Friday, April 06, 2012

The Joy of Homeschooling (Reece)

I have been meaning to post so many things recently about Reece and our adventures in home education, but I keep running out of time. It seems like my motivation to sit down and compose my thoughts has waned, but I know I will want to be able to look back and reflect on this time later. So I need to get better at writing out my thoughts and observations.

Basically, Reece is an absolute joy to homeschool right now! It's absolutely wonderful to watch her make connections and really apply the things we are working on together. She is enthusiastic and anxious to learn and it's so delightful! (I think it's also magnified by the fact that her siblings are completely the opposite in every way right now, but I digress)

Math is going beautifully. After the drawing lessons concluded, we jumped head-long into subtraction with regrouping. I was nervous about this because it is an area where I personally struggled, and where Austin struggled as well, back in the day. And RightStart teaches subtraction with regrouping (or you may have grown up calling it "borrowing" - but don't get me started on THAT) in a much different way than I'd ever seen before. In fact, I once again debated whether or not to teach her the RightStart way or the traditional way. But I decided to trust in their approach that has worked so well with her this far - and I was not disappointed. In fact, I think if I had been taught this way I would never have been so confused myself!!!

She moved up to her new Spelling book and she continues to really love it. And, despite the fact that I'm not really fond of spelling workbooks in general, she seems to be applying what she is learning in it to her other writing! She is also devouring history right now and is so disappointed when there is no history listed on her schedule. I promised her that we will do history every single day in 5th grade! LOL

One thing that has impressed me this term is her comprehension of a rather difficult book that I'm reading aloud. The book is called The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat and because it was published in 1847 it has fallen into Public Domain and is available for free if you click on that link. I had purchased it several years ago to read to the big kids when we were doing that year of Ambleside Online but put it aside because it was very challenging and I just didn't have enough time. I picked it up this year for Reece sort of by accident because we aren't in that time period at all. But I decided not to worry about it and we kept going. The language is very complex and challenging and sometimes I wondered if she was getting the story, but she really is. In fact, she stopped me at a very exciting part involving some robbers attacking the cottage and she explained how SHE would handle that situation - and it was a remarkably clever idea! We're nearing the end of the story, and I am so glad that I took the time to share this book with her.

I have been debating introducing French and/or Latin for Reece. She seems to be ready for it as evidenced by her ability to apply her grammar lessons to her own writing (and in everyday life). And she has been asking for both for a long time now, so I know she's motivated. The big question is do I have time to add anything else to my plate right now? As I alluded to earlier, lessons are not going nearly as well with the big kids, and it's been very draining and exhausting for me. Truly, I understand now why so many people put their kids back in school for middle/high school. It is a LOT of work to homeschool the upper grades, especially if you don't use a packaged curriculum or tutors. And that's before you even factor in the whole "teenage angst/hormone" drama that occurs! LOL I will never again judge when a homeschool mom tells me that she is putting her teenager back in school for middle school or high school. But that's a post for another day! :)

So there's a little update on the joy that is homeschooling Reece right now! I find myself wondering if it's because she's the one who has had the benefit of a Charlotte Mason-style education her entire life? Or if it's because I'm more relaxed with her due to my own experience with the older kids? Or if it's her age or personality? Or maybe a little bit of all of that - or maybe God is simply blessing me right now for putting up with two teenagers?! ;) Whatever the reason may be, I will take it and enjoy it for as long as it lasts!

1 comment:

bookworm said...

I think that some kids are easier to homeschool than others. I'm so psyched for you and Reece!