Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschooling–one month in (part 2)

On Thursday and Friday we do Math and Science.  For Math we are using Singapore Math and he LOVES math.  He’s a total nerd.  Gets that from both Paul and I! 

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Halloween 2010

Knowing that math is really easy for him I started him in '>'>Math 3B which is supposed to be the 2nd semester of the 3rd grade year. The program has an instructor book, a textbook and a workbook.  So far we’ve studied Mental Math Strategies, Length, Weight, Capacity, Graphs, Fractions and Time.  All that is left in the book is Geometry.  I don’t make  him do every single problem, because he “gets it.”  It’s really easy for him and I don’t need him to do busy work.  In an hour and a half we typically get through what the book says should take us a week or 2. 

I’ve already purchased the Math 4A stuff and I assume we will continue to blow through the math curriculum really quickly because he enjoys it so much.  This is one of the reasons I chose to homeschool him.  So he could continue to learn new things at HIS pace. 

When I asked him what he wanted to study for science he chose chemistry so I found him a chemistry book called '>'>Adventures with atoms and molecules, Chemistry Experiments for Young People.  We do one experiment on Thursday and then another on Friday and we’ve had a lot of fun so far with only one experiment not working so far.  For each experiment he writes in his notebook 1.  What did we use?  2.  What did we do?  3.  What happened?  4.  What did we learn?  Plus definitions of what we are learning about.  It’s pretty basic stuff, but I doubt he’d be doing more science in public school. 

Both Math and Science have been pretty fun to teach him.  Sometimes it’s boring having to remind him to stay focused on the math problems or getting him to write in his notebook about the science because his easily distracted, but teaching him something he enjoys makes it all worthwhile.   

I’ve got one more post about homeschooling then I’ll get back to pictures of the kids!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homeschooling–one month in (part 1)

The number one question I get these days is: “How is homeschooling going?”  (Either that or “Mom, can I have more milk?”-seriously, they drink a lot of milk these days…what is it going to be like when they are teenagers?  Maybe it would be less expensive to buy a cow!)

But back to the real topic – I am enjoying homeschooling. 

There are challenges I wasn’t totally prepared for, and it does make some things in my life more complicated, but I truly am enjoying homeschooling Aaron. 

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Let me walk you through a typical week.  Mondays and Tuesday we do Grammar, History, Spelling and Handwriting.  Wednesday is our Unit Studies. Thursday and Friday we do Science and Math.  Every day he is expected to do a typing lesson on the computer, practice the piano, read something I’ve assigned him (usually corresponding to what we are learning in history or his unit studies), read his scriptures, and read for fun.  Things like art and PE are kinda hit and miss.

For Grammar we are using First Language Lessons which has an instructor book and a student book.  It completely walks us through what the instructor needs to say, what the student should say, etc.  We do 4 lessons a week, 2 on Monday and 2 on Tuesday. So far we have been studying what the different parts of speech are and have started diagraming sentences.  It also has dictation exercises and poem memorization and I’m having him memorize scriptures too.  So far in this first month he’s memorized 2 scripture verses and one poem.  This is one of the things I’m enjoying teaching him.  We laugh together at me having to repeat the definition 3 times then him saying it with me 3 times.  I think it’s great and I’m having a good time teaching him this stuff.

In History we are using The Story of the World and are reading it out loud to each other.  Again, we do 4 chapters a week, 2 on Monday and 2 on Tuesday.  After reading each section we talk about it and then after we finish the reading I ask him to write down in his notebook at least 4 sentences about what he learned that day.  Again, the one on one of reading with him is a lot of fun.  I really like spending time with him and talking about history.  His grandfather in Utah loves history and has been sending him e-mails asking him about what he’s learning, so I usually ask him to type a few sentences each each day to Grandpa Thomas telling him what he liked learning about history that day.  More typing practice!

Both Spelling and Handwriting are workbooks therefore I feel he should be able to do this independently and this is where I get frustrated sometimes.  He gets distracted.  I find myself nagging. This part of homeschooling is not so much fun. But it’s necessary because I can’t sit and give him my undivided attention all day every day. 

The daily typing lesson is a free 12 stage program on the computer he’s done several times already, but both he and Brian are still really slow and I’m hoping to get them faster, so I keep asking them to do the lessons over again.  We’ll see. 

I’m teaching him piano lessons and while I bet another teacher would get him farther, we get along and he is getting better, so we’re going to keep doing it.  He’s expected to work on it for 30-45 min a day.

Now I gotta get more stuff done, so I’ll type about Wednesday, Thursday and Friday later.