Sunday, February 2, 2014

Our Little School At Home: MTMM & LHFHG

So, this week was one of the worst homeschooling weeks I have had in the past fourteen least that I can remember. The oldest deliberately chose not to do writing, regardless of the consequences. He loves the writing program, but extremely dislikes the writing process (did you catch the difference?). So, Dad happened to be off work with an injury (prayers appreciated). He heard the heated discussion and decided that the best route of attack was to enroll the boys in online school. And for me? I breathed a sigh of relief...because honestly, with the migraines pounding, the loss of memory and the struggling to accomplish the simple stuff, homeschooling, whether or not I love it, is proving to be a little strenuous for me. But then the application arrived in the mail, we sat down and read all the information. The husband, with a lot more input from me than I planned on giving, decided that it was not really going to help us accomplish the intention of our hearts: raising sons who love and honor the Lord. And again, I breath a sigh of relief, because in my heart, I know that this homeschooling with Heart of Dakota is the best thing for all of us.

So, my oldest got down to business, came up with a plan to play catch up on his writing. We made him come up with it on his own and I recognize that I have to be more involved in this area...mama failure, here.

Missions to Modern Marvels

My oldest son, he loves the reading for MTMM. He has been enjoying Something Greater Than Gold, the story of Eric Liddell (an extension book). Just a little funny: before he started the book, I asked him what he thought the book was about. He had not seen it yet, and he did not know whom it was about. His answer was, "Oh, probably about some gold rush failure." When I handed him the book a couple weeks ago, he chuckled. As he finished the story, he tells me, "Eric never ran on a Sunday. That is a really neat thing." For the oldest, he really enjoys studying the cultures of the times, so the living books are great. He still struggles with Algebra, but is progressing so well. He thinks that he is awful at it, but he got a 95% on his test. So I have to wonder, what is not going well? The answer is pretty takes him a long time to complete the lesson. I usually sit by him and "help." But, what I have been finding is that he is lacking confidence more than he is lacking ability to complete the assignment. Writing is the same. His history papers are so well-written, but he lacks confidence in writing. I am not sure how to build this, except through experience and encouragement. So, I try to point out all the things I really enjoy about the paper every week to help him. This week, he also got to take a day off and help his dad at work making deliveries.

Little Hearts for His Glory

The littlest guy is having so much fun learning. This week he was so excited because he completed his reading lessons without any struggle. HOORAY! We are continuing to use The Reading Lesson and enjoying it - just finished lesson nine. We studied the Pilgrims and Jonathan Edwards. I was amazed at how easily he answered the questions at the end of the readings and how quickly he is able to give a short narration of what was read. Amazing! We finished our Burgess book early, because it is something that I can do when I can do nothing else because of the aching in my head. We so enjoy getting to know the characters. Saying good-bye to Chatterer the Red Squirrel this week was sad and we are now impatiently waiting to meet our next character! For science, we made and sailed a boat on the salt sea in our sink. Of course, after we were done, the little guy had to keep playing in the water (that is why it was the last thing we did). It was a memory verse review week, and I am happy to report that he remembered ALL of his memory verses, along with their addresses. We played hot potato every day while he recited his verses. Lots of giggles were happening here. Math is always a hit and it amazes me how quickly he learns the concepts. We transitioned from number bonds to addition this week and he did great. I can't say enough good things about Singapore math. I like it far better than the programs I have used with my oldest. And my youngest? He begs to do more math everyday. And then, when we are finished, he writes out addition problems for me to do, trying hard to stump me. I confess, he wrote a number so long that I had to find out how to say it on line. He thought that was pretty funny. I always want to write, "One of my little guy's favorite things is...", but today I realized that he loves just about everything. His handwriting (we are using A Reason for Handwriting) is progressing quite nicely...and again, he begs to do extra pages. Finding the Answers is fun, gives great practice cutting and gluing, but he did struggle a little with rhyming this week.

As a parent, I appreciate that the lessons are gentle, focused, fun and engage not just his mind, but his heart. And for this mama struggling with migraines? I am so thankful that we are usually able to complete school even on a bad day.

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