Monday, November 19, 2012

Lisa's Logbook - November 19

In our home education this last week...

What's working for us: A non-workbook-oriented approach to literature. I've tried a few of the more popular language arts curriculum but none of them fit my goals very well. So mainly I have my students read real literature (instead of lit textbooks) and write about them or discuss them with me. The writing could be journal entries, essays, or answers to comprehension questions (rarely). 

One place we visited: Lone Wolf Paintball in Metamora - David and James celebrated their birthdays (a bit early) at the oldest paintball field in Michigan on Saturday. They had a WONDERFUL time.

We were reading: Our reading is pretty much the same as last week. David continues with Ted Dekker's Slumber of Christianity and Emily continues her Jane Austen biography. They are both almost done with their American Literature reading - James Fenimore Cooper's Homeward Bound. James has begun The Hobbit, apparently the first time he's read it! Suzy is reading a selection of easy readers and doing better and better all the time. Les Miserables is my audiobook of the moment and I am just over 1/10 done yet. As far as print material, I am skimming through a ton of magazines.

I'm grateful for: David's second attempt at the ACT yielded an additional point on his score, hopefully increasing his eligibility for merit-based financial aid. He does not plan to retake the test a third time.

My favorite thing [last] week: Staying home for a whole day on Tuesday. That doesn't happen often! OK, and the free massage I had on Wednesday was a close second.

Favorite Resource this Week: Teaching Textbooks has been working really well for us this year, mainly due to the automated grading. Grading math is one thing that I was grateful to eliminate from my daily schedule. The instructional lectures on CD seem to work well for my kids, especially my senior who is doing Pre-Calculus. My struggling math learner has a harder time with this more independent method, so her dad works with her one-on-one most days. For the younger kids, the math 'worksheets' are on the computer. Pre-Calculus is not structured that way, so my senior does his math in a notebook and self-checks his work.

Homeschooling advice to share: Find other people to work with you to enrich your child's education. Especially as they move into their high school years, make them accountable to other people. Provide opportunities for other instructors to work with your children so that they get used to different teaching style and varying levels of expectation regarding performance. For us, our homeschool co-op provides many chances for my kids to work with different adults. Our karate class is another good example of this environment. As a writing instructor, my classes for homeschool students are increasingly designed to teach students study skills in addition to the writing skills parents expect.

Questions I have: I am wondering if All About Spelling will work for my struggling learner whom I suspect is dyslexic. Anyone have input?

A link to share: Here's a printable Bible reading chart that David is using this year. I set him the goal to read through the whole Bible during his senior year. 

I am inspired by: One of the karate masters addressing our class after our belt testing. He told us we had a strong test and encouraged us to keep progressing in martial arts.

Coming up next [this] week: Thanksgiving! Lots of writing! Hopefully some social time. And maybe even Black Friday shopping....

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1 comment:

Denise Bryant said...

The boys' paintball party sounds awesome! I'm sure they did indeed have a blast.

I like your new meme thingy!