New Changes:Independence

I love being a home educating mom! It's the best thing that we've done for our family. Not too long ago, I was asked what we do for our school at the 6th grade level. This person was trying to see if they were up to where she thought they need to be. Now, that I look back on what I told her, I began wondering if we were where we needed to be. It's funny how when you really look at what you're doing, and you begin to doubt yourself. Actually, it's not funny and it's something that I really dislike!

After spending some time on  The Homeschool Lounge last week, I began to see a little something that I need to try and work on and that is independence.  Just a little plug for THL, if you are a home educating mom and you are not a member there, I highly recommend it. I've learned so much from other moms who are just like me, trying to do what is best for our children. There are many groups that pertain to so many different things, you'll find just the right one or two or three.**I'm not being paid for this.**

Now, back to the independence ~ I'm an involved Momma. I like to be sure the work is being completed before the end of the day and I like to know immediately if there is some "not understanding" going on. For me, that meant for every subject, I was right there ~ involved. As of today, that has changed. I was going to try and start this in January but I thought about it over the weekend, I decided I needed to just go for it. So I got a few folders and began working on Sunday afternoon.  Here is what our day looks like now.

Together Time

Bible ~ We pray and read the Bible along with our verse memorization. At the moment we are reading through the book of John and we are working on Different by Design written by Cary Schmidt. We were given this book by our new church. The teen group is working on it on Sundays and there is a family section that goes with each lesson. So I'm able to be involved in this.

Language Arts ~ We are still using Learning Language Arts Through Literature and we love it! We work together on the grammar and the book study. This is the main book that I read aloud. The books in this year's lessons, I've never read, so I'm enjoying reading them out loud. I'm also reading classic out loud. As for our reading...I don't pick books for my son to read. I allow him to pick the books. I want him to learn to love reading and if I pick the book, then it may not be something that is pleasing to him. I want him to read something that he likes. I do have a list of books I'm compiling that might spark an interest. He will have to hold the book and decide if it is for him. Spelling changed rather quickly! I felt my son was having problems with spelling, so I purchased Sequential Spelling. Well, that was the wrong thing to do. I was asked, "Momma, am I such a bad speller, that I need this. This is something that a kindergartener would do." Let's just say that I put that book quickly away. We are using an online spelling list along with Spelling City. I'm also using Winston Grammar three days a week as an added kick to our grammar.

Writing ~ I scrapped the Writing Strands book. It was all me ~ I did not care for this way of teaching. Good writing is complicated enough for a lot of people and it's not easy for my son. So I went back to the trusty concept map and note cards and allowing him to write on a topic that he chooses to learn more about.

Activities/Experiments ~We spend time working on the activity pages in our Science Journal and anything else that sparks an interest.

Review Time ~ At the end of our school hours, we spend a few minutes reviewing over what was read in History and Science. I also use this time to go over our maps, historical documents and review for any quizzes or tests.

Independent Time

This is what I have a hard time with.  I like to be the one teaching these subjects.

Math we use Teaching Textbooks. I'm not actually involved, but I can be if needed. (Not so bad)

History and Science I assign the daily pages that need to be read and questions that need to be answered. This is not too bad for History, since we are using Abeka and they have comprehension checks throughout the chapter.  Science is another thing, we use Apologia Young Explorer Series and there are not really any questions throughout the chapter, since they have a narration section after so many sections.The review questions are at the end of the chapter. Because of this, I come up with my own questions. Both History and Science have a folder where questions are answered and kept until the end of the week, when I remove them and place them in the BIG folder, where I store all the papers for the year.

Copywork/Penmanship  is very similar to the other two. I have a folder with the papers ready for the week.

I have an assignment form that is filled in every morning and all my son has to do is check off what is completed and he can bring me his work and the form when he is finished. You can see it HERE.

I was faced with a little resistance this morning with the new changes. It was quickly nipped and our day went smoothly.

I will admit, I don't care for change, I can see my son is the same way. But our school day went quickly and I see that this change is a good thing.