Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Some new things we're trying this year

I mentioned yesterday that we had a few things we're doing new to try to help things move more smoothly through our homeschool day. We're back to using a schedule/routine after giving out on one last year.

This year I've added something with the assignment sheets. I highlight every assignment that the kids can do without needing instruction from me first. That way, if I'm working with another child, they can figure out what they can do on their own while they wait for their turn with me. Also, once I teach the lesson for the day, I highlight the assignment on the sheet so they know they can do that work on their own now. I hope that makes sense! In the 2 days we've been doing it, it's worked very smoothly!

The other thing I've done is taken the decision-making out of the hands for the children when it comes to which subject they will do next. I tried this for the last 2 years, and it usually ended up being more trouble because Riley would always choose something that I didn't have time for, and Austin would take 10 minutes crying because he couldn't make up his mind! LOL

As a side note, today Austin had a really good experience, and I'm so proud of him! He was doing his Rod and Staff assignment and he had left out a word. Typically this would cause a meltdown, and he would erase the entire assignment! Today I pointed out the problem, crossed my fingers, and encouraged him to use a 'carot' and write the missing word above the rest of the words. He started off with a "NO!!" and I touched his hand and said in a soft voice, "Just try it. Trust me. It won't hurt." He didn't look convinced so I added, "I'll take us out for lunch if you do it!" That got his attention! :) So I drew the carot in for him and then showed him where to write the missing word! He did it, and didn't freak out! He was so proud of himself, and I was so proud of him! And yes, we did go out for lunch! That was a small price to pay for him seeing that it's ok to not make something be perfect!

Riley learned something new in math today again... what a good idea it was to move her ahead in math! She had to add 3 addends, and picked it up very quickly! I didn't doubt that she would, but it was nice to see her learn something new! She missed one on her paper, and I laid it on her desk for correction. She handles that so much better than Austin does, and I think it's good for Austin to see how she handles correcting her errors. Also, it's good for him to see that she does make errors, too, as we all do. Riley also did a fantastic job with her copywork! She started on the smaller lined HWT paper, and it makes her copywork so much easier for her! She was probably ready for the smaller paper midway through last year!

Reece didn't do a lesson today (only doing school 2-3 days a week with her), so she played with her rice box! When that excitement wore off, she played with the new playdoh I'd picked up! She did really well, but was a little upset that the big kids wanted to take over her rice creations!

Lastly we added music today, which will be an introduction to the orchestra. I have a book (again that I bought 3-4 years ago lol) that has a CD with it, giving examples of each type of instrument and then also examples from composers! The girls danced around the living room to the excerpt!

Tomorrow is going to be our busiest day of the week, because Austin has therapy. I'm nervous about how we'll get our work done, but we'll manage it. There is a Braves game at 1 PM that Austin wants to watch, and that could be a good motivator or a source of stress. He doesn't have that much written work to do tomorrow, so hopefully it'll work out OK! We only have therapy until the end of August so it won't be an issue much longer!

That's about all for now!

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