Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our homeschooling journey so far!!

Wow!  I can't believe we have made it this far into the school year! ( My older kids attend a Charter school so we are trying to stay within the same time line so we can all have the summer together!)

My 10 yr old daughter has had a lot of struggles with math.  I found that she was not where she should be with her multiplication tables, so we started out just working on that. I tried flash cards, jumping on the trampoline while saying in a sing/song voice the times tables, I tried looking for rhymes to help memorize, I felt like I was not making any progress!  So, I tried Math U See for 4th grade.  It was very repetitive all about multiplication. So I  thought it would be great!  However, I was wrong.  She still cried every time the math book came out.  I had been looking at Life of Fred Math, but I wasn't sure about it.  Then my friend was selling her 5th grade Life of Fred books.  I decided if they didn't work with my 10 yr old, then I could save them for my youngest.  I told Katie that I had some new math books that were 5th grade curriculum.   She looked at the books (there are two Ice Cream and Jelly Beans) and read the entire first chapter!  Today was our second day doing Life of Fred and she is already on chapter 4.  She was happy, proud of herself b/c she understood it and there were NO tears!!!  (although I had to hold mine back at seeing her so confident again!!!)    This is Katie doing math today, with a giant smile!!

My youngest daughter still struggles everyday with comprehension.  She just has such a hard time concentrating.  I have been using some fidget toys and a lot of physical activity to try and keep her more focused.  I know that sounds weird, but she has Aspergers and ADHD that makes it more difficult to just sit and listen!
I have taken her off most of all of her ADHD medicines, we are just on a very low dose.  I like her much better that way, more herself, with her sparkling personality!  She was just a zombie at home while on the dose she was attending school outside our home.  Which I guess is what the teachers want, so they can handle all the kids.  Know that I am not blaming the teachers out there, I know that it would be very difficult to teach a classroom full of children without issues with the guidelines that the teachers are given.  However she is not in a classroom setting, so I can do much more with her that will help her excel!    I have found that getting her involved with hands on activities, rather than sitting at a desk reading out of a book, is a much more effective way to her interested and learning!  We do a lot of things together as a family, like history, science and social studies.  I do have to do individual lessons for reading and math for Courtney.  The other two have individual math, but they are very close on reading level so we do that together.

We love Home Schooling, it has been the best decision!  Even though we struggle financially, and at times we don't even know where the money will come for groceries that week.  Somehow everything turns out ok.  We are a very faithful family, and God has provided for us so far, so why would He stop now?  I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed me to stay home with my precious children and that my husband believes in me enough to teach them!  He wasn't as sure about the decision as I was, but he has definitely seen the improvement in our children!

I don't want you to think that home schooling is wonderful everyday, but over all the good definitely out weighs the bad!!!  I actually look forward to school with the kids.  I find that the times I dread are not Monday mornings anymore!  I dread things like cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes...like everyone else!! :-)  

I would love to hear your home schooling adventures!  What have you done that works great?  What have you done that didn't work so well?