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February Pick-Me-Up: What's working for you this year? Permission to brag!


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I'm sitting in 4 feet of snow with more on its way, and need a little sunshine.  So, please… share your school's bright spots with me!  What is working for you this year?  (Even if nothing is working except the coffee maker.)  I'd love to hear everyone's successes, whether big or infinitesimally small. 

 

For starters:  Around here the biggest success has been adopting a "schole" mindset (huge thanks to all the threads on this topic!).  Teaching from rest might suggest that less is accomplished and school is uber-relaxed, but in fact we've accomplished a great deal more, with less stress and more joy.  It did involve some additions or changes to our curriculum and school routine (including adding morning meeting), but the biggest change was in my own mindset and in clarifying my own philosophy regarding our homeschool's goals and objectives.  We've always been classical, but for the first time this year I think I have a better sense of the whys and hows behind that.  I feel like I've finally given myself permission not to be institutional in how I teach, and it's resulting in good stuff.

 

My other big success might be the mini-trampoline I just broke down and ordered.  If the snow ever lets up long enough for it to be delivered.  

 

So what's working for you?

 

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When the 'new' law required 8th grade exams for homeschoolers, we were not happy (politely said).

Dd was so immature, and I thought each exam would become a drama.

 

It turned out to the opposite, dd attended the least liked subjects first, passed all the exams, and matured a lot.

DH and I are very amazed, we had never expected such a grow in maturity.

Even when Brussel striked, and we had problems to reach the examcentre she didn't panic and stayed calm.

 

I'm so proud on her!

 

Nevertheless we will be glad when we are done with this requirement :)

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  • Daily chemistry experiments from RSO Chemistry (well, okay, close to daily) 
  • Family math games
  • Nature study with the neighbors (Who knew you could "read" last year's growth in the markings on twigs?? Not me!)

It also helps that last year was nearly the snowiest on record here in Michigan, so by comparison, this year's more normal winter feels like a piece of cake! 

 

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Prehistory - the combination of a pile of books along with documentaries has worked fantastically for us.

 

Our library - I had been underusing our library, but they have a wonderful collection! It's rare I search for something and find they don't have it. Add in the online reservation system and drive through and we've checked out hundreds of books this year!

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Jacobs Algebra. DS is finally in a truly math-happy place, glad to be challenged and earning mastery.

 

IEW. It has transformed my total non-writer into a very competent one. Tears and meltdowns are a thing of the past, replaced with confidence and exuberance.

 

AAS. Continuing to work its magic despite our non-confirming way of using it.

 

This has been, in some ways, a different sort of homeschooling year for us. Far fewer resources, less input in some ways, more output in most ways, and an enormous amount of maturity and growth that sometimes leaves me speechless in awe.

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My oldest has switched to doing language arts and math before lunch, then everything else afterward. She likes that if she works diligently, she gets a mid-day break, and I like that I'm not nagging her to get her work done anymore. I started it as a trial run to see if it would be feasible for next year (so I could plan a modular schedule), but it's worked so well that I think we'll stick with it.

 

I used a filing system like this one for my lesson plans this year, and I'm really loving how adjustable it is. I'm the kind of person that won't do the extras unless I pre-planned it, so I'm excited about about how much more often art and games have been incorporated into our day. Normally, I would be in a "just get it done" mode at this point in the school year, but since I took time over the summer to figure out how to make the schoolwork more fun, it is.

 

I also finally got around to start reading chapter books aloud last month, and I was surprised to discover that my 5yo paid attention enough that she brought up plot points in other conversations, and occasionally even begged me to read more.

 

Ruth

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Dropping a textbook for history and going with interest-led topics have made things MUCH better in that area. I no longer have to listen to daily whining about history being boring, or haggling over the hope of not doing the comprehension questions. 

 

DD's being able to rejoin her tumbling classes has been a relief. She was out all of December and January with a broken ankle, and she NEEDED a physical outlet. 

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My oldest is breaking the reading code. My middle is dying to start doing school with me. Finally got back into the habit of reading, and playing with the kids before bed. The jumper thingy I bought the baby so she could be apart without mauling and mangling everything in sight. My new way of organizing the school, and my homestead. Coffee, dear sweet lovely coffee!!

