Saturday, August 6, 2011

Home School Grand Opening!

Our Classroom
Our first week of home school favored the old description of the month of March;  it started like a lion and ended like a lamb.  All of Emma's fears soon dissipated as the week progressed.  I was worried that the kids wouldn't take it seriously if they were not dressed and at desks.  How wrong I was!  The kids amazed me at how they fell into a routine so quickly.  Waking and coming down to the kitchen table and opening their folders to work while eating their oatmeal or cereal.  The kids' adaptability amazed me!

What is our home school curriculum?  The Jenny Brooks Method - I am creating it as we go.  I am not purchasing a curriculum because I have taught each of their grade levels before and prefer the freedom to choose what they need as we work.  I can't wait for all the teachable moments we'll have this year.  I have printed out all of the standards for each of their grade levels, but we are basically working on the three Rs - Reading, Riting and Rithmatic.  (I think it is so funny that the old term for the three Rs is base on the premise of misspelling two of the three subject words.)  

For the first couple of weeks, we are concentrating on pretesting, reviewing, getting writing samples and seeing where they are in reading.  Each day, the kids wrote a letter to members of the family.  I started with teaching them the correct friendly letter format.  I thought if we are traveling the kids need to know how to write a proper letter, not just text messages.  It will be a horrible state to be in if our future leaders can only communicate in one sentence snippets.  For math, each day the kids did drills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  On Friday, Greg timed them to solve 100 problems in less than three minutes.  Unfortunately, none made it.  They were very close, but no cigar.  Maybe next week, their factual recall will be quicker.  

Anabel and Wyatt are both reading Harry Potter.  Anabel has been bogged down in the fifth book for a while, but I have insisted that she rally and finish it.  I have read some aloud to help her get back into the story.

Emma's reading has us concerned.  She has regressed even though her grades last year were excellent.  I'm sad to say that we were so busy last year that we didn't even notice.  Emma is extremely gifted interpersonally/socially and can create diversions at the drop of a hat.  I think she is the Scarlett O'Hara of students.  If I were writing a parody of Gone with the Wind and casting Emma in Scarlett's role, the novel would begin thus:  "Emma Brooks could not read, but teachers seldom realized it when caught by her charm as her second grade teacher was."  Emma charmed her teachers and faked her way through by reading with friends in the reading center last year.  Greg and I are her joint Rhett Butler and can see through her tricks.  I think that was why she was so worried the night before we began school.  She was afraid the jig was up.

She was correct and I am so excited to have the time to teach her myself.

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