Friday, September 26, 2014

A Very rough week

Sigh:: This week has been tough. I have now home~schooled for 6 weeks. I am quite impressed with this actually.  I haven't decided to quit or anything, I just feel stumped on how to make my life work.  My kids are beautiful, sweet, loving little humans.  But they are also loud, frustrating, argumentative, loud, disruptive, busy, and troublesome, oh and did I mention loud?  I love them to pieces individually but as a group they wear my patience so thin and really make me question my decisions.  I am convinced that other moms have been given a greater level of tolerance than I have.  I so want to be the sweet loving mom who does crafts with her kids, has a clean home, and also home~schools her children who gratefully soak up every ounce of instruction.  This is not me, nor is it real life.  Homeschooling my daughter has gone really well in and of itself. She loves the one on one time with me and does *almost* everything I ask of her without too much complaining.  My middle son goes to a Special Education Preschool four days a week for almost three hours a day. I thought that the time he was gone would be perfect for school but I didn't account for my adorable 2 year old fully embracing screaming tantrums at this age.  He makes it so hard.  I can't read to her because he screams if I am not giving him attention. I have tried distracting him with play doh, kinetic sand, coloring pages, Legos, trains, toys, books, you name it.  He will not have it.  So that leaves us the time during his 1 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon to get as much work done as possible.  I don't know what to do.  Am I doing what is best for Peanut, Sport, or Fish? I'm not sure.  My house is a mess, I can't keep up with my responsibilities, and I find myself losing my patience too often.  Anyone have any advice? ::Sigh

Friday, September 5, 2014

Crazy Home Schoolers

Schooling in your pajamas, schooling in dress up clothes, schooling at the kitchen table, schooling in the back yard, schooling with untraditional curriculum, schooling with your mom as your teacher.  These are just some of the things I love about school at home.  I love getting notes from my daughter during the middle of the day telling me how much she loves me.  I love cuddling on the couch and reading books to each other.  I just love having her home and getting to be such a big part of her education experience.  Yep, we are officially crazy home schoolers and loving every moment!

Art Lessons

My kids love doing art than pretty much anything else.  My daughter can be found cutting, coloring, glueing, creating almost all day long.  She never has been very into dolls and toys, all she ever wants are art supplies.  So of course this is her favorite homeschool subject and I try to do it as much as I can.

A BIG change in curriculum

So after two weeks of working with our original curriculum I made the decision that it wasn't working for us.  It started with the Math. My daughter was in tears every day hating everything about this program.  I know there are so many options so it wasn't worth the fight, time to try something new.  Once I decided to change our Math curriculum I took a closer look at our other curriculum.  I found that although I love a LOT about Sonlight, the curriculum just wasn't working for us.  The history didn't have enough Christianity in it and although I understand the idea of teaching world history at a young age, I really wanted to teach American history this year.  So we are starting from scratch and this is what we are using now:

Math: MathUSee
Bible: Jesus Calling devotional, Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
Grammar: Bob Jones University English 2
Spelling: All About Spelling
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise
Science: Abeka grade 2
History: Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
Reading/Poetry: Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
Art: Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears

We have been using this new curriculum for one week and not one tear has been shed. In fact the two subjects Peanut loves the most now are Math and Spelling! Amazing what the right curriculum does for your kiddo! I feel blessed to be able to tailor it to her needs!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Our First week of Homeschool EVER :)

We have this great school room yet I find that we are doing most of our work at the kitchen table.  My two younger boys were home all day with us the first two days of the week so that was a bit of a juggling act.  I found that teaching Peanut was pretty easy actually. She is a good listener and a good student. But my two rambunctious boys made it hard for her to even hear me at times. I tried entertaining them with things in the house but nothing was working so outside they went. Peanut and I could sit at the kitchen table and work yet I could see them out the window.  The second half of the week Sport was in preschool in the morning so we were able to get the bulk of our work done while he's gone.  Fish is much better behaved by himself and I was able to keep him pretty entertained.  We pick up Sport around 11 and come back and have lunch and the Fish goes down for a nap.  With the two older kiddos I do the read alouds.  So far this has worked really well! Peanut and Sport are loving our read aloud time each day and I am too!

