Friday, March 23, 2012

Character/ Values based Christian Curriculum.

After listening and reading Andrew Kern of Circe Inst., I began to ponder what exactly MY goal as a Mom, Home Educator and mentor to my kids was...I want to focus on those goals of Truth, Beauty, Loveliness, Honesty, Virtue, Patience, Diligence, Courage, Wisdom.

This morning, after reading an article from Circe on "Laziness" I realized I am battling with this vice. I am never not busy! I am always engaged in one or more than one pursuits at a time. No one would label me lazy, yet I am.

I would rather scrub toilets or organize a closet, or vacuum, or weed the garden, or change vacuum bags...ANYTHING but setting down and writing out lesson plans......anything than engaging my grumpy kids in conversation, anything than make those all important collection calls...

I asked my kids this morning what THEY thought laziness was....and each said "laying around and doing nothing." I also asked each one if they thought they were lazy. Each one denied it, because they are all involved in many pursuits...studying lines for a play, building with Lego, playing with the dog, doing a half-@ssed chore here and there....yet when I told them the meaning of laziness....NOT doing what you are SUPPOSED to be doing....We all admitted we were struggling against Laziness. We confessed our sin, one to another....prayed...and wrote down 5 things we should do today, and remain focused and purposeful in them. It was one of those "Homeschool Moments".

So, I am really thinking we need to delve into our search for Truth, our quest "To Know God and To Love Him". To overcome our tendencies toward the 7 deadly sins....and to focus on Virtue and Honor...Truth and Love...The Fruits of the Spirit and to rise to the calling that God has placed upon HIs children.

So, That is my short order

Waxing Totally Philosophical today.....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Assessment Results...

Had a meeting with Mrs. Coleman Friday to go over the results of Carl's assessment.
The assessment we had was designed to check his memory...both short and long term....and look for gaps in his thinking,  which is typical in Lyme patients.  They lose words....thoughts mid sentence etc.
So,  what we found....
His short term memory is amazing.  His long term memory has weird gaps.
He can do high levels of mathematics...but his math facts are weird gaps...:tongue_smilie:  +4's and x4's????  strange.
He also didn't remember to indent in his essay,  or use commas. 
His essay was actually really good other than format,  which surprised me.  He seems to be getting his words and vocabulary back....quicker than I thought:D

It was suggested to use GED test prep books, Editor in Chief editing books,  Building Thinking Skills at the High School level and work on Logic and analogies.    We will also be drilling facts with flash cards and drill sheets that I can print up. 

Our goal is to take an SAT in June and again in September/ October and then a GED in the Fall.  I would like him to start CC classes for the Spring semester. 

He did way better than I thought he could and I am relieved to see his personality and his thinking coming back. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Academic Assessment/ Evaluations for Carl

Part of Carl's Lyme disease was a break from academic work.  He thinker was not working great.  Over the past 9 months,  we have slowly returned to reading, writing, math, social studies and even science. 

He needed to be built up physically first....then spirituakly,   and finally academically.  He began by reading simple books....ones that he could just enjoy,  no real thinking required,  and steadily built his reading and comprehension skills back up to almost where they were before Lyme.

Today,  we went to get an evaluation from a longstanding member of the homeschooling community.  She has graduated 4 of her own children and has helped scores of others,  particularly those with learning disablilities.  I called her on a whim that she might be interested in Carl's case....and even though he wasn't typically learning disabled,  he had some special needs and circumstanmces due to his bout with Lyme.  She agreed and had me bring him on down!

WHAT a LOVELY woman.  She made him so comfortable....and I was able to listen in without him knowing :-)
He was so relaxed and calm....thanks to her...and I think the eval was thorough.  She even had him do a writing sample.  Oh,  and all those years of dictation....part of the eval was dictation!!!  She dictated sentences at increasing difficulty...and he had to write them after 2 readings.  Hmmmmm....sounds familiar!!
There were memory tests and sequencing....math assessment etc.  It took about 2 1/2 hours.  We have an appointment next week to go over the results and receive recommendations of materials to help him fill any gaps she finds.
Anyway,  just thought someone would want to know some positive parts of his saga

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Art of Mindful LivingThe Art of Mindful Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peaceful. I listened on an audiobook. Other than the gong...this was a relaxing book....and the message was timely for me.

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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherBattle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amy Chua is my new hero. If I had the money, and a chinese mother....I would want to be her.

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Life as We Knew It...

Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Predictable. My 13 Yo will like this one.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week in Review....2/28- 3/2/12....

Just a quick re-cap:

We are plugging, chugging, slugging a snails pace, yet making progress.

We are still working in those 1st 9 weeks of Core W....will we NEVER see the end?? How on earth do they expect us to read 150 pages of Augustus Caesars World in 6 school days?? There is WAY too much compacted info for us to barrel through at breakneck pace. My kids won't remember a thing, so what would be the point of losing my voice reading to them?
We finished 35 of the 150 pages.
We covered the Ides of March, Who Julius Caesar was and WHY the senate assassinated him. The phrases Veni, Vedic, Vici and Ettu Brute, Octavian, Cicero, Cleopatra and Marc Antony and their parts in the Roman story.

Gracie is reading : The Ides of April
Cubby is reading: Mystery of the Roman Ransom
Hammy is reading : Sir Gawain the Good
I am reading: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom.

Grace realized she is NOT ready for Algebra 1 and I was NOT holding her back intentionally. Nope, no math geniuses in this house....sob.

Cubby is plugging along in CLE. He is working on 309.

Hammy is enjoying his break from CLE...and did 5 lessons from A Beka Math 2.

Bible: we read 4 chapters from Grandfather's Box....entering the New Testament and the beginning of the fulfillment of God's promise to Adam and Eve. The kids ALL love this book and beg me to read it first....every day.
We also finished our readings in Ezekial and moved into the Book of Daniel. I LOVE the book of Daniel.

Language Arts:
Everyone moved forward on their spelling lists, grammar lessons and writing lessons.
Gracie wrote 2 chapters of her "mystery" assignment. This was a Sonlight Core W assignment....and she took it to heart and is running with it. It is going to take longer than the 2 week allotment.....but, she is into she wants to do it on her own time.

Cubby and Sam each did a week of WWE. Hammy is still doing copy work and narration, Cubby is doing well with guided summaries and dictation. He is getting more accurate in his spelling and punctuation.

The kids all worked on nouns ....all kinds of nouns, subjects, noun markers, plural, singular, predicate nominatives, common nouns, proper nouns.....we looked for nouns in our writing, we looked for nouns in our reading....we diagrammed the It was a nouny week.

Science: We are reading Archimedes and the Door to Science. This week the kids worked on buoyancy. They made a bunch of different boats out of all sorts of materials and tried to see which would float best in our bathtub. They used other objects to see which would sink their boats. We watched the Magic Schoolbus video Ups and Downs.....sinking and floating.

We learned about all types of levers and screws. We learned about the 3 classes of levers. We learned about. Force, fulcrum, resistance (load). We talked about every day levers and then I had them run around and find levers we use every day. We talked about pulleys and how they are actually levers....and how a series of levers can move extremely heavy objects.

I think this year we will finish up with Rome and call history DONE.....then focus more on science, art study and music. I want to find a piano teacher for Hammy and maybe Cubby. ...
Reminder to me: Place ad on homeschool message board! I would like them to begin the Suzuki method of learning piano, but I don't know if I can find a teacher in this backwoods town......sigh.....

Well, that's about it.....