Friday, September 07, 2007

September 7, 2007

For your homeschoolers out there, how did you go about deciding on which educational style and/or curriculum(s) to use? I know there are books available which describe the various educational styles and I plan to do some research on the Internet but if you have any tips or thoughts that you feel were important when you were making this decision or lessons learned, I would love to hear about them.

In other news, the boys and I went to my sister's house yesterday to visit with her and my mom and we also got to see my niece, Jana, and my nephew, Trent, for a few minutes too, which was nice.

The boys were so excited to see "MaMa" and "Kat-y" (her name is Kathy but they can't pronounce the "th" sound yet. They pronounce the "a" as you would when saying "Kathy" though so it does not sound like Katy) that they did not sleep at all on the way there. This was a first...and NOT a good first. I was so bummed that they were not sleeping. But they were so cute. They would hold hands across the back seat and then pull as hard as they could on each other's hands while making these grunting sounds. Yep, all boy! They were making all kinds of noises with their mouths and noting every large truck and bus that we passed.

An aside of a funny story. I have recently noticed that when Nick sees a bus, in a picture, while playing with the toy bus we have or in real life, it sounds like he calls it "beep beep". For several days, when he would say this, I would say, "yes, that is a bus", "can you say bus?" and he would try to say it and it did not sound like "beep beep". It took me a while to figure this out but I finally figured out why he calls buses beep beep. The boys have a really cute book that is called "My Car". It starts out "My name is Sam", "This is my car". It goes on to tell how he loves his car and takes good care of his car, changing the oil, etc. and how he drives it everywhere. Toward the end, it says he drives his car to work "and, when I work" (turn the page), "I drive my bus" (shows a picture of the guy in a bus). Then you turn to the last page and it says "beep beep" and shows a picture of houses and a street with lots of cars, trucks and this guy's bus. It is a funny, cute book and the boys love it. So, I think I finally figured out why Nick calls all buses "beep beep".

Anyway, back to our story. They didn't sleep at all during our drive but they still did very well during our visit. They had a fun time, playing with everyone and it was so nice to see my mom and sister again. Mom is doing very well right now and, other than her lack of hair (she wears scarves and a wig) and a little bit of shaking in her hands, you would never know she was taking chemo. She will have her next (third of four) treatment on Tuesday so the week or week and a half after that will be rough again. Overall, she is really doing well with this now, I think.

When we left, it didn't take long at all for the boys to fall asleep. The funny thing was that B fell asleep before N, which was a first. I have never seen this happen before. I happened to look back there and saw B asleep and N, leaning forward in his seat, staring at B as if he was trying to figure out what he was doing. It was really funny. N had never seen B fall asleep first so he was trying to figure out what B was doing. I think N was asleep within about 3 minutes after that and they both slept most of the way home. Even then, they only had about a one hour nap all day, which is not enough for them so they went to bed early last night.

We are suppose to have a rainy weekend here, which is fine with me. After such a hot summer, the rain is nice. The boys and I got rained on twice the other day, while out running errands. They thought it was great fun. We were at the Border's bookstore and an older gentleman gave us a gift card for $16.80, which was so nice. He requested that we check out a web site so I still have to do that. I only had to pay fifty cents for a book and some alphabet flash cards:). Yay!


Tonya said...

Homeschool curriculum is trial and error. You will buy at least a few things that you don't like. Just count on it. I am just now getting into my curriculum groove on the fifth year of formal school. What you need to do is figure out if you want to start with a boxed curriculum ("My Father's World" is a favorite of a lot of my friends) or if you want to do what I do and pick and choose by the subject. I buy seperately for all subjects and some subjects, like history, I don't use a curriculum, just books.

My best suggestion is to go to the homeschool conference in your state the year before you start formal school. Wander through the curriculum hall and look at everything. Pick up lots of flyers and magazines and take them home with you for research. Then the next year, you will know what to expect and you won't be overwhelmed with the enormity of all the choices you have. Also, it will give you time to start figuring out how your boys learn best. This will be a work in progress though. I am just now figuring out that my 10 year old does well with pnuemonic devices for spelling. He is an awful speller, but he can now spell "people" because I drew a smiley face inside the letter "o" to look like a little person. He couldn't remember to put an "o" there until 2 days ago. He kept spelling it "peeple". I did the same thing with other words and it worked like a charm. You tweak, tweak, tweak your child's education all the way through. Don't worry if the first few years seem a bit chaotic. Somehow, they still learn:):):).

Lea said...

Thanks for the tips Tonya, much appreciated!

musicmommy3 said...

OK Lea, sorry, I keep meaning to comment on this but I just never have time or a brain. LOL

Pretty much was going to say all the same stuff Tonya did. Right now I am not using any actual curriculum. I just got a big first grade workbook from Walmart and am using that as a springboard. FOr Geography we are learning the states, for history we are studying the Indians and soon the pilgrims. For Bible they memorize their verses for church. :)
We are going to order a social studies and science curriculum and hopefully a Math curric. soon.
I will say this...I was cautioned by several homeschool moms that teaching kids to read too early "can" burn them out early. (especially boys) Some kids are just geared toward learning. They love it. Others need to play until they are 5 or 6. Sounds like your boys will just be learning things through fun like my kiddos did. I was amazed at how much Judah knew when we started officially homeschooling this year. He is 5. I skipped Kindergarden and basically went right to first grade work. I wasn't going to teach him to read early (because of the advice I received) but when he asked at age 4 I decided he must be ready. So, we started slowly and now he is reading. Thomas is 4 now and reading very simple words. ( he also asked to learn) He is also doing first grade math with Judah. (he's very good with numbers) Thomas doesn't have the attention span or the patience to sit for long though. So, he takes lots of breaks and I don't worry how much we accomplish at this age with him. (technically he is doing first grade work at age 4 so I don't see the need to worry anyway.)

The most important thing to me was figuring out their learning styles so I can best teach them how they are bent to learn. They are very different learners. Judah is very visual and Thomas is very audio. In fact Thomas STILL can't tell you all the names of the letters of the alphabet. He can tell you all the sounds and can read short words but he can't tell you that Z is a zee. hee hee We are working on that. :):)

Well, sorry this was so long.

Hope y'all are over your virus.
Blessings!- Angela :)