Monday, April 21, 2008

Another day :) on lapbooks.

Well, another beginning to the week. Things are going pretty good. My son is doing good with the test practice booklets that I bought so I am feeling a little more relieved and just a little bit less worried.
I have started writing for For anyone who is interested I posted a how-to article on easy lapbooks and there are pictures there. I am going to include the cover pics of a couple here but if you want to check them out go to and put AutumnLeavz in the search bar and it will bring back my articles. You should be able to find the lapbook one with pics and there are also some other various topics as well. I appreciate anyone checking them out. :)
Another side note...two more weeks of college left this semester! I'm so relieved but I also have an algebra final coming up so nervous about that. At least I just have to pass it and it doesn't go against my gpa at all.
I signed up for my summer and fall classes today. For the summer, just biology I. And for the fall, for now I'm going to just sign up for algebra 2 and english 2. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Curriculum problems...

Often, new homeschoolers face the same problem, purchasing the wrong curriculum. Sometimes it is hard to realize it and we want to hold onto whatever we thought was a good choice. Sometimes we don't find out until it is too late. In our case I made a bad math choice and didn't even realize it until I started to give my son a practice test for his end of year evaluation.
I found out then that he really was off base entirely. We were almost completely unprepared for the test and now we are having to spend this next two months 'teaching to the test'. I really hate that, I hate having to put so much emphasis on one subject instead of it being just another fun daily exercise. I am sure that the math choice I made would have been good if we didn't have to take a final test this year. However, since we do it just isn't going to work for us. Next year I'm switching to Saxon. I have heard a lot of great reviews about it. This time I did more research and think I'm making the right choice.
If this has happened to you, don't worry, it's easily fixable. The first step is to just step away from the curriculum. You have to admit that you have a curriculum problem. Sell it on ebay or another selling site and start over. Research, go to sites that offer curriculum reviews and make sure it is what you are looking for.
One final problem with curriculum I will mention is getting something that you love...even though it will not suit your children. I personally LOVE the idea of the classical curriculum. I would love to go through the stages of the trivium and teach the kids Latin and build on a true classical base. However, I know my kids (especially my son) would hate it! He just is not receptive to things like that. He's more hands on or computer oriented and so I go that direction. If your kids will not enjoy it or do well with it, then it will be a complete waste of time.
As my dreams of classically educated children slip away I will tearfully wave it goodbye and hold on to two small aspects of it....Chronological history and possibly Latin. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I love spring!

The weather is finally starting to warm up and I love it. The kids love it too because after work they get to go outside and play all day. Yesterday was one of those beautiful day and we just had to get outside and enjoy it. We went out and eventually ended up at our library group. The kids are loving this group and I am happy because I want them to be around kids regularly. Hopefully we can add some activities too and get regular things going soon. No remarks from anyone there this time around so that is always a good thing.
However because we spent all day out yesterday evening I have so much to do to do list is overwhelming. And I still have preparing for the test on my mind. I bought a couple of different test prep and test practice books that should get here tomorrow. I just hope it helps. I am hoping that I will be freaking out over nothing. That he will do just fine on this test but until it is complete and out of our hands I am going to do whatever possible to prepare.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Much better!

Yesterday went so much smoother than the previous days of the week. They both did their work so good and we had more time for fun 'goofy' things to do. We still had a little trouble with handwriting. They want to goof off and not do the work instead of just getting it done. I like the book we're using but I think I'm going to scale it back as well. It has sentences to copy such as "Brave Bobby buys a baseball bat." and they have to copy it 4 or 5 times. I believe I'll grant immunity, so to speak, by having them write it perfect one time and correct the errors.
We'll see how that goes this week.
I'm so anxious about the IOWA test coming up next month. With the wrong math curriculum choice on my behalf we are so far behind in this subject. I think that was part of why I was pushing him to do so much. I have a test practice booklet that we've been working through in preparation. He likes these because they are much shorter bursts of work than regular work, but the math is really knocking me down. There is so much that he should know that I'm going to have to teach him in 1 months time. It's so overwhelming and I'm afraid he'll do poorly in math because of this. It's so important for him to do good on this test because 1) he has to score at a certain level to be allowed to continue to homeschool (VA state laws) and not be put on probation next year and 2) If his test scores aren't showing results, Daddy might decide that homeschooling isn't working and put them back in school. This sounds bad but you have to understand that Daddy just wants what is best for the kids.
I think after this first year of testing I'll probably be able to calm down more about it but until then I'm a nervous wreck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A bad day...

We all have good days and bad days, it's just part of life. Yesterday was one of those bad days for me. We fought over school work until I just had to stop for the day. I was too frustrated to continue. I have figured out that my son just doesn't want to do any work period, homeschool, public where. He just doesn't want to do it! It's very aggravating because I feel like I'm constantly fussing and telling him 'do your work', 'finish your work'.
I don't think I want too much, just get your work done. Do it in a timely fashion and put in an effort.
Homeschooling isn't always the easy road because it would definitely be easier just to send him to school but I know it's not what is best for him, academically or socially. I've made some new rules, no television on at all (including t.v., games or movies) until 5 oclock in the evening. I hope this will help somewhat. I tried doing a checklist, complete the work in the specific time and you'll get a check for that subject. Get all of your checks for the day and you'll get to play your games. It worked for about a week, but I don't think it's working now. I also stream lined our curriculum, cutting math way back to around 30 minutes and english to much shorter, etc. This has cut back some of the fussing because whenever we go for longer it is just worse because their attention fades as we go on.
I saw on youtube a homeschooling mother made a goal board with sports themes and when they did a chore they got to move their 'soccer ball' (or whatever theme they were using at the time) with that on it to the goal. That might work for chores and subjects. I don't know.
I told them that they have thursday and friday to prove to me that they want to homeschool. I explained that if I was hungry I would have to make something to eat or I wouldn't be able to eat...just like they want to school at home, if they want to, then they have to do good work at home or else they won't be able to school at home.
I just hope today is a better day because this week is really getting me down!
Cross your fingers, say a prayer for us!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New library group...

Yesterday we attended our first library group. With the trouble I have had in finding a homeschool support group that fits our needs, I decided that at least the library group would be interaction. I was so proud of the kids, they both behaved so good and interacted so well. In fact they behaved better than the public school kids (it's an after school group with both homeschool and public school children).
There was one child that could not behave at all and was a year older than my son. For an entire hour I watched him running around, disrupting the class, etc. What is so funny is that after this his grandmother said to me "So they are homeschooled?" I said "yeah." and she said "Well, it's good for them to be around other kids isn't it." I was baffled at this comment. Here my kids both behaved better than her grandchild and the other public school child and if the teacher hadn't introduced them as homeschooled then no one would have even known. Yet, she still felt a need to say something like that. I was just floored with amusement and a sort of shock.
Aside from this everything went great and the kids loved it so we'll probably continue and they actually wanted to look at the books that they picked out related to the dog book they had read. That was surprising because my son usually considers reading time (time to sit quietly and look at the books that we've checked out) as torture! lol. But hopefully this will be a step in the other direction.