Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rolling Along...6 weeks.

First Day of School Ziggy wasn't so sure about this school Business...It just means Mama and sisters are distracted from playing with him!

Last week wrapped up our 6th week of school! I've decided to make every 6th week an "easy" week, we don't do History, we do a fun audio book for language arts, and we take it easy.

We're trucking along with Brain Integration Therapy exercises I'm struggling with these, it's really hard to balance the fact that "if we're going to do this, we need to do it right!" and "we're just going to do the best we can and hopefully any thing we do is benefitting and helping to integrate and resolve midline issues."

The positive is that dd1 is doing her computer-based vision therapy every day.  The writing 8 exercises have improved their handwriting and are resolving reversals and issues they have in that regard.

It's just hard to balance my desire to be delight-driven in our school days, and our need to make progress and give them the best foot forward educationally. It has been really challenging and a bit intimidating.

Where have we landed?

Each year I go in with lots of big ideas and then life happens and things get sifted down to reality.  I end up finding a sweet spot of what is enjoyable and working, and what is not.


Roo is completing her vision therapy, BIT exercises, A section of History and Timeline work, Two Miqon Math lab sheets, and alternate days of Science reading and a Journal page (a paragraph and optional illustration) daily. This is not with out some complaints and whining. I've come up with a reward situation where she gets 30 minutes of coveted time playing with a friend (it's an online server and she emails her friend to set up a time, yay for practice writing, spelling, online safety and communication- learning on several levels!) on a Star Stables game if she gets every thing done with a positive (or at least neutral) attitude.
So far that is working well. She also whips through books like nobodies business, she's reading 4-5 chapter books a month at this point, I can't say what a joy it is to see her taking off with reading. I also can't believe how reading has improved her spelling skills! She has jumped from phonetic spelling to rarely misspelling words in the last month. Again, I'm thrilled...It means so much, 3 years into this homeschooling thing to finally be seeing that she's getting it! And older homeschool Mom told me that usually homeschooled kids will often be behind grade level until 3rd or 4th grade and then ZIP they get it and jump well ahead of their peers on almost every  level, I am starting to see the truth in this statement. Not that I care if the kids are academically ahead, I just want them to enjoy learning, but it is rewarding to see I'm not stunting them by keeping them home, ya know? I was wondering there for a while...It's been quite a journey of faith.
Ziggy gets in on Miqon Math Labs too!

Friendly.. Friendly really enjoys school, most days we don't have a bit of trouble with her attitude. The only problem is when it takes longer to get to actually doing school because the baby is having a rough day. She completes her BIT exercises, a page of reading out loud (to me), two Miquon Math lab sheets,  and a journal writing page daily. She also listens to History and completes the timeline work and other assignments along side Roo. She is passionate writer and very interested in literature. She spends much of her days outside with her kindle listening to audio books or playing with Pip. 
I had lofty goals with Pip when we went into the school year, but it's landed where it always does...Enjoying reading things together and busy work. She's really a lot more academically focused than her sisters were at this age, and it's been a lot of fun to see her work at things. I bought her a bunch of these amazing busy books at the start of the school year and she just whips through at least 4 pages a day, she loves cutting and pasting and problem solving. We've been enjoying a daily chapter of Milly Molly Mandy together and a Bible story from this curriculum  (it has a coloring book to work on as well), it's been really quite perfect..Depending on the Bible story I'll throw in some Heart of Dakota finger play as well- she really just didn't like the stories from Heart of Dakota and it's not like she's my only student- there's too much going on to try to push through any thing she's not loving! I love the Finger plays though and the Bible Memory songs so it isn't all a waste. :D

He's 1, enough said. Oh my goodness! Some days are awful. He's climbing every thing, into every thing, and often melting down because I'm not playing with him. Some days are awesome though, he's happy to play with whatever sibling isn't doing school, he enjoys watching Sesame Street with Pip...He discovered how crayons, markers, and pens work and we've taken to laying down big pieces of paper for him to scribble on...
He really is very much a little scientist and loves to try to figure stuff out, he will sit for quite some time just studying some thing, he spent a good 10 minutes (an eternity for a 1 year old) trying to get this hole punch tool to work on his paper.

 He also loves to take part in the BIT exercises, he finds his spot and does his lunges like his big sisters! :)
 And His Magic Yellow Stroller, it's so funny how different every baby has been!!! This little ones loves his stroller, it is many days the only way I get any sort of nap out of him at all. He prefers to nap in the middle of it all, he doesn't want to miss a thing and he seems to sleep best with a lot of noise in the background, some thing his sisters are happy to supply!
He fell asleep during read aloud time!
The rest of school has been outside, frankly I'm feeling a bit exhausted from all the Going we've been enjoying. We bough a pass to a local zoo and we've been taking advantage of a gorgeous and warm autumn, spending several days a week at parks and playgrounds. And Hubby Joy's work schedule has been crazy, so some times when he doesn't have a pressing deadline he takes a weekday morning off and joins us a the park.
Lots of sunshine and fun at home and around..
Pip teaching Ziggy how to use a shovel to put mulch in a bucket, he got it right away and has been filing buckets with dirt and mulch ever since! Homeschooling, starts at birth- they learn so much from their siblings!

Some Pip and Mama snuggles, she is growing so much my little snuggle bug is outgrowing my lap. :(

playing in the garden, it turned into a jungle but they don't mind!

An afternoon picnic reading our language arts assignments at the park bring back so many happy memories for me!

Visiting a replica of a Teepee at the the local Native American grounds near our home.

It's been a good school year so far, onwards towards The Holidays!

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