Friday, February 24, 2012

So, This is Homeschooling - Weekly Review

This week really tested our flexibility and ability to stay on task and concentrate on the subjects.  It could have gone better; it could have gone much worse. We learned what it is really like to be homeschoolers and still get through everything that needs to be done outside of school.

The week started with Monday as a holiday for President's Day. We played ping pong, board games, Lego Pirates on the PS3 and made cinnamon / sugar donuts - oh so many tiny donuts. How am I ever going to lose those last 10 pounds.

Ping Pong anyone?
Shake, shake, shake the donuts

Tuesday was crazy with carpet cleaners here.  I documented the fun we had that day already.  I definitely learned that sometimes we need to take a day (or half day) off instead of trying to school wherever we may be. 

Wednesday was mostly a regular school day.  Normally, I take one day a week and go out to lunch with a friend, as I had done before we started homeschooling.  Fred's parents love to come and spend time with Amber and I use that time to have my lunch.  This week the schedules didn't work out, but my friend graciously invited Amber to have lunch with us.  It turned out to be a fun time even though it wasn't our usual adult time.  It is a good alternative on some weeks though.

Jazz - cross ball change
Thursday we spent the majority of the day at my parents' house taking care of my dad.  Mom had an oncologist followup from her breast cancer of last year and then needed to do her weekly errands. Amber had her own 10 year old checkup that afternoon and then dance in the evening.  We actually did manage to get quite a bit of school in at my parents' house. Amber is accustomed to having school there once a week and she is quite responsible about doing her assignments.  I couldn't be more pleased about how that is working out.

Friday, today, we really needed to catch up on a few things.  Handwriting was skipped once this week, Science missed one lab and Social Studies hasn't happened for 2 days. Unfortunately, today Amber woke up with a headache, again. We talked to her doctor about it yesterday and she is starting treatment for them. Tests may follow.  Instead of making up a few assignments from earlier in the week, we barely got today's work done.  We did go out for lunch during our regular break time, to have some special time for just the two of us.

Latin, anyone?

This week Amber also started the much anticipated subject of Latin.  She LOVES it.  Our curriculum has a DVD that will go over the workbook lessons with the text printed on the screen to make it easier to follow along.  We use the DVD during the second lesson each week because it allows us to hear the correct pronunciation and not depend on my ability to figure this out. We have chosen to use the classical pronunciation for Latin, which seems the most logical to use but I am finding it to be the harder one for me to remember.  The curriculum also came with a CD of chants for each chapter to help the children remember their axiom of the week, the verb conjugation for the week and the 10 vocabulary words of the week.  I put these on Amber's iPod and she has taken them everywhere with her.  She sings them out loud too and that might be a good thing since I am not as dedicated to learning the Latin as she is.

In the evenings this week Amber and Fred have been finishing her entry into the Powder Puff Pinewood Derby race.  They created a Star Wars landspeeder.  Amber had to plan her painting on paper first, based on the landspeeder toy that she has.  The actual painting also had to be done in several stages.  I was not involved in any of this, except to say "Good job. Looks like a landspeeder".  Thinking back, on Wednesday I did get Amber started on her first coat of paint before Fred arrived home.  Amber questioned me several times to ensure Dad had approved this. Such confidence they have in my artistic endeavors. It is possibly warranted.

Last night Fred and I discussed the ongoing problem with Social Studies.  Amber just isn't interested in studying the U.S. regions, at least with the book her parochial school used. She didn't like it when she was at the school and doesn't like it at home.  Our plan for next year, 5th grade, was to use AO LIFEPAC history curriculum to fill in the gap left by the odd regions study in 4th grade and then continue on to the BJU 5th grade Heritage studies.  Amber liked this plan and was excited to start it. Again, excitement for the future plans but not as happy with what she was studying.  I'm seeing a pattern with the curriculum from her parochial school.

We came to the decision to drop her regions study altogether and just start on the LIFEPAC now.  We will start with the Revolutionary War and move as far forward as time allows the rest of this year, leaving the remainder of Missouri history for late April or May when the weather is more cooperative for field trips.

I ordered the new history curriculum at about midnight last night, but it won't be here for a few days. I would take a Social Studies break to wait for it to arrive, but we already have done that the last few days and it will be another 3-5 school days before we can start up on the new curriculum. Since I already purchased the Road Trip USA to supplement the regions study, I decided on the spur of the moment this afternoon, to continue with it alone until the new stuff arrives.  We aren't using the Road Trip USA as was intended, but more like a notebook of facts and quick state reports.  Amber has agreed to work on that through next week, or until I am prepared with the LIFEPAC and then we will start the Revolutionary War.

Amber and her beloved Nook, free time at last
Amber was quite adamant that she would not study Colonial times again!  She is very willing and excited to study the war itself, but her interest in Colonial times, North American settling, and the Native Americans is gone due to repetitive study done on those topics.  I don't blame her.  Seeing the work she was assigned in the various grades seemed like they weren't progressing very far through time.  Even this year, when they studied the North East region there was a lot of Colonial and early settlement study done.

Amber is so very interested in much of history and she loved the Colonial times, originally.  It's simply time to study something else.  She has read a lot of Greek mythology and history on her own, just because it interested her.   I am hopeful this new direction for the remainder of 4th grade will renew her interest in Social Studies / history as a school subject.

Next week is another week of interruptions with orthodontic and doctors appointments for Amber.  I hope the lessons we learned this week will help us adapt better to the changing schedule.


  1. There are so many options for History it is mind boggling. Good luck and have fun!!

  2. Thanks! There really are a lot of good options, I just wish her school had chosen better so that we could finish it.

  3. What a busy week! Good luck finding a history program that works. I know how challenging it can be when something just doesn't seem to be working! We're struggling to find a good kindergarten/first grade balance right now. I sometimes find myself wondering if I'll ever get this all figured out :)!

    Jumped over from WUH
    Happy Weekend!

  4. Our weeks do tend to end up very busy. I'm still working on figuring that one out. I was, until the end of January, a non-working mom of one child that attended parochial school. I couldn't have been called a stay-at-home mom with all the driving to school, volunteering at school, running errands, visiting with friends, helping my parents, and my daughter's activities. This is quite a change for us all, me especially. I never spent this much time at home. I'm still trying to squash the urge to randomly pick up and go shopping during the day. The local merchants are suffering ;)