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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh dear. My poor neglected blog. My friend Dave has suggested that Facebook is killing our blogs....I'd have to agree. That and finishing school, major home projects, and the pool calling my name. I was also remaining silent because it was hard not to blog about our latest big event...we are expecting our fifth baby in November. We were waiting to get through the first trimester and visits from family to let the cat out of the bag. Now I am free to speak. This pregnancy is going very well, with only a few moments of nausea here and there. The baby looks healthy, and we go for our ultrasound in three weeks.

We have also been very busy with swim team for Rebecca. She has been swimming her heart out every day for the past six weeks, and every week she brings home ribbons from her meet showing that her hard work is paying off. I'm very proud of her, because swimming does not come easy for her, and because most things do, it is easy for her to get frustrated and quit the things that do not. After spending the first day in tears, she got to work and put her all into improving. I bear some responsibilty for her difficulties, as I have contributed the lack of physical coordination and general hatred of exercise to the gene pool. We are ultimately hoping to marry off all our children to extremely athletic people, to try to breed it out of them.

It seems almost surreal that it is almost July, which means that it is almost August, which is when school starts here in Georgia. Which means that I must get to the planning........care to join me?

First in order is a post mortem of last year....what worked? what didn't? who needs more work on certain skills, etc.... what character traits could use some honing in on?

Let's start with that today.

What worked? Our curriculum choices were great. We will be sticking with Tapestry of Grace again. We will be starting with Year 2, Units 3-4 in the fall, and moving to Year 3, Units 1-2 in the winter. This means that we will be starting with American History for the first part of the year. The boys are excited about studying "cowboys and Indians". This means we will be making even more weaponry to add to our medieval collection.

What didn't work? We need more structure in our school day. We also need some more dedicated space. We made the decision to use the big room in our basement for a school room. Brendan is hard at work creating the ultimate homeschool space, complete with lots of cabinets, window seats for reading, custom desks, and a whole wall of book shelves for the teacher, oh joy of joys! I have been reading Sue Patrick's Workboxes book, and we will be trying out her system, including having the kids clock in and out of school each day. More on this book in a future post..... I will be taking them all down there at 8:30 (okay, maybe 9:00) and expecting them to all get their work done promptly. Okay, maybe this is a dream, but go with it. I am not liking school getting stretched out to all hours of the evening, not to mention school supplies taking over the entire house. Everything will stay in it's basement home. This also means that certain little people won't be dragging dress up clothes through every room of the house during school time. I'm sure that there will be kinks to work out, but for now, this is my plan.

Rebecca was not happy with my math and science teaching this year and told me "you are holding me back"......hey, this did not hurt my feelings. Frankly, I'm surprised she didn't tell me this in third grade. She will be attending Heritage Academy this year (providing the woodworking jobs keep rolling in for Brendan) three days per week. This will free me up to work more on getting Luke closer to being an independent worker, and Samuel closer to sitting on a chair for more than three seconds. Oh, and I will have time to have time to give birth. That's important.

Skills we need to work on this year: Phonics, phonics, and more phonics. Sight words. Multiplication tables. Division facts. Teaching a very concrete thinker to write with imagination.

Skills I need to work on this year: (Moms! How often do we overlook this category! Do not overlook your ongoing education as a homeschool teacher, mother, wife, and follower of Christ!)

Consistancy. Patience. Not letting one child's education override another. Spending more time researching on teaching writing. Balance. Carefully nurturing my spiritual life so it trickles down onto little people.

Ladies...what is your plan for improving the year? Link to your blog in the comments section, and we can all learn from each other. Let's put some serious thought into where we will be putting our effort into this year!

Blessings, Lesli

1 comment:

Vicki Miller said...

I would like to make a better plan this year. A plan that better suits my needs (a curriculum I can truly oversee and carry out) and targets the weaknesses of my children. This plan would also help me delegate responsibilities to my kids...such as chores, leading in devotions from time to time, having them read aloud to the younger kids, developing in research skills, and keeping track of independent work they are responsible for. I'd also like for them to start their day in independant Bible/prayer time. One more thing I would really enjoy is getting more hands on with the arts and sciences this year. I'm praying now and things seem to be coming together. Just need to focus on the newest Miller member for now. :)