Friday, September 19, 2008

Updates, realizations, and a great new history reading list,

As for Updates, learning is still going well. I'm noticing some things about the boys. So, updates are really mostly for me. One of these days I'll actually share some work the boys have accomplished.

Realization #1...on Reading

My two older boys both had stints in public school, for one reason or another. They both came home in the middle of first grade. Their teachers said they could read. But alas, they could not. They could memorize and guess really well however. Miraculously they both have picked up reading around 8 years of age. The Peacemaker can now finish a Dr. Suess off in one sitting!

Realization #2...on soaking in

I think I'll coin the term soaking in, unless someone else has already. The Peacemaker tell me repeatedly that he doesn't want to read History or Science today. We don't read very textbooky books very often. The Warrior likes to do these as read alouds so he can discuss with me. I've tried leaving The Peacemaker out of these discussions but he gets bored, frustrated and melancholy. Not sure what's going on there. But, I think he has to do with soaking it in. The years between say 6-9 really should be titled the soaking in years. The time at which children don't really want to learn, don't really like to or can understand those deep thoughts. Yet, they can play lego's, playdough and color pictures while other people converse. Most of them can sit still for a bit which is useful. I don't know what he will remember. But, I'm surprised what my oldest remembers even though I thought he wasn't listening.

History Reads
If you are looking for some high quality History Reads, here you go! Penny Gardner has an excellent list of Charlotte Mason friendly living books.

Friday, September 12, 2008

When citing accomplishments...

let me preface that I don't share book like accomplishments often. Mostly that is because of my thoughts on education. My thoughts are clouded by John Holt and that guy who writes for Home Education magazine...ya know David Albert, and the ever so lovely Charlotte Mason (with the help of Leslie).

But, the Peacemaker finally finished Explode the Code Book 1!!! I'm so darn proud of him, too. I don't care that he is 8 years old either. He isn't behind his schedule because he is homeschooled.

Creating a Course of Study

Being the laid back, relaxed, unschoolish, CMish, electic homeschool parent that I wouldn't expect a course of study from me. Sure I've battled with planning in 2007-2008 because I had a "teacher" and a public school to answer to. But, this year it's a free year again.

We have had bit of guidance this year. We have our favorite curriculum (you can see on the left under elements) and suggestions from Ambleside Online. My children like a good challenge and when they are busy we all get a long better. We don't push much...I tend to push more than my husband...I'm not sure that is a female thing or not. I'm just more of a bookish nerd crunchy socks in my sandals PNW kind of gal, while he is a hands on artsy surfer boy from California.

So, I thought I might put together a course of study this year. I worry about this school district a bit & while I know they can't look at my stuff...I would prefer better safe than sorry.

Which brings me to this wonderful & amazing article by Alicia on a course of study for the Preschool years. Which is where I place my youngest even though he could officially be in Kindergarten. He has had a rough time with learning to speak well. It was so difficult that even the speech therapist could never come up with anything official to label him with.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Frogs, Apples, & Kittens Oh My!

This little frog has gigantic back legs already. The Peacemaker caught this guy among many others in the pond. These are the kinds of things they get to do now that they have more area to roam. It's a positive thing from our move.

We have, also, made apple ciders and pies from the trees. My Dad has the apple press that was used when he was a child. He has had some work done to it and new barrels made. But, isn't this great. It really does make the best cider ever. I'm trying to convince him to set it up at the farmer's market next year and press organic and/or local apples .

Plus, a litter of new baby kittens was recently born.
Here is a kitty from the previous litter.

Friday, September 05, 2008

It's a new town...

We had an unexpected move this month. Although I'm still mourning the boys seem to be adjusting well.

This year we will lack the guidance of a support school and are jumping back into being "real" homeschoolers. We have moved to my hometown to get a break on our cost of living. The boys are enjoying all of the new animals and five acres to roam free.

Science is currently being filled with nature walks and an the observation of interesting creatures in the pond water aquarium their Father set up for them.

Our first week of school went very well. I didn't plan much except that everyone would do some Math, some handwriting and we would all read together. I want to keep the learning time short this year. Hopefully some pictures will show up soon.

I pray everyone is enjoying the new school year!

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