After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: The One in which my Patience Wore Thin

Joining the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers  once again...

I guess I'd better start by addressing that title up there :)  Yes, this was the week in which my patience wore thin.  It wasn't a particularly difficult week in terms of school work.  It was just a week in which I was tired and cranky, having slept too little and started a new weight loss plan.  Those things combined with the fact that I have not been getting up for my Quiet Time with the Lord, left me running on fumes with little patience to deal with typical parenting challenges.  I really don't want to be impatient and harsh with my children- that just teaches them that it is acceptable to behave that way when you are tired and stressed.  And I am trying to be objective and not blame it all on homeschooling, because the hard fact is this impatient behavior of mine is not new.  In light of all this, I got up early this morning, had my Quiet Time and determined to enjoy this day as a gift.  So far, so good!

Now, on to our homeschooling adventures from this week..

I wasn't sure we would, but we did wind up taking Monday off this week.  RA had the day off from school and my lovely sister invited all the kids for a sleepover Sunday night.  How could I pass up the chance to spend an evening at home alone with Tom and to sleep in a little bit the next morning?  We ordered wings and watched the football game!  It was glorious :)

It was back to business on Tuesday and I'm happy to report that TS 1 did very well on his grammar quiz!  He has returned to the curriculum and we are continuing to outline the information together.  We haven't added to the Mini Office this week but we will include some information about subject-verb agreement early next week.  I am also continuing to modify the Writing with Ease curriculum with TS 2, as I mentioned in this post.  Modifying the daily assignments has reduced his stress considerably, which I hope will result in his acquiring the skills we are working on more readily.  It's an experiment within an experiment!  (I'm sure there is a scientific term for that but hey, it's three o'clock on Friday afternoon, and I have no intentions of trying to figure it out.)

We finished up Unit One of TOG this week and both test subjects did very well on their Unit Exam.  We used our completed lapbooks to review the unit, which was very helpful in refreshing their memories on the people and events we studied.

In Math, TS 1 is about three weeks away from completing the Delta level of MUS.  He will jump right into Epsilon after that.  I think we are both looking forward to bidding farewell to multiple digit long division in the near future :)  TS 2 is doing great with the Beta level of MUS.  Since it is a 30 week program and we have planned on a longer school year than that, I will be slowing him down a bit by doing only one worksheet per day rather than the two he have been doing up to this point.  Since he was in a spiral math program before we began homeschooling this year, there are some concepts TS 2 has already learned that are not covered in the Beta course.  In an effort to keep those skills fresh, he also works a little bit each day in a 2nd grade Math workbook I picked up at the drugstore.  TS 2 also does drills for addition and subtraction facts each day.  About a month ago, we signed up for a free two month trial from ALEKS and now he does the drills online using their QuickTables program.  It is fantastic and I highly recommend it!  It keeps track of the facts he needs to work on and continues to rotate them through his daily drills until he has mastered them.  I have definitely seen a rapid improvement in his mastery of math facts since we began using this program.  

The highlight of our week was an impromptu "cooking class" with my mom, Abuelita, to the kids.  Together we made 70 empanadas, a Puerto Rican appetizer somewhat similar to Jamaican Beef Patties.  This has been a tradition for my mom and I for the past three years when we began making them together to bring to TS 1's class in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month.  Before Christmas, one of the fifth grade teachers mentioned that the kids were wondering if I would still bring them in for them to enjoy this year.  We set up a date for after their mid-term exams and we brought them in this afternoon.  We had a wonderful time with the fifth graders- I love those kids :)


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