Wednesday, June 23, 2010

School Daze

Well the school year has ended and I didn’t have much time or energy left over at the end of the day to keep the blog going or much time for taking pictures (so I dont have many photos to share, but have a few more I will put up). Maybe after I get the hang of Homeschooling a little more I will be able to better balance everything.
The homeschooling was successful this year or at the very least I am able to say: “We got through it okay”. I purchased an overly structured curriculum to use as a template and it did keep us on track and very busy. I did a lot of adjusting and tweaking with the schedule to help integrate our daily routine into the demands of homeschooling. We stuck very close to the curriculum in Language, spelling and science but the way the mathematics was set up just didn’t work very well with Daniel so I went off the curriculum and I tried using more practical applications and problem solving with him which was less structured and leaned more towards the Singapore approach and he did very well.
Invariably, each day, regardless of the topic we ended up merging the curriculum into our daily lives and the environment around us. We used the tests as a benchmark to shadow how well we were progressing based on standards, but, I was amazed at how much work we got done when we broke free of the confines of the curriculum. Daniel still has such an intense liking for plants and nature that many times we just went in that direction and made it our bases for the studies that day. This passion of his helped us to work on science and nature, Spelling, language. We still needed to focus on “sight words” for spelling and we took a president every other day in chronological order and researched and wrote a story about him. We found a homeschooler group which meets at different parks around the area so that the kids can play and make friends, but Massachusetts doesn’t seem to have as many homeschoolers as other states from what I have read.
I found it was impossible to clearly segregate school time and non school time within the same household space but we eventually struck a balance that worked for us.
I found a nice preschool workbook that Rebecca used and it worked out well for her as she was able to join us. James continues to attend public school has been moving forward in leaps and bounds with his ABA and academics at school. We found out this week that James is losing Mrs. Kingsley (who designed and implemented James’ program at school) and his Individual Learning Assistant (ILA) Mrs. Gaboury who worked very closely with James over the past few years. So they will be very much missed in the coming school year.

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