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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Home is where the school is

I haven't posted too much about school this year.  We are still homeschooling, and we've been having a bit of a difficult year.  This is largely due to personality conflicts, which exist in families.  No amount of sending them away to school will change that.  I don't need "a break" from my kids, as if they are some horrible burden in my life.  They are my life (along with the ever-supportive Hub).

This year Scrappy is in 4th grade, Funny is in 3rd, Goofy is in 2nd, and Silly is in K, but mostly doing 1st grade work.  Here's the summary up to this point:

We tried Wordly Wise with Scrappy, and it turned out to be the thing we fought about most often.  It was pure misery.  I would become exasperated, he would become frustrated, and we always ended up screaming.  So we chucked it.  I'm back to my old methods of teaching vocabulary, which pretty much means I stop and ask if they understand a word, or I define as we go.  Who wants to do vocab flash cards?  Well, I do, but I'm not like other people.

We have lots of traditional homeschooling materials again this year.  The kids have an assortment of workbooks for language arts and math.  Scrappy is about done with MUS Gamma, we're almost finished with Apologia's Swimming Creatures book (we can't ever seem to get to this).  Story of the World is still the favorite for history.

The kids are still using games to learn a lot of different things.  We've started playing Bananagrams, and we use that for spelling and vocab practice.  The kids love to play Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, chess, Uno, Stratego, and even some math games on the iPad.  I think if all their practice/drill can be done through game playing, then that's good.  And even better, a lot of the games they like require strategy and critical thinking.  Yeah, I am okay with that.

We've already gone on 15 field trips this year!  My goal is 20, and I think we should manage to make that.  We have one or two more scheduled for this month, and I know come February, it's all I will want to do.  Gosh, I hate February for homeschooling.  Only you other homeschoolers understand that.  Alas, no worrying about it now!  Here are some highlights from our most recent trip to the Heinz History Center:

Flour Children and friends.  The museum is currently hosting an exhibit on the history of the flag.

Goofy makes pickles.

Funny preps her tent.

Silly and her friend taking a turn at packing pickles.

Flour Children and friends with statue of Franco Harris.

So, in the end, I suppose we had a rocky start.  Each year I find it easier to embrace our less traditional version of education, but every year I still fight myself on it.  We do a lot of reading, playing, and exploring.  We even do worksheets and book work.  Everyone here would rather read a book about homophones (which we did, Dear Deer) versus filling in a worksheet on homophones.  That's just how we roll.  It might not be your way, but it's our way, and it works for us.


  1. You've got to use what works with your children. I like Christian Light Education, but School of Tomorrow paces work well with them, so that's what we're using. I can't stand them, but hey, it's what's working!

  2. Carrie, your kids are amazing. I can't believe all the stuff you do with them and all the stuff they know about. Don't despair. But I do know how you feel. Last week I was ready to quit and enroll two of mine in school. :) It's not happening, but I reserve the right to feel that way.

  3. Part of the problem with having a set system for school is that no two years of school can ever be alike, since the kids insist on always growing and not being like any other kid. Perhaps you should have had clones instead of the usual progeny. That's what I think I should have done. I like knowing what to expect. :)

  4. I like Heather's comment. :)

    Carrie, you are going to kill me if you did the snowflakes. I was trying to clean up the overspray and oh boy, is it a mess! I hope it is easier to get off once I take down the snowflakes...

  5. So, Sally, I guess I will not be doing the snowflakes. Because like any normal person, I don't like to clean unnecessarily.

  6. I am sorry that it's been a rougher year, but I bet in the end you will say that you grew during this year! Merry Christmas!


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