines, which supply your children with days worth of reading. This does not require vast amounts of energy, concentration or pencil work. They will get interested in a subject and be willing to do a notebook page on it :)

9. 4 year olds will lose their books and no matter how hard you try you can't find the one you REALLY want. And this is despite you putting the books in the bags you made.

10. When you want the kids to go outside, they wont. They will want to play inside. When you want them inside, there is nothing they want more than to be out playing with that rabbit!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday 17th September

So we start off, not too late, with the bible story. Today was the first three plagues on the Egyptians. I decide I want the kids to illustrate this, so we extend the lesson a bit.
Rebel then goes onto Latin while M'Lady finishes her picture.
After Latin, we get onto mathematics. The two page exercises are easily finished, then onto poetry.
M'Lady watches the blacksmith video, while Rebel goes back to do handwriting. I decide not to do the writing of the ballad because I think the two kids are not quite old enough for that ;) Well, Rebel is old enough, I just don't think he can write an entire ballad/poem by himself :)
The up comes Greek. Rebel gets distracted, and only half finishes it. Then we move onto spelling. Once more, he has just one mistake, works his way by himself through the ten step learning process, and is finished. I am pleased, the spelling course is making him think twice about HOW something SHOULD be spelled :)
Then we go onto the progym. Rebel underlines verbs and writes some of the action words out.

After lunch I decide not to do the history, because I am still waiting for M'Lady's book to arrive- and she NEEDS something to do while Rebel works. I let him finish his plagues, and am most annoyed later when M'Lady helps decorate his page *grrrr*.

A pretty uneventful day- lets hope tomorrow afternoon at the park goes smoothly too :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Friday, Monday and Tuesday (12th/15th/16th September)

The end of the week is always an odd day. Sometimes we have finished the work set- for instance, Rebel has already done the progym for the week!
We start with a Bible story and a prayer. The kids feel like the day goes smoother with it :) Then onto Latin- Rebel is writing sentences in English and underlining the direct object.
After Latin, is mathematics. This goes OK, though not great. It is rather boring repetition, and some of it is so simple he ends up OVERthinking the problem.
Poetry is next, with the ending of the Lewis Carroll segment. I wonder if it would be good to draw these out over two weeks. The kids have gone from asking if my Inspector Lewis DVDs are 'Lewis and Clark' to asking if they are 'Lewis Carroll'! Well- now they know his name!
Poetry slides into copywork, and as usual, nothing gets done. Greek slips by- Rebel is supposed to be reviewing.
Then spelling is up. The lesson goes well. Rebel has 3 mistakes, and enjoys the correction process, which I walk him through. He is pretty confident he knows the words now.
Since we finished the progym for the week, I wrap up early for lunch.
Mid-afternoon and DH is home from work early, to try and get some work done uninterrupted. Warned in advance, I try desperately to keep the kids quite by doing their science lesson I forgot yesterday. We start before DH gets home, and continue once he has arrived. We blow up balloons to represent the planets- Jupiter is not big enough, and Rebel has managed to blow up those long balloons (I STILL can't do it) which he folds into a ring for Saturn. I am very impressed- I have never managed to blow up those long balloons. I have fun trying to twist them into shapes though ;)
Then the kids create Title pages for their Astronomy books. M'Lady wants a small book, so I sew some signatures together to make a 4"x6" book. The spine is ducttape, the covers are construction paper with her pictures glued onto them. It is rudimentary at best!
In the meantime, Rebel manages to get ink from his orange stamp pad all over the carpet. I make him clean it up!
DH is dealing with some kind of emergency, so I put a TV show on for the kids. We sit and watch it, waiting for him to finish! Once finished, it is on to the normal Friday evening meal out :) A nice end to the week. I consider it a good one, because we had two VERY good days and only ONE really bad day :)

