Monday, December 19, 2005

It’s been a little over a month since I last posted so I figured an update was in order. Homeschooling all three children has gone fairly well and definitely much better than I expected. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly to have BB do for high school but thanks to the local homeschool group it’s coming together little by little.

Last month we had two field trips. The first one was to the Museum of Science and Natural History. Lil Man of course loved the dinosaurs that took up half of the second floor but we luckily were able to get him to look at other exhibits as well. I made sure BB and Sis explored (in a hands on sense) everything, listened, asked questions, and prepared themselves for a report I was going to have them write. I also took lots of pictures so I can put together a scrapbook and also so the kids can look back over everything they saw. After we left we talked about our day and I was really happy with how much the two oldest paid attention.

The second field trip was to a monument/park nearby with the homeschool group. A park ranger took us on a 2 ½ mile walk explaining everything to us, letting the children ask questions, and trying to make it interesting. I took lots of pictures again so we could discuss what we saw once we got home. I also had the oldest two children do another report so I could find out just how much they understood and took in from the experience. Sis definitely learned more than Big B on this one.

Big B has been regularly going to the Tuesday Teen Group and has made a few friends. So far they have bowled, watched two movies, and played games at one of the teen’s home. Of course, every outing also includes the teens going out for pizza. Lucky devils. :) Big B also still journals daily, does current events, writes reports, and we’ve done something on every subject including a little math. He will be starting Algebra after the New Year and continuing that until around July. I figure we will stick with the four subjects per semester schedule that he was on before we moved. This way he focus on only a few things for several months before he goes on to the rest of his subjects. If you think about it, college is set up this same way and it’s good practice for him. He seems to like homeschooling and is always coming up with new ideas for us. It’s such a relief although he says he is still going to use this to blame me in therapy when he’s grown just because it sounds like fun. LOL. Rotten snot!

Sis has also made friends at the Thursday Group and loves hanging out with the other girls her age. Teaching her anything though is always a struggle. She doesn’t want to have to DO anything. She is usually a week behind in journaling, won’t pick a current event, takes a week to write a report, and if you leave her alone she will only read maybe one book a month. It’s very frustrating for me because I want her to succeed so badly. It’s also hard because both of the boys love reading like I do and it’s hard to imagine in a way someone not wanting to read all the time. I’m still trying though and hopefully something will work for us soon. I just wish she would see her own potential and all that I see in her.

This week I get to teach them about Winter Solstice and the true meanings of a lot of the traditions celebrated at Christmastime. I’m very excited to put it mildly.

SpiralScouts is going well. I took Lil Man back for a second time and he did much better so I’m hoping he settles in and down as he gets use to things. Sis is going to be the Promise Officer for the month of January and the children are going to work on their Fire Safety Badge so it should be fun. So far, Big B will not bend on being one of the first in the teen group for SpiralScouts but you can’t blame a mom for trying can you?

In January, the oldest two will be taking science classes for the semester at the local museum. One of the ladies from the homeschool group set it up and it sounds like it will be a wonderful learning experience for them. It lasts 14 weeks, is once a week, and the cost is honestly so minimal I can’t pass it up. So that will take care of a large part of our science studies for next semester. We have also decided that we are going to start our volunteer work in January or February (I'd LOVE to do something for Valentine's) and start out by doing something for the local nursing home.

So that’s it. Off to teach Home Ec now (aka bake some cookies) and enjoy my kids.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Then There Were Three

It seems I am now homeschooling three children instead of two. I never planned on homeschooling my oldest since he liked public school so much but thanks to the stupid rules here I haven't been left with much choice. If the school system here had it their way my son would be out of school for over a month and then once I actually COULD register him they would most likely hold him back next year for missing too many days. He is so smart that I just can't stand the thought of him being snuffed out educationally like that.

So I have been scrambling for a few weeks now trying to figure out HOW to homeschool a high schooler. I've been so afraid of messing up and holding him back that I swear I have another ulcer. LOL. Things are settling down now though and I'm starting to relax some thanks to the help of the local homeschool groups here. They have been wonderful and very helpful with information. BB is even trying out their Teen Group which has about 5 other teenagers in it.

At this point I've been letting Big BB (stands for Big Brother/Bubby) "deschool" so he can get out of the mindframe that the public school system puts kids in and he's enjoyed the mini vacation somewhat but he has been very bored. I've been having him do a daily journal writing, read the newspaper, discussing current events with him, and having him write me reports when we do a field trip. Soon we will be getting back into all the other subjects and anything else he would like to do. That part he's still getting use to. The fact that HE can choose what he would like to learn. I'm hoping it helps with the transition.

Sis is doing alright so far. We still have major problems with Math because she just out and out hates that subject. I've tried doing it in fun ways as well but she bulks and takes all day to finish one worksheet. :( It's very frustrating for both of us because there is so much else we can be doing and she chooses to just sit and stare at the same paper. The even bigger problem is that she is starting to do that with everything. I will ask her to simply write down things she would like to learn this year and she stresses about what to write, whether or not it's the right thing, if she's listing enough..... I have to keep telling her that there is no wrong answer, or correct number, or anything else. Just write what she WANTS to do. Poor kid.

She has started attending the homeschool park day each week and has met several other girls her own age which she really enjoys. We have to work on her speech some more though because I overheard a few of the girls making fun of her a little. It wasn't spiteful mocking but I know if she would have heard it would have hurt her feelings. She is also starting in SpiralScouts and seems to be excited about that as well.

We do have many field trips that we are taking with the other groups so that will give us new things to explore. It's also nice to be able to talk to other mothers and get a little adult interaction. So busy month ahead, then the Yule season, and then more busyness. :) Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed that I can keep my sanity.