Friday, August 7, 2009

A Limping Start

I had originally wanted to start school on the 3rd, but I knew this week would be very busy with all I had planned out of the house. As a result I had changed the start date to the 10th. Then I changed it back to the 3rd. ::sigh:: I should have left it as the 10th since we only completed one day this week.

I'm still working on lesson plans. It seems to be a harder start to this year for some reason & it's not apparently just me. I've seen many others in the homeschooling community say the same thing. But I'm moving on as best I can.

Today I was reading through blogs when I saw something on Harmony Art Mom's site that made me pretty happy. I will be using her Grade 4 Harmony Fine Arts at home this year. It's a full year (or maybe two) of art & music appreciation lesson plans. Happy will participate as much as he is able, but the other two boys will be doing as much of the plans as written.

One book that Barb uses extensively for one of the options is called Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes. This is a really great book on how to teach art to your children. It is for the parent/teacher to read & then teach the child. I had seen this mentioned at one point in time somewhere so I had put in on my wish list at PBS (that's Paperback Swap - seriously - if you aren't a member - get on there!) & I was able to get a very nice copy of this book (for free!!!) just a few months ago. That was even before I went with the Harmony Fine Art plans. I love it when things that that work out (and yes, to me, that's a God-thing. ::smile::).

So back to my original thought...sorry for getting side-tracked there for a moment.

Barb has a Squidoo Lens posted with lesson plans for using Drawing with Children & it even has Amazon links for supplies! I'll definitely be using these to supplement our art studies this year.


I did spend some time last night looking over the geography book we'll be using this year. I found it at the used curriculum sale back in June. I was originally going to try Galloping the Globe, but found Around the World in 180 Days (and when I went to get that link I see they are having a sale) instead & in great condition & it was what I wanted to try. We have used the two volumes of A Child's Geography & love them (well, I certainly do!!!) but there are only two volumes currently out so we'll have to do something else for a bit.

I did like what I saw in 180 Days. It's a pretty comprehensive study of the seven continents which is something we have not yet attempted. It's a notebooking based study to extra cost is minimal.


Last night I realized that I should have an inventory of what I have for homeschooling curriculum. I already do an inventory of books but it still needs to be tweaked somehow. I'm thinking of marking the spines to correlate somehow. Anyone have a wonderful method for your home library?

I'm sure I can't be the only homeschooling mom who has completed the year only to discover something tucked away that would have fit wonderfully with that year's study. Or buying something new for a subject only to find you already had something adequate in the closet. I'm sure you get the point. It's frustrating isn't it?


While reading the introduction to the 180 Days study last night, the author said something that made me go "That's it!!!" (Charlie Brown style of course.) The author, Sherrie Payne, is a mom of six children & covers a lot of different grades among them. She says this,

"And teaching all those grade levels together is not that hard. Granted, there are some subjects that have to be taught fairly systematically and individually, (i.e. the skill subjects of math and grammar), but the content subjects of history, science, and sometimes even literature can be taught to all the children at the same time. By using grade level textbooks and other resources, everyone can glean what they need at their particular level of ability.

It's that last sentence & a half that worked for me. THAT is what I am trying to do. I simply am not capable of teaching three complete school days to the three boys. So we have always done math together - but they work on their own books during that time. We have always done writing together - same thing. We have done history together & they actually do that together. This year I will be expecting more from Lego-Man than the younger two but I will also expect more of Conductor than I will of Happy. That paragraph helped cement what it is I believe works for us in regards to learning here. I guess this year will either prove that it works...or not.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Oh hon, I could have written this post... well other than the part about more than one since my oldest two are done and just the youngest remains. But yes to everything else! We're having a tough go getting started. She's working on things, just not what I thought we'd have planned and started by now. As for a way to keep track of what inventory I have - still looking. I am so disorganized this year after the move. I spent time going through bins and boxes. I do have a few lists made but that's it. Beyond a word processing doc, I've got nothing! Right now I'm focusing on figuring out which "big rocks" I want in our jar before it gets filled up.