Friday, August 26, 2011

First Two Weeks of School

Well the Brannon homeschooling has begun! We are ending our second week today. On the first day of school, we took school pictures. Fun! Iain is starting Kindergarten, and Cory is in Preschool. Laina is in Cute, and doing it well. :)

School pics:
Here's our fall curriculum:

One Year Bible Storybook

Language Arts:
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Handwriting Without Tears
Victory Drills
Iain: Specific Skills Series

Iain: Singapore Math A and B
Cory: manipulative play, counting, games, etc. Although he really wants to do Singapore.

Social Studies:
US Famous Americans

Some friends and I are putting together unit studies and taking turns leading and hosting them. This week was my week and we did states of matter, including root beer floats (root beer=liquid, ice cream = solid, carbonation=gas). It was fun!

--The boys both go to Timothy School on Tuesdays for enrichment classes. Iain is in art, and Cory in music.

It's been tricky finding a good rhythm, especially with a one-year-old who does NOT like being left out and a three-year-old who has been rather cranky lately. Iain's loving it though. He likes "pacific skills" best because "I like the A and B part." Cory likes "when we got those root beer things." Cory's pretty much saying every day that he doesn't like school, but when Iain and I start in, somehow he finds his way over and starts participating. :)

We like Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) especially. It's a fun program that has hands-on activities, music, and silly pictures and words.

Teach Your Child to Read is what I used with Iain last year. We are on lesson 76 now and he's doing great. This past Tuesday he just really got it and started taking off. Not the first big reading jump he's had (I love those lightbulb moments), but certainly one of the best. Cory is on lesson 8 (I think?) and knows the sounds for the long e, m, s, t, and short a.

(opening prayer with Dad our first day)

The first week of school I was so sick. Our first day, I was sicker than I had been in a long time. I thought about putting off the first day, but the boys were so excited. I had no voice for the first week, which made things really hard. But somehow we got through it and now we have a story to tell. Remember how on our very first week of home schooling you couldn't talk? :)

We started Five in a Row, but it's not working for me. Iain likes it, but it's just not my style. I tried it once before with Before Five in a Row and didn't like it. I thought this one would fit us better. But I don't care for reading the same book five days in a row. So I think we might have to drop that.

They're loving Timothy. I basically drop Cory off in music, sit in the hall with Iain and Laina until it's time to pick Cory up and drop Iain off, and then Cory, Laina and I eat lunch until it's time to pick up Iain. Lots of logistics, but it works. Iain came home last week telling me about an artist named Phil whose work they copied. And he won a sticker. Cory told me about singing the "music alphabet that's not like the ordinary alphabet because there's no H in it."

I had a good teacher moment last night when Iain correctly explained to Jeremy the three states of matter and how you tell which one a given thing is, and this hours after science class. Score!

We still haven't found the best way to structure the day, or even where we like to work in the house. And honestly I have spent more time this week disciplining a particular boy than I have teaching anything (I guess that counts as teaching character, right? Right??). But we'll get it.

Two weeks down. Twenty-some-odd years to go. Yikes.


Mrs. R said...

...and what beauty there is in your approach. As I watch you young mothers begin this journey with far more understanding than I had, my heart overflows. Your children are profoundly blessed by your commitment and effort; may you be deeply enriched by the journey as well.

Jessica Leigh said...

Oh my goodness. I did every level of "Pacific Skills," and each one was the bane of my existence! This was the subject always left unchecked on my planner.
"Mom, can I go play now?"
"Did you do your Specific Skills?
Ugh! :)

I remember loving Five in a Row as a kid! I've since purchased many of the books for my personal library.

Nona said...

Love this post! The walls with the signs on them are so cute! Iain's expression is priceless. You should print those out and start a book, adding one each year. Ah, homeschooling! What a journey. I miss it. Love to you all!

Mrs said...

Character training is a GOOD DAY OF SCHOOL. Are you wanting little Pharisees who have tons of knowledge but no heart for God, or are you wanting Disciples?

Way to go, Mom!

(Was at YOUR Mom's last night. So fun to browse the wall of photos!)

Nona said...

Can you send me an email with those pictures in it (full sized)? Would love to have them here. thx :)