Monday, August 20, 2012

What schedule?

         Wasn't it just last week that I wrote proclaiming we'd decided on a schedule for homeschooling?   Well, it seems to be forgotten already!  I hear from many of my friends that they could never home school because they aren't organized.  That is one fear I never had.  I am so organized it isn't even funny.  I used to alphabetize my Cd's, movie and book cases that's how organized I usually am.  However, the older my kids get and the more independent they try to be the more I find I have to change my standards so our Cd's, books, and movies are no longer alphabetized, our toys bins are no longer labeled (with pictures & words) as to what is found inside.  It allows my children to take out and put away movies, music, toys, and books without worrying about being perfect.  I am starting to see that homeschooling is going to be the same way.  A structure just doesn't allow them to take the reigns like I want them to anyway.  So, I've once again given up on our idea of having a schedule and am focusing instead on what we accomplish each day. 
           Ian woke up and before he even came out of his room this morning he had read for 17 minutes.  I was folding clothes, and when he came in to tell me that, I asked him what he read and to tell me some details about his reading.  We finished discussing his book while he helped me fold the rest of the clothes.  He then took his basket & put all of his clothes away.   My boys are getting to be wonderfully helpful already!  Today we all worked together to dust, sweep, vacuum and wash the floors upstairs. 
          We have plans for tomorrow and many of our books are due back at the library tomorrow so I was planning on going today to return them and pick out a few new ones.  This morning while the boys all ate breakfast I went through the ones we need to return and which ones we can keep for another week.  Three of the books we're going to return they never got around to reading and while I know we can renew them I try to emphasize reading them whenever we can.  After breakfast we read one of the books called Gold! Gold From the American River.  I was delighted to realize it was a non- fiction book on the California gold rush!  So we not only covered reading but history as well.  Ian knew it took place fairly close to the Civil war and the underground railroad we were talking about.  As they were commenting on what was happening in the world at the time I decided it was the perfect time to start filling in our Book of Centuries.  This is a Charlotte Mason based printable outline of history.  Each century is a blank two page spread and children can fill in dates with historical events, famous people, inventions, etc.  It's a very open ended project that I thought sounded great at first but then I thought we probably wouldn't end up using it and I almost threw it away.  I'm glad I didn't though because as of right now we have four things listed in our book and the boys seemed interested in filling in more. 
       We finished watching the Olympics (finally!) including the highlights and most of the closing ceremonies.  I explained to the boys that it's both history in the making and a great geography lesson.  We've learned the names of many countries (many of which I'd never heard of myself) and their flags.  To finish up our "stay" in London we read our library book called A walk In London; it's a great story book about a girl who is taking a walk in London, England but on each page there are little little fact bubbles about each monument, painting, building, etc.  We really enjoyed it. 
       We went to the library after lunch to return our books and we checked out a few new ones. We got a few more books on Cd as well as picking up Ian's last book he had requested a few weeks ago that finally came in.  My boys love the library and I hate trying to rush them right out of it but we do spend a lot of time there and it was such a beautiful day I really wanted to make sure we were outside at some point today to enjoy it.  That just didn't happen.  But we did get to listen to two of our books on Cd on the car ride home.  We listened to Cloudy with a chance of meatballs and Click, Clack, Moo; Cows That Type.  Ian didn't listen though, he was much more interested in reading his book Machines as Big as Monsters (he read the entire thing cover to cover on the ride home; and there was a good paragraph on each page so I was impressed!).  
        I downloaded some learning games onto my kindle yesterday and the boys spent a bit of time today exploring boggle, the 50 states, and math bingo as well as playing a few words in Words With Friends.  We also tried a new board game I had gotten called Count Down & Spell Up!  I liked that the game not only can be used for math and spelling but it also has different instructions on the math side for older and younger players so we could all play the game together.  We played both a game of Count Down and a game of Spell up.  We didn't really like Spell UP but Count Down was a huge success!  Both older boys used a combination of addition, subtraction and even a few multiplication and division (Ian was able to do it on his own where Alec needed a bit of help but still.. he's only 6!).          Ian and Evan also spent a large portion of the day sorting all the k'nex pieces and building new creations with the blocks.  All in all it was another fun day where we managed to at least hit upon all the typical learning subjects.

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