Thursday, July 29, 2010

4 weeks before the start of school

I knew when the summer started it was going to be over before it even began. With August nipping at my heels I am feeling the pressure of having everything together for the start of school. Last Saturday I caught a wind of motivation and planned out 4-6 weeks of Language Arts Lessons from a book I picked up from Classical Conversations when at a practicum in June titled "Our Mother Tongue: A Guide to English Grammar." I don't think it was intended to be a stand-alone curriculum but it seemed like a great idea when I purchased it. I ended up typing up all the grammar exercises in a Word document to give to my 4th & 6th grader for practicing new concepts introduced in my daily lessons for them. I just feel more prepared if I have sheets for them to work on while I figure out the flow of my day. I used "work" days this summer to get an idea of what it will be like this fall with all 3 girls. Here were my observations: one daughter doesn't like others talking while she is working on an assignment, sometimes 2 or 3 have questions about their individual assignments at once so there is a lot of waiting before they're able to ask questions, sometimes they need individual attention at the same time! Hence the reason why I see a need to have ready-made things for them to do during these "wait" times. I recall during my substitute days in public school a lot of that "wait" time was filled by the kids having a book handy in their desks to pull out. That's an idea. When you have nothing to do - READ. I realize also that my kids (especially the younger two) are used to very tight organized schedules. Even if we end up easing up on a schedule maybe I should start out with one so they know what we are doing and if there is a lull in the schedule or if we are behind = READ.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A great find!

"Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends" has been a great read-aloud for the girls and me. It has really opened up conversations about how to live in relationship with each other. What starts out as a great conversation about the inner workings of sibling relationships turns into how to relate to any and every one (friends, family members, etc.) It has been a time of tears, forgiveness, and laughter. Looking for a great study to help bring peace among siblings this is it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

An Elightening Trip to the Doctor

Whenever we visit the library I always peruse the homeschooling section and look through books I haven't read yet as the kids look for books they want to check out. I left with HomeSchooling The Right Choice! by Christopher Klicka and Beyond Survival by Diana Waring. Reading through the sections of Klicka's book I was most intrigued with the chapters dealing with Children's rights, Social Workers, and Doctors. As I read these sections I was reminded of the well-child visit appointment for my soon to be 13 year old a few weeks ago. I thought it was a little weird that the Nurse Practitioner asked my dd a series of questions that dealt with how she feels about herself, if there was anything she didn't like about herself, etc., to which my dd answered "not really." So she further asked "well there is something that everybody wishes were different about themselves ... on and on, can you think of something like that?" I was like what the? So the NP informs me that at age 13 my child has the right to a private doctor's visit. huh? If the child objects to the parent being in the room then by law I have to stay out of the room. She goes on to tell me that there were standard questions they ask focusing on teen issues like alcohol, drug abuse (I can't even remember what else she said). My dd innocently asked why wouldn't I want my mom in the room? My thoughts exactly! On one hand I do understand for the children that are at risk for various abuses these laws go on the books to protect them but you can't help to think the more government imposes on the rights of parents the more it undermines the authority of the parent. I could tell the NP was a little taken a back by my reaction to what she was saying but I just explained that I am very involved in my kids lives and education on those topics are supplied by her parents. It still causes me to have an emotional reaction - the audacity of some laws to interfere with the training of my children. Which brings me back to the books from the library. Klicka spoke about the importance of the HSLDA and the work they do on behalf on homeschooling families. He gave many examples of families who have received knocks on the door from authorities because a neighbor saw kids playing outside during school hours or they were in dirty clothes (boys playing in creek, etc.) Just one allegation can open up an frivolous investigation because people don't understand the legality of homeschooling. It was eye opening but good information. I think I may join the HSLDA or not play outside before 3 pm. Just kidding.


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