The Classical Cat Corner

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. --Austin Phelps

Friday, February 17, 2006

A homeschooling post! GASP!

Well, well...I think I'll actually post about homeschooling! SUR-prise, SUR-prise! as Gomer says.

I have found what works for us. I may have to take the "Classical" off of my Blog title though! But my heart does just love the classical style of education. We've settled on Robinson Curriculum. We really haven't even started reading any of the books, but Sweet Pea 1 is learning some of the vocabulary for the first book he'll read in another week or so. Actually sometime last year he read a few books from the RC and we both really enjoyed them. He read them alone and then I read them again aloud so that Sweet Pea 2 could hear and enjoy.

We have our system going with our lessons and life is much more pleasant around here now. SP1 is working on all math facts. He knows I would guess around 85-90% of the facts over all operations. He knows his subtraction and addition superbly, so we are working on speed for those. He knows most of his muliplication and division but those 7s, 8, and 9s are rather hard for him and are the ones he doesn't know without skip counting. So each day we work on math (Singapore math)and/or math facts. He reads for 30 min. each day (this week we went up to 45). I haven't had him start on the Robinson books yet, but that will be coming soon. Today he read from the encyclopedia. Yesterday, he read from Child's Story of America. Before that he read Apologia Elementary Zoology I. He is a sponge when he reads so I don't fret about not having "formal" science or history. He does copywork each day and has been copying his Awana verses that he would recite the following Wednesday. He has almost finished his book for the year so yesterday and today he copied from the encyclopedia anything of his choice. Today, he chose gasoline. Yesterday, he chose oil. The day before it was cats. We took a trip to the library today and guess what book he chose? One on small gasoline engines! I'm not going to stop that reading!

We do grammar two or three times per week. I like the Growing with Grammar program quite a bit. It is very much like Rod & Staff without so much work. It will provide a good foundation in writing by starting with the basics. We also do Writing Trails in American history but we haven't been so structured with getting that in lately. I will soon though. I want to do one of those assignments every other week. It is really good for teaching dictionary skills, using a thesaurus, and working on key work outlines and rewriting their own story.

Latin...well, let's just say that I've decided to sit that on the shelf at least until Fall....maybe longer. I really believe in the educational value of it, but I have to get SP1 more mature and not bucking the "sysem" aka ME so much. So far, so good, but I don't want to rock the boat with that just yet.

We do have our Bible curriculum and we cover that a day or so during the week, but with Awana, he learns a lot too, so I don't sweat that. Cursive handwriting is coming along well. SP1 actually has a nice cursive handwriting but I only require that he keep the skill fresh by writing one line per day. He is fine with it, and so am I.

Well, I think that covers it for him. (Besides piano practice, which is still a bone of contention with us sometimes....he just gets frustrated too easily.)

With SP1 doing his own work, that leaves quality time for SP2 to learn and grow. I'm very pleased with his progress since we started this way of learning in January. He does his own copywork each day on his own, we're working on his math facts, learning to read and almost finished up with his first level of RightStart Math. He'll be getting ice cream next week for finishing his book!!!

Both boys are enjoying listening to Series of Unfortunate Events on books on tape. They tell me things and we discuss it. They get so excited to listen to these stories. I'm not in the "reading aloud" mood but they still get to enjoy books being read to them for awhile, while I regroup and can take up the banner again!


At 8:31 AM, Blogger Stephanie in TX said...

I love the Robinson stuff. We use their books, and quite a few of their ideas here as well. There's nothing "un"classical about it, actually: reading, writing, math - there you go!

My son loves the Tom Swift books, especially.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Marce said...

It is really amazing how small the internet world is. I found a post of yours on KH, and visited your blog. I was so inspired by the Home Schooling post. My daughter turns 5 this yr, but misses the cutoff to enter public school. This frustrated us, but also motivated us to change our approach and try homeschooling instead. I look fwd to reading more about your HS adventures! (And your knitting too of course ;-))

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Olive Oyl/Pensguys said...

That great, Marce!!!

Let me know if I can help!

Stephanie, thanks for making me feel better! ;)


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