As do most beginning of the week days, Monday went rather South. Rebel lived up to his nickname and rebelled against everything we did. We missed our morning Bible reading and prayer because the kids decided to help the rabbit rather longer than necessary. Then we went onto Latin for Rebel and Language Arts for M'Lady.
Latin was horrible- he couldn't focus, and kept walking off in the middle of his work!
M'Lady was taking her cues from Rebel, which means she was trying to balk at everything. Colouring the page, listening to the story... you name it. She did a great notebook page for the letter 'D' though :) My favourite was the picture of Dada she drew- complete with moustache!
Mathematics was next for Rebel, and he did not do much better with that. At least he got the exercise I set done, which is a good thing, but he was up and distracting M'Lady a lot.
After Mathematics, was poetry. The Serendipity course for this is superb, and the kids are both enjoying it. We started with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow this week, and ballads. I truly think it is amazing that this will tend to be the ONE lesson that goes smoothly. M'Lady is beginning to participate in the Poetry lesson- her interest is peaked by it :) Since it tends to occur in the middle of her main lesson block, I am inclined to let her join in ;)
Copywork- I am really floundering with this lesson for Rebel. He is still working his way through his Spencerian Penmanship course. I am thinking that I'll let him complete it before really pushing the copywork. The course is wonderful, he has beautiful handwriting, but I'd like for him to copy some things. I'll have to extend the poetry lesson and truncate the copywork, then incorporate actual copywork into other lessons!
I set Greek for Rebel. He listens to the Memory Verse and vocab, and I realise I should have made him listen to the CD every day last week to review stuff. I'll have to do that this week.
I forgot to transition into the mathematics for M'Lady, but never mind. By this point I had a headache and was exhausted!
We segue into the spelling lesson for Rebel. He managed to get all of them right, which made life easier. I suspect that this level is a little too easy for him- but it is training him to remember the spelling 'rules' for each group.
Then in the progym we start on Cornelia's Jewels. I started the program a little late last year, so we are running a bit behind. Never mind, with a stern resolve I can get him back on track! He has memorised the parts of speech, and I forgo the spelling part of the student manual- we're using a different program anyway!
In the afternoon, I start the Literature lesson. They listen well, and I am relieved. Then the battle starts. It takes Rebel until BEDTIME to get his work done. Maybe it is the full moon! Any way you look at it, it took too long. Both his father and I fussed at him, and in the end, *I* am the one writing the narration rather than he himself. I am rethinking our set-up for learning. I think I might try working at the kitchen table!

The day starts well, because we're all up early. OK, I admit, I do NOT like being up early. Early is badd. It is dark, and I am only half awake! BUT it does mean I get the kids ready before breakfast!
They are out to feed the rabbit early too, although they come in at the normal time. As I go out to call them in, the next-door neighbour is calling her dog in. Strangely, my kids and the dog are both misbehaving and not listening!
First up Bible. We have a regular schedule because Rebel needs it. I once tried to just wing it and finish what we did not do the day before- and he complained because he said he was supposed to do MATHEMATICS then! I realised that my son is very much a routine person ;)
I get the story read, and the kids have plenty of time to play before the next lesson. They want to start the next lesson NOW and save the time up. It doesn't work that way, and they squander it ALL!
Next is Latin, at which Rebel handles himself well. He does the work and plays while I start M'Lady on the M is for Masterpiece at Serendipity. I am thinking of setting the notes up like the R is for Rhyme ones, because those work really well for me. She likes the cave paintings and the Mona Lisa, and I print out a Mona Lisa to colour. The black crayon is missing, and apparently that prevents her from working. I can't find it :(
I start Rebel on mathematics, which he zooms through with 1/2 his attention. I wish mathematics was not built upon skills- a lot of this stuff is so easy for him, but the SKILLS needed are introduced with the easy stuff. However, like yesterday, he gets his pages (an exercise) done, and I am pleased.
Then we do Poetry. M'Lady wants to join in, and I read Longfellow's poems to them, asking them if they are ballads or not. We discuss ballads and the ballad patterns (4 lined stanzas, rhyming on the 2nd and 4th line, tells a story- typically with a tragic ending). They enjoy the lesson and it flies by. Apparently we're fans ;)
After poetry it is copywork. Rebel has little to do, and it is today I make the realization about copywork and handwriting. I'll have to think on this. In the plus column, it does mean we can wait for Drew's Memory Work book to come out :)
I set M'Lady to work on a wipe-clean book Mum sent her. It doesn't really work well with our markers- I need to find a better pen for it, but she enjoys it until the pen causes problems by making her hand too dirty. I tell her to wash it up and pack her up for the day.
Then it is on to spelling. Rebel gets just one word wrong today, but that's OK. It means we are working through the lists quickly, and building his skills up. Once we have this pattern down, I will print out the extra activities on card for him to do. In the meantime I am trying to get comfortable with this new routine. I really like the spelling program though.
Then Progym. I am stumped. The work for today is spelling work. I suggest Rebel do some of the work for tomorrow, but I am not forceful about it.
This afternoon is supposed to be Geography. Rebel got some books in the mail from Mum this weekend- the Horrible Geography books. I promise him that he can read one for his lesson today :) I need to make some atmosphere cards for them, and cut the Earth layer cards out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday and Thursday 10/11th September

