Saturday, December 25, 2010

Homeschool Highlights - Week of November 28, 2010


No worship services for us today.  We are trying to recover from a nasty little sinus/cold thing.

Read aloud:  Finished Junie B. First Grader:  Toothless Wonder and started Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal. 

I think this will be the last book of this series.  All good things must come to an end.  Maybe we'll move on to American Girls or Ramona.  Anyone have any suggestions for good read alouds?

UGH!  Half of the post I put up yesterday disappeared into thin air.  I'll try to recap.

We are realizing that homeschooling is more than just reading, writing and workbooks.  We are going to be spending more time addressing character building than academics in the coming weeks.  I know both are important, but right now I feel it's best for my children to have manners and be able to get along with others in this world. 

Shayla is now 9 years-old.  She is basically helpless in self help areas.  Not only is she helpless, she is undisciplined, ungrateful and complains about everything.  She expects to be entertained by a family member 24/7.  If she does not get the attention she craves, she "bugs" until it ends up a yelling match between her and her sibling.  Unfortunately, I assume responsibility for this behavior.  I have not properly trained her from the beginning. 

As Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies says, Children are a joy...  In Raising Kids God's Way, the Ezzo's said:  (I'm paraphrasing here).  If the only ones who like your children are the grandparents, you're not doing your job correctly.  Umm, yeah, I think I can relate. 

I did not focus on character and discipline at an early age because her moods were affected by any and all foods and chemicals she came in contact with.  We found out the hard way that some foods could make her depressed, while others made her hang from the kitchen light.  If you have never had a special needs child, you probably do not understand and think I am making excuses.  All I can say is, try walking a mile in my shoes.

So now we begin the task, focusing on what should have been addressed years ago.  (If you have any ideas or encouragement on teaching these things to older children, please leave a comment! :)

*Note to Self:  I've also realized that my attitude and character needs some work.  How can I expect my kids to not complain when I do?  How can I expect my kids to pick up after theirselves when I leave my coffee cup out?  This is going to be an on-going family project! 
  • Sorted the laundry into piles.  Put dirty clothes into the washer.  This teaches that we work together as a family.  Everyone has a job.  Responsibility.  It also is color recognition for littles.
  • Fed the dogs.  Pets are not a given, they are a privledge.  The dog bowl needs filled when you see that they need food or water.  Teaches responsibility, kindness, caring and compassion.
  • Made her own peanut butter and jelly rice cake snack.  Teaches fine motor and life skills. 
We will continue to work on these and I hope to post what we work on, to keep myself accountable. 

What chores should a nine-year-old be capable of doing?


Whew!  I think momma needs to learn some character traits as well.  Especially patience, joy and wisdom!  Oh, and a massive amount of consistency!  But already seeing an improvement in attitude.

Bible:  God Does Wonderful Works.  Psalm 111:1-6.  Tied this into our character training.  Isn't it funny how that just happens sometimes.  Discussed how if we are busy being thankful and praising God, there is no room for anything but joy in our lives. 

Devotions:  The Eight Year Old King.  2 Kings 22:1-2.  This was the story of King Josiah.  We also used this as a character lesson.  Discussing that an 8yr old did not have the wisdom necessary and his officials actually ran the kingdom until he was in his 20's. 

I tied this into our character training by saying that Shayla has been trying to run our house and make the rules lately.  Do you think that Shayla is like Josiah and needs to learn more before she is ready to take over the kingdom? golly, I think she is beginning to understand!

Read aloud:  Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal.  Time for a laughter break in our morning!  These books are a hoot!

Reading:  The Bridge Book.  Tilly Turtle, Mice in Britches, Cinderella, The Scarecrow, Sleepy Heads, The Rocking Horse, and Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Shayla was reading quicker and with much improvement.  Her comprehension seemed to be better, too.

Language/Phonics:  Lesson

Phys Ed:  Outside playtime.  Just had to get out and enjoy the 70 degree weather! 

Field trip:  Christian bookstore and library.  We had to get the What's in the Bible? DVD on sale for $5.  It's by the creators of Veggie Tales.  I've been wanting to see these, but our library and Netflix don't seem to have these. 

