Homeschooling has been going a lot better. At first, I had been focusing on only what the school gave us. Basically, here is a packet and a book, now go. There was no instruction for Carolynn or for me to give her. She was struggling and I was frustrated. But after talking to Carolynn, her teacher, and several other wise people, we came up with a new system. Rather than letting her work on her packets at her leisure, which was obviously was not happening; we have implemented a more stringent regiment.
We have a school schedule. We get up at a certain time; we do math at math time, history at history time, ect. Next, I read her lessons ahead and supplement them. Before Spring Break, she was learning about inventors in the early 1900’s and we found videos about The Wright Brothers, Alexander Graham Bell, and others. I even found a physics video that went with what she was learning in science. We even did a science experiment. This week she was learning about Paul Revere in language arts and I found a virtual tour of his home and route online. I found something similar to go along with her Lewis and Clark studies.
We added weekly projects. For example, she had been reading the book Sing Down The Moon by Scott O’Dell. She was interested in learning more about Native Americans. So this week, we have been doing some extra learning about Native Americans. We found some worksheets online and some literature to read. We got a Native American beading kit online and she learned to do that. On Thursday, we learned about the Mojave Indians online and went to the Mojave River Forks to hike. Then we made a Native American corn and bean chowder and corn muffins for dinner. Finally, she wrote a short essay.
Next week, she wants to learn some stuff about China. I found worksheets and guides and China facts. Plus we will make egg rolls and drink Chinese tea from our Chinese tea set. We got some fancy pens and paper to do Chinese symbols on. We have a few more good ideas for weekly projects. We are going to do one on the California Gold Rush (David’s idea) and incorporate a trip to Calico Ghost Town. We are going to do a project on local history and check out some sites. Perhaps a British project would be cool. There is a lot of history there. If you have any good ideas, send them our way.
We have added Art Project Wednesday. Carolynn takes 6 classes; language arts, history, math, science, reading and PE. No art. So, on Wednesday, we have art. The first week, we watched a video about the art of Picasso, and then painted Picasso inspired paintings. This week we had the Native American beading, and next week we are doing Chinese symbols. I have some more ideas for music and art in the future. As always, if you have any good art ideas, send them my way.
We have also added Field Trip Thursday. (Incidentally, I have Wednesday and Thursday off every week.) We went on a simple shopping trip and to the bookstore one week, this week we went hiking, next week we are going to Lowe’s for some stuff for our Earth Day project. (Next Thursday is Earth Day.) Then there is the planned Calico Trip, the local sites to visit, and some other stuff. Again, ideas are appreciated.
Carolynn’s adviser in school has agreed to tutor Carolynn in math. That is her worst subject and I am no help. So now she goes on Friday’s for an hour of tutoring with a teacher.
Finally, to make sure she wasn’t skipping PE, Carolynn joined the Apple Valley Wave Swim Team. She has practices four times a week. She gets plenty of exercise and even has made some friends. Despite the fact that she claims it is awful and she hates it and she is being forced to do it against her will, she doesn’t like to miss practice. (She had to miss a couple because of the car trouble we have been having. More on that later.)
Homeschooling isn’t so bad any more. Unfortunately, by the time I implemented this new program, Carolynn was pretty far behind. She was supposed to use Spring Break to get caught up, but it didn’t work out to well. This unit that started on Monday is all on the new plan so she won’t have a chance to get behind. The rest of this school year should be a breeze. And next year should go even smoother. We decided to stick with this same school since they offer some things that the other one didn’t… school sports, dances and field trips.