Get Them Kids Learnin’!


Occasionally, I look for some way to make this home education process a little more interesting both for the kids and for myself.  I’m not the homeschool mom that you’ll find in magazines on “how to do it.”  I’m more of the, “Well, doing it this way will work… but you’re nuts if you want to” kind of HS mom.  Oh, well, it works for me.

This year starts off with a bang.  Jenna and Nolan are doing something that none of my other kids (I’ve graduated FOUR now.  FOUR!  *thud*) were able to do.  They’re taking an online class.  It’s an eight week creative writing class with Barbara Coyle.  I’m so looking forward to seeing how this goes.  They’ll learn about the structure of the short story, review several stories, and then write their own.  All of the short stories are being compiled into a book and each student will receive a copy.  It’s an exciting idea.  I can’t wait to read what the students come up with!  Prayerfully, they won’t end their sentences with dangled prepositions as I did in the last one I wrote.

Ethan is being introduced to the joys of Spelling.  He’s had so much of a struggle to read, that we didn’t give him that too, but it’s time. He’ll get more penmanship practice as well as the spelling helping to solidify the reading now that it is a bit more concrete.  The kid can read now… he just doesn’t REMEMBER that he can.  Braelyn did that too.  She’d been reading well for months before we didn’t have to say, “Well just read it yourself.”  One day she just looked at something and read it.  I’ve never heard of a kid doing that before, but I’ve had two now that have.  Lorna will be introduced to actual reading lessons starting Monday as well.  Praise the Lord, I’m almost done teaching reading.  The Lord giveth (the need to teach reading) and the Lord taketh away (the need to teach reading because now they’ve learned it) Blessed be the name of the Lord!  (Because I don’t have to teach it NOOOOOOOOOOOO  more……. PAH-RAAAAAAAAAAAAAIS the LAWD!)  Yeah, not a fan of teaching reading.  Just sayin’.

I am adding 30 minutes a day listening to audio books.  We’ll be starting with the seven Narnia books and then onto the Melendy series.  Obviously, we’ll start with the first book, The Saturdays.  Once we get through the Melendy Quartet, I’m thinking about doing Swiss Family Robinson.  I’ve always loved the book, but for kids who aren’t natural readers, it’s a bit much.  So, I’m going with it.

I think it’ll be interesting to see just how much they notice the differences between the book and the movie.  I want to do Robinson Crusoe too, but since we’ll just have done a “castaway on an island” thing, I will probably do something in between them.  Maybe Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.  (Isn’t he the one who did Robin Hood?)

Frankly, with all the amazing audio books out there, moms like me who don’t enjoy doing read-alouds really have no excuse.  GULP.  Just sayin’… mostly to myself.

Andra got a calligraphy set for Christmas, so this week we’re trying to figure out how to use the pen and learn the strokes.  Let’s just say that just because you buy a calligraphy set from a children’s store like HearthSong, doesn’t mean that it is automatically a simple thing for a twelve-year-old or her much older mother to know what to do.  I think it’ll be wonderful– if we ever figure out what we’re doing.

I’m thinking we’ll be planting peat pots with seeds and such.  They’ll like that.  It’s too cold yet.  Better wait a month or so.  Green leafy things are so cute when they’re babies!  Add a couple more science videos to the mix and they’ll have a bit more fun than the usual same old, same old.  Oh, and I’m seriously considering a trip to a Children’s Museum.  We’ll see.

Nothing too staggering, but it will mix things up around here.  Gotta keep ’em on their toes, eh?  What’s up for your students in 2011?

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2 thoughts on “Get Them Kids Learnin’!

  1. Oh, I am right there with you on that “teaching children to read” thing. We absolutely love audio books here too, because I, like you, am not so keen on reading aloud either. I start yawning like crazy and just want to nap once I start.

    I do believe Howard Pyle did write Robin Hood. We have Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe, and David Balfour, all in hardback with absolutely wonderful illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. I do hope both Mary and Micky will read these on their own one day.

    Mike took up calligraphy many years ago, then kind of let it fall by the wayside. It definitely takes lots and lots of practice. He’d love to start back up, but has so little time. It’s a beautiful thing to learn, and has so many uses.

    We’re just plugging along here, Mary in her 9th grade year and Micky in his 5th grade year.

  2. Pingback: Looking Back… | Paradoxology

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