Monday, July 28, 2008

Moving and the education of me project

Ok, so we are moving this week and we went out of town last weekend. Knowing all this, I thought I would finish all the reading I had assigned myself last week. Ha, Ha! I did get to about 1/3 of the Epic of Gilgamesh and about 40 pages of History of the Ancient World. I am going to keep working on last weeks "assignments" and will hopefully finish them this week!

By the way, I very much dislike packing and having boxes everywhere!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Education of Me update

If you want to read more about the education of me, scroll down to my previous post. My plans are on the right-hand sidebar. Here's what I accomplished last week and what my plans are for this coming week....

What I've done...
  1. Read Ruth Beechick's Three R's--This was a short an easy read, but it's packed with information. I took notes so I could revisit what really struck me since I got the book on interlibrary loan! I learned quite a bit and got several ideas on how to approach things better. Mainly I realized that I was just expected to much for language arts, fluency in reading is my main goal for this next year. You can see my post below regarding our LA notebook.
  2. Continued reading The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer. I've read another 100 pages that puts me at page 224 out of 777. Susan has done a wonderful job of making history interesting. There is alot of information packed into this book and I don't think I'll get it all on the first run. I have not taken notes on this because I'm just trying to get background knowledge.
What I plan to do...
  1. Read another 100 pages of History of the Ancient World
  2. Read Epic of Gilgamesh.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Revisiting the LA notebook...

So after reading The Three R's by Ruth Beechick and rereading the grammar stage section of The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, I'm realizing that some things in the LA notebook are going to have to go. I was a bit ambitious and my desire is not to overload her this year. I'm working hard to find a balance between instructing and pushing.

So I have decided to take out the book review sheets. The main focus of our reading program will be fluency, but we will discuss the books orally so I can guage her comprehension. I will also be removing the vocabulary sheets. We will do vocabulary as it comes up in the read-alouds, but nothing formal. Finally I will not be expecting original works such as journal entries and alike. What remains is spelling, grammar, copywork, narrations and memory work.

I have also recieved a used Sonlight LA for easy readers (Thanks Audrey!). I'm not sure how we are going to incorporate this, but I really like what I see. I wish that Sonlight hadn't changed thier LA, I really like the older version, but I'm guessing that I am in the minority. I think that we will try using Sonlight's LA 4days(activity sheets and writing assignment) and FLL on the fifth day-doing 2-3 days at once. I think that we are just going to have to try it and see how it goes, if this is too much we will drop one of them.

The funny thing is that my handwriting hating princess saw one of the activity sheets from Sonlight's LA and asked me to explain it to her. After I did, she wanted to do it right then. She thought it would be so fun to copy sentences and then box, circle and underline. I guess we will wait and see.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Can you feel the heat?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Education of Me

As a scientist I don't have alot of experience with subjects like literature and history. I took what was required in highschool and in college I opted for much more interesting science and math courses! So now that I am faced with teaching ancient history next year I'm realizing that I have a lack of background knowledge. I could just use what I have, it's all very good, but I want more. I want to be able to add to our studies in a relevant way just like I can with science. So being the well taught college graduate I am (ha,ha), I began to research (mainly because going back to school is just too expensive). So here it is, The Education of Me project, a self-study of those subjects that I feel weak in.

I have started by reading Bauer's History of the Ancient World this summer. I'm about 1/4 of the way through and I am enjoying what I'm learning. I hope to finish this before we start in August. I also recently I ordered a Western Civ. textbook used by a local college to go through in preparation to teach. I put together a reading list for the following school year of ancient literature I would like to read. I'm sure that I have read parts of the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Aenid, but I don't remember them, so for the most part this will all be new. I plan to get all the books from the library to keep the cost down!

My plan is to stay a week or so ahead of princess so that I will have lots to add to our studies. I also hope to keep a journal of what I'm learning and my thoughts about the books I'm reading. I'm hoping to keep you all updated weekly about the Education of Me. I'm also hoping to get a few more books about teaching language arts in as well. So, if your feeling weak in a subject are and want to join me in the Education of Me project, leave a comment and we will keep each other accountable!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The miracle of being your child's teacher

I have been mulling over a post that I recently saw. A mother was asking, "How do I teach my child to read?". I thought, really, it just happens.

I remember being this mother. I remember stressing about how I was going to teach her to read. In my mind teachers had this special ability that they learned in college so that they could teach those things. When I was considering homeschooling I had alot of doubts about whether I had that special ability. Was I going to ruin my child because I lacked the skills to teach her to read? After all, I wasn't a trained teacher. I had some experience teaching, but that wasn't at the elementary level. Could I teach something as foundational as reading?

We decided that despite my questions we would homeschool because it was the best decision for my family. So in we go!

We changed phonics programs three times until I found what worked for us. I read everything I could get my hands on about reading and language arts, some helpful, some not. Finally I sat back this summer and realized she knows how to read. After two years, I'm not really sure how this happened. I mean we did phonics everyday, she practiced reading the words that she could and I read to her. But in the end, it seems to have been a miracle that she actually learned to read.

I still have moments when I don't feel that I have that special ability. I still worry about teaching what lies ahead. What homeschooling mom doesn't? You don't want your child to be the poster child for why parent's shouldn't be allowed to teach thier children. I am gaining confidence though! In the end I feel that watching a child learn is like watching a miracle take place. I am so blessed to be an integral part of my child's education. It's why I love homeschooling!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sorry it's been so long...

..but I have been busy reading! I have been working my way through Sonlight's Core 1 read-alouds to make sure that they will be ok. They are wonderful! I sill have the The Wheel on the School and Detective's in Togas. My favorite so far is The Year of Miss Agnes, I cried, what a wonderful book!

The great thing is that it has helped me to remember why I love Sonlight. They put together all these great books for me, along with notes, comprehension questions, narration ideas and vocabulary. It's alot of work that's already been done for me which gives me time to tweak it to work perfectly for us. It's so easy to get caught up in the next best thing or constantly looking for something better (TOG calls to me!). It was nice to revisit the reasons why I love what we are doing and that it's working great, so there's no reason to change! (I'm writing this publically so that maybe I will stop looking for the greener grass on the other side, LOL!)

Anyways I am really looking forward to next year. If it weren't for the fact that we are moving at the end of the month, we would be starting on Monday. As it is, we will begin August 11!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008