I'm posting both yesterday's and todays here at once, because today's is pretty simple :)

Yesterday, I knew it was not going to go well, when the kids didn't get enough sleep. Studies have shown in this house, that the kids need A LOT of sleep- and for some reason they have to wake up at the same time every day!

We started with the Bible reading. I am still trying to catch up with Christian studies, so we are working our way through it. We finished the story of Joseph. I have this unfortunate trend to sit there singing "coat of many colours" and other "Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat" songs in my head while reading it- even though it was always one of my favourite stories. Probably because Joseph's mother is Rachel... ;)

Anyway, then it was onto Latin. That actually went rather smoothly. I discovered that this way, one lesson a week seems to be sufficient ;)
I set M'Lady up with her faith block... colouring to religious music really. So I spent a lot of time finding the religious music. I have to say, I disapprove of some of the versions I found online! I started a playlist I can play for the block each time :)

After Latin was mathematics, there distracta-boy came into his own. He did ONE question in 40 minutes. I told him that he'd have to live with that, and we moved on to poetry. M'Lady decided to join in this time. In fact, she did more than Rebel did!

Rebel took so long to do his spelling test, that I ended up giving a lunch break early and leaving the progym for later.

Mid-afternoon, we did Famous Men of Rome. Rebel liked that, he loves the Romans, but it was a battle of distraction! I gave him a map to label and a timeline to start, and we ended there.

I was pleased to note that M is for Masterpiece came in the mail, so next week M'Lady will get some art :) Once we have done two weeks of art, we'll alternate M is for Melody and M is for Masterpiece- in the meantime I'll order M is for Melody and R is for Rhyme, for my own ;) These are definitely worth getting, the kids really enjoy these lessons!

Today is nature study day. We started out by finishing up Rebel's Caesar story, as per request. As you can already tell, he got to bed earlier and consequently slept better and acts better ;)
Then I sent them outside, and gave them their nature journals.
They each went around, Rebel drawing, M'lady playing. Rebel's journal is filled with pictures!

From Top left: The exterior of the notebook. I found these on sale at Michaels for $1 each. The pen comes with it! Next up is a rose, then a morning glory.
Second row: white rose, spiderwort, rose and rosehip.
Third Row: Habanero pepper, swallowtail caterpillar and hummingbird.

You can click on the picture to get a better look :)

M'Lady did a picture of a caterpillar, but she hasn't finished it yet :)
So far so good today!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And then it Gets Better...

