Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Official last day of School!

Well our school year has finally ended. This year seemed like it flew by.
We finished up our day with rapping up our kindergarten and 1st grade memory books. I got these from, just search for memory books. They're really cute and you just print them off and I put them in a little folder. They fill out info about their favorites and things they did this school year. It's great because years from now we'll always have it to look back at. :)
We are also finishing up with a fuzzy craft thing where you make cats out of pompoms. They are getting frustrated because they are falling apart as they're trying to construct them. I decided it would be best if we do them in sections until the glue dries and holds them together better. I think I spent $1 at Walmart on these and they make 4 so the kids were tickled to be able to do them.
For the summer I'm only going to focus on reading. We will be reading books daily and the magazines that they have gotten recently (Highlights, Zootles, and Boys life). I'm hoping to really sharpen their reading skills. We might also work on a few things like easy lapbooks on rainy days. We won't do anything difficult like our regular science lapbooking. These will be mostly laid back like character traits, maybe Bible themes, I was thinking of doing one on address and phone number. We will see. I want them to have time off but would like to throw a little something simple in there occasionally.
My son wrapped up his CAT test and we sent it off last week. We get the results back in 8 weeks so I'm still going to be a little nervous until I get it back. I think he did pretty good but where it's a percentile thing instead of just how much he missed, I won't know for sure until we receive the grades.
For now we're ready to relax. We had a difficult year and now it's time to enjoy the weather, maybe even fit some gardening in too. They are begging me to start the garden this year (we usually do a large veggie garden) so we might get to it tomorrow. :)
I love summer, but my own school is starting back next week. Hopefully one class will be much easier on me. ;D

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Classical Education...

Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to the classical education curriculum. For those who aren't really familiar with it here is a quick rundown. The classical system uses ancient Latin techniques in three stages, the first is the memorization stage where the kids retain as much fact and knowledge as possible. The second stage sets them into the motion of critical thinking. Learning how to put all of the knowledge they have retained together into logical form and the third is the rhetoric phase. This phase is where the kids are able to argue and discuss things logically and with confidence.
I love the notion of this learning style but with a sigh last year decided it wouldn't work for my son. It's a lot of work and right now he just hates work. I recently picked up the book "The Well Trained Mind" and I am considering doing this with my daughter. She loves learning and begs for work on a daily basis. On weekends she often says "Aww Man...I hate two days off!" I'm reading the book to get familiar with it this summer and hope to begin her in the fall with it.
I'm going to keep with out 'Story of the World' for history which has a classical base anyway and the lapbooking for science. I also got them both Saxon math for the fall. The main thing I want to go classical on is her literature/english/grammer.
I may incorporate small parts of this into the other subjects as well. For example I am thinking that fact memorization for math. Maybe following the outline for the science we learn. I definitely want them to learn Latin soon and more languages beyond that (studies have shown that kids languages easier in their early years).
With all of this said, however, I keep getting this nagging sensation that I am doing a disservice to my son. Doesn't he deserve to learn this in depth and strong education like she does? I mean the curriculum I chose for him is good, but if I'm doing it for her shouldn't I do it for him as well.
I know he would hate it and would complain every step of the way. So that is my conundrum. Should I teach him the classical way or not? I will still have to think about this during the summer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Wonderful Mother's Day

Mother's Day has come and gone again this year. I have to say that I had a wonderful one. The morning was filled with my kids giving me many many cards that they had made themselves and compiled to surprise me with.
The afternoon was the interesting part. We had a power outage. It ended up to be wonderful. Because it was so cold we lit lanterns and acted like we were 'camping out'. I, of course took the opportunity to give a lesson about how people used to live before power and what they would do. We spent the evening and early part of the night watching 'shows' that my children took turns putting on for us. These were hilarious comedy routines and stories acted out. They were adorable. Me and dh even got in the act by putting on our own routines with jokes and stories. Our power came back on by 9pm but we were having so much fun that we kept the lights and the t.v. off and pretended like we were still camping. We even all slept on the couch as if we were camping somewhere different. It was such a blast and probably the best mother's day ever! I loved it more than any present or any dinner destination that could have been given to me!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Coming to the end...

We're moving into the home stretch. This is the last 3 weeks of school and with that come the wrapping up of the year's work. We've settled into doing testing review for now and maybe a few other things such as light lapbooking. I saw a great one on youtube that had a house with fold outs and a family tree. I was thinking of making that one and having them work on their address/phone number as well as family tree and family pics. Maybe even a little page about the family for writing practice.
Yesterday we attended our end of year library party. It was wonderful. The weather was so cooperative as we had a little pizza party and playing at the park. The kids also got a cool certificate as well as stickers and a tattoo (which one has gotten lost somehow....leaving one remaining tattoo to fight over...crossing fingers that it's in the car!!).
I also discovered a test that I can administer myself which is great news since I've had such trouble lining up a tester lately. Only problem is that I had to order it now so we can complete it in time and get our results back in time enough to send to our school board.
One final note....I got the last of next years curriculum in the mail yesterday! whoohoo, that always tickles me to know that we're ready to go when August hits. Some things like my son's english and our history that we didn't start until midyear around January will still carry over. But I'm about ready to pack up our things for this year and put it away!
I typically don't actually pack them up but hopefully we'll be moving soon so that'll be one thing less to worry about while packing/moving everything. I just hope I label it all clear enough that I'm not searching the entire house for it later. :)
This year is wrapping up nicely.
....another side note...I am thinking about changing this to a general site about my everyday life. With it I would be able to include more things such as my gardening exploits as well as my crafting and my own school work. Just a thought for now...might look more into that in a few weeks when everything settles down. This is my last week of the college spring semester and we have only 3 more weeks of school left. I'll actually have some time on my hands...don't know what I'll do with it!!!