Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beat The Clock!

If you've read along, you'll remember that I was having some issues with Genna getting frustrated last week with the "speed drills" for math.  This week I've mixed things up and instead of setting a timer that rings when "time is up" we are using a stopwatch and just trying to beat or match or previous times.  I'm not limiting this activity to the speed drills, either.  We are also using them with addition/subtraction flashcards and with multiplication flashcards.  But, when we do the speed drills I watch to see where she is at the "time limit" designated and make a note of it without her even knowing.  Sneaky....  :)  She is now having FUN doing these activities! is a wonderful thing!  Today we opened a couple of new containers and while Genna was having instructional time he was happy as a clam making letters, numbers, and even color words with it!  And he is well on his way to being a reader, too.  He knows the vowels and their short sounds very well!  His speech therapy is also going well and I've already noticed improvement in just the few weeks we've been homeschooling. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Typical Daily Schedule & More

Thanks to my friend, Joanie, for the post idea!  :)

Our Class Schedule goes something like this:

As a rule, while I'm working with Genna, Thomas is either playing on the computer or working on a worksheet that I've printed for him.  Usually these activities relate to his schoolwork.  Then, when I'm instructing Thomas, Genna has seat work/assignments to do.

1. Math instruction for Genna
2. Phonics/Reading/Writing for Thomas....AM Reading for Genna
3. Language for Genna
4. Numbers/Math for Thomas
5. Spelling for Genna
6. Phonics Review for Thomas
7. Handwriting for Genna
8. Social Studies or Science

With time for prep, seat work, bathroom breaks, etc...the day usually lasts 3-4 hours depending on the material.

WE LOVE IT!!!  I don't believe that the kids are missing public school.  Genna would be the one I'd worry about and she hasn't said anything other than that she really is enjoying homeschooling.  She sees her good friends regularly!  Our "life schedule" has shifted, too.  Funny, because today I was talking to a customer on the phone at 2:30 and said I was fixing lunch for my kids.  LOL...well, since they eat breakfast at 9:30, then a snack, lunch is after class.  And dinner is when Kevin gets home from work.  So, we almost always have dinner as a family now!  YAY!

Each evening I spend a little while in the classroom getting organized for the following day.  This is important and makes a big difference in time management during class time. 

We've found a few websites with educational games.  I'll compile a list to share.  :)  If you know of any, I'd really appreciate suggestions!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Wow!  This has been a challenge this week with Genna.  The math course has "Timed Speed Drills" to complete.  This week was the first week that she could not complete them on time.  It didn't matter to her that the problems she did complete were almost completely correct.  And it brought back the tears of frustration from school. 

She hates that she would have assignments to do and wasn't able to get them done in the time given!  I, of course, understand why that is an issue for her.  This is a problem with ADHD.  For example...typing...I've never been as fast as most people, but one thing I manage is a rather high efficiency rate (not many errors).  I was never able to handle time limits in regard to testing either!  I'd be mortified to share my SAT score...all because of time and poor test taking skills.

Therefore, while I know we need to practice, and try to train her brain to work with time limits for future standardized tests, I believe that I will go about it a different way.  I'm still considering what to do.  Any ideas would be much appreciated!  :)  Is it something I just abandon for a while?  Or do I continue to make her do it, but add a few seconds to the time....still giving her a sense of urgency and me a measurement of improvement?

And how do I turn my little perfectionist into someone who accepts that they are not perfect?  She is so competitive - even with herself!  LOL  I can "grade" her daily work and out of 40 problems she'll get 2 or 3 wrong.  I'm praising her and one would think that I marked a big fat F on her paper!  So, I'm going to try number grades!  LOL  Which is something she hasn't ever seen in school.  In school it is just a letter grade. 

Wish us luck!  I want my little girl to be as proud of herself as I am! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Are you wondering???

Well, if you are like most people you quite possibly are wondering if we are enjoying homeschooling!  Short answer...YES!

Longer answer...we all love it and our evenings are so much happier!!!  The difference in the stress level of the entire household is tremendous!  No homework and a worry free bedtime (we shoot for 9 - 9:30, but no biggie if it is 10 or even later!) makes family life just awesome! 

That is not to say that what we are doing is easy!  Just that the trade off is well worth the reward!  My days are much more action packed.  LOL  So, basically, I've taken the work from them.  Ever tell your child "If I could take it away and give it to me, I would" when they are upset, stressed or hurt?  Well, basically, that is what I've done!  Instead of having the stress of homework and early mornings, I do more work during the day!  I'm basically a fulltime working mother now, just without an office or a boss!

I'm still a photographer, too!  My biggest challenge has definitely been balancing the two "jobs" during the busiest season of the year.  I'm behind on editing, but I do believe that we are in a rhythm now and I'll catch up over this week.  Just in time for SoccerTots to start up!  *sigh*

Chorus is amazing!  I'll have to try to get a video to post soon.  :) 

Any other questions?  I could use some post inspiration.