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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Have A Great New School Year

As we continue to our homeschooling through the summer we are trying to improve how our day moves along. We live in a 16x80, 4 bedroom mobile home, which is small in comparison to our old 4 bedroom, two story  house. We spend most of our time in the kitchen/living room area, which are open to each other. The two girls share a room and so do the three boys, the smallest room we turned into a library/storage room, which at this moment needs a thorough cleaning.

Trying to teach many levels is proving to be difficult, but not impossible. Most of my 3 year-old's work is done at the first thing in the morning at the coffee table in the living room, while the others do their independent work at the kitchen table. The problems begin when the 6 and 8 year-olds (they do most of their work together to so I am not teaching 5 different levels)compete for my attention, wanting me to read off only one paper his or hers and there are tears when I choose his over hers or vice versa. Then there is my 11 year-old who has aspergers, and has a hard time working independently, and is very distractable. He also has a hard time skipping what he doesn't understand, doing what he can then going back to what he missed. Many mornings I feel like I am the rope in a game of Tug-of-war. Fortunately, my 14 year-old will do his work and help the others when he is able.

After breakfast we spend time doing chores, then we gather at the kitchen table start our group work.

This is what we have been doing over the summer:

-Bible (we use Bible Study for All Ages)
-History (for now we are using American History Stories...You Never Read in School...But Should Have by   Mara L. Pratt, M.D. and Reed R. Simonsen)
 -Biography (we have been using the YWAM books while we learn about some of the missionaries who served in China.
-Reading (I listen to my readers read, and work with my beginning readers; my beginning readers use the McGuffey Readers)

We take a break for more chores (switching the laundry, folding, putting it away, vacuuming, dusting, etc.)
Next we prepare lunch.

After lunch and its clean-up we move on to more table work and work that is done on the computer.

-Math (Making Math Meaningful)
- Spelling (Spelling Power)
-Explode the Code On-Line
- Computer Science Pure and Simple

After after the afternoon work is finished the kids go outside to play, until supper time, then after supper is done and the dishes are done, the kitchen cleaned and everyone is ready for bed.We read the book we have chosen as a family (we just finished the Little House on the Prairie series with The Last Four Years, next we will be beginning The Crimson Cross series by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, you can find more information here about this series)

Next week we will be adding Science (Apologia for the older two, and Eagle's Wings Considering God's Creation by Mortimer and Smith for the younger ones).

Our home is pretty busy all year long with learning, there is so much to do, and learn, for all of us. I need to learn to not just focus on the teaching, but to keep the ones I am not working with quiet and busy. One thing that I didn't mention is that my husband works over night, leaving the house at 7:30 or 8:00pm most nights and returning home about 11:30am the next day. As you can imagine quiet is very important, but sound carries more in the mobile home than in a traditional house.

In spite of  the challenges I wouldn't give-up being with my children each day, learning, laughing, reading, and growing together. I pray that you will have a good year this year, even though I know you have your own challenges, God brought us through the newborn stages, difficult pregnancies, potty training, daily struggles that are different with each passing day, financial struggles, including having to give up our house, but God is sovereign, and knows the end results, even though I cannot see past the nose on my face some days, and He'll bring my family through, and yours too, if we only keep our eyes on Him.

I am adding this post to the Not Back to School Blog Hop. I had debated whether or not I should, because I found it only recently and wasn't sure it would fit the criteria for each individual week, but I feel this post does fit three categories in one. 

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