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My daughter is in the ballet company this year and she dances through the house with a smile on her face most of the time. 

 

This is the first year I've had two to homeschool and I was terrified. There was a settling in period, but it's been so much easier than expected and I really enjoy cutting out the commute to take my youngest to the (incredibly fabulous) Montessori school she was attending. 

 

CAP Writing and Rhetoric is really helping my 4th grader's writing blossom. I love it!

 

Beast Academy continues to make math the favorite subject of the day. I'll be sad when we finish the last book in the next month or so. 

 

I have two wonderful children who both seem to enjoy our school day (though they certainly enjoy knowing it's over too).  ;)

 

And yes, the coffee maker (hallelujah) and a glass of wine if the evenings (thanks be to God).  Amen.

 

Teresa

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Honestly, this year (5th grade) has been, by far, the most successful year we've had. We just have had the right curricula choices, and DD has grown leaps and bounds in pretty much every subject. She's had tremendous growth in her aerial dance skills too. I am just so incredibly pleased with how this year has gone. 

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DS6 is an early riser, much to my dismay. I would get around to school sometime around lunch and that just wasn't working for him. By the time I "got it together" he was off doing much more interesting stuff than school. So I have started doing phonics and handwriting with him before DD5 gets up. This has worked so well for him. He can actually focus on his lesson without his sister dancing around. It's become a nice part of my day too. We both feel quite accomplished to have half his work done before 7 am.

 

HWOT is also really going well for him. I can see so much progress. We started with MP last year because I got the whole curriculum. It did not work for us at all! He is so proud to show off his work when DH gets home.

 

Morning time is going great! I've been reading about it, planning to start it, making lists, etc since we started formal school. After the first of the year I just gathered some stuff up one morning and started during breakfast that day My favorite part has been actually getting Bible work in. Since the first of January they have learned the books of the New Testament and the first 27 catechisms. We started hymns this week. They are so excited to sing the doxology at church tommorrow.

 

DD5 is an absolute sponge. She loves read alouds and math. She just "gets" math. I finally realized I couldn't teach both of them the same math at the same time and she has really flourished. She is almost done with MEP year 1. DS is still somewhere in the middle. I'm thinking of changing him to CLE. Idk, We started with R&S. Abysmal fail for both them and me.

 

We have really found a good groove in this new year. I'm excited to see where it takes us.

 

What a rambling post! Sorry.

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We stopped drinking so much coffee and started trying a lot of new tea. We are much more mellow and focused in the mornings, no longer temperamental from the caffeine highs and lows. 

 

My son didn't want to go over his Spalding phonogram flashcards with me, so I bribed him with the promise to make him some paper airplanes if he could get through at least 10 or so. He agreed, and then, I had the idea of writing the phonograms he struggled most with on the paper airplanes I made him. He was so excited that he kept taking out the flashcards and finding phonograms that he wanted me to write on new paper planes, and in extreme giddiness we threw them all around and called out the phonogram sounds. 

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John really needed structure, but I didn't want to force school on someone so young. I taught him how to do everything (SWR phonogram cards, handwriting, Spanish flash cards, MEP and Mathematics Made Meaningful) and let him choose what he wants to do that day. He gets his brain stimulated everyday, which is what I wanted, but loves everything we do.

 

We got several of Sonlights books from the library and they will sit for at least an hour and listen to them. I had no idea they could be still for that long. I think we might need to just order the set.

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My oldest has switched to doing language arts and math before lunch, then everything else afterward. She likes that if she works diligently, she gets a mid-day break, and I like that I'm not nagging her to get her work done anymore. I started it as a trial run to see if it would be feasible for next year (so I could plan a modular schedule), but it's worked so well that I think we'll stick with it.

 

I used a filing system like this one for my lesson plans this year, and I'm really loving how adjustable it is. I'm the kind of person that won't do the extras unless I pre-planned it, so I'm excited about about how much more often art and games have been incorporated into our day. Normally, I would be in a "just get it done" mode at this point in the school year, but since I took time over the summer to figure out how to make the schoolwork more fun, it is.

