Sunday, August 29, 2010

Its that time of year Again
Yes its fall in Indiana. I am fully aware that fall doesn't officially start till late September. But here in Indiana it seems to arrive by the middle of August. Maybe its because that is when the schools go back or maybe its because that is when outdoor soccer season starts up. Or perhaps its because, that is usually when the worst of the humidity is over, and there is such a pleasant breeze each evening and morning, that beckons to you to grab a cup of tea and head for the porch swing and just simply sit a while.
My boy Aiden back in the saddle again. You may have forgotten, or perhaps I didn't post it, but Aiden broke his collar bone sledding down a hill this winter (he is my dare devil child) So he had to miss out on most of the indoor soccer season. He is happy to be back on the field, that's him in the red shirt and red tie dye socks.
Courtney and her math at the soccer practice. Courtney is well lets just say she has a very short attention span. When I get her math books they are generally done well but it takes her forever, and its not that she doesn't know the material, she just rather get distracted then get it done.
School days are doing well this year so far. I made a very organized school year, for the kids to follow. I will print it below cause I love seeing what others do.
Huizinga Academy School Day
Wake up 8 am
session 1: 8:30 to 10:00
This session the kids can do on their own, first time I am actually not needed till 10:30. They do their spelling on-line at (love this site just punch in your children's lists and save and it does the rest). The also do a computer based reading comprehension program by that brought my boys up by 2 grade levels in reading comprehension in their standardized testing over last yr. They also do math drills and memory cards.
I am love the freedom this session give me, cause it means I can enjoy running and biking in what has to be the most beautiful weather we get all year, instead of heading to the Y to the treadmill and spinner's bike cause it is too dark for me to safely workout outdoors in the dark. I do however do one spinner's workout a week cause I would miss my fellow spinner's if I didn't.
I also love this cause Jack doesn't go to work till 11 so this allows me to hang out with him more in the mornings.
10 to 10:30
Morning Snack
I have taken to insisting that all 3 children head outside for the remainder of all breaks after they have eaten if the weather allows, they can bring books or coloring if they want but they must go outside. This is my time to whip around the house and get it organized of the day and tidy for the evening. I also use the time to make any appointment based phone calls so I am not interrupted by school questions.
session 2: 10:30 to 12
Language arts with mom.
I am busy answering questions the entire hour and a half usually. Each child is in a different grade and so has a different set of worksheets and assignments to do in this area each day. I do however managed to keep the laundry going, and sometimes clean up my e-mails and check my FB status during this time.
12 to 12:30
session 3: 12:30 to 2
2 times a week this is group science class
3 times a week they sit together and listen to their history on CD, bible on CD and Spanish on CD, while I catch up on some sitting work (coupons, bills etc) and then quiz them both orally and in written form when they are done.
2 to 2:30
Afternoon Snack
My kids are like me they eat 2 snacks and 3 meals a day, otherwise they are not much fun to be around.
session 4: 2:30 to 3:30
Math hour.
Thomas gets this all done by himself (computer math) Aiden and Courtney right now are needing help with their workbooks but by October they also will be on computer based math.
I love teaching textbook, for computer based math, it is an excellent program worth every penny of its steep price (see I do by some expensive things). My only thing I don't like is my required school yr is 180 days and their lesson plan is for 140 days, now I guess we don't have to do math every day of the school year, but I really prefer to, so I fill in either the first 40 days or the last 40 days of the year with workbook style math. Thomas however is using those 40 days to slowly work up to being at grade level, he is almost there.

I have divide the day into different sessions cause sometimes we have distractions that are out of our control, so on those days I mark down what we got done and make up the rest another day.
To prevent boredom we are a part of a local home schooling Co-op that we love, it is a bit of a drive but we enjoy listening to books on CD while we ride. I try to pick books that the children might not think to pick to read themselves, and it seems to be working so far Aiden has asked to read books by two of the authors we have listened to.
Just this year Jack and I decided the children were not doing enough recreational reading to keep them at grade level. So we decided to assign them a fiction book and a non fiction book or historical fiction book each week. If the books is not done by Sunday they are not allowed computer or video games or movie watching till the books are done. They are keeping reading logs on the books they read. Courtney and Thomas are doing well with this, Aiden has spent pretty much every Sunday doing nothing but reading so as to catch up.

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