Well our first week is over and it went fabulously well! We finished everything we set out to do, and the boys worked diligently--most of the time! :) I was thrilled to be able to work in some non-basic subjects this week...of course my plan is to do them every week, but in the past extras like art and music (except piano lessons) have always fizzled out--mostly because in the past it has become such a battle just to get the basics done. I really believe, though, that the fun of those extras and looking forward to them will be a big motivator and contributor to the boys' good attitudes towards school. After all, it is easier to get excited about an art project than a math test, right?
Joey has been doing phenomenally well on his reading lessons. Not just the material, which I was already confident would be easy enough for him (he's a bright little guy) but in his excitement and effort to actually DO the lessons. I was halfway expecting a battle each day at reading time. Jordan really had to be coaxed to do his reading lessons often last year, and he is far more compliant than Joey. Joey really wants to learn to read, though! He's ready.
This year I'm adding something new for Joshua and Jonathan--homework. Yes, that doesn't sound terribly earth-shattering, but I've never assigned work specifically to be done outside of our regularly-scheduled school time. While they are good about taking initiative to get their basic subjects done each day, I think they can learn some useful study skills by having assignments that they receive at the beginning of the week and have to turn in by the end of the day on Friday. They have to learn to manage their time and be responsible to get it done, or they'll have to do it over the weekend--which, of course, is no fun!
I still have 2 more subjects to work in, probably next month. We're going to start studying a foreign language--Spanish--this year, but we want to use Rosetta Stone and can't fit it into the budget until next month. I also want to add a writing program-- probably Institute for Excellence in Writing, but again, not in the budget just yet! I make the boys write quite a bit already, as they produce written summaries of each lesson in history and science, and also do written narratives of the literature they read. But I want to start doing something more structured for writing. I was a good writer in school, but for some reason I just don't feel confident teaching my boys to write without a program of some sort!
I'm going to try to post an update each week about what we're doing in school. If nothing else, I can come back here later in the year and read them myself, just to see how far we've come. ;) I know we'll have our ups and downs, just like we always do, but I'm looking forward to a really good year!
1 year ago