 

I also finally got around to start reading chapter books aloud last month, and I was surprised to discover that my 5yo paid attention enough that she brought up plot points in other conversations, and occasionally even begged me to read more.

 

Ruth

 

I agree!  It's my first year trying a filing system and it has really worked beautifully.  I feel like I have just enough structure to keep us on track, but the right amount of flexibility to handle all the craziness that pops up in life.  And I'm no longer tied to daily checklists carved in stone (and all the guilt that comes from not completing those lists).  

 

And thank you for the link --  I haven't had a chance to do more than skim the blog post, but it looks fabulous.  Might give me ideas for tweaking things next year.  

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This summer I sat down and wrote out our plans for each subject on separate sheets of paper (a la Donna Young), and it's made planning so much easier this year. Each weekend I sit down and cross off what we did last week, and write next week's plans down (in my A Plan in Place planner), and it's so quick!

 

We started a homeschool swim class at a different YMCA, and DS is loving it! He gets to hang out in the pool and play for an extra 45 minutes after class. It's already made a huge difference in his swimming ability, confidence, and enjoyment of lessons. And I like that is a nice pool, and I get to spend the time chatting with other homeschool parents.

 

Also, I started meditating with the Headspace app in November, and I love it. I'm calmer and more patient, which makes everything we do nicer. :)

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I'm with Sadie. It is all working! I feel like my son is challenged and engaged, and having fun.

 

I was a reluctant homeschooler, but, in our first "official" year of school, things have gone so much better than I could have imagined.

 

We love our charter school. The extra classes they offer are great fun, and the kind of stuff that I am terrible at implementing. My son has the social interaction that he needs. I stay focused and on track, and we get the materials that we would otherwise be paying for out of pocket. It's been a win-win.

 

 

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The Big History project has been awesome.  Love the integrated history and science, love the combo of video & reading, love the investigation writing assignments, love all the extra books we're reading alongside.  

 

Writing has gone really well for Shannon.  I've been kind of flailing about what to use and how to teach her writing for the past couple of years.  This year the SWB high-school style writing - a rhetoric study plus writing across the curriculum - has finally clicked for us.  She's gone from rambling plot summary book reportish things to a nice, tight ~500 word literary essay complete with a thesis.  And for Big History she wrote a 1000+ page word! i meant word!!!thesis-driven report on how animal and human communication differ.  And she has written a screenplay and is in the middle of writing her first novel! So writing has blossomed this year.

 

I can't say anything is awesome for Morgan right now, but it's all working.  We've found a method that's clicking for spelling, math is going fine, writing is not progressing as quickly as I'd like, but it's really fine too.  Her reading is fantastic, she's back into reading books at a challenging level after wallowing in Junie B Jones for awhile.  And she's reading out loud to me every day, which she loves to do.   I'm not doing a good job with science for her, but everything else is ok.  I guess I'll take ok, it is February after all. . . 

 

ETA - correcting - sorry for the confusion.  I'm a dork

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DS is finding his groove with DE classes. Time management is coming together well enough and lots of maturing happening daily in front of my eyes. Writing is being neglected again because he is just so busy with the other courses. I think it's time I realized this is the pattern he is going to fall into for a while until he himself feels that need for writing to happen. He writes well, just not willingly.

 

Oh and we found a professional jazz musician music teacher! All this while his teachers have mostly been teachers first, actively touring and performing musicians second. This is going to be interesting. :001_smile:

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The Big History project has been awesome.  Love the integrated history and science, love the combo of video & reading, love the investigation writing assignments, love all the extra books we're reading alongside.  

 

Writing has gone really well for Shannon.  I've been kind of flailing about what to use and how to teach her writing for the past couple of years.  This year the SWB high-school style writing - a rhetoric study plus writing across the curriculum - has finally clicked for us.  She's gone from rambling plot summary book reportish things to a nice, tight ~500 word literary essay complete with a thesis.  And for Big History she wrote a 1000+ page thesis-driven report on how animal and human communication differ.  And she has written a screenplay and is in the middle of writing her first novel! So writing has blossomed this year.

