Friday, October 1, 2010

Homeschool Friday

So how has homeschooling gone this week? No comment.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaahaha.

No really, it wasn't totally awesome, but it was by no means awful either. Harvest has come upon us, and we're still getting into the new "flow" to our day in how everything seems to be affected with Knut's schedule being different. My cough has moved to my sinuses, and although I'm pretty sure change in a cold is good, it's been kinda painful all over my face, and my motivation has been down I think because of it. The tough part here about homeschooling is that I can't call in a sub.

School has been done more in the afternoon this week. Mornings I've just been trying to get my bearings. We're about 2 days behind in English, and about a day behind in geography, and our electives I've kinda put on hold (sewing, etc.) but other than that I've been keeping up pretty well. Well, I shouldn't say we're behind, because actually we're weeks/months ahead on most of our curriculums. If we stay on our current pace we'll be done with our work at the beginning of March and that's with a maternity leave figured in. I'm starting to reconfigure my lesson plans to slow down and allow for more depth in some areas, just for fun. I'm also doing things like putting a pile of old magazines in front of Silje and have her go through and cut out pictures and paste them on paper around whatever theme I've picked that day. She really likes it.

When I say we're behind I mean my personal organized schedule, which I don't even have access to see right now because I had all of my lesson plans organized on my laptop, and checked off things as we got them done. However our laptop is not working right now. So I'm writing this on our desktop which Knut primarily uses in his office in the basement. While I fortunately still have internet access through it, very few of my documents are on here. I still have all of my teacher manuals that have all of the information that I had collected onto one spreadsheet, but it's just a bit more tedious. Honestly, most of the information was engraved in my head so it hasn't been too tough. My head is just stuffy these days and thoughts are slow. As I said on facebook, it would be so much nicer if I could take the "good" drugs for my cold so that I could function a bit better.

On Sunday of this week, David surprised both Knut and I and brought a paper and pencil to Knut and asked him to teach him to write his name. Normally he's so resistant to this type of activity, so him initiating it caught us terribly off guard. Knut had him try with both his right and left hand. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that he was left handed, but his lines with his left hand were all over the page. The lines with his right hand were far more controlled...as in there was no comparison. Hmmm...so I'm still a bit confused on the matter.

Silje is enjoying the extra reading I've been assigning her over and beyond her "required" curriculum reading. She keeps asking for more, so I think I need to gear up for another trip to the library which I've put off with my cold, and our schedule being off. This next week we MUST go though. We must.

She's also started doing something new. I think she's testing me to see how closely I look at her work. She'll turn in her work to me, and sometimes when she does I'm doing dishes or changing a diaper, and I just say "set it right there and start working on XYZ while I look at it." Then when I finish what my hands were doing and pick up her work, I see she totally skipped questions, or did a sloppy job, or just puts in something totally random.

Now, I DO check all of her work, so I've had to bring her back and point out these "errors" to her numerous time this last week. For good measure, we've been having more in depth conversations about what she's been reading than the normal "tell me about it," or "what was your favorite part?" I want to be sure that she really is reading every page, and so our discussions on books, as well as going over her writing assignments have been taking more time. This last summer I read all of the books that she was supposed to read this year, and I think that was a good idea because I already know all of the stories and know what to ask her.

I suppose it's normal for her to test me and see if I actually notice what she's doing, and I'm hoping she won't do it often if she sees that I'm consistent about it.

We had our homeschool group on Tuesday, and Silje got to go to a presentation by a fireman which I snuck out of David's class to watch. (David was invited to the presentation too, but he much preferred the gym.) It was fun to watch Silje in the class because she raised her hand so often, and asked the fireman so many good questions that showed she was thinking, paying attention, and she spoke clearly and without fear. I have to admit, I was pretty proud of her.

In David's class, we studied different types of leaves that are changing colors all around us now. We read a leaf book, and did leaf crafts. We studied insect eggs growing on dead leaves, and even I learned some things I didn't know before!

If you remember, Tuesdays when we have homeschool group, choir practice, and piano lessons, Elias has a tough time without a nap. Fortunately, Elias fell asleep in the van while driving from choir practice to piano lessons. So I dropped Silje off, brought David to the park a few doors down, and watched David play at the park while I leaned against the outside of the car with Elias getting at least a little nap in. It made such a world of difference. It didn't take him days to recover from that afternoon this time. I'm going to have to figure out what to do with the boys during piano lessons this winter when the park won't be as great of an idea. I'm trying to formulate a plan, but nothing has come to me yet. I hope when the snow falls I'll have some ideas flowing.

I'm hoping this cold/pregnancy won't slow me down as much next week, and that I can get access to all of my homeschooling spreadsheets/lists/schedules again. However, it's been good to know that we can continue on without all of them too. As tough as a week as it's been for me, I've learned a lot about how to adapt, and learned a lot as a teacher. I need those kinds of weeks too if we are to be improving and growing.

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