icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: October 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Six weeks down............

So, I've been busy the past six weeks. I've neglected lots of things, one of them being this blog. What was the big change six weeks ago? I started homeschooling my youngest, who is seven years old. Now, I have been homeschooling for 12 years so you would think I'm a pro at this by now. No. Every child is different. Also, my oldest two are much older-one has graduated and is in technical college and the other is a sophomore in High School. Technically I am still homeschooling the High Schooler. But her program is different-she has teachers for each class and live classes through the internet. I am basically a supervisor, or 'learning coach' as they call it in her school. I help her when I can (if my brain cells can recall the high school days, that is), but she is mostly independent. So, it has been several years since I have homeschooled a child who needs my one-on-one teaching all the time. Wow-I forgot how that is!

The other difference is that curriculum has changed-there are still the old tried-and-true curriculums out there, but also a lot of new stuff. I bought some new curriculum, and I must say I absolutely LOVE All About Spelling! I put a banner at the bottom of the blog if you want more information. Chad learned very little in public school last year, I think it was for several reasons, but he just seemed to get lost in the shuffle. So he is at a kindergarten/early 1st grade level in reading and math. This program is making a huge difference.

Thanks to my friend Amy at Life's Little Crazies for her help and direction with this newer curriculum, and also for heading me in the direction of Homeschool Creations. Jolanthe has great ideas, downloads, and is just amazing with all the information she puts out. I don't think she sleeps!

Back to being busy this past six weeks! As all of us Moms know, being a Mom itself is a full-time job. Taxi-driving for the teens is major, getting everyone to music, sports and church activities. Throw in a handful of chronic illnesses (some with fatigue), lots of meds daily including narcotics that make one sleepy, and then homeschool a seven-year-old. He is now with me 24/7. He is high-energy. It's not easy, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. He is halfway through some of our 1st grade curriculum, so it is obvious that he needed this one-on-one time to catch up. Aside from the academics, we are creating an even stronger bond than we had, one that I have treasured with my oldest two as well. I also noticed he is not coming home with the sassy-mouth remarks that he would learn in school. So, it's difficult at times, but totally worth it. I must add that I couldn't do it without my wonderful husband, who is willing to jump in and help out when he is home. Over the years, we have scrimped and stretched and gone without pretty much everything 'extra'(i.e. eating out, entertainment, new clothes, etc....) on a social worker's small salary to be able to homeschool, and it was and is worth it all. That topic is for another post though-I've been asked by several people to post how we do it on our income, so I am planning to post on that soon, promise.

I said at the beginning of the year that I would post our curriculum choices for the year, so here they are:
All About Spelling
First Language Lessons(Grammar)
Explode The Code(phonics)
Horizons Math
Abeka History and Abeka Health, Safety and Manners
Peterson Directed Handwriting
God's Wonderful Works(Science)
Writeshop Primary(Creative Writing)
Leading Little Ones To God (Bible)
He also is part of the Awana program, which I highly recommend!
Throw in some art and music, field trips, sports and that about covers it. Whew. Thank you Lord for your strength and grace!
Here's to the next six weeks and beyond!