Monday, November 2, 2015


I promise I haven't fallen off the planet here. I am having trouble getting to the computer with a keyboard. The tablet drives me mad and the upstairs computer is not convenient or is occupied. I am hoping we can get a smaller downstairs computer soon. Black Friday is coming. By the time I do get to the keyboard, it is late in the afternoon and I am staring into the abyss trying to recover from hours of 'on' time. Anyway...

On the homeschooling front, I have created a checklist template for the girls to work from. Prior to the week, I spend an hour or so putting together their tasks for the week and print it off. They work from their checklists and this is working reasonably well.

Help me understand curriculum. I ordered a few workbooks and curriculum several weeks ago. Overall I am happy with what I ordered, but I am somewhat surprised by what publishers consider a year's worth of work. The map workbooks came in and there are only twenty to thirty lessons in them. These won't last a year, not even close. The girls both love them so it will be hard to keep them down to one lesson a week.

The grammar program is only supposed to take fifteen minutes per lesson to keep it bite-sized, but you could do two or three lessons in fifteen minutes. There's just not a lot there. Grace was upset by how short the lessons are so we decided to double them up. I suspect I'll have to buy the next level up in January. Again, we both like the program, but there's not a lot there.

The only thing I bought that has close to what I expect a year's worth of curriculum to contain is the Seton math book. Am I missing something here? Even the copybooks will take strategic stretching to make them last the whole year.

Is this deschooling for all of us? Are our expectations so out of proportion that we don't feel comfortable unless we drill, drill, drill? I don't know. Right now, they have maybe an hour's worth of work to do everyday. Maybe. Is that enough? Of course with wrangling two girls, a toddler, Sam, and the endless rounds of required food, that hour's worth of work can take all morning.

Math with Grace is becoming something of a problem. She doesn't love the Fred books and tries to avoid them except when she decides she likes them and then binges through the lessons. She is frustrated with Khan because it presents problems before she knows how to solve them, but then she resents having to ask for help. She wants lessons presented and then problems to solve. But the idea that I note what she is struggling with on Khan and then have a table lesson apart from the computer was not met with enthusiasm. More deschooling? Age-appropriate boundary pushing? I don't know.

Math used to be her favorite subject and now she growls and cries about it. She is pining for a workbook like Olivia has. On one hand, I think the dynamic of struggle and understanding is good for her. On the other hand, I am not sure I should press this too hard right now as everything is changing. Maybe I should just buy her a math workbook and be done with it?

Olivia is thriving like I always suspected she would. It isn't problem free, but her issues aren't hard for me to tackle.

On the housekeeping front, my alarm clock is a failure. I just don't want to set an alarm. Maybe I should. Maybe I will set it for a more moderate 7:30. That sounds better. I can't sleep the morning away, but I also don't really want to drag myself out of bed. The morning muffin really mitigates my need to be out of bed. We will see.

I have hit a roadblock with the cleaning. I desperately need to get going on the kitchen again, but mentally I just can't seem to do it. When we finish with school and lunch and the readaloud, I just can't bring myself to go to the kitchen and clean. I need to do it. I still haven't developed a meal plan which mentally seems to hinge on finishing the kitchen.

I had such a good momentum on cleaning a month ago and then it all went to crap. A month ago, I was letting the homeschooling slide and now we have developed a much more solid routine. Related? I think so. Argh.  Still working on the transition.


entropy said...

On the curriculum front it is not a terrible problem to have your kids blow through a year's worth of work in one semester. If they and you like the book just move on to the next. They will be ahead! You could change curriculum next year if you are worried or use next semester to focus on other things.

One of my kids hated Fred and another loves it. That is the beauty and curse of options. What to choose!

Good luck with the cleaning. If we had a good school week, the house will definitely be a mess and vice versa. I have only commisseration and no good advice for you except to get over not feeling like it and just do it. And make the kids clean up at the same time every day. But I still suck at consistent cleaning so... grain of salt and all.

MrsDarwin said...

Basic math workbook: Modern Curriculum Press. It's a lot of pages of problems, but sometimes the kids need pages of problems. Jack was having trouble with a more theoretical math program, and he doesn't read well enough for Khan (independently), but the MCP 2nd grade book is great because he can read math problems. I set a timer and we see how many he can do in ten minutes, and he enjoys that well enough.