Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Almost Finshed! - Homeschooling Update

I'm so excited!  We are almost finished our Math program!  Hooray!  But wait... done Math already???  That is really impressive, right?


Not really.  You see, we are almost finished Last Year's math program.  Sigh.  I felt that it was important to finish the program we were working on, as the math program we use does not keep repeating itself.  Of course there is some review, but it doesn't keep re-teaching the same thing over and over.  This is why I LOVE it!  (When I was a kid I absolutely hated the way the teacher would keep repeating something over and over when I already understood it.)  

Now I must confess.  In my effort at being a thorough parent/teacher I was making my boys do EVERY page in the book.  So I was doing exactly what I hate.  

So, after realizing what I was doing, I decided that we would just do a minimum amount of the last few lessons, unless the boys struggled with a concept.  We will be finished tomorrow!   Then we will move onto our next level, and we will NOT being doing every page, unless it is required of course!

(P.S.  In case you were wondering we use Math U See, which I think is wonderful!  The program includes workbooks, test sheets, teacher manual, manipulatives and a helpful DVD to explain the lesson.)

Last week we had our Fall Homeschool Visit.  It is a very relaxed meeting with my school board facilitator.   Basically we meet and discuss what has been accomplished in our learning program so far this year. 
I was very pleased to show off the Space Lapbook the boys have made.  They studied the planets, the moon and the sun and we combined all of the information into a tri-fold lapbook.  The boys had started studying Space last year, but it got set aside and forgotten.  Or so I thought.  When we started studying it again I was amazed by how much they had retained about the planets we had studied.  We simply continued where we had left off!  The boys set up the camera on the tripod to take photos of objects in space.  They may have even taken a photo of Saturn!
We also did a Canadian Government study, complete with a trip to the Alberta Legislature.  This was perfect timing as my brother was running for Council in a neighbouring town!  We had plenty of opportunity for learning about elections and we were very pleased when my brother's campaign was successful!  We have also discussed the World Wars quite a bit and read related books such as Camp X by Eric Walters (a fictional novel set during WW2) and The Unknown Soldier by Linda Granfield (about the way several countries recognize their lost soldiers).
Joe is currently writing a book, called Mission to Mars, so hopefully he will keep up with that.  We discussed activities we have done in language arts, including BananaGrams, Creative Writing class and some workbooks.  Reading has been a tough thing with my boys, they don't seem to be very interested, however there has been progress.  Joe likes to read when he is supposed to be sleeping, and Ryan is improving in leaps and bounds!  As I love to read, it can be very difficult to accept that anyone could not want to read!
We discussed the Art classes the boys have taken featuring many great artists, their involvement in indoor soccer and 4H - Outdoor Adventure, raising chickens and hatching eggs.

So, that's where Homeschooling has taken us so far this fall.  Some of these things were included in my original Learning Program for this year, and some were unexpected surprises that I'm thrilled we were able to include.  I love to see the boys interested in something and be able to "strike while the iron is hot".   For the next few months we may head back to our original objectives, or we may just see where our interests lead us!

 Joe at the Alberta Legislature
 Ryan at the Alberta Legislature

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