Tuesday, November 9, 2010

School- Julie Style

I have been meaning to write a homeschool post for awhile, but well, it just has been sitting in amongst all of my other well-intentioned drafts. And it has gotten stale.

The above is what I use for Deacon's school work. I like the system because it is easy, quick and
I can prepare it, revise it and manage it with only the help of a pen. Oh, and I have to be able to find this particular notebook, which can be challenging.

My original thought was that he would like to cross things off his list. This is not the case. He could care less- I am the one who is frantically coloring in rectangles as the day progresses. And yes, I could care less what color marker, pencil or broken crayon I happen to pick up when it is time to fill in a square. When I was 16 I cared. Now, I am just happy if I can find something that is not color wonder or dried up.

I don't intend for each item to get finished every day. I add notes to the bottom if we did something special, such as : "cooking with Grandma" or "field trip to the Doctor's office" or "vomiting all day long". At the beginning of the week I jot a basic plan in the squares of subjects which require a plan. I adjust those as needed as the week progresses.

Get Dressed and Brush Teeth- Deke handles these himself

Math- we are using Math Expressions which is what our school district uses and provided for us. I like it. I also supplement with flashcards.

Geography- Deacon loves geography. We talk a lot about the world and he knows his continents, oceans and facts about different countries etc. Currently he has a United States workbook and our goal is for him to know all 50 states by Christmas. By the end of the year I expect him to know all 50 states and their capitals, be able to label them on a map and to be able to list major countries on each continent.

Writing- writing is a challenge for Deacon and he doesn't really like it. On Tuesdays he has a writing class at our co-op and he does like that. He actually enjoys making up stories but actually writing things out is difficult for him. I try to do a variety of handwriting activities to keep him from being bored. Sometimes he writes a story, sometimes he copies his awana verses, sometimes he copies something I write out for him. Sometimes I make him write 3 rows of certain letters. I want his writing to be legible, but I am not super concerned about beautiful penmanship at this point.

Reading- Self- this is another subject that is harder for Deacon. I am not sure why. He does read some, but phonics are very difficult for him. I still am wondering if there is a bit of a dyslexia situation going on with him. Yesterday I got a new phonics book, and I am going to give that a try.

Reading-Mom-My favorite thing to do is to read to the boys. We read library books, Aesop's fables, short stories, chapter books and we listen to books on CD in the van. We just finished Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator and The Hundred Dresses. We read a lot of Magic Tree House as well and have started to read some American Girl Books (to go with our history time periods). This year I am also reading to them all of the literature sections from the K,1st and 2nd grade Core Knowledge Series.

History- We are using the Sonlight Kindergarten history as well as the Core Knowledge series. History is important to me and so we supplement with a lot of library books and biography stuff. I am still working out my exact plan for this. He is familiar with a lot of history, I just need to make sure he understands the timeline a little better.

Science- once again we are using Sonlight and the core knowledge series for science. Deacon also is learning a lot about the body in his co-op science class.
Bible- reading through a Bible Story Book.
AWANA-Deacon is going to finish his 1st grade Sparks Awana book this week and will start on review. He is highly motivated.
ART- Deacon has art class at co-0p. My mom also does a lot of art work with him. In addition I give him assignments from the core knowledge art sections.
Music- I check books out of the library for him about music and he is in choir at church. Once again we also read the music sections of the Core Knowledge Series.
PE- Deacon and Roman go to Gym and Swim at our Y once a week. Deacon played football this fall and they both did swimming. Deacon will start basketball in January. They will both do more swimming lessons. In addition I try to get them outside and running around a lot- and as it gets colder I am planning to start taking them to the Y to do running and swimming more frequently. I also hope to take them to open rock climbing at the Y as it gets colder out.
Family Activity- it is not on this list, but I am trying to get our family to do a short activity together every evening after supper. Sometimes we play a game, sometimes we do a puzzle, sometimes we have a family talent show or play outside. The boys love it and it gives us a chance to pay attention to them together.
There you have it! Our homeschool in a nutshell!
*oh, in case you were wondering- I do not spend time doing cutsy crafts etc with the kids. WIth my children I don't think that it actually helps their knowledge of a subject, and it takes more time and energy than I have. They would rather play. And I would rather have them play.*
(I am having formatting issues...I am going to publish this anyway)


gma pam said...

I love seeing the notebook plan used in the next generation...I thought new technology might have replaced it, but it IS quick and efficient and works! You are doing a great job with the homeschooling! Do you keep track of days of school as we used to?

Jackie said...

I enjoyed this post, especially since we plan to homeschool and I'm trying to figure out what we're going to use. Thanks for the OCC info--we got one of the last open afternoon slots!