I was pleasantly surprised when Rebel came upstairs this morning- he was dressed, had eaten breakfast and emptied the dishwasher before I even got downstairs! Apparently he wanted to go for a walk.
So, we went for a walk first thing, picking up acorns and sweetgum balls and other tree leavings :)
Back at the house, we got in the Bible reading before heading into Latin/Fine Arts. Both went quite well, Rebel got part of his Latin accomplished, M'Lady enjoyed hearing about the Brass section of the Orchestra. We listened to some things by Handel while Rebel went onto mathematics, and M'Lady coloured brass instruments while Rebel worked on R is for Rhyme and his copywork.
Things went South a little at that point, because then M'Lady was supposed to be doing mathematics and Rebel his Greek review. A little inducement in the form of revitalizing cookies helped! As M'lady began to clean up her math things, Rebel took his spelling Power placement test. We got it fixed and M'Lady was finished when Rebel went onto the Progym. As he dithered around with how it should look, I pulled him off the computer and made him narrate it. A few disagreements later, we were done.

I have geography scheduled for Tuesday afternoons, but our first lesson will overlap with science- which we do on Thursdays, so to kille two birds with one stone, I decided to delay it :)

All in all, a good day :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

My New Schedule- Tweaked :)

Can be viewed here :)

Somedays you Take the Good with the Bad

There are just some days that are not really fun.
I had such hopes for today, that school would go well, the kids would be good, we'd have fun.
I had planned to start our 'before school walk' this morning, after watching a homeschooling neighbour traipse past our house every day bright and early. Well, even she was late today, but we didn't get that done at all! The kids delayed and played. I did, however, get them dressed before breakfast ;)

First up was the Bible story. I really wanted to have Rebel read this to us, because my throat is hurting. Well, after I corrected him twice for the same mispronunciation of Pharoah (it was the FIRST word of the page), he went on strike. I read the story.
Next was SUPPOSED to be Latin for Rebel and a Language Arts block for M'Lady. Rebel was still sulking- I got M'Lady started, and headed Rebel into mathematics, forgetting about Latin today (even though I made some great worksheets for it this weekend!).
Instead of 3 pages of mathematics, Rebel managed one. By this point I am getting upset. We start poetry, which went REALLY well, and I set Rebel up with some copywork... Lewis Carroll's 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat". He loved that! R is for Rhyme is a success with Rebel ;)
Then it was phonics for M'Lady. We practise with the gold and green letter flashcards I made for her. I am hoping to get her to make some letters for the Alphabet trail.
Then it fell to pieces. M'Lady had managed to lose her Heavenly Friends book, and her room was a mess. So I tip all the mess onto the floor and make her clean with me. We go through the entire room, cleaning, tidying away the mess and putting away the clothes.
Meanwhile I set Rebel to review the Greek alphabet... I don't know if he did it, although I gave him the cards.
Then while tidying with M'Lady I make him do his prep work for his Progymnasmata story. Nope. No dice. When DH calls at lunch I have a short fuse, and luckily for me, HE has words with Rebel. They work a little, her gets a sentence written. It is not until I let M'Lady have her banana twin (cake) because she picked up her crayons, that he starts writing in earnest. Then I write the second part so he can eat!
My planned spelling has gone, and I realise, spelling needs to come first so nothing will derail it. OK, quick tweak to the schedule.
After lunch, I read their literature selections to them and they sort-of do their work. That is to say Rebel narrates and M'Lady draws, but neither one does any more. I sit in the mess they managed to make doing nothing, and sigh with relief that the lessons are over for today. All I have to do is discuss our spelling program with Rebel, so we're ready tomorrow!!

Now I can go read...

Friday, September 5, 2008


I don't really do school portraits. After all, I take photos of my kids year round :) But Mum and Dad sent M'Lady some school uniforms from England- because they thought she'd like htem :) They were right, M'Lady was thrilled with the selection, because she knew she looked like Mama.

