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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Journal Entry/Homeschool Snapshot, 4/22/11

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

How's it going with the learning? Let's see...

In my life this week...

Since my last update, I've been growing and making. Growing a baby belly and making, well...scroll back through recent posts. Lots of stuff. The funk of winter cabin-fever is starting to lift, and although the boys and I haven't been doing as much outdoors as is typical for us in nicer weather (between rain-rain-rain and sleepy pregnant Momma, those impromptu trips to the duck pond, etc. are easily procrastinated), we have been more active in general...both together and individually.

In our homeschool this week...

The "school" aspect of "homeschool" continues to be laid-back...in fact, I've even backed off a little on my own recent commitment to do more structured things. T broke his arm a few weeks ago,

Fell out of a tree. He was very brave at the ER.
so I put math and handwriting on hold. The only thing we're still doing consistently as far as planned activities go is reading.

I read a good book not long ago, See Johnny Read! by Tracey Wood. It seemed to be addressed to the reading problems of a slightly older student rather than kick-starting a young and reluctant reader, but the exercises gave me a framework to use. We're working at a slow pace--one new concept per week--but our lessons are short, comprehensive, cooperative, and for the most part, fun. Right now we're working through the short vowel sounds using CVC words. I'll typically have T do an interactive game on either PBS Kids or Starfall to familiarize himself with the sound, and then we use letter cards to build his word list. Most of his list for the week is generated by him, but I do throw in suggestions. When we started this, I'd incorporate handwriting practice by having him make the flashcards. Given his injury to his dominant arm, I've taken over that duty. We then spend several days reviewing that week's flashcards


and making sentences using them and a small but growing pile of "extra" words (the, and, you, a, is...).


By the end of a week he is usually ready for review, which is sentences that also incorporate vocabulary from previous weeks. When he's in charge of making the sentences, we get a lot of "The pig has gas." "Mom has gas." "Ted has gas." Ah well...at least I have his attention. LOL

At any rate, it's working for him right now. Mostly. We still have days where his attitude stinks and he fights me and acts helpless, but I have the benefit of 30 extra years of experience in being stubborn. ;)

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

With the exception of our regular errands, lunches out (we LOVE us some Eat-n-Park!), and trips to the playground and library, really the only visiting we've done lately is with family. But that's quite a lot these past two weeks...including a few birthdays. The most notable, for us at least, was C's fifth birthday, last weekend.

He had a terrific time. This child has a capacity for joy that humbles and delights me. He spent seven weeks counting down to his birthday and planning for his party. He wrapped small gifts from his toy stash and hid them around the house, to be given to his guests. He told every waitress, librarian, checkout clerk, and random passerby exactly how many days were left until he'd be celebrating. When the big day arrived, he smiled the entire day. He greeted each guest at the door with such enthusiasm that it was as though they were the One person in the entire world that he wanted most to be with. He was cheerful and funny and...I risk getting just too sappy, but it's been nearly a week and I still can't think about it without smiling. That kid does "happy" really, really well.

My favorite things this week were...
  • C's birthday
  • Watching the kids wade in the creek at a neighborhood park
  • Coloring Easter eggs
  • Fistfuls of daffodils from my boys. ♥
What's working/not working for us...

Hm. See above...I think I covered that pretty well in "our homeschool this week".

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

Actually, I think I'm good for the moment. Imagine that!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Here's our current favorite webcam: the Decorah Eagles. T is really into birds of prey right now (grown from his interest in vultures a month or so back). Prior to his injury, he'd been energetically filling his journal with drawings of hawks, ospreys, falcons, and eagles.


Daddy found us this webcam of a nesting bald eagle. Most mornings, while we eat breakfast, we watch the chicks eat theirs as well. Supercool.

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