Monday, February 27, 2012

Are you still homeschooling???

Is it the end of February already? The quote, "The days are long but the years are short," is a quote that if I didn't know better I would think that I wrote it myself.  However, I did not. Gretchen Rubin wrote it but it does describe how I feel about things lately.  The days have been sometimes painfully long but all too often I realize the girls are growing up at lightening speed.  Yes, they are still young, but they are no longer babies. I do not want another baby nor do I want them to be babies again but it does give a mommy and odd feeling when a stage of your child's life is gone.

Zoey especially is far from babyhood. Sierra still requires somethings that make our home not completely baby free (diapers at night) but at three and a half she is so very independent. Zoey is completely and totally a school-age child. This is fun and new to me. Teaching preschool for so many years left me with the experience of children only to the age of five. Going off into this new stage in her life has had its ups and downs and with Zoey they are some wild ups and downs. No surprise there. This brings me to the title of this update, "Are you still homeschooling?" I have a dear friend that asks me this every time she sees me. It makes me laugh on the inside. She says it nicely but questioningly. I always answer with a smile on my face, "Yes." "How are things going?" Good, is always a better answer than, well I wanted to drop her off at the closest school last week and not pick her up until she turns 18 but I decided against it. And I mean like not pick her up at all. Ha ha! Yes we are still homeschooling. Yes we have good days and bad days. Yes she is learning. No I have not decided what we will do for high school yet. My goodness she is only six.

So what are we doing and how are things going? At the beginning of the year we started an American History curriculum that started with Native Americans. Zoey loved this so much and she continues to love history now even though we have moved into American Revolution and so on. Lately we have made wigs, like George Washington, that were so cute. We made binoculars and went exploring like Lewis and Clark. We continue to learn about a new state or two each week. Zoey was very happy to finally get to Texas and Florida. I wonder why she likes those states so much. She also has memorized her address although she still says South Carolina sometimes. Science continues to be fun to with simple experiments that both girls can do. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is seeing that Ah-ha moment. We were doing an experiment where we put ice and water in a glass jar and waited.  After a while we observed water on the outside of the jar. I asked how it got there and Zoey looked and looked at it then her eyes lit up. "It is from the air! The water in the air!" This was something we had discussed before but now she saw it happening right before her and connections were made. She was so happy and proud of herself. We were all excited. I thought it was funny though that it took a while for a tiny bit of water to appear. In Florida there is water on the outside of your glass all the time. No waiting required.

An ah-ha moment happened today too with math. Zoey was using the Cuisenaire rods and discovered one of her math problems had a 12 in it. The Cuisenarre rods are one through ten.(Thanks cousin Danielle for the C-rods)  I showed her how 12 is simply a ten rod and a two rod. No biggie. We have done this before. I took that time to show her how the ten rod was the 1 and the two rod was the 2. I explained some very basic place value and a light bulb went off. "Ohhhh, I get it...." and she continued on telling me what she did indeed get. I love moments like those. We have very frustrating times too but what would you expect when you put me with Zoey?

Zoey is doing very well with reading and loves to read to her sister. She really amazes me with the words she can read sometimes. She tells me all the time how happy she is that she can read.

We also are still doing unit studies. I want to keep up-to-date on those too but they need a whole separate post. Maybe there will be a post of Ferdinand in a few days. Please don't hold your breath. Life is just too crazy. As always thanks for reading. I still can't believe it is the end of February already. Only 13 more weeks of school left. Why does it go so fast? Note to self: slow down and enjoy. It will be over before you know it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

All About Spelling and Reading

All About Spelling is a multi-sensory spelling program but you don't have to take my word for it. Check out their website. They are having a contest for a $100 gift certificate to their website and one way to enter is to blog about it. I really want this program for the girls. It is excellent but if for some reason someone ends up not liking the program it can be returned within a year of purchase! Wow! That is some return policy. 

With my spelling I can use all the help I can get to teach the girls how to spell correctly so I hope to win this!

They also have a new program to teach reading, All About Reading. This will be perfect for Sierra this fall.