In fact, she looks a WHOLE lot like my school portrait in this particular picture. Next week I'll get Rebel to pose ;)

(the rocker and afghan AND the painting are all things DH inherited from his mother :))

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NOT Back to School

I called it a 'Not-back-to-school' day today, because all the local schools went back. So the day has been a random time of being outside, organizing toys and watching shows :)
Very much 'NOT' back to school ;)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday 29th August

I'm the distracted one today ;) Call it political interest, but I keep checking the news to see what is going on. Not to mention that DH is coming home early today, so school is a lot lighter an issue :)

We started out with the prayer and Bible- the kids agree that it is a nice way to start. I like the soft start approach, although I am lazy enough to dislike the fact it means I have to be ready on time :) None the less, we started only a little late, and in a much better frame of mind than yesterday!!

Next up Latin. Only I scratched phonics and move M'Lady's block lesson forward. This seemed to work- she could colour in her Flower Fairies, while I helped Rebel on Latin. We were interrupted by DH on the phone though, and the lesson was quite intense- so I broke it off until next week.

Then it was math for Rebel and a continuation of the Block lesson for M'Lady. I recapped the Mrs. Applebee story up to (and including) F, so we can start with 'G' next week. She has trouble recognising 'G', so that is why I picked there to re-start. After we had completed that, and while Rebel was still on math, I started M'Lady on her mathematics, then switched Rebel to Handwriting. I had hoped to start his copywork, but he is still working through his handwriting book. Instead, I think I will add copywork to his main lessons. I wish Memoria Press had decided to print the Memory Work book before school started, but oh well. I'll have to wing it.

Then it was Progym for Rebel, while M'Lady just continued. He has yet to finish it- they snuck outside and I made them do some yard work while out there. Instead of being a punishment though, apparently it was interesting. Next time I'll make him weed ;)

RE is up for this afternoon, but I don't really have M'Lady figured out on this yet. I might just continue with this morning's Bible readings (we stopped in the middle of Joseph's story- and I am really trying to catch up so we can do Christian Studies III) and add in some copywork, main lesson page and memory verses. I have to go over to the Simply Charlotte Mason list and re-read their memory verse method again ;)

Oh- and if you want to read about our Tasha Tea yesterday, head on over to my main blog and take a look. There are really 3 Tasha related posts, somewhat related to the tea ;)

Now- onto the long weekend, with hopes of setting up a sparrow post, and maybe a Fairy House. No promises though!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday 28th August

So today- we're off to a bad start. The weather and darkness make it seem so much earlier than it is, and the kids apparently have cabin fever even though they have not stayed in the house.
Bible goes well, although M'Lady had a fit because she had not been quick enough to START the sign of the cross and she kept asking me to 'go back'.
This calmed them a little, but I needed to get M'Lady to do some phonics, and this meant Rebel had to do Latin unobserved. Of course he didn't. OK Mum, time to rethink THAT plan. How can I read to M'Lady without interfering with Rebel's lesson (he will just come over to listen)? I'll have to switch something around. I thought for sure Latin and phonics would work well together- but apparently not.
Mathematics is tough. Neither of them have the focus to do ANYTHING. Not the dots, not the mathematics recap, nothing.
I am so glad that Nature Study is scheduled today, I would surely go mad if I had to contend with this level of distraction through all other lessons!!

Meanwhile I am planning and plotting our Tasha Tea for later. It's a shame we don't have an outfit like hers to wear (I still haven't finished the shawl LOL), but we'll make do. I'll blog about it later on my main blog. And now, I will go take a look at the Science lesson I had planned this afternoon and see if we can fit it in now :)

Wednesday 27th August

Whoops... didn't get a chance to post this yesterday!

We started out fine... even on time, but it went downhill from there :o Apparently, yesterday was distraction day. Rebel was distracted during Latin and mathematics. M'Lady was just plain distracted.
She DID get her main lesson pages up to date though ;)
After that, we tried the R is for Rhyme poetry. It is a lovely lesson plan, but a little above M'Lady's abilities. Not to worry, I'll change the lesson plan to allow Rebel to take advantage of it, while I wait for M'Lady to get a little older ;)
*I* found it fascinating though... ;)

Copywork and recitation went by in a flash (as always) and onto Progymn with Rebel. We'll start Greek backnext week. Progym was not hassle, and then suddenly it was lunch.

