" We believe in being honest, true, chaste,benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. "

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I promised in my personal blog to expand upon the thrilling day we had last week, our first official week of homeschooling. I heaved a contented sigh of relief that evening that it was possible to be satisfied with job I'm doing with these crazies.

So here's a rundown of our day (I'm not going to even try to put it into a timeline. Who knows when this all happened, but it happened)...

First, we (Liv, George and I), prepared and ate (all) breakfast and I sent the kids to shower and dress (except little George, who is forced into bad personal hygiene habits by her eczema)...meanwhile I did breakfast dishes and some laundry and general cleanup.

After that, we had a devotional time. We said a prayer, recited the first 4
Articles of Faith and learned the fifth, and read from the B of M. (Which at this point is scaring my kids because they think Springville might go down like Jerusalem).

I showed Liv a website I found that would help us potty train Chloe. She sat on my lap while I read her the facts.

Then I got Isaac and Liv into some sort of "game" (don't tell them it's for their own good) or building something, I can't remember this far out. Meanwhile, I pulled Georgia downstairs for a lesson on writing the number 1, and a review of counting.

Next, Liv and I sat down while Georgia and Isaac "played" (they think it's playing, I know it's learning hehehe), and created addition flashcards. We made the Montessori type with pictures (we used little circles) representing the numbers, Liv writing the actual numbers, addition sign, and equal sign, and then the answer on the back. *(I've read some books that speak contrary to teaching abstract math (using symbols and writing the numerals), before age 8, but I'm just still antsy enough to have to push it)

Isaac read me a book or two about Max and I had to promise him I'd help him make his own flashcards the following day.

Finally, we sat down and looked at an awesome
Can You See What I See? book that entranced us for at least 30 minutes. I had the kids read the words I knew they'd be successful at.

At last, it was time for a little r&r, a walk with the dog, quiet reading, a little wii time, etc.

Sounds simple? Too abbreviated? Not filled enough with learning?

We all read every day. Today we read about the moon, couple days ago it was about the planets, because Isaac got a solar system model for Christmas. Wonka is almost finished (because it's funny). Olivia wants to read about how to train her dog (because she's tired of me reminding her to take the dog out). The kids have some reading flashcards to do in the car (just because).

We are beginning a letter-writing campaign (watch your mailboxes), but for now some Christmas thank-you's are going out. Occasionally, if it feels right I just challenge the kids to a little spelling quiz. We've gone back to writing in cursive. It's just nicer looking, but they read in print or cursive. We are also starting a daily journal thanks to Homeschooling for Excellence. We write when we need to write. I'm able to teach singular and plural, and "every sentence must begin with a capital and end with punctuation", etc., while we are writing.

Math is a bit tougher. We are working on addition facts. I've gotten through with I and Liv the concept and now it's all memorization. They're feeling a bit overwhelmed though, I can tell, so we may slow down a bit. Who knows, it's sometimes hard to read between misunderstanding and laziness/boredom. Our curriculum is also a good resource, reminding me to teach concepts like left/right and what a pair is. George, like I said is starting to write numbers.

I guess my point is that it worked so well that day because it was all pretty natural, and it's getting more natural as we progress. The kids help me measure and stir while I cook (boy is that saving some $$), they do chores that involve sorting, counting, etc, we talk about what we see or read about. They tell me what they'd like to learn about and we head to the library to get some books on the subject. That's what you do when you want to know something!

We've had some tense moments, like when Liv could not stop saying, "1+4 is equals", and I could not get over (pea-brain) that Liv was saying, "1+4 is equals". Still just enough ridiculous left in me to get frustrated over something like that. But, we are well on our way!

Wish us Luck!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One simple game to play with the kids at Family Home Evening to show them that you are interested in what they have to say!

Likes and Dislikes:

Each family member takes a turn listing 3 things they like (about life, or their day) and then 3 things they dislike.

Really- that's all there is to it, but it's so important to give your children a chance on the soapbox every now and then.