Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Homeschool Review

So the kids and I had a big breakdown (there was yelling, there was crying... and the kids were upset also! Ha!) a few weeks ago. Maybe the first week we were back at homeschool? I was feeling stressed, they were feeling stressed, and it just wasn't working the way it should. So I decided that we were going to back down off of all the homeschool expectations. I don't think I could move to a complete unschooling model, but I decided that we would just do the "necessities" (reading, writing, spelling, math) and just see how everything else fell into place. Oh. My. Goodness. The last couple weeks have been GREAT. No stress to get a bunch of work done, the kids have progressed so much faster in the "necessities," and we are all so much happier. I even think we've actually done more learning this way! So...


  • IXL - I'm not monitoring this, I have them do it on days when we aren't doing much other math
  • Life of Fred - Even though we really enjoy this series, it was one of the things I put on the shelf while we rebalanced
  • MathUSee - Kate started Epsilon and is currently working on lesson 8, and Jack started Delta and is through the first unit and through lesson 8
  • Times Tales DVD - Jack has been watching this almost daily. I can really tell a difference when he does his other math
Language Arts 
  • Scribblers online writing class (Kate) - just started yesterday
  • Tutoring (Jack) - 3x/week
  • First Language Lessons Level 4 - made our goal of being through lesson 66
  • SpellingUSee - Kate finished Americana; Jack made to the half way point of Jack and Jill
  • Spelling City and OSMO spelling - Jack does both of these a few times/week
  • Independent Reading - both kids doing well, Kate is reading 1-2 books/week working from the Battle of the Books list plus "fun" reading (currently reading some Judy Blume and loving it); Jack has read Feeding Malachi and Malachi and the Ghost Kitten and really liked both, he also has been reading a lot of graphic novels for "fun"
  • Comprehension/Vocabulary/Book Reports - EdHelper questions/worksheets/vocab as applicable to reading plus book reports
  • Gratitude Journal 3-4x/week - I let this go for Jack, but Kate has been doing it for writing while waiting for writing class to begin
History/Social Studies/Geography/Biography/Religion/Literature/Art
  • Story of the World Vol II - using both he book and the audiobook has been working extremely well. Kids read and/or listen to each chapter independently. We finished Chapter 4 a couple weeks ago and have been supplementing with related library books and videos.
  • The Old Testament/Illustrated Jewish Bible for Children - taking a break for now
  • Review past poem memorization notebook - a little
  • Audiobooks - The Knights' Tales by Gerald Morris 
  • Read Aloud - The Saga of Eric the Viking - we are all enjoying this one! Also started Beowulf, but 2 books was too much, so we'll get back to it.
  • Science museum visit
  • Speech therapy (Jack) - 2x/week plus daily home practice
  • CNN Student News - 5x/week (kids love this and are more up to date on current events than I am!)
  • - 5x/week
  • Keyboarding Without Tears - Level 3 - backed down to 1-2x/week
  • Cursive Without Tears (Jack) - maybe once or twice
  • Latin (Kate) - none
  • Homeschool Enrichment Program - weekly
  • The 7 Habits of Happy Kids - no, but maybe in Feb
  • Swim Team 3-4x/week plus dry land training weekly plus 2 swim meets in Jan
  • Ski School plus fun skiing - 2-3 ski schools plus 3-5 fun ski days
  • Tennis lesson - got one done in January
  • Field Trips - science museum just yesterday

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