Homeschool Happenings

Well, I’ll be honest right from the start.

I have been a wee bit totally unmotivated in the schooling department.

Perhaps burn-out is a better word here.

I on one hand don’t want to post that, because then I might hear things like “well put them in school” just as an example. And I don’t mean from comments here on the blog. KWIM?

On the other hand, I know I’m not the only teacher who experiences this. I have a good friend who teaches in a local high school. She gets burn-out too. We have talked about it. She has challenging students as well. Just sayin’

When I take stock though, we have seen some major accomplishments as of late.

I thought a little list is in order:

1). Li’l Miss is reading C-V-C words easily. She is also BLENDING!!! Her ST has commented on her reading abilities as well. I am so proud of her efforts. She is VERY motivated, which makes teaching her fun!

2). Li’l Dude can count to ten!!! And sometimes he can count to 12. Even more, he can identify the numerals 11-20 when he sees them. YEAH!

3). Larry is reading on a 2nd grade level with great comprehension. He is also reading above that grade level, but his comprehension is not there for many things at levels above grade 2 words. Still he asks questions when he doesn’t understand a word meaning, which to me is success on the comprehension aspect.

4). Mo is doing well in many areas, but perhaps the area he has really made me most proud is taking part in our church’s Christmas Musical and trying out for a speaking role for the first time. He told them the part he hoped to get when he tried out and he got it! He finally took the leap and tried out this year, and he has memorized his lines so well and is excited and ready for the big day. It is this coming Sunday and they will perform in all 3 morning services. My stomach is already doing flip-flops, but he is very confident and I am so proud of his taking ownership of this and working so hard to do his best!

5). Curly excels in many areas, but perhaps the area where he is doing the best right now is growing into a young man. Seriously, he has matured so much and he is SO HELPFUL with his younger siblings. Li’l Dude has taken a particular liking to him because of their mutual love for LEGO building, and it is incredibly wonderful to watch Curly encourage Li’l Dude in his own LEGO pursuits. It truly warms my heart! They are 7 years apart in age, but I see them as kindred spirits on many levels. Who knew? BUT God. 🙂

So without further ado, a few photos I have managed to snap in recent weeks. Like I said, I’ve been burned out and we have not logged in as many school days in November as I would have liked, but we will be schooling more days in December than we normally do. And this year, I am fully committed to schooling through the summer. I’m not sure what form that will take and it will be modified to be sure our afternoons are FREE for swimming, but we have lost ground in math and I’m not willing to take that risk again. So I know our summer school will include daily math drills and perhaps some creative writing tasks that I haven’t ironed out yet, but anyway we will get it all in!

I recently read a post on the yahoo group I’m a member of for families who homeschool and have adopted (PM me for an invite if this applies to your family no matter where your child was adopted from!). The post really blessed and encouraged me because this Mom, who has homeschooled for 26 YEARS! straight, shared how some of the most important things we’ll teach our children DO NOT come out of textbooks. HOW TRUE that is! As I watch literally it seems God growing our children’s love for their waiting little sister, I credit that as learning. Oh how we’ve been on the other side of that difficult transitional time when God is grafting another child into our home, and I do pray everyday not a moment is wasted as He prepares us yet again for that grafting.

OK, I rambled. Some photos and brief descriptions of recent events in our school days!

DSC_0682
This is one of our favorite games to play lately! Yes, this is mine from childhood. Don’t you love the hairstyles LOL!

DSC_0717

Speaking of games, I love a suggestion I learned from MOTL (Math on the Level; our math curriculum). We will play a game but add in some math questions along with it. As each person has their turn, they choose a card from their stack of math questions. The beauty is everyone can play a game together, but their math questions can be individualized. In the photos above, Li’l Dude, Li’l Miss and me are playing Candy*land and they are answering questions about shapes and the numbers 1-20. I have on my to-do list making cards with the tens facts 20-100. I was VERY PLEASED with how well they identified the numbers 10-20. Li’l Miss can count to 20 now and Li’l Dude can get past 10, but the best part is they can both identify them all by sight. Major accomplishments here let me just tell you! Number ID has NOT come easy around here! 🙂

