Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well well well

I am sick. This has been a VERY rough week (to say the least) and now to top it off I have tested positive not only for the flu, but also for strep.

Michaela did Troy's schooling with him and I will double up with her tomorrow (I hope).

I do not like feeling bad. I am blessed to have a beautiful daughter that doesn't mind playing nurse to Mom, and helping out with the house and her little brother.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I realize & the love of flexibility

I realize there is a great reason why public schools fail, and even though I knew it before, it hits home. Public schools can not adjust to meet the needs of the individual child, period.

Troy is NOT ready for kindergarten in many ways, and in others he is. He is ready to learn reading, but not writing. His fine motor skills are just not developed enough to write. His attention span...well, let's just say it needs attention. LOL

At first we were doing all of his activities right together, but it was causing him to be frustrated and more distractible. In light of this I have done the following:

<------Troy with his beads,
(he did dress himself, by the way)

  • removed science and art and penmanship (for now)
  • reduced Bible down a LOT, we will do short Bible stories and a memory verse
  • Moved his story time to bed time
  • Removed his geography rhymes

We are focusing on numbers, phonics, and fine motor skills. Today he worked hard (and had a GREAT time) stringing beads. He loved it.

I love that I can meet his needs at his level, and allow him to excel where he is ready, and work harder on what needs more work. I am blessed that I can educate my children at home.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We had...

We have had a snag in our plans. Got put a little behind on our homeschooling already. DH grandma passed away, and we had two days out of town at her funeral. Then we had an incident here that has detracted from what we are trying to do. Should be back on track tomorrow though. All is good. :D

Monday, September 20, 2010


This is what the big kiddos are doing this year. By the time we are finished, we will have done both 7th and 8th grade.

For language arts we are doing the Character Quality Language Arts-Red series (level B). This language arts series works on many things, but most notably character traits. I feel like this is an area the kids really need some work in, so I pray it works out the way I think it will.

For Math/Biology we are doing Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology (he says the two intertwine). I love Life of Fred. The kids think he is hilarious (he is). I would not have learned college algebra myself had it not been for Fred.

Veterinary Assistant (our science/ag). The kids really wanted to do science they would enjoy, so we are going to work through the veterinary assistant program handbook. This satisfies both a science credit for high school and an AG credit.

Civics/Government...I found this until study (a 200+ hour unit study) to do for government. They really need to understand our government to understand elections and the positions which we take on issues. After we finish this, we will do smaller studies on politics, since they are interested in them.

Spanish...we went with the old stand-by, tried and proven software, Rosetta Stone.

Bible...they will complete this book in just a few weeks and we will do the other books in the series.

Critical Thinking...We will do this as a family. Troy does not understand yet, but he will. This is only once a week.

Handwriting...Michaela's is decent but can use some work.. Tucker's, is almost illegible so he will work on it until it is neat.

Plus we're doing an online writing course. It is for the whole family, despite saying it is for ladies.

We will do various art and science projects, and the kids will be in music lessons at some point.

For Troy, he is following this curriculum:

I will be reviewing these different curriculums throughout the year.

First day back to "Homeschooling"

So, this is where I am supposed to say "Today was our first day back to homeschooling and everything was great, boy isn't homeschooling FUN?!". Nope, not going to say it. Today was our first day, and we got through it, but it was certainly not easy. The kids are pushing to see how much they can get away with. The big kids want to see how little they can do and get by, and Troy thinks it's all fun and games. I mean, why listen to a story when you can just go in the living room and watch TV with Daddy? I know it will get better. We are starting a routine. The kids will learn not only what they need to be academically, but what they need to be doing on personal levels too.

Chris said "Wow, you are being really tough on them". Well, yes I am. If I am not, they will keep pushing. I can let up when they get serious. Right? Well, I know that is the right thing.

I dream of a day when we can "school" in a dedicated school room. Right now, we are schooling in the master bedroom. Master bedroom? Yes, master bedroom. The dining area is too small. The living room is full of distractions. So, our bedroom is co-existing as our schoolroom. Not the best thing for a marriage, but you do what you have to do. Did I mention that the master is also Troy's room?

Here is my area (this was here since I established an "office" in my room. You can see Tucker's desk there to the right.

This is Michaela's desk. You can see a little bit of Troy's work area to the right of her desk.

Here is Michaela at Tucker's desk clue why she is there. She just jumped there right before I snapped the pic.

This is our whiteboard & calendar area. (yes, that is Troy's bed to the right, lol)

This is Troy's little desk and work area.

Tucker doing spanish at my desk...

Michaela decided the room was "too loud" and relocated herself to the shower to read.

Tomorrow will be better, and it will continue to get better. I expect a near mutiny when I implement the big kids language arts program which is extensive, but they will get over it and be better in the end.

I am still optimistic and excited. I know that this is God's plan for our family, and with his help we will make it work.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

4-H Project, Rabbits...

The first of the 4-H projects, show rabbits, has arrived at our house. This one is Michaela's Flemish Giant, his name is "Tiny"...ahem, I was corrected. His full name is "Tiny Elmer Fudd Brown". He is 8 weeks old, and already the size of a "normal" rabbit. He will be HUGE when fully grown.

Troy will be getting a mini-rex to show, and Tucker is getting a Jersey Wooly to show.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One week and one day of public school, plus a lifetime

I am going to give a short backstory. We were homeschoolers, and we moved to a new place. Chris, being the leader of our home thought the kids should try public school. Thought troy would benefit from the socialization and the older kids would enjoy sports. He reasoned that this is "West Texas" and schools were just better here. After all, that is what we heard from the public around here. So, off to school they went.

First day: bus didn't come for older kids, I was not available immediately because I was 30 miles away, so I called and the bus dispatched a new bus for them. I called the school to insure they got there, they inform me "there is no way to find out if they are here or not". So, I made a trip up there and let them know they *better* know where my children are at all times. Troy got picked on, came home in tears.

Subsequent days: It was something everyday. I *knew* the kids needed to be back home, but I respected Chris' position. Troy's K teacher became increasingly frustrated with him being "needy". M's schedule got all messed up, and because she had been homeschooled they tried to put her in remedial classes (I did get that fixed and she went to gifted instead). I could go on and on, but Tucker was the only one doing "okay".

There was an immediate change in our home. Everyone was cranky. The older kids were picking up things unGodly at rapid speed. Their attitudes reflected as such. Troy would cry, a lot. I had a hard time getting cooperation with *anything* here at home. Troy became more clingy and would cry for his sister. We had seen a setback to wetting the bed, talking babytalk, and so forth.

That next Monday, Six days into the new school year, Chris called me to have lunch and told me he felt in his spirit that it was wrong for our children to be in school, and to go pull them out. He did have one thing he would allow, if they really honestly wanted to stay, they could. Only Tucker wanted to stay. We really struggled with this, but allowed him to stay with a "three strike" condition. Meaning, three things go wrong at home or at school, and we will pull him anyhow. He is on strike one, and has been beat up at school. Not good. But yet we allow him to stay, because we feel like his spirit will not be in the right place if we don't keep our end or if he doesn't make the decision to come home himself.

I can honestly say that we now know that it is 100% God's plan for us to homeschool. I know that this little experiment with public school has introduced things we never meant to open the doors to.

Welcome to our Homeschooling Blog

Okay, so maybe not just "homeschool". We will use this as our family blog. There may be posts from the kids, from Chris (yeah right, but it could happen), and who knows who else. Mostly, it will just be me (Mom) posting various happenings, musings, and updates.