 

I can't say anything is awesome for Morgan right now, but it's all working.  We've found a method that's clicking for spelling, math is going fine, writing is not progressing as quickly as I'd like, but it's really fine too.  Her reading is fantastic, she's back into reading books at a challenging level after wallowing in Junie B Jones for awhile.  And she's reading out loud to me every day, which she loves to do.   I'm not doing a good job with science for her, but everything else is ok.  I guess I'll take ok, it is February after all. . . 

 

Are you taking this as a class? Do you think it would work for an 11 y.o.? Ds would seriously love the concept but I keep seeing it listed for teens so I'm unsure.

 

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I will do a Big History review thread at some point, and share the science resources I pulled together.  The Big History Project class portal is here:

 

https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home

 

You can click on "Big History in the Classroom" and set up a teacher account, and then you have access to all the material and you can check it out.  It's intended for 9th graders, but it can be used in 7th-8th, cut down a bit, and there is a suggestion of how to use it as a Senior Capstone.  So it is adaptable.  I used it with my 7th grader, and that's the lowest I would go - she wouldn't have gotten near as much out of it last year as she is now.  Even this year, the first few Investigations were too challenging, but she has really grown into them.  So my suggestion would be not before 7th - you want them to be able to understand all the input as well as be able to produce the output at a high enough level that they get the most from it.  At least, that's my opinion, YMMV of course.

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I always intended to do Picture Study, and the sets we have gotten from Simply Charlotte Mason have worked great (I actually can make it happen really easily - all the prep is done for me).  I have used a couple now and we will do more of them.

 

Swimming lessons have been great too.

 

While we haven't gotten to everything I had hoped to get to so far, we have accomplished a lot this year and the kids are having fun and learning a lot, so I'd say it's a successful year.

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Writing has gone really well for Shannon.  I've been kind of flailing about what to use and how to teach her writing for the past couple of years.  This year the SWB high-school style writing - a rhetoric study plus writing across the curriculum - has finally clicked for us.  She's gone from rambling plot summary book reportish things to a nice, tight ~500 word literary essay complete with a thesis.  And for Big History she wrote a 1000+ page thesis-driven report on how animal and human communication differ.  And she has written a screenplay and is in the middle of writing her first novel! So writing has blossomed this year.

 

 

 

Is that typed or handwritten? 'Cause I gotta get my 7th grader to step up her game...one lousy typed page is all I can get from her.

 

 

 

:leaving:

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Is that typed or handwritten? 'Cause I gotta get my 7th grader to step up her game...one lousy typed page is all I can get from her.

 

 

 

:leaving:

 

 

ETA:  Sorry for being such a bonehead!  I didn't see my mistake even though you wrote it in REALLY BIG FONT.  Of course I meant 1000 word, not 1000 page.  Lots of crow-eating this morning.

 

Here was my response to what I thought was your response to the 1000 WORD thing:

 

Oh, Clear Creek, I didn't post that to make anybody feel bad!  We did have permission to brag on this thread, right?  :)  And don't think that it was all chocolate and roses, either! it took a ton of work and two weeks to get it to this point.  And lots of rewriting.  Allow me to 'splain:

 

She typed - she is at the point where she's composing on the computer, and has been writing much longer papers now that she's fluent with typing.  I don't ever require any particular length, papers  just have to be long enough to do the job.  This is what it turned out to be - there were 9 short texts covering communication in bacteria, bees, birds, and chimps, so it was a big topic.  It was very scaffolded - Big History has a Unit Investigation to top off each unit, with a question the student is to answer, and an Investigation Library.  So they aren't having to find their own sources, they are reading selected sources, taking notes, and then organizing and putting together an essay based on that.  Kind of like WWS - don't do too many hard things at once.  The assignment does the finding sources for you, and you take it from there.  I really like these assignments, it's just the right level of report writing for Shannon this year.  I'm really committed to having all her writing be writing with a thesis - no more brain-dump style reports  These Investigations have been just right.

