Monday, January 24, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ Week 1

The Homeschool Chick

I just learned of this brand new meme for homeschool moms to keep a journal of their weeks.  I'm looking forward to participating in future weeks.  Just click on the image above to read more journal pages from other homeschool moms.

In my life this week...

Recently a couple we know at church pointed out to us that we are distantly related.   Steve didn't realize that, and I certainly didn't.  But it inspired me to look back into Steve's family history again.  I knew his family had been in this area for over 150 years, but most of the men moved west before or during the Dust Bowl, so we are the only family with this last name in the area.  But some of the women married into other families, and that's what I'm trying to track down.  I shouldn't be.  I have so many other "pressing" things to focus on.

Baby V is teething, so she's not as happy as she used to be.  All of my younger ones are going through an inexplicable fussy and clingy stage.  Steve and I are trying to implement 1-2-3 Magic into our parenting.  I'm having an issue with it, though.  I see the point of being calm and not being drawn into arguments with the children.  But from what I've read/seen so far it doesn't address with the children at all the heart of the problem.  (We're viewing a video but I do have the book to read).   I think we'll have to modify the method to include an explanation of why what the child did was wrong, and a time of praying for forgiveness.  I don't want to just stop the behavior, but change their hearts.

In our homeschool this week...

We are studying Ancient Greece still.  We are coming to the end of this era and trying to wrap up loose ends.  The children have reading to catch up on before we move on to Ancient Rome.

I've started Institute for Excellence In Writing with my 8th and 10th graders, and we're looking forward to a more structured approach to writing.  My 4th and 6th graders will begin beta testing Write Shop Junior, Book E next week.  They'll be testing it for 20 weeks, and I'm probably looking forward to it more than they are.  Though they have asked to use WriteShop again since we used WriteShop Primary A.

Places we're going & people we're seeing...

We will be going to the library at some point this week, as well as Wednesday night church.  But that is all we have planned so far.  My 8th grade daughter will turn 14 later this week and she hopes to have a friend come over to help her celebrate.  We'll probably have Steve's Mom come spend an evening with us to have cake, as well.

My favorite thing this week was...

Last week, my favorite thing was having Steve home on Friday.  I love the weeks when he has a day off and can be here during the children's school time.

What's working/not working for us...

We started homeschooling using the Italics handwriting program that was so popular amongst homeschoolers.  Everyone said it made for prettier handwriting and transitioned to cursive more easily.  But, as my oldest two reached junior high we found that their handwriting was still a struggle to them.  They slowly and painstakingly wrote anything that required much writing.  They didn't like their italic cursive, and they couldn't read traditional cursive.  So we had them start learning traditional cursive.  Around that time, I started hearing other homeschool parents say they'd experienced the same issues.  So we changed all our children over to A Reason For Writing.  I like that they practice writing Scriptures as they learn their handwriting, but I also like that it seems to come more naturally to them than italics did.  Their finished handwriting will look more like my own, so that they aren't confused by two different handwriting styles.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

Most of my homeschool thoughts have been centering around high school.  We're trying to be sure we teach our oldest daughter all she needs to know before college, without stealing the joy of learning from her.  We want her to be able to get into college easily, but don't want to be trapped into shaping our homeschool to look just like a traditional school setting.  I need to read my homeschooling high school books.  I've bought a few but haven't finished reading a single one.  *blush*

A photo to share...

Speaking of high school, I'll share a photo of the new space we carved out for my 10th grader's schoolwork.  The rest of the story and more photos were shared last week.

Enjoying our homeschool life,
April E.


  1. What a lovely meme. :)

    I share you high school concerns. We're in the same boat here, but I'm using this week to kind of 'ease in' my son to his new curriculum and routine. Most of it is pretty familiar, but I'm trying to have him give better thought to his presentation, as well as getting to know the new text books.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post (as usual). We didn't like Italics handwriting, either. We switched to Handwriting Without Tears and like that much better.
    Off to read about the links you provided about your highschooler. I have a 9th grader, so love reading other's wisdom on it. Holly

  3. I do agree that first time obedience is best. However, we have not achieved that at this point. We've talked/explained too much and the kids argue too much. Some whine too much. It can also be used if the children are fighting between themselves. It gives them a few chances to stop their misbehavior. Supposedly, after you've been using it awhile ... you can say 1 and they'll stop. They learn that if they continue it's only going to end up with the time out or loss of privileges. It's mainly intended for 2-12 year olds. We've let things slide a bit too much, and too much debate goes on, at times. Sometimes it's too much passing the blame to other siblings that needs to stop.

    So, we're trying to regain some peace, and not be drawn into arguments trying to explain things. Steve and I agree that we need to discuss the right and wrong of issues with them, and need to figure out when it's best to do that. After the timeout, during? What? Some of my kids need that time-out to calm down and stop the debate.

  4. Sounds like you are really thinking this through, April, and that is a great thing! Praying for you as you continue to fine-tune your parenting skills. We all need to do that once in a while...or maybe every day??? !!! (for me, daily would be a great option...)



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