Saturday, September 6, 2008

Back to the Books!

We have had a great first week of homeschooling. We still have some major kinks to work out with timing and such, but overall we had a great week. It fells good to get back onto some sort of routine. Although it never hurts to start off with a short week.

One of our major focuses this year is math. We are using Math-U-See. We really love the program. It seams to be designed for the type of learners we have. When we switched programs a few years back we made every "start" over. I wanted each one of them to have a strong base in math. So we have spent the past few years "relearning" and it is really paying off. These kiddos know their stuff much better than I ever did. The program is set up for the homeschooling mom and I love that. Each lesson has a corresponding video and manipulatives. I have been grading nothing but A papers this week.

A main focus of the week has been another phonics program with a specific amount of reading time. They have been working on this phonics program for a couple of weeks. I am already impressed with the progress I have seen. The program is called Color Phonics and it is a good fit. My kiddos do well with computer based programs (or other visual programs). One thing that has grown more and more apparent are the speech issues that Moogie has. I think these are related to delays in development due to the unknown heart issues at the time. She is catching up but it is a slow and deliberate process. This particular phonics program includes a tool to help with pronunciation. Moogie is thrilled to have more direction in this manner.

We started each day with our morning prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, reading the daily reading and the saint story for the day. We have a little discussion about it and then head off into our independent studies. This means the teens head upstairs to their bedrooms with their video players in hand to work on math. The younger ones stay down stairs and rotate between computers for phonics and TVs with DVD players for math. Our system needs lots tweaking but it is going well. I was most impressed with the reading that the middle school kiddos have done this week. Each have finished various chapter books and have searched out others. They are working hard and I could not be prouder.

One thing that I have promised the kiddos is that we will visit the library each week. Tuesday was our second Tuesday. That poor librarian that has to answer all of Pickle's questions. He knows what he wants and is not afraid to ask for it. He learned this week that if he has his card the librarian will reserve his favorites books for his next visit. I over heard him checking up on her work this week saying, "Now that isn't in Spanish is it?", "Excuse me did you hear me, I don't know Spanish!", "I don't want that in Spanish, OK?" I have to giggle, but I wouldn't dare stop him.

I am excited to report that I "caught" Moogie and Bear online this week reserving books from the library. Now if you know their reading issues at all you would appreciate that progress. Without my help they were able to find the site, figure it out, reserve their books, and did I mention they were reserving "real books!" This is huge people! Much of that progress has to do with the cognitive training tools we were introduced to from the PACE program from the Woodlands Learning Center. Thank you for all your hard work and help Miss Karen.

So we got started and it is going well. We will begin working on geography and government this week. We are still waiting for our new science books to arrive. Until they do we are going to work on a unit study of the human body. These kiddos love to study about how the body works. I did get a wonderful computer program to help with planning, record keeping and transcript writing. I need to play with it more. So far it has been useless. It is my fault I just don't know how to use it. Friends that use it love it. They say it helps with keeping track of multiple grades and helps with kiddos with a daily check lists. I will post more about that once I manage to get it up and running.

I also must make note of the cutest distraction any classroom every saw. This little guy loves shoes on his hands. I don't know why but probably because we all laugh at him. He just loves being the center of attention.
We sure do love you Jumba!

Dad likes it when we are "in school" because they don't go into his office as much to bother him. He is able to get more done in less time.
We did catch him peaking out of the office the other day during the readings. He always pays attention during prayer time but this time he was very impressed with the amount of reading progress we have seen from Moogie, Bear and Sugar.

Bear showing off his geo globe. He built the world in an afternoon. Way to go big guy!

1 comment:

  1. I love reading about what is going on in the T house! Sounds like everyone is doing great!

    Love you all!


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