Math:  We had to leave before we could complete the lesson, so for the first time ever, we took it on the road.  We had a few minutes before Kings Kids, so she completed her worksheet at the church.  Her focus wasn't as good, but the concept was new and maybe it will allow us to work more away from home.  (Which some weeks would be a good thing!)

Kings Kids program.  Improvement.  She is beginning to distance herself from me more, choosing to sit with friends instead of me. 

Character training:  Worked on serving others, helpfulness, and joy.  She is helping out more with even more joy, when it's just the two of us.  When Morgan or Dad is home, that ugly character trait called jealousy comes creeping in and causing much chaos.  She also did great until I sat down and worked on a pile while watching a movie.  Boredom!?!  Hmm.  Maybe we'll focus on these, big time!


Shayla is starting to understand that I am being consistent with my expectations of her.  Another area that I am working on. 

Bible:  God Delights in Obedience.  Psalm 112.  This couldn't have come at a more perfect time!  This reinforces the discussion we had about obeying parents and God with a joyful heart.  Doesn't God always work things out for His purpose?

Devotions:  What a Trip!  Acts 8:26-39.

Read Aloud:  Finished Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal.

Reading:  The Bridge Book.  Somewhere, Elephant Ellie, Christopher's Chorus, I Like School, My Daughter, Lindy.

Unfortunately, last week I've come to the realization that Shayla becomes anxious on Tuesdays.  She is anxious to go to specials day on Wednesday.  She becomes even less attentive because she is not focusing.  I have decided to do schoolwork, not until our normal school day is over, but until the work is done at times like these.  This may seem harsh, but I need to break the consistent pattern. 

The next step would be to take away a day of specials school. 

Math:  Struggled through lessons 83 and 84.  Her attention span is gone, but we're still working because she has to learn diligence.

Spelling:  This subject often gets overlooked as we struggle to get reading, writing, and 'rithmetic done.  I guess I don't see it as important as the others because of spell check.  I'm trying to include it regularly though. 

Today she completed list 11 part 1 in the workbook.  Then she typed the words into spelling city.  There she reviewed the words with the Teach Me section.  Then she played Which Word where she picked the correct word from four choices.  She scored a 15/15 or 100%.  And she worked independently! 

Specials day!  A day of socialization with other homeschoolers, library, music, art, lunch and phys ed.  Followed by ballet and clogging lessons.

Unfortunately, we were not able to complete much bookwork today.  It was complete chaos!  The phone kept ringing and people kept showing up at the door.  And yes, we usually don't allow for interruptions during our homeschool, but these were all things that needed dealt with.  Oh, and did I fail to mention that I felt like I was the co-ordinator of all this.  You know, the go-to person.  And I accomplished this feat with no voice! 

I guess there was character learning that went on.  You know completing tasks with a cheerful heart, not grumbling and complaining.  Keeping a smile and not becoming stressed out.

When the smoke cleared, we gave up on bookwork for the day, and played some learning games, colored a page or two, and solved a pile of puzzles. 

Another day of non-traditional learning!

First, we had our scheduled monthly meeting with the administrator of the Independent Studies program at our school. 

We ended the day by watching the dress rehearsal of our school play, Happily Never After.  A spoof on Cinderella, the Frog Prince, and Sleeping Beauty.  Followed by improv.  Similar to Who's Line is it Anyway? 

I don't think we've laughed that hard in a long time! Student actor, Zack, and all the talented young people, did a great job with on-the-spot acting ideas!

Field Trip:  Went to the local library's Holiday Open House. 

There were singing groups to enjoy.

A Christmas story to listen to and a craft to make.

And the highlights...

Meeting Curious George

And going for a horse-drawn wagon ride through town!

Field Trip:  We took a second field trip to see a local light display and again we took a horse-drawn wagon through the display. 

The highlight of this was meeting Santa.  Shayla has avoided Santa since she was a toddler, not this time!  Santa got right into our wagon and Dad asked if he could get a picture of him with Shayla.  LOL!

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