The night before Sport was going to start preschool, my husband went in to check on the boys and found them covered in a green marker that Sport had snuck into bed with him.  He kindly drew all over Fish's face and arms as well.  Ugh, boys...a never ending adventure.

Today was our first day with an emotional meltdown...during Math (what else?)!  The lesson went well but as soon as I pulled that worksheet out the tears flowed freely and the negative self talk came out.  No one has ever told my daughter that she is bad at math or that she will "never ever get it" so where do these thoughts come from?  Why do we constantly belittle ourselves?  It is so innate in us, it is something we have to fight against.  We took and break and prayed and when she came back to it she finished the sheet with no problem.

We learned a lot this week and I a am excited for where we go from here!

First Day of School Pictures 2014-2015

I love back to school pictures and I decided that although we aren't going the private school route anymore it would still be fun to honor that first special day.  It is always amazing to look back at the end of the year and see how much your kids have grown and changed.  

I got Peanut a back to school gift, it was a special water bottle that she could keep at her desk during the day while she is working.  She wasn't sure about it at first (I think she was hoping for a toy) but after our first day she was taking that bottle with her everywhere she went and told me that she loved it.

My sweet little boy, Sport, is 4 years old and is enrolled in a Special Education preschool through the city. He attended this class last year and it really helped him so much! I would love to be able to homeschool all of my kids but for now, we know that this is best for him. He jumps out of bed with SO much JOY to go to school and his teachers are very loving and kind and there are only four kids in his class right now so he is getting all of the attention he needs.  We will take it a year at a time to decide what is best for him.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Small Change in curriculum

So yesterday my daughter was begging me to start school so I decided we would try out our Science curriculum, which was Apologia Botany.  She enjoyed coloring the pages but then we got into the reading and notebooking and I realized that this curriculum is way above her level of understanding.  Every other sentence she would tell me she was confused and when I asked her the follow up questions at the end she couldn't answer one correctly.  We spent an hour and a half on one lesson! It was way too much for her (and me!).

I knew that with homeschooling there would be trial and error so I am fine with switching curriculum.  I did some Science resources research yesterday and settled on A Beka as our new choice.  I read a lot of great reviews about it and the cost was on the lower side so this mama is hopeful!

The Sonlight Science looks great but it was too expensive and looks like a lot more work than I want to put into Science my first year of homeschooling.  Maybe next year I will be up for it! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

School Room Tour

Welcome to our School Room!  I promised you a tour and I decided today that it was clean enough to go ahead and take some pictures to share with you all.  I also took a video which I personally think gives a better view of the room but I am having trouble uploading it so for now this will have to do.  

The first thing we did was paint the room this very beautiful blue color. I think the actual name was Surfer Blue which is why I love it, it reminds me of the ocean.

The brightly colored alphabet rug is a new find that I really love. I found it at Costco and it adds so much color and fun to the room. The large map is also great and I'm sure we will get a lot of use out of it this year as we study world History.

This 9 cubed cabinet was a very exciting find at Home Goods. It is home to all of our Curriculum and books on the top two rows. The bottom row is full of toys and activities I can have Fish do while I am teaching Peanut.  

This colorful cabinet will be for storing all of Peanut's work throughout the week until I can get it graded and filed away.  

I will put our weekly memory verse on the chalkboard. The large whiteboard will be for teaching lessons and the lower whiteboard will be for Peanut to use to do practice problems and work.  

This is our amazing closet of supplies! It is amazing how much I have been able to store here.  The pink and black bins are full of all of our art supplies from pencils to markers to glue to paint to construction paper. Everything has its own place and I really hope it will stay organized all year.  

This side of the closet is full of games, educational activities, and books! Lots of books!!

I love this quote from Dr. Seuss and I hope it will encourage my new reader!

A LOT of books here! The top shelves are for Peanut, middles shelves for Sport, and bottom shelves for Fish.  Fish has some toys as well to help keep him occupied while I'm teaching Peanut.

Well if you are still reading, I hope that you enjoyed this post!  I am very thankful to have a school room and a place to organize all of our school supplies.  Coming from a teacher background it is hard for me not to just put a huge whiteboard on one wall and desks facing it. I am trying to embrace homeschooling and the freedom that it allows me to teach a new way.  I am sure even my school room will change throughout the year as I get my feet wet and discover what works best for my kids.