 

BUT - this took two weeks to do.  She read the Library, took notes, made an outline, wrote a draft.  I had to help her see what her thesis actually was - it was in there, just not clearly stated.  So I helped her formulate her thesis clearly, then made her go back and rewrite every single paragraph so that it was addressing the thesis.  She rewrote parts of it 3 or 4 times.  I was encouraging with my praise, but I kept questioning vague statements or things where her thinking wasn't clear or any statement that didn't support the thesis. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.    By the end of it, she actually understood her thesis and the subject! Which I can't say was true at the beginning.  ;)  But that's the point of writing to learn, right? You are learning about writing, but also learning about your topic by writing about it.  The paper still has flaws, but it is a solid effort that she can be proud of, and after two weeks she was ready to move on!

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We have been happy with our choices this year as well. DS1 is having a fabulous math year. Incredible growth! With an exception of couple of topics, PreA hasn't been all that challenging for him.

I would like to manage a similar jump in science, but I am less sure how to accomplish it.

 

DS2 is also having a great year, learning and maturing. I wouldn't say that anything stood our for him though. He loves reading and writing along with math.

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A thousand pages? Really a thousand pages? In two weeks?

 

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that. More than a hundred pages per school day? Parts of it rewritten three or four times?

 

I don't mean to sound snide or doubting, but I am wondering how on earth this was accomplished. I know how long it takes me to write a 15-page report for work!

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Oh My Gosh!!!!!!  This is what I get for reading and responding first thing in the morning - pre-coffee.  I meant 1000 WORDS!!!!!!  I'm such a dork.

 

Sorry guys . . .  :blushing:  :blushing:  :blushing:  :001_unsure:  :leaving:

 

Now to go back and try and fix my posts in this thread . . . . and slink off in embarrassment.

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All in all, a pretty good year. Solid. Not stellar, off-the-charts but plodding along nicely. 

 

The biggest change: dropping our co-op day. As much as we loved our friends there, I really need the day at home PLUS the day we were using to get all the co-op work done.  It's one of those decisions that's hard to make, but feels so right.  It's been great.  The two oldest (at home) actually still head off to co-op for the morning (grace for our wonderful group) while I stay home and get-R-done with my youngest two.  

 

Other things we love this year:

  • Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization ( :001_wub: )
  • Self-paced history through Veritas Press
  • hands-on math with all the manipulatives sitting on my shelves
  • Read aloud time -- this is everybody's favorite time. So relaxing. 

Lisa

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I was just pulling your leg; I was reading the board this morning (pre-coffee :tongue_smilie: ) and I read your post and even though I knew you meant "words," I kept reading "pages!"

 

I really appreciate your explanation of how you took your daughter through the process of writing the essay; my daughter has only learned the descriptive and literary essay so far, so words of wisdom that will help our future lessons on essays are always welcome. :001_smile:

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I was just pulling your leg; I was reading the board this morning (pre-coffee :tongue_smilie: ) and I read your post and even though I knew you meant "words," I kept reading "pages!"

 

I really appreciate your explanation of how you took your daughter through the process of writing the essay; my daughter has only learned the descriptive and literary essay so far, so words of wisdom that will help our future lessons on essays are always welcome. :001_smile:

 

Oh, whew! I'm glad you were teasing and that you found my long-winded explanation helpful. I decided to leave it up just in case . . .

 

Nice example of why one needs an editor, right? We see what we meant to write, not what we actually did.

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Hmm, we'll I cannot say anything stands out as super stellar but we've had a very solid year. Dd is doing very well with Horizons and it is so nice to have that settled, especially after it took so long, we went through MEP, Right Start, Miquon and Math in Focus- crazy right? Do you sense the pattern? The conceptual drove her crazy but now she has much more confidence and greatly enjoys the independence that this program gives her with the review it has. We had to work our way up to doing it all but now she can handle it no problem. LoE Foundations was great for her but then stopped working and we took a break, well we just tried it again and it went smoothly, so here's hoping that she passed whatever developmentally hump that was blocking us from advancing. 

