Friday, September 10, 2010

State of the Homeschool Address

Ah....the second year of homeschool. One month down.

I feel like we have it more under control.

And that's the important part. :o)

Because "feeling like" and "actually having" things under control are two very different beasts. Especially when you are the type of person who is a perfectionist and a pessimist.

You can see why "feeling like" is alright in my book.


in trying to keep in perspective that we are trying to instill the love of learning rather than spoon-feeding information to create Momma's little SAT-passing robot, we've elected to do a few things differently this year from "what the book says".

Cookie Monster is going great guns blazing with Math. That i am not worried about. Even with all the days we ended up taking off in August for playdates and such, we are on track with Math. As of August we had 16 lessons out of 140 done.

Grammar is humming right along too. She's completed 12 of the 100 lessons we need to this year.

We have gotten better at reading the required 30 minutes. Now i am not saying that happens everyday, but now that we've gotten our living room arranged to be conducive to snuggling on the couch and reading things like Aesop's Fables and other kid friendly literary works, it happens with much more regularity.

Spelling is the biggest hangup. I am still feeling intimidated by Spell to Write and Read. Making a goal of grabbing a hold it the reigns this month. She is through the first two sections already, as a warm up. Most were 3 and 4 letter words...things she words she knew how to spell when she was 4.

Her writing is exploding, especially because she is learning cursive. She's been using it to write more...experimenting with how the letters fit together or how she can make them fit with the strokes she already uses. Since the introduction of cursive, hearts have started appearing as dots of the i's or as little embellishments. Must be some gene in that second X chromosome that produces that behaviour, getting switched on when girls start learning their formal handwriting. :o)

We're keeping pace with Science...some weeks even ahead. C.m. is a science geek--hallelujah!

So far we've studied Earth, the solar system, storms, and rocks and fossils. More homework for me this week is to study up on making a volcano and find some other everyday science projects to do with her.

The only things we've yet to add this month are music (which i just acquired) and piano. She tends to gravitate to the piano during her breaks, curious about new songs then. And about once a week she's learned a new tune by heart. She'll be starting her dance classes upon her return from Idaho (Moose has just left to pick her up today) and we'll also be picking up where we left off in Art History last year: with Gauguin. Oh, and Religious Ed starts in October.

History is where we've taken a detour. We were just getting to the good stuff last year with the Greeks and Romans. We hadn't even gotten through Jesus' arrival, so i made the executive decision to keep working our way through the Early Ages. We'll start Middle Ages soon enough.

C.m. has really been taken with the Greek/Roman gods. She loves the story of the Trojan Horse and the Odyssey. So we are immersing ourselves in that for a while. She was ecstatic to find that one of her enrichment activites was to colour and cut out Greek paper dolls. :o) The scissors, cardstock, and glue seemingly bolted themselves onto the table! ;o) However, when she realised how the paper dolls themselves were dressed, she threw one hand over her eyes and held the paper out to me as she decried, "Oh no, tell me they aren't in their underwear, Mom!"
When i assured her they were and even remarked that maybe it was better they were in their underwear rather than their birthday suits, like some people are in the art history books, she declared "Just great! Ahhh! Just GREAT! I can't believe i'm going to be playing with these. This is so inappropriate."

However she did, and with wonderful style too, i might add.

One important lesson C.m. has learned so far apparently is the ol' underwear trick: if you are uncomfortable, just imagine them in their underwear. :o)

Maybe she's a little too good at that trick, as this was the result:

Haaaaaaa! Who knew Greek warriors favoured polka dots instead of stripes.

Doesn't this look like a character gone wrong from Space Ghost?

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Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!