Saturday, May 23, 2009

No more pencils, no more books.........

No more Teacher's dirty looks! Hopefully!

I was planning to "do school" until May 29. But I am so tired of it! We have well over 1,000 hours, T. and B. are both done with (enough) math, we are done with science, done (enough) with spelling....they each have one book to finish that they are reading for history, and I have one I am reading aloud to them that we are halfway through. I think we will finish that and that's it.

I have a hard time differentiating "school" from "life". I guess I look at "school" as things they have to sit down to do - math, grammar, etc. Or maybe it is the stuff I have to make them do that constitutes school! We read aloud every night before bed - picture books with J. and H. and chapter with T. and B. We are reading Where The Red Fern Grows now. I think of that as literature. And we are reading a devotion a day from Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, which is based on the Westminster Catechism. So, that could be Bible. They are working on their Awana handbooks this summer (Bible) and we will do art (Art Pacs) because we need to have some projects going together. But mainly in the summer we play in the yard, work on the garden, go to the pool, and do church activities and library activities. Most of which I could (and do) record as "school/hours". But don't tell them, or they won't want to do any of it.......

I am so looking forward to getting everything ready for next year, taking some time to relax and reflect on what we did this year. I am moving to more things that the older boys can do on their own, and that seems to work well. They only need Mom to read so much to them. This was their first year to really work independently, and it has gone well. Plus, I need that time to get the little guys off to a good start.

So, almost done......

Friday, May 22, 2009

People, get along already!

I had sort of an eye-opening thought (for me, at least). Tuesday morning I got up and was perusing my inbox. And there was an email from Worldview Weekend/Brannon Howse about the dangers of the Emergent Church, etc. And I looked at it and I got so disgusted and deleted it. With all the horrible things that are going on in the world, with the socialist direction Obama has taken our country (I am having to work on this - I have found I truly hate Obama. When I see his picture I almost foam at the mouth I am so mad. Probably not a great testimony), with Iran with nukes and the CIA unable to interogate, with them wanting to take my SUBURBAN (14.5 mpg, baby!) and make me wedge my kids into a golf cart.....when I think of how our kids are not going to have the world we have.......

Who the HECK cares about the Emergent Church and WHY are we fighting each other!!!! I am SO GLAD that ANYONE out there cares enough to start a church!!! I am just FED UP with the people that have to keep us upset at others (all in the name of Christ, of course) and fighting within ourselves when there is a BIG enemy (I mean Satan, not Obama, though the edges are blurring.......) out there trying to destroy us.

Okay, that was my rant.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wrapping Up A Year....

Sunday night I sat down and updated our hour log. In Missouri, you are to record hours of instruction, and to complete 1,000 hours in the calendar year. Our year runs July 1 to June 30. As of April 30, one child had 955 hours and one had 959. Could that be right? I expected that we'd need to push through into June, and it looks like we'll have our 1,000 next week. So, we are wrapping up the year. We'll finish science this week, and just do a final review next. B. finished math last month and T. will work until this unit is complete. And we'll stop the last day of May. Over the summer we'll still do daily Bible reading and I'll read aloud to everyone, but I am not going to have them do their independent history reading (we use living books for history and they read on their own every day). We will participate in the library reading program, and they can choose their own books for that.

July will be a very busy month, with VBS and Art Camp at church, and visiting family. There will always be park days, going to the pool, activities at the library, family trips, etc. But I have no obligations outside of my for the entire 2nd half of May and all of June. Nothing. Okay, I teach Sunday School. But no big activities to plan, nothing to host, nothing. What am I going to do with myself?

Get a tan?

Okay, probably not that. But I know that I am going to work on my outline and get my planning done for J. and H. for next year - 1st grade and kindergarten. We are going to do 100 Easy Lessons for H. and move into easy readers for J. We are doing Singapore math and Getty Dubay handwriting and Art With a Purpose (ArtPac 2). But I think our overall "theme" this year will be Children Around the World. We'll do geography and stories of other countries, some crafts and foods, missionary stories, etc. Just sort of weave that into everything. And my goal is to NOT buy much - almost everything can come from the library.

T. and B. are pretty much covered. We are switching to BJU grammar this year, continuing with Singapore math, and starting Christian Kids Explore Biology. For Bible, they do daily readings and they participate in Awana, so they work on their books in that every day. In history we started US history last fall, and we are on a 3 year course, based loosely on Sonlight. We are at the beginning of the American Revolution right now, so hopefully we will finish that up this month and be ready to move into the Constitution in August. We are doing art/art appreciation with Great American Artists for Kids, and also Art With a Purpose (ArtPac 4).

That seems like a lot to try to cover with four children. Fortunately, T and B can do most of their work independently. I just need to answer questions, and we'll do science together. I read aloud part of their history, and will work on art with them (but that's just once a week).

I started using Homeschool Tracker last week for their scheduling and recording, and I think this is going to work very well for us. I was reaching a point where I was writing down what to do, then writing down what we did, and there was a whole lot of duplication. This is much easier. I'd like to upgrade to the deluxe version - I have the free version, which is fine, but I'm finding other things already that I'd like to do (like save a reading log) that are not done (or at least not done easily!) in the standard version. But - it is $49 and I am trying to be frugal.

But that is another post.

For now, it is a beautiful day, and the future looks good!