October 24, 2005

an impasse

We're currently at an impasse right now... we're having lots of problems getting the boys (especially the older 2) to do their math or writing work, so we're taking a bit of a break and they'll focus on reading for now...also their dad has given them a computer research assignment to do on hurricanes and tornados.

I think part of the problem is related to the transition from a public school environment to a homeschool environment, but I'm not exactly sure how to handle this & would love to hear from others who have pulled their kids from public schools. I know we need to set some goals with the boys and find ways to make them accountable in ways that will be meaningful to them...and not just because they "have to" or because "mom & dad said so"... that alone is not enough.

Spending all day keeping the boys on track was NOT what I had in mind for homeschooling...I didn't sign up to be a prison guard!

Last week I got fed up with the prison guard role & put away the math books & let the boys have a short vacation from their work. This is one thing I love about homeschooling: not being bound to the school's schedule!
We did spend one afternoon doing some water color painting, which was followed by a dog bath, which Gary participated in... 5 hands on one dog... LOL...here's a couple of photos from a bath earlier this month showing all the hands:


and the face:


No photos of the paintings...they were just fun... if there's anything impressive, I'll post!

I've picked up a couple of books from Christopherus, which arrived today, and hopefully they will be helpful in getting us on a better path.... there was very little joy in the way things were going: they boys apparently don't care for Saxon math (although I've seen some Waldorf homeschools recommending these math books) and we don't yet have the funds for the Singapore math that may work better for them.

SO we'll see how things go... hopefully by tomorrow or Wednesday, we'll have some sort of plan that will work better for us.

Posted by Jessica at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2005

FINALLY an update

Sorry to be so long posting, but something went wrong with my hard drive and with it went my bookmarks & I didn't remember what the URL was to access Movable Type and kept forgetting to ask Gary... FINALLY I asked Gary & I'm here now!

We're having some problems, but I think we're mostly trying to find the best routines and patterns that work for us... at the moment, we're going with "finish your reading & writing and if there's time, we can do special projects"...so far no special projects have been done... also been working on figuring out what Robinson Curriculum books to print, which levels they need to be at... it would be nice if RC had some kind of all-in-one-place placement test for the books, though I found some WONDERFUL stuff at the Joyful Light website where they have wonderful tips, charts & such...

Still I did read that it wouldn't hurt to start the kids at a lower level to get used to the older language format of the books in the curriculum...I had Harrison (almost 8) reading Jolly Robin, which he says is boring and the twins reading Rover Boys & Tom Swift...Micah likes Tom Swift (motor cycle) and Evan says that Rover Boys (great lakes) is "fine" (sounding somewhat bored)... not sure whether to let Evan read Tom Swift when he is done with RB or to jump him up to Swiss Family Robinson and then (hopefully) jump him up again to at least the 4th or 5th level or maybe he'll fly through the books...

Have others' kids working with RC found any of the books boring or what?

I found some Saxon math books on eBay over the last few days & we're waiting for them to arrive... 4/5 for Harrison when he is ready & 7/6 for the twins...Micah tested into 8/7 & Evan tested into 7/6, but both worked through 5/4 at school... I'll have them try 7/6 when the book gets here & will continue keeping an eye out for 8/7... still might want to do Singapore math, but will wait until we have more funds on hand unless the boys actually get into doing their Saxon math.

I need to come up with some incentives. I do NOT NOT NOT like bribes... their public school was Bribery City and that is not how the world works and not how I want to raise my kids... will make up some kind of progress charts & graphs and hopefully that will inspire them to keep going...

With the writing; I was rather disappointed when I realized that their school mostly had them doing stories & poems for their writing... Evan said he only had to do ONE book report in 4th grade and that was with the teacher he had the first half of that year (she got married & moved to another state)... right now I'm just trying to get them to get in the habit of writing daily & then will move on to having them write ABOUT things and move on to stuff like book reports and essays...and learn different structures, etc.

I'd like to have them do drawing, painting, clay, crafts, etc., but we're having trouble getting the other stuff done so by the time mid afternoon rolls around, i've pretty much had enough...

Hopefully tomorrow/next week will be better!

Posted by Jessica at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)