As we near the end of our first semester of homeschooling I am beginning to look back over how we have evolved our learning style, and how far Jack’s knowledge has come. His failures and successes, as well as my own as a teacher.
I am not the most doting mother, and with that I guess means that I am not the most compassionate teacher to my dear child. He is so very smart, but he is also so very stubborn. Gee I wonder where he gets that? But this means, that when he thinks he doesn’t understand the lesson, he is going to fail. And it’s going down in a blaze of glory. He will fight me tooth and nail that it’s too hard and he’s not smart enough. But we always break through, it’s just a matter of finding what works to teach this lesson. And since we’re still very fresh at it, this is still hugely experimental. Though I imagine that even the most seasoned homeschooler-mom’s have to be creative every now and then. 😉
Writing is still the great Nemesis in this house. Just getting him to write a simple pen pal letter can take a week or two. And that’s no exaggeration! He’ll draw and color happily. His handwriting is neat enough when he’s concentrating. He’s bright enough to think of even the most mundane commentary, but he just hates the act of writing it. I can’t fathom this. I love writing, both by hand and by keyboard. Writing is cathartic to me, even if I just babble and don’t really have a point. Like now!
We are behind on our Public School requirements, and I honestly don’t give a crap about it because guess what. They’re writing assignments! As you can imagine I don’t feel the need to force anymore writing upon the child. But perhaps when Dad is home for the Holiday’s we’ll take advantage of the extra focus and cooperation that comes with having both parents there to guide and support you. As it is, we were supposed to turn one in on October 2nd and a second on December 3rd. Oops. Again. it’s not high on my priority list! If a virtual school feels the need to test the child to make sure they are the ones doing the work, then they need to find another way. I don’t think elementary school children should have to know how to write a functional paper at the age of 8 years old. It’s not that the concept is too hard, it’s that they don’t *usually* have that kind of focus and concentration. I think it’s enough that we have to show up for the CRCT’s in April.
We recently changed the way we go through our lessons, and are trying to complete two History and Science lessons every other day (history one day, science the next). And in doing this, we have managed to have a ‘projected end date’ of mid March for these two courses. Which is fantastic! That will free up some time for us to study and practice our “in school test taking skills”. We have also recently had a discussion, just Jack and I, about getting more work done, and trying to have a longer summer break. So we are “assessing ahead” through Math and Language Arts. We will have to do the spelling tests separately, but we can get through Grammar and reading a little quicker when we put our minds to it. But it’s Math where we’ll see the ‘projected end date’ get closer sooner. We are usually able to complete 4 lessons before I actually need to teach him a new skill. All that is required is that he gets at least 80% on the assessments for us to skip the lesson. Which, honestly, is not a problem when the math is straightforward. It’s the stupid little “lessons” that give you the background for other skills. He needs his Science lessons broken down like this, not the Math. He’s too smart for it!
Well, I should end this and get to the teaching! I hope you all have a great week, and seeing as my blogging tendencies have once again slipped off the radar, I hope everyone is having/will have a fantastic Winter Holiday!!