Friday, October 17, 2014

Keeping on Keeping on...

WOW. Time is the same for everyone but somehow I was under the impression I could manage it better than I am. I mean, my school day is great but I spend the entire day guiding, directing, leading, teaching, doing work myself, reading aloud to my son, planning lessons, learning spanish and latin, answering phone calls from people who know I am trying to school during the day--, and even more.

 I wanted to put more actual daily activities on this blog and keep it updated a bit more but I am seeing that I am not able to do all the things I have in my head and want to do.  I also had such great intentions to clearly follow goals and boy oh boy were they lofty ones. Ha.

 Develop Spiritual maturity is my number one goal for for my son. I know that can not be done in a mere number of days but that is the goal that I create all my assignments around.

I also want to identify his personal passions and lean towards having the assignments that he MUST do, be more enjoyable because if possible I want to have them revolve around his passions.

 One specific goal I wrote out was to have him learn to work more independently. I can proudly say that I see great progress in this area!

Meeting deadlines is a bit hard for him in the independent category. We can meet all my reading assignment deadlines if I sit and read to him or if I push and push and push. But other deadlines have been better, it is just reading that he needs pushed on and I honestly believe it is because he is reading unabridged literature right now. All the Scholastic books and types of books that you find at book fairs and in the library geared towards his age, etc. , he can whiz through and read a couple of them a week but I wanted to get in some literature and some poetry and things like that. We use Librivox a lot and they have a great selection. We have read Robert Frost poems, Carl Sandberg, John Muir, and then also are in the process of reading Cat of Bubastes (it is taking long because we are correlating the study to the timing of the book of Genesis and precisely Moses- in the Bible, and seeing comparisons to Egypt and what it says in the Bible ). We are reading Jack London and also Rudyard Kipling.  I must say in MY personal likes and dislikes, I am immensely enjoying the Rudyard Kipling things we are reading and I think he likes them best too.

My son's attitude (especially towards math) is vastly different from when we first started (this is now nine weeks into school).  He actually told me that he LIKED math now. I can attribute that to a change in our schedule and curriculum and not starting the day with math as the first classs. We use a book called LIFE OF FRED and that sounds kinda strange as a math curriculum but it is a true life-saver for us. It basically teaches math without memorization, repetition (where I can see it MAY be good at times and for SOME people- but with us this has helped so much to do it the way FRED does it), and it is a chapter a day to READ. It is a story about Fred and his life and daily encounters he has with math being a part of daily life. At the end of each chapter there are problems to think about, solve, and see any kind of formulas or patterns and every day my son is exposed to more and more thinking processes of HOW math works and why. We did start it a bit before he may actually be proficient in. In other words, I think I am mostly doing review with him and that is why he likes it better for now. He knows the things pretty well. ( I started with fifth grade while he is actually in sixth) We finished the fifth grade things already though and are beginning the next Fred book for sixth grade and so far so good. (I must note that Fred is not our ENTIRE math experiences but we start slowly with that and with the attitude it gets out of my son.) Then we also use Khan Academy and are into sixth grade and pre-algebra. I believe with BOTH the computer Khan academy and the textbook Fred and also with my husband and I and even our daughter helping explain things to him, that is the key difference in the change with his attitude and approach to math. Things are so good now :)

This is all for now.... Thank you if you are actually reading this :)