After lunch we were supposed to have history, but I don't have half of M'Lady's stuff, so I decided we'll add that next week. Or maybe with the nature study cancelled today (Thursday), I might just put it on today.

So far, so good. One tweak to make, two new schedules to revamp and some tea-time goodies to bake :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 2- 4th Grade and Kindergarten year A

So again, we started a little late. Today that was caused by tantrum boy. Apparently I gave him the wrong shirt to wear yesterday!! Once we were all sorted out, we were 20 minutes behind. Not to worry, I read the Bible story for the day, lead with the prayer and began.

After Bible, it is Latin and Phonics. I test M'Lady to see where we need to restart. She knows the alphabet well up to 'G', so we'll ebgin there. I'll read the Mrs. Applebee story to her later, from the start, so she remembers it ;)

We do the first lesson in Latin Book 1. This went rapidly and well, and we had a little giggle over trying to roll our 'R's. Apparently only I can do it ;) Oh well, practise makes perfect, right?

Then onto mathematics. I prepare a Gnumber Gnomes lesson for M'Lady, while Rebel works through his book. He manages to finish it, and we're finally where we're supposed to be!

So what were the math lessons you ask?
Simple number recognition. For some reason, M'Lady (call it laziness perhaps) doesn't want to recognise numbers. So I organized something that was 1/2 Montessori, 1/2 Gnumber Gnomes.

I take some index cards, and write the numbers 0-10 (in rainbow colours) on them. In corresponding colours, I draw the appropriate number of dots on another card. Then I created a series of control cards in the appropriate colour, with both the number AND the correct number of dots on it.

The lesson starts with me showing M'Lady how this works.

First, you choose a DOT card, and count out a corresponding number of gems.

Then you pick the NUMBER card that goes with it. There is a pile of numbers, a pile of dots, and a pile of control cards.

The correct card is placed next to the dots, and then M'Lady checks her answer with the control cards.

First she selects the right card from the control card pile.

And she compares it to the cards on her tray. If it is correct, it gets put in the correct pile. If not, she has to re-do it. I might make her put the ones she gets wrong at first in another pile.
Simple, AND something she can do on her own while I get the next lesson ready or help Rebel!

After mathematics, it is Language Arts block for M'Lady. I set her the task of producing some main lesson pages for A, B and C, while I check out the Alphabet Path stuff.

Rebel starts off with handwriting, and I set him some copywork for the rest of the week. He'll be copying the Star Spangled Banner. After that, he has Progym. This is one of his favourites- apparently he loves to write the story LOL. Today was supposed to be the spelling lesson, but I am waiting on a new spelling book. Rather than mess with the new method (the book is Spelling Power), I opt to forgo the spelling lesson, and instead focus on the grammar. We learn about pronouns. Funnily enough, most of the grammar we do, we've already covered in Latin, so this is mostly review! He has learned the 9 parts of speech though- this is great because I am learning too!!

Next up is lunch, followed by Geography. Only I don't have geography books yet... whoops! Actually it is not my fault. The G is for geography books are NOT at my library, so I am forced to improvise. I am thinking I might just do alphabetical states for DD- or maybe in order of joining the union, and use OTHER books. DS I think will be working through the continents. Of course we'll start with our own :) Either way, I have two books ready to be ordered to help, and a library catalogue to search before next week!

