September 12, 2005

a start...

not a great one, but a start... this morning (Monday 9/12) I cleaned up in the kitchen & then told the boys to bring out their comforters, folded them in half the long way to use as exercise mats & did some Yoga.. it was a first for them, so they were being a bit silly about it, making fun of it, etc... & Micah was complaining that one of the stretches hurt, so I told him to massage the spot that was hurting & don't push the muscles... hopefully they'll find that they like it & it'll be something we can all do...

After that, I tried to get them to do some math problems, just 2 pages of worksheets, which wasn't a lot.

For Harrison (almost 8):

one sheet of plain double addition for Harrison
one sheet of double addition with some carrying...

E&M (10-1/2)
one page of double digit multiplication
one page triple digit addition with carrying...

I ended up giving Evan a page of single times double digit addition because he didn't do well with the double digit multiplication...and he did a bit better with it. He said that he needed to get his brain back in practice.

One of the boys was being pretty obnoxious about the whole thing, and his brothers were feeding off him & being difficult in general. I had to ask the boys if they thought that homeschooling meant no work...

But I have to keep reminding myself that overall, homeschooling will be better because school won't be all about TAKS or peer pressure... it'll also be better for their natural rhythms: we'll be able to adapt to the boys' rhythms in ways that the school can't... snacks & sleep/nap schedules come to mind here.

We don't have all of our Oak Meadow or Robinson materials yet, but I wanted to get started with some sort of routine where we do yoga first and then maybe do a Waldorf verse or two and then do some math worksheets...just to start getting in the swing of things.

why math worksheets? why not use one of the math curriculums?

I'm working toward that...

The method to my madness re: the math worksheets is to:

have them get used to working with calculations again

later on, in about 2 weeks, have them take the Math U See or/and Singapore Math placement tests...

With that bit of practice/warm up under their belt, I hope that we'll have a better idea where to place them (and also watching how they DO with these worksheets may give me an idea where to start them without even making them go through the entire tests.

The Singapore math tests are pretty extensive... does anyone know if the Singapore math work and lessons itself is in any way similar to the tests?

MathUSee placement tests are ALL 2 pages long... one page of calculations and one page of word problems...

Gonna go think about what to do tomorrow. I know I'll have the boys do some more math worksheets again, but I want to do something else as well, perhaps do part of the volcano unit-one of the free units on the Homeschool Learning Network except I forgot to pick up some food coloring... perhaps if we have some red or pink kool aid, that could work in place of food coloring & we can try to make our own volcano!

Also I'm going to find a flour-clay recipe... they'll like getting messy and creative.... and they can do it on the porch...the weather's been nice... a bit hot, but not WAY too hot...

OH! also have some more OM books on the way: Clay Fun (which we already have a copy of), Carpentry & Nature Crafts... should be here in about a week! (Media mail tends to be slow....................................................) and tomorrow the Robinson Curriculum should be here and maybe some of the other OM materials will be here as well.

Off to find a paintable flour clay recipe!

Posted by Jessica at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2005

just gettting started

My name is Jessica and I have 4 boys: 10-1/2 year old twins (fraternal... VERRRRRY fraternal!), a 7-1/2 year old and a 4 year old... their dad's name is Gary... the boys were born in 1995, 1997 and 2001 in case anyone is reading this in the future... we also share our lives with 5 cats, a dog and a guinea cock...

We're still in the process of gathering materials for our homeschool, which will be mostly based on the Oak Meadow curriculum and we'll also use materials from the Robinson Curriculum as well... (and if anyone has the Oak Meadow 5th grade history/grammar book that they'd be interested in selling, contact me)... the Robinson Curriculum CDs and the Oak Meadow books that I recently bought should be on the way... meanwhile, we'll concentrate on reading, math worksheets, art and whatever else seems interesting until the materials we need get here.

This is our first year homeschooling. We decided to pull the 3 older boys (E&M, 10, H 7) out of public school because starting with 3rd grade, school became "All About TAKS" (Texas Assesment of Knowlege & Skills, an achievement test) instead of mostly about learning with some small exceptions... it got to the point where the boys were mostly going to school to see their friends.

My 7 year old was doing fine in school and had a WONDERFUL 1st grade teacher, and I would have let him continue at school one more year except 1: he wanted to homeschool along with his brothers and 2: we'll be moving in about a month, so homeschooling works for us in that school will be the same no matter where we go.

There were other problems, too: The twins were not being challenged very much and it wouldn't make sense to have them do challenging work after school since there's not a WHOLE lot of time for homeschooling after school: they would get on the bus at 6:50 am and get home at 4pm... not a lot of time!

We'll also be doing some stuff with our 4 year old...he seems to be pretty motivated, loves to draw (mostly with markers) and has been trying to write as well.

I found several links that I'd like to share with y'all, but I've forgotten the code & my version of Movable Type seems to have lost the link to make links! Another time!

I did find one particular article valuable and that was about how to homeschool with a large family: it is on the Oak Meadow website and just look for "articles" and it will be in there...

AS far as keeping up with this blog: I make no promises regarding how often I will keep up! If you post comments, I'll be more motivated to keep regular entries!
I have another blog and I try to post in it once a month--the other blog is a fiber-crafts blog. I may do better with this one since I probably won't be posting very many pictures unless it is of projects that we'll be doing!

Posted by Jessica at 01:25 PM | Comments (3)