IMG_1127

We participated in an International Festival with a local homeschool group in late October. The children all worked together and chose the country of Norway to study. I was so proud of their work and their efforts in putting it all together. We were able to walk around and learn from other students about many countries around the world! It was a fun event that we hope to participate in again next year.
DSC_0730

DSC_0735

DSC_0738

DSC_0740
We love, love, love this game we printed for FREE from this site (look under the math tab for “Add-It”). I have a tub of various counters (by the way, don’t ever throw out pieces to games when you get rid of the games b/c the board has disintegrated; keep the counters!!!). Li’l Dude and Li’l Miss are adding now. My only wish is that the creator of this ingenious idea would make a subtraction set! A girl can dream!

**Photos below taken on my phone so not great quality but the leaves were beautiful!**
IMG_1177

IMG_1179

IMG_1189
We went on a leaf hunt one day around our yard and a few neighbors’ yards in October, and we were absolutely in awe of the beauty of the leaves. How can anyone deny a Creator? We decided to make a garland out of the leaves. We just took it down, and it was even beautiful still even with the leaves drying out. It still  had color. Hard to explain but it did!

And finally, some fun with phonics! I pulled out our Scrabble Slam game and used it for a fun phonics lesson with the littles. I could put together the word endings that I knew they could read and then they were instructed to choose consonants to form new words. They did great and it really encouraged them in their reading!

IMG_1151

I also did a similar activity with some phonics tiles Grammy gave us. They liked using these too.

IMG_1198

IMG_1204

IMG_1199

Speaking of reading, I highly recommend Reading Eggs for anyone who needs a bit of reinforcement in this area. Yes, it is computer-based, but they love it and we use it in moderation and it does help me out too by freeing me up to do things with the older boys while they work on this. We have two very old MACS (one in the schoolroom, one in the kitchen), so I can put them on simultaneously and then have 20 minutes to work with someone else individually. I got our subscription through Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op at a DEEP discount. Highly recommend that site as well for huge savings; it is FREE to join the co-op!

Well that is about all I have photos of I think from the last 6 weeks or so. I am ready for a new month and hopefully will stick to our plans a bit more this month. Maybe LOL!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Homeschool Happenings

  1. Oh my! So in touch with homeschooling burn out. I have struggled to resist skipping our school routine all together the past week or so. The kids are engaged and working, it’s all me. But if I’m going to insist the kids stick with their commitments and responsibilities when they don’t much feel like it, what sort of example would I be if I skip out on mine because I don’t feel like it? Which is not to say we don’t take time off– we do, that’s one of the benefits of homeschooling– but right now we’re trying to make good progress so we can take some time off in the new year (what with the trip to China and helping a two year old adjust to a new country and a family). We worked on math all summer last summer and my kids have very clearly requested a break this summer, which means we’ve got to be a bit more disciplined than we were last year. Anyway, my point was, you are so very much not alone and no, it doesn’t mean you should just put them back in traditional school. You’re right– every teacher struggles with burnout from time to time– just as every student struggles with it.

    I am so impressed with Larry’s reading! Asking when he comes to an unfamiliar word is *huge.* It shows comprehension and it shows a commitment to learning and that he’s comfortable enough and secure enough to admit he doesn’t know something and ask for help. I think you deserve a really big pat on the back for that!

    And we have the same Life game with the same fabulously 70s cover photo. It was mine when I was a kid. :^)

    I’d be interested in the adoption/homeschool yahoo group….

  2. It is so encouraging to see the progress that all of your children are making. We used the same agency for our first adoption. We are getting ready to start homeschooling our daughter and I would love an invite to the yahoo group you mentioned. I apologize but I couldn’t find a contact button on your blog.

  3. I think you are doing amazing……. I mean you have had something really huge you have been working towards in the last few months!!!! LOL!! (bringing home another child is a lot of work and commitment, especially the fundraising part!!)

    Your kids are great and doing so well!!

  4. I can so relate to the homeschool burnout thing too. We are adopting a little girl from S.Korea and should be bringing her home in the next few months! I’d love to have access to the adoption/ homeschool post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s