So far so good! We need to work on completion, but otherwise, we're coming along- and M'Lady is finally NOT being such a bother to Rebel. Wow, what a refreshing change!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day 1- 4th Grade and Kindergarten year A

So the plan so far is that I will be doing a version of Kindergarten with DD this year, and another year next year. Should it be necessary that is ;)
So far the plan consists of Latin Centered program for DS and a Serendipity inspired one for DD.
I don't know how long that will last- I might drop all but the Alphabet path part of Serendipity for DD this year, it depends on how the rest of the week goes (see if she can handle it- so far so good) ;)

The plan was to start at 9 with prayers, Bible and Saint readings. We got that done- a little later than planned simply because I started us out a little late- I forgot to check on the Saint for today :o
The Bible reading went VERY well, and the kids happily illustrated them.
Next up was Latin/Phonics. Uh-oh- somewhere along the line I managed to forget to prepare the Latin. I am still dithering on what to start him with, so we skip that AND phonics as a consequence. No matter, that lets us ease back into it, right?

Mathematics comes next. DD books are apparently on back order- and the ones we are working on now involve counting. According to DS, he can't concentrate with her counting. He leaves the room, and works in another room. I don't like this- there is nothing I can do to make SURE he is working if I can't see him. He doesn't get as much done as I had hoped.

Next up is the Fine Arts Block for DD and Copywork & Recitation, Greek and Progymnasmata. I drop the Greek for today, deciding against Languages. Too stressful for the first day back ;) I read some to DD from M is for Melody. I have yet to get a copy of M is for Masterpiece. This goes rather well, although DS is rather lapsed in the handwriting he is supposed to be doing. DD is then set to colour a flag while DS and I concentrate on the Progym. Progym is of course, a favourite here, and since it also just so happens to be about Julius Caesar it went even better.

Next is lunch, then play then finally a Literature block. The literature block goes well for DS but DD is distracted. She finally does a great picture for the Mother Goose rhymes :) Although she DOES add a picture of the Glob from Gumby :o

Results and Response:
I consider it a pretty good school day. No, we didn't get it ALL done (those are very rare indeed LOL), but we got a lot done. It was my first day homeschooling BOTH of them, so I am happy to have this much done. The rest of the week will be establishing rhythms, routines and tweaking what we have :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rebel's Schedule

Click for a closer view.

Everything is subject to change of course, but so far, this is the plan! The idea here is to merge the two kids. M'Lady is beginning a Kindergarten year because she has literally been begging to 'do school' (do you know how many times she has asked me in the last few days "is it time for school yet?"?). So I spread the plan out. It is less intensive, more relaxed, and has playtime scheduled- as well as read alouds.
I am aiming to do teatime this year. I aim every year, but this time I have a reason. The kids are always begging for food early, I figure that a scheduled snack time might help ;)

This schedules is heavily influenced by The Latin Centered Curriculum, with a few ideas from other places ;)

M'Lady's Schedule

Click the picture for a closer look.

This looks like a lot. But when you consider that mostly it is large blocks of time so she can do activities, you realize it truly is just a Kindergarten day. It is designed to mostly to coincide with her brother's lessons, so she can 'do some' too :) . This is a Serendipity based plan, heavily influenced by Elizabeth, and ready to be tweaked when necessary. I am assuming that the mathematics will include the Math Gnomes, which is why I scheduled her a large time slot. I may reduce it later.

What we're doing

The past few weeks have been a time for the kids to enjoy the summer.
Rebel has been creating paper structures from kits that Mum sent over and some that I downloaded off of the internet.
M'Lady has been learning about not bullying the bunny ;)

NOW, I am in the final stages of planning, where I hope to upload my schedule in just a few days :)

The Homeschool Blog

I have often deliberated on hosting an education blog. At one point I even tried to host one on wordpress, but I realised that I love blogger better, and it is just a lot easier for me to host another blog here :) Especially since it means I can separate out the learning from the life :)

So I decided to start this blog. The title comes from one of my favourite educational quotes:
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire" by William Butler Yeats.

This blog is about our school life, and all my school posts will eventually be hosted here :)

I have included links in the sidebars, to the blogs I am subscribed to, to other learning notes blogs and to other homeschooling Catholics :) They are organized by the most recent posting, so you never know what will be top of the list when you visit!

Oh, and yes, I DID draw and paint my own header ;)