Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homeschool Highlights from this week

We are FINALLY getting in a groove with our routine. Hooray! It makes me happy to feel like I'm in control of the day instead of being a slave to the curriculum.
Last year, it seemed like we never got into a good rhythm with our days. We would spend from about 8:30-4:30 doing school work last year with an hour or so for lunch. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted and I still didn't feel like we were accomplishing as much as we should. I tried to do every single thing that was in the curriculum but there just wasn't enough time. I always felt stressed that we were "behind".

This year, I feel much more comfortable to go out on my own and not follow the curriculum so much. I'm still using their general framework, but I'm doing mostly my own activities on my own schedule. It's so nice to feel free to do what I know is best without feeling like I'm somehow failing my kids. I know them best, so why did I think that a curriculum manual could tell me what they needed better than my own instincts?
This year, we can have everyone's individual work done in about 2-2 1/2 hours (Bible, math drill, math lesson, journal, spelling, reading, penmanship, vocabulary, science/social studies worksheets, and sometimes art and tae kwon do practice) which leaves us plenty of time to do science and social studies lessons together. It also leaves time for laundry, chores, and some free time each day. I'm loving our routine so far!

Here are some highlights from our week-

On Monday, we began our unit on architecture. We introduced the unit by reviewing the days of creation and discussing that God is the architect of our earth. Our memory verse for this week was Job 38:4-"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations? Tell me if you understand."
You can read more about Monday here.

On Tuesday, we did just the basics in the morning. In math, Landon and Sierra are working with me on understanding subtraction. For their independent work, they're working on memorizing the addition facts. To help with this, I had them sort dominoes by the sum of the two sides. They really enjoyed it. I had them do it again on Wednesday as well and added in flash cards to sort.
Tuesday afternoon was a surprise trip to the roller skating rink with the local home school group. This was the first time we were able to join the group for an outing and we really enjoyed it. Cheyenne, Sierra, and Landon knew a couple of the girls from church and Sierra had a tae kwon do friend there. Dakota was a little disappointed to be the oldest one there, but I think there are some kids her age in the group who just didn't come skating. Of course, I left my camera at home so I don't have any pictures, but it was really too dark in there to get any good ones anyway. I'm happy to say that all the kids came out of the skating rink in one piece!

Wednesday was back to a regular day. We did some memory verse work
some penmanship (Cheyenne is in LOVE with cursive writing.)
and the older girls made some flip books for the Volcano lap books they're going to be making. I love Dakota's title-"She's gonna blow. A guide to volcanoes."
I also had them make pictures for the front of their lap books while I read a book on volcanoes.

On Thursday morning, I had a doctor's appointment at 8:30, so they got a little break. I also went to the library and printed off the rest of the materials for our lap books. Can't wait to see the finished products. I'll post more about it when we get to the end of the unit.
We didn't get started until after lunch, but we still had time to get all the basics in and do a couple of things for our unit.
Here's Cheyenne working on spelling words
I taught Landon and Sierra how to play war with addition flash cards. They had a blast. For now, I just had them use +1 and +2 cards. Next week, we'll add the +3's.
And, in case you're wondering why Dakota never shows up in my school pictures, this is why.
She prefers to work in her room with the radio on. Apparently the rest of us are too noisy. Ha! I like music when I'm trying to concentrate too.

Tomorrow is Friday which means no school for us. Daniel's days off are Thursday and Friday so we save Fridays to spend with Dad. We'll also use them as a "catch up day" sometime if there are things we aren't able to fit it during the rest of the week or for field trips that take more than an hour or two. Daniel's taking Cheyenne hunting in the morning while the rest of us hang out at home. Tomorrow afternoon Cheyenne's going to go play Lazer Tag with the 5th and 6th graders from church. She's pretty excited to go because they aren't planning on getting home until around midnight and because she gets to take the "kids' phone" with her. I'm so glad Grandma Debbie volunteered to pick her up! I hope to be in bed by midnight!


I'm linking up this week with the Friday blog hop hosted by Mama to 4 Blessings and Home Grown Families and with Friendly Friday hosted by The Clumsy Coquette. Welcome new blogging friends! Can't wait to hop around and make some new friends! Leave me a comment and let me know you were here so I can hop over and visit your blog.


Melissa + Tiffany @ Home Grown Families said...

Thanks for stopping by! I am following you back! Looks like you had a great homeschool week.

Slightly Nerdy. Sometimes Cool. said...

Thanks for the Follow over at my blog! I love following fellow homeschool moms! Can't wait to look around your site :)

Pam said...

Following you from Friendly Friday!
come join to get your blog featured. We are looking for guest posts on lots of topics, including homeschooling.

Jill said...

Hi Tiffany!

thanks for stopping by my blog and following! I am now following you back. You have a lovely family and looks like you are keeping pretty busy! :-) Have a great weekend!


Jeanette said...

Thanks for popping by My Own Four Corners. I am now following you back! Your family is beautiful and I am enjoying your site! Have a wonderful weekend!

Erin said...

Hi!! Hi hopping by from the Friendly Friday Blog Hop. I am your newest GFC follower. I hope that you can stop by http://www.indianacouponsavings.comand follow me too. You have a great site, keep up the good work. Also, Debs Dealz and I are hosting a month long Boo Hop. I hope that you can stop over and link up.

coronaryrn said...

I love your domino's math! How original and what a way to learn! Love it! If you haven't yet, Please Follow back Parga's Junkyard Blogand on facebook as well as on my new networking site Like it Ladder Thanks!