Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

We're back to our normal routine, finally. Thomas was sick, then I was sick, now Bob is sick. We all had "that nasty virus" that everyone is getting and taking forever to recover from.

Last week we did a little school every day. Ha, little might mean reading one book. On Friday Thomas and I sat down and discussed this year's school. He shared his likes and his dislikes. He really wanted to go back to Sequential Spelling. He did not like MegaWords. Okay. Done. We started Monday morning first thing with Sequential Spelling. This time I got my spelling rules book out and after his lesson, we reviewed a few lessons. A cheap little book with a good list of rules. That will satisfy my need for teaching rules for now.

Thomas also begged -- and I do mean begged -- to learn Spanish. I have fought this tooth and nail. I had no desire to learn Spanish. German was my language love, both in high school and college. I discussed this with Bob and he quickly produced his college Spanish text, tapes, workbook and completed tests. Ugh. I looked it over and quickly determined it was too difficult for Thomas. We listened to the first lesson together and he did the freak-out on me. He freaks when he doesn't understand something the first time. I closed the book and said the magic words, "I really think this is too difficult for you and I don't think that you can't do it." MEAN mom. Mean, nasty words.

Well, those mean, nasty words motivated Thomas. Monday morning the first thing he asked to do was Spanish. He quit freaking out, started listening and studying. We did the first two pages in the book. We will really have to go slow because this program moves fast. Surprisingly, I am actually enjoying it. I have been sitting at my kitchen table at night with the books and tape recorder and studying on my own. Go figure. Thanks to Thomas, I now have a desire.

I ordered a couple label books from Rainbow. (My time is worth something, right? I could have made these on my own, but it's so much easier to just order something.) When they arrive, I'll take my tape and cover the house in Spanish words. Hopefully this will help increase our vocabulary.

On the math front, we came to the decimals chapter Rod and Staff. Thomas had very weak instruction in decimals last year. My fault totally, because we were switching curriculum and it got left high and dry. So instead of forging ahead with Rod and Staff, I pulled the Key to Decimals series from the shelf. He actually started this last week (I don't remember when, I was in a fog) and has been working 5-6 pages a day. What a nice break from the rigors of Rod and Staff.

On the World History front, we both decided that History Odyssey is just not for us. Neither of us like the flow, neither of us have a good understanding of the time frame. It seems as if we're just learning little chunks or snippets here and there and that it is not cohesive. What to do? I spent a bit of time searching history curriculum. I just don't like anything I see. So I ended up buying World History the Easy Way as a guide and will incorporate reading lists from the net, SOTW CD's, Kingfisher, etc.

Geography. Last year Thomas loved geography. This year he hated it. I had purchased Trail Guide to US Geography. Thomas thought it was all busywork. So I looked at other programs and decided to wing it. We're going to study region by region using The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geography as our guide. This is not my choice book to use as a guide, it will need lots of supplementation, but heck, it was sitting on my shelf. We started yesterday and had fun. That's what counts, having fun while learning, right? I also ordered the Name that Country game from Rainbow. It had good reviews at Amazon. I read a great idea at Amazon for making more cards as the game doesn't have that many countries, so I ordered some blank flashcards, too.

It seems every year about this time I evaluate school and place a big order. This year is no exception. Sometimes we just need to stir the pot a little.


Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

I am starting to ruminate about the same things. I actually find I look forward to the process. Even with things being up in the air for Scout, I can still get started wtih Girlie! Plus, I have crates full of stuff to sell on ebay to fill the bank beforehand!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It seems like this is the time of year for time-off due to illness or exhaustion, and for ordering new stuff.

I am reconsidering our math--it is Saxon math--and there is a lot of practice. N. can stand up to 45 minutes per lesson, but no more than that without melting down.

Last week I ordered the Kemana program N. is passionate about. It came in today--N. has been riding his bike to the mailbox every day this week looking for it. He perused the Reader's Digest Guide to North American Birds and Mammals over lunch. When I got home from class he had finished reading part I of the guide book.
I think we're on our way!