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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Getting Back into a Groove

Joining the Weird, Unsocialized HomeschoolersHomegrown Learners and The Homeschool Chick...

We started back to school this Monday after a little more than a week off for Spring Break.  As I mentioned a few times, we had a rough March here at the lab and were all looking forward to some time away from the routine.  Despite the kids taking turns being sick (thankfully all fairly mild) most of the week, we managed to have a fun and relaxing break.  On the day after Easter, we had a total of 11 little cousins here, ranging in age from 2 to 11!  It was great fun, and a little hectic :)  We had playdates with three different sets of friends the rest of the week, and the weekend kicked off our baseball season!  TS 1 was too sick to play in his first game, which seriously bummed him out, but TS 2 was able to play.  He had a ball, literally and figuratively!  TS 1 was able to play by Monday, and even took the mound for the first time.  I was much more stressed than he was.  He did a great job!

By Monday, we were all refreshed and ready to hit the books again.  Since our week was fairly typical in terms of routine and I took almost no pictures, I thought I'd share this week a little about what each test subject has been learning as of late.  In Tapestry of Grace, our Humanities Core/History Curriculum, we have moved into the Renaissance time period and have so far studied the Southern and Northern Renaissance, major artists and their works, and are now in the midst of a study of the major figures and events of the Reformation.  We have been reading a ton and both boys seem to be enjoying it!  Our read aloud this week was the Twelfth Night from the Children's Shakespeare.  It was hilariously fun and confusing, so much so that I had to draw the major characters on our dry erase board just so we could keep track of who was in love with who and who was pretending to be who.  I have to give TS 2 credit, he hung in there with the convoluted plot until the happy ending!  My mom happened to be with us the day we read it and thoroughly enjoyed herself along with us.

In math, TS 1 is working through the Epsilon book of Math U See, which focuses on fractions.  He is doing fine, as math typically comes easy to him, but I am not sure it is the right fit for us.  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I (and TS 1 up to this point for that matter) learned math in such a different way, but the methods, scope and sequence for teaching fractions seems contrived and confusing.  However, I am by no means a math scholar, so what do I know?  Needless to say, I plan on spending some time researching math curricula at the homeschool convention I will be attending in May.  

TS 2 has a handful of chapters left in the Beta book of Math U See.  I have encountered less of the problems I mentioned above in the Beta level, except for the way time is taught.  He has learned addition and subtraction of multiple digit numbers with regrouping this year.  We have also focused on getting his addition and subtraction facts up to 12 solid through the use of online tools and iPad apps.  

TS 1 continues to enjoy the challenge and creativity of the writing class he is taking through our local homeschool group.  So far he has written an autobiographical incident essay, a critique essay on a book he recently read, and is working on the rough draft of an interview.  He is also working through the Growing with Grammar curriculum and has about two more units left.  I'm not sure he will finish the book this year, but I am not concerned about that since I know the material will be covered again in the next level of the series.

TS 2 is working steadily through Writing with Ease, First Language Lessons, All About Spelling, and A Reason for Handwriting.  I have seen a lot of improvement in his narration skills using Writing with Ease over the course of the year so I am glad we stuck with it.  I've also been trying a variety of reading comprehension materials borrowed from friends to determine what I might like to use with him for that next year.  So far Christian Light Publishing's Reading Series is the frontrunner.

Dad is finishing up the last few chapters of Apologia's Exploring Creation through Astronomy with the test subjects.  Both boys really enjoy science.  They plan to celebrate the culmination of their study this year with a trip to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City!

On Friday morning, we head back to co-op.  The weather is supposed to be sunny and mild, which makes this gym class teacher assistant very happy indeed. We are all looking forward to seeing our friends again.  After co-op, we will be sticking around for a Mad Science workshop.  

Our weekend plans include fun with friends Friday night, baseball on Saturday and church on Sunday.  I will only be around for the Friday fun, though, as I am headed for an overnight with my mom, sister, aunt and cousins at my sister's beach house.  I am looking forward to great food, wonderful company and peace and quiet for 24 hours :)  

Hope your weekend is filled with love, laughter and a little peace and quiet, too!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

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