Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lessons learned from our first week back in the homeschool saddle

1.  I love Sonlight's language arts program!  We used a Sonlight Core last year, but this is our first year to use their language arts.  I know how to write, but teaching it is another matter.  I love that they lay it all out for you and connect it to the readers.  They also give schedules for both Grammar Ace and Wordly Wise (we're doing Grammar Ace together and Monk and Twinkle Toes are doing Wordly Wise 6 and 4, respectively.) 

2.  I'm not sure if the switch to Teaching Textbooks for math was worth it or not.  So far, neither of my kids has cracked a CD.  Maybe that's because it's still just review.  Speaking of review, all three kids forgot a lot of math over the summer.  I'm kicking myself once again for not making them review their math, at least periodically, all summer long.

3.  I'm so glad I added science for Twinkle Toes and art for both Monk and Twinkle Toes!  They have more time in the day than I thought they would and have had no trouble getting everything done.  I alloted one hour per individual study block, but art and reading are only taking 30-40 minutes.  Math and science are taking closer to the full hour. 

4.  We're all enjoying our read-alouds and readers- thank you, Sonlight!  We've been consistent with the timeline and map activities this week, unlike last year.  We read for about 45 minutes in the living room then move to the table where we spend 10 or so minutes on map and timeline and then 30-40 minutes on language arts. 

5.  This is the first year I've done dictation with the kids.  My older two are doing well, but my 7 year old is really struggling!  In addition to Sonlight's weekly dictation assignment, we're doing daily dictation exercises from Spelling Wisdom book 1.  I know it's doing them all a world of good.  It's helping my older two pay closer attention to punctuation and occasionally they find a word they didn't know how to spell.

6.  My wonderful planned pre-school activity stations are not working for Louie.  She's almost 23 months, so maybe it's an age thing.  I'm having a really hard time keeping her quiet while the older kids are doing school.  We're having our read-aloud time while she naps in the morning.  (I dare not drop her morning nap, then what would we do?)  I'm so grateful for the nice fall weather we're having!  I can always just send my pre-schoolers outside to play.  Of course, sometimes I happen upon scenes like this one...

Yes, that is a snake wrapped around Prince's head.  (Measle has given her little brother a new nickname.  He's now called Prince and Louie is Queen.)  And, yes, Queen is wearing her birthday suit- her favorite outfit these days.  At least she wasn't in the sandbox.

So, how was your first week?  What have you learned?  Any tweaking going on?


  1. I have not used Sonlight. I have looked at it though. Funny, we have never cracked open the textbooks for TT! My kids really like the lessons being presented on the computer. There are fun sound effects, and instant feedback. And I don't have to grade!

  2. Okay, if I can pull myself up off the floor (ROFL), I will tell you that everything is going pretty well here. I do most of our lessons in small chunks. I learned early on that fits us well. Omnibus, however, is a big chunk where the most tweaking has happened. We have cut the secondary reading material entirely. The primary is weighty enough. Summer reading, perhaps?
    I had just stopped giggling over the picture on the notecard you sent. Now I have something new to keep me smiling. Your Queen is a corker!

  3. Glad to hear that Sonlight--including the Language Arts--is working out for you! May Teaching Textbooks be worth it when everyone gets back into the swing of math.




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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.