Thursday, February 1, 2007

ElCloud Homeschool Update

We've got 5.5 weeks of Tapestry of Grace, Year 1 left.  Because we started it at the end of the last school year, we have to do 6 weeks of Tapestry of Grace, Year 2 to finish off our school year.  We only have 11.5 weeks to go.  I was looking at a calendar, and we could be done at the end of April if we don't take any breaks.  But we probably will take a break somewhere in there.

A and R have been studying Ancient Rome for several weeks.  This week we're studying about the Celts and the Roman rule over them.  We'll end this unit at the Fall of Rome.  The girls are very anxious to start year 2 and move into the Medieval Times instead of the Ancient Times.  Which is funny because when we debated where to start a year ago, they were so excited about doing the Ancient Times.  I guess they're just tired of all the ancients and their myths now.  We've all decided that the Celtic myths might just be the weirdest of all -- well, some of them.

C and J are still rowing Five In A Row with me.  Two weeks ago we rowed Warm As Wool.  Last week we rowed Owl Moon, and this week we're rowing Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.   With all the snow and ice we've had this Winter, we're enjoying rowing the wintery books.  I'm eager to row Five In A Row, volume 4, and have been debating switching to that.  I think 7 yo C would welcome the change, but I'm not sure if J (soon to turn 6) is ready for it or not.   J wants to return to Tapestry of Grace, he thinks.  I think he just wants to be doing something different, no matter what we're doing.  When they were doing Tapestry of Grace, he kept asking to go back to Five In A Row

C is gaining more confidence in her reading, and asks to read to me each day.  She is speeding up.  She can read the Bob books without much help at all, and has started reading some Level 1 readers from the library.  Some of them are easier than others, though, and I have to help her when she comes to a word with a rule she hasn't learned yet ... such as freight.  Why do they put words like that in a level 1 reader, anyway?  I have just been letting her read aloud, and haven't been using our phonics curriculum at all.  It just seems better to teach her the rules as she encounters them, than to try to teach them and expect her to remember them when she does encounter them.  Two weeks ago she told her the Children's Church Director at church that she couldn't read.  I corrected her and told her she could read, but not at that particular level.  I'm looking forward to the day when she has enough confidence to tell others she can read, and to try to read things other than the beginning readers.

This week, I pulled out my Before Five In A Row and am intending to use it with 3 yo M a couple times each week.  He enjoyed rowing Jesse Bear, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? with me this week.  I think he needs that Mommy time, too.

We're trying to add walking into our day.  The children and I just walked a mile with Leslie Sansone's Walk the Walk video.  I've joined my friends' February Walking Challenge and have set a goal of 20 miles in February.  I hope I can achieve that, although I don't expect that the children will walk every mile with me.  I need to do this for my own health, my children's health, and the health of any future pregnancies I have.  Baby L makes it a challenge at times.  I've walked two different miles with her in my sling.  It works, but it limits the arm movements I can do.  She woke up during today's mile, but R just carried her out to the living room and she was content to watch us walk after a brief snuggle.

We've had 2 of our birthdays already.  I need to update the ages in my sidebar.  R turned 10 and M turned 3 in January.  J will turn 6 in 2 weeks, and L will turn 1 in March.  Her first year is just flying by! 

We're still sick with this cold, but we just keep plugging away at our schoolwork and chores.  It's a blessing that we can choose to either work through our illness, or set school aside for awhile, and not have to worry about missing school.  We've also been able to work right through the bad weather and school closings around us, without having to worry about falling behind for the year.  

I'm also thankful that I can change things to suit my children, as needed.  I can have A start her math book over to better understand it.  I can switch C and J back and forth between Tapestry of Grace and Five In A Row, as I see fit.  I can add subjects when things are going well, or pull back to just the basics when we are more stressed.  I can set aside the phonics program and work with C in the way she learns best, to get her reading.  With just a few students, I can sense when one of them needs me to alter the lesson to include some action.  I can choose to go in-depth when the interest is there, or just do an overview when the interest or readiness for a subject isn't there.  I can look at our schedule for the week and know whether we need a lighter school schedule or a heavier one.  I can make it a 4 day school-week if we're going to head to the farm on Friday.  I can choose what subjects my children are ready to study, and at what age.  I can teach them from a Biblical Worldview, instead of the humanist worldview prevalent in public schools.

I'm so thankful we homeschool.  We are blessed to be able to do so.

Blessings,
April

1 comment:

  1. April, I enjoyed reading what you are doing with each child. I especially agreed with the end of the post where you talk about the wonderful advantages we have as homeschool moms! Monday morning when I woke up sick, I didn't have to worry about calling a school or getting the girls dressed and out the door. Thankfully my MIL lives next door so we just called her to ask her to come over. The girls are able to stay at home where they are comfortable and I could call them as I pleased to let them know Mommy was okay. I also didn't have to call my work and get a substitute or worry about sick leave, etc! And I am very thankful that my girls and I can catch up this week of school when I feel better any time we want! We are also going to be finished by the end of April even with this break. I love homeschooling too! I will be praying for you to reach your goal for February! I think I will try to make a goal too for 10mi! I will let you know! In Him, Eva

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