Friday, January 4, 2013

Teacher Notes

We lost our internet connection for a bit this week.  One of the annoying things of living out here in the country is that our internet goes out without warning for a few days every few months.  I'm ashamed to say I always go through a bit of withdrawal, and try to remember what was happening next on my google calendar, and wondering if anyone is emailing me anything important.  It's back up, though, and all is once again right with the world.

It's the last Friday of our break, and that makes me so happy.  I'm very much looking forward to starting "school" again this Monday.  I've been reading earlier this week many of my friends on Facebook post how eager they were for their kids to go back to school this Wednesday.  I always react to those comments the same way.  First, I react in judgment.  ('They're just sooo eager to hand their kids off to be raised by someone else.') That's my sinful nature/knee jerk reaction.  I always seem to react to various circumstances with judgment, and that is usually followed by some humbling.

Then the next emotion is jealousy, where I wish I could hand my kids off to someone else.

Then the final and third emotion, or more like realization, is the fact that I also am eager for my kids to get back to school.  Our school.  My kids are driving me up the wall without schoolwork, and it's time they get back to it.  They are so bored, and they need the regularity and stimulation so badly it's not even funny.

As I may have mentioned, I worked to get the whole month of January all set in the kids' assignment books.  I really like doing this in the past, because if the kids want to do some activity, or get distracted and don't finish their work for some reason, they have to catch up on their work the next day.  The realization for them that work doesn't just disappear, but multiplies when it's not done is a good one.  They get very determined not to get behind and really take charge of getting their work done with very little pestering.  So I'm glad I have it all written out.  It will save me a lot of work this month.

David will take a big step forward this next half of the school year.  You may remember that when we started homeschooling, Silje was beginning 1st grade and was a very strong reader.  I got her a curriculum that was at a 3rd grade reading level, because I felt that would be good for her, and it was just right.

However, David isn't as strong of a reader as she was, and so when he started 1st grade this last fall, I knew he wasn't ready for the same books I had bought for Silje.  I had to choose at that point what I would do for language arts for him.  I finally decided to piece together a program for him to prepare him for the 3rd grade curriculum next fall.  We worked a lot with phonograms, and improved his reading skills, etc. etc.

Well, after reading through those books again during this vacation time, and having him read a few of the texts to confirm my suspicions, I'm going to start him on the 3rd grade language arts on Monday.  It will mean much more writing than he's used to, and much more challenging books, but I'm very confident he's ready for it.  He's so excited, you wouldn't believe.  He's been aching to read some of the Sonlight books in this level, as they are quite exciting for little boys, and I'm looking forward to going through them with him.

He's not as independent of a reader as Silje is, so it will be a bit of time on the couch having him read aloud to me.  I'm all for couch reading these days, though, so that will be good.

Silje has read through all of her library books, even after Knut took her there by themselves a few days ago to pick up some more.  She's wandering around the house bored, and so I keep giving her jobs to do.  My house is relatively clean right now since we haven't been doing school, and the kids are so bored that they don't fight me much to do chores.  I'm a little sad to be giving that up, but I think we're all ready to get back into it.

As for Silje, I'm giving her a lot of more projects this year.  She loves to know what to expect, so she likes lists, but she also likes to do things out of the routine.  So on her assignment lists, every Friday I added a project that go from as simple as "make a batch of chocolate chip cookies" to as complicated as  some unique art projects.  She's really looking forward to some of those.

4H starts this next week.  I'm debating about putting the kids in a weekly gym time at the YMCA for homeschoolers that's starting up.  They'd have some swim time, and then team sports in the gym afterward.  The only thing I need to clear up is Knut.  The Y time is during the little kids' nap on Fridays, but Knut has Fridays off until Spring, and so he could be at home, but that's a usual ski training day for him.  So if we can work out our schedules so I don't have to bring the little kids during their nap time, I think that will be fun.

We also have homeschool group starting up again, and the kids are excited to start preparing an "act" for an upcoming variety show.  Silje is thinking of preparing a piano piece, and David is thinking of doing some magic tricks that he got for Christmas.

Down time is nice, but returning to routine always feels good!

2 comments:

Lindsey Wilson said...

Nice post, very inspiring. I mostly just dread the return to homeschooling, because I feel too weary and tired to make a plan. But I know I need to. Probably something like you mentioned, a month's worth of a plan for each child, would be a good place for me to start. I do feel a twang of jealousy for all those parents who are sending their kids back to school on Monday, but it's not the schooling environment that I want my kids in, so I don't want to go that route.

I didn't choose to homeschool so that I could give up any childcare help available to me, but effectively, that is what occurs. I think it would be nice if I could cash in on those school taxes I pay, as required by law, and drop my kids off for just a couple hours a week of babysitting time, so I could shop or run errands or just be by myself for a smidgen of time! But, oh well...it doesn't work that way!

God bless your family in the new year! I love your blog, just happened upon it recently!

Penny said...

My reaction is the opposite of yours. I put my children on the school bus regretting that break was so short, and wishing I could keep them home with me.

With a schedule like yours, what do you use to stay organized? A planner, wall calendar, phone, or what? It just seems that I'm always forgetting some cub scout meeting or church choir or board meeting or something, and your kids sound busier than mine!