 

Ds is going along with math. He is still enjoying Beast Academy, although it is becoming too easy for him. I've used a variety of resources to work on various skills but recently added in CLE, here's hoping that it works to fill in the gaps he has so we can get to Algebra. 8's Treasured Conversations has been fabulous for him and good teaching for me. I have seen that the explicit step by step is very helpful and I'm excited to see his skills start to come together. 

 

I've been the most pleased with ds' science and history this year. I've used a spine here and there but realize that it actually works best without one for us. We've been reading some great books and had some good conversations. I've learned and he's learned, we're both engaged. So our content has been more of us doing it together and although it requires more engagement from me, it makes it more enjoyable. I've realized that I need to put less energy into science, we hit so much on our own that anything formal is icing on the cake. 

 

One of the biggest things I've learned is that we all need more structure than I thought and really want to give. I'm writing more detailed plans but I do them for shorter periods (6 wks). I still have some learning to do but it is really coming together and I see this year as a big one for learning about what we all need to be successful. I've also had some moments that I've really found my priorities and re-evaluated what we are doing, in some ways we were hitting them and others we were not and with hs'ing it is hard to separate the home and school parts. 

 

I'm very excited about next year, seeing how they are both coming into their own, dd's strengths, weaknesses and preferences are becoming clearer and ds is maturing and my expectations are increasing. 

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Ah, so happy to see this thread. Our biggest success has been a shift in mamas thinking. This is our second year homeschooling and for the first time I feel like things are good! I was a reluctant homeschooled, and I kept thinking we would put the boys in a local University model school, but this winter I came to the conclusion that this really is the best for them and we aren't doing this on a part time basis, we aren't changing course in a year. We ARE homeschoolers. It was incredibly freeing. And now there is joy in me. There is fun in our school. I didn't realize how much the question of change was holding me hostage from enjoying our journey.

 

Now, that isn't to say that I'm locked in until graduation, but for now, this is good. And I'm happy to be able to share that with people who might just understand.

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We have had a lot of issues this school year not school-related but affecting our school day none the less. With the new year and a mommy with more realistic expectations and a better attitude, we have finally gotten into a good groove. Here's our current bright spots:

 

No electronics in the morning. Ds has been waking up earlier and earlier so I'd let him watch a pbs show while dd and I slept a little longer. Well, it was difficult to turn off the tv when dd woke up, she wanted to watch a show too and then we'd get a late start. So now, I get up with ds whenever he wakes. We talk, snuggle, play quiet games, read stories, etc. til dd wakes up then we start the day. I've really been enjoying this one on one time with ds even if the sun isn't up yet.

 

Switching a couple subjects away from the workbook to the white board. Dd pays so much more attention this way and flies through these subjects.

 

"Letting go" when it comes to art/project messes. I used to always wait until I was in a super free-wheeling, energentic mood before I'd let them get out scissors, glue, paint, etc. And I thought we needed a guided project with a certain outcome, a la Pinterest. But I've learned to get over it and let them make a big mess and produce whatever they want. They love it. They are so proud of their creations, their motor skills and confidence have improved. And I make them clean up the mess when they are done. Duh! Why didn't I think of that before?

 

Teaching dd to cook/bake. She loves it! A grandparent bought her a child size Tupperware baking set and I bought her a kid's cookbook. We've been working our way through the recipes. Again, motor skills have improved (she can crack an egg like a pro), she's learning fractions and measurements and more. Ds also wants in on the action and is learning the names of kitchen utensils. I was so proud when I got the egg carton out of the fridge the other morning and he saw me and said, "ooh, I'll get the whisk!" Yay! I fully plan on teaching my boys as much about cooking/baking as my dd.

 

Thanks for this thread. Its been good to type out these good things and realize that these are examples of what I was looking for in deciding to homeschool. I am so fortunate to have the circumstances to do so. (even in February)

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This is our first year homeschooling, and i think for the most part it is going really well.  

 

Teaching Textbooks has been working really well for both kids-my mathy but easily frustrated 6th grader and my bright-but-not-off-the-charts young 5th grader.  

 

What I am happiest about is my ability to switch mid-stream if things are not working.  We are kind of floundering around with writing, so I just ordered WWE3 for both of them to shore up some skills.  

