Sunday, November 27, 2011

Planning Stage

I don't know how it's possible, but it's time for me to start planning for school for next year.

Jasmine thinks we should spend the whole year doing science. She thinks it's the most enjoyable subject, but I think the state might have something to say about that.

So we're going to do a lot of science, but also spend the year studying American history and the other normal stuff.

And we're going out on a limb and doing our own curriculum for those two subjects!!!

We have access to a beautiful Christian library 10 minutes away. And what's even better is it's in the building where Josh works. So I can do a search and write to him, requesting a specific book to bring home for school the next day. How perfect is that?

We're going to stick with RightStart for math, Susan Wise Bauer's materials for language arts, and we're going to start using Sequential Spelling because we haven't found anything we like and that looks awesome.

I think this is the first post ever not to have pictures! I haven't taken any recently...well, none concerning school....I'll have to remedy that!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Enjoying the Journey

(I accidentally posted this on the family blog yesterday, so please forgive me if you've already read it over there!)

I'm finally disciplining myself and spending less time online. And I love the feeling. I feel so free! My house is staying cleaner. We got the week's school done in 4 days, and I think all but one day it was done before lunch. Which is good; tomorrow we'll start in on some of next week's school, since we have outings three days next week!!

But I did manage to get a few pictures :)

This was Monday morning's pile. One morning.
And yes, we got it all done!

Yeah, I know. It's a sandwich.
No, it's not a gun.
She recognized that the shape looked familiar: she matched it on her puzzle and proclaimed it Oklahoma!
Then she ate it, saying things like "I just ate a big church!"

Playing with the abacus after finishing her worksheet.

Bekah, proudly showing off her work.

Happy end of week 21!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Today's math lesson brought something out that I don't usually think about.
(story: they were working on their worksheet:
Jasmine used the abacus to figure out the totals, which is what the book intended for her to do. Bekah, though, figured out how straight-forward it was. On the first one, you can see a 0 that was erased between the two. She told me the right answer but wrote it the way she says it: "two ten five." She wrote "two ten (20) five." As soon as I showed her with their placecards how the 5 covers the 0, she didn't make that error again.)

Jasmine is very bright. School comes quickly to her, other than writing, so we're working on that. But the rest isn't difficult. She does worry about the future, though. She worries that she'll be left to do work on her own and not get the help she needs. I've spent a long time talking through that with her.

Bekah is in a different league from Jasmine. I'm sure we'll find something she struggles with someday...oh wait! I have it. She doesn't want to talk to other people. She thinks the family should be enough, and doesn't understand why there's a need to ever see anyone else. So there's her struggle.

Jasmine is starting to recognize the fact that Bekah can do everything Jasmine can do. And it's making her uncomfortable.

What makes this a million times harder for me is that she is ME. I always knew I was decently bright, but my brother outshone everything but talking to people. Yup, even down to that. So though I'm comfortable with who I am now and who he is now, it hurts me to see her struggle. I know how she feels, and I'm not sure how to help her through it appropriately.

It's funny. I don't really compare the kids the rest of the time. I see them as all completely different kids, who touch my heart in different ways and all three mean the world to me. But when they're both doing the same work, it's next to impossible not to notice the difference.

Anyone else go through this? I'd love to hear that I'll get better at it and not notice so much down the road!


I haven't talked much at all about math. Which is a shame, because we love the curriculum.

We're using RightStart (link is on the top left of the Blog page. Too lazy to get it myself, knowing you can see it now). Jasmine's still using the kindergarten level because we bought it for her last year, but she's going through it more quickly because of that.

Bekah's in the room for most lessons. We try to do math when Hudson's sleeping because he's just too much "help" with the abacus and place cards. But he's heard enough that when I said "six plus one equals" he chimed in "what?" and I've heard him call the abacus a "ten" (there are lots of "tens" in the way they teach counting.

It's a completely different way of doing math from what we traditionally do in America. I always loved math and did beautifully in it, but I liked the way this goes about it. It's closer to the way children in Japan are taught, but it doesn't put them at a disadvantage when they're tested using Western exams. It's just a different way of looking at math.

I'm not going to try to explain it all. If you're interested in seeing what it does, check out their site. I'll just tell you that we love it and it's done an amazing job.

And to prove that, here's Bekah's worksheet from this morning. (I will note that there are very few worksheets in their system. This is #15 and we've done more than 40 lessons).
(by the way, her 3s are blowing bubbles. My children don't lack any creativity!)