 

Oh wait, I am also really happy about not having to leave the house at 7:30 every morning to drive 35 minutes to school.  And no evening homework.  

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Doing art classes bi-weekly instead of weekly - an extra dose of sanity for me.

Zacarro Math - she loves this book and its word problems.

Bravewriter Friday Freewrites.

Lapbooking with DD - she loves it, doesn't complain about the writing for this.

Yamaha group music lessons for DD.

Finding a check off / weekly notebook system that helps DD feel more independent and in the know.

Developing a routine independent start to DD's school day (music, cursive, spelling, etc.) so I can focus on DS.

Simple Letter of the Week reading and craft, etc., routine with DS - he still doesn't know them all, and I'm totally fine with that - he's loved it, and we're shifting to a simple Seasons themed routine soon...

 

This was fun! At first I didn't think I could identify many wins, but then it all started to flow!

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It seems to me like my fourth grader has matured a huge amount this year. She's much more independent with her work. Her writing, in particular, has really taken off. Every word used to be like pulling teeth, but now she's writing prolifically, and the quality (in my biased opinion) is pretty good. She's also joined a math club and started doing math competitions, and that has vastly increased her confidence and her enjoyment of math.

 

My fiveSIX-year-old - this is his sixth birthday! - has learned to read for real. He reads for pleasure. It's the most wonderful thing.

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Chrysalis, Rivka, et.al. ….. y'all truly made.my.day.  I am still laughing!!  :smilielol5:

 

I love hearing all the good!  So many of you have have included music lessons as a winner, which amazes me (I remember them as drudgery as a kid, even though i was skilled at it). I have tons of questions about incorporating music instruction successfully.  When to start, how to start, how to make it a positive experience even for those with less natural inclination for it…  i'll have to ask that in a spin-off sometime.  

 

Snow is still coming down but I'm feeling much better about life…. thank you, everyone!

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A big help has been the weather.  It has been pretty warm the last couple weeks, which is extremely unusual.  Although the saying of "in like a lamb and out like a lion" keeps running through my head, so we may not be so lucky the rest of winter.  A few things have helped me get through Jan. and will hopefully carry me through Feb.  One is the fact that my Dd 6 has finally finished level 1 of AAR!!! We have been working on it since the middle of kindergarten.  Another thing that has helped is I have given myself permission to just use Singapore Math, so a nice break of just do the next thing, instead of trying to think of creative ways to teach concepts using a combo of cuirricula.  Lastly I have been researching for next year, which I enjoy doing about this time of year, and reading through a lot of homeschool blogs.  I know I am getting overly psyched for next year, because in my mind it will be the perfect year ;) , but that is okay to do once in a while right.

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Definite hits around our house--

 

Tapestry of Grace: Still works best for us for humanities. Love.

 

Visual Latin from Compass Classroom: LOVE! DS loves it, enjoys the videos, and is doing really, really well with the exercises, which are getting challenging, but he is undaunted.

 

 

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We've been doing this for a year as of last month. I had all sorts of plans last summer with WTM in tow to make first grade oh so awesome. Well, we moved in Sept, I started babysitting two 2 yr olds to help with expenses, and found myself in the throws of the first trimester in pregnancy by Christmas.

 

School got done..barely. Reading and math..and that was it captain. Baby brother was barely napping and his favorite activity was starting yet another cagematch with his new playmates.

 

But now? In terribly cold February the heavens have smiled upon me. In the last week, DS has weaned, begun potty training and is mostly sleeping through the night and taking 2 hour naps. Oh. My. Goodness.

 

We are now successfully doing all the things I wanted again, school is fun. Elemental Science, even with its rather messy layout, is getting done and DD is loving it. History is back with SOTW, writing is happening with WWE, everything is back as it should be. She's making strides ever so slowly in reading but always improving. RLTL is just perfect for her as is Singapore. My only goals now are to get more reading aloud in and throw some Spanish in the mix again. For the first time in months I don't feel like a total failure.

 

So yea, to anybody else in the terrible toddler days, this too shall pass!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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