8.31.2010

{not} back to school

Technically, we've been "{not} back to school" for about 2 weeks now.
Except Jake and I went to the Dodger game that first week so the girls spent the night at grandma's.
No school that day.
The next day we left for the beach. I took our books {because I always do}, but we didn't do much more than a few chapters of reading and a math lesson {because the girls were driving me batty and I needed them to sit and be quiet}.
That brings us to Monday of last week. The day we have waited and hoped for all summer. The day the rest of the world went back to school!
{Can I get a hooooooooooooooooray!?}
For us, this meant a "not back to school" day of celebration at John's Incredible Pizza with friends.
Wednesday of that week we took the girls to Magic Mountain. They've been begging to go for about 4 years. They loved every second of it. It made me appreciate Disneyland in a whole new way! ;)
All of this is to say, we don't really do the whole
put-on-a-new-outfit-and-pack-a-lunch-cuz-today-is-the-first-day-of-school thing.
We bought our new backpacks and lunch boxes this week
{when they were on clearance at Target}.
There are no pictures {although I do that on their first day of enrichment}.
I don't think there's anything wrong with other people doing all of that.
It's just not the way we do things.
I don't want home schooling to be "school" at home.
Yes, we sit down and do math {out of a math text}, we have spelling tests, we do do school.
But I guess I desire learning to be a way of life,
rather than a 180 day obligation.
Truth be told, we did math {from a text} and reading all summer.
I'm not sure my girls even truly realize their school "started".
In fact, people keep asking them and Emma gets this confused look on her face and says, "Um. Yes? I think. Well...." and then she looks at me like, "Have we?!"
{And it makes me happy. And then I have a little panic attack because I
assume they think her hesitation is due to the fact that we do nothing. sigh.}
And here is where I offer proof that we do, in fact, do something!
I want to brag on a few pieces of our curriculum, but I'll try to make it short and sweet.
Mostly because I'm pretty sure no one cares.
You're welcome.
First: We love Sequential Spelling!
{And when I say love, I mean Lauren begs me to "please, oh pleeeease at least do spelling tests" on Saturday. I, of course did not say, "Are you kidding me?!? This is my day off! Go play." I mean, that would make me a terrible mother and go against everything I just said in the previous paragraph. So obviously, I didn't say that. Probably.}
I did not do spelling tests with Lauren last year. I figured you had to be a really good reader first. Not so much!
We worked through Alpha Phonics last year and I would say that
Lauren is reading above {public school} grade level, but she's nowhere near
chapter books.
Eight days of Sequential Spelling later and she has made unbelievable
progress in reading! All of a sudden, the amount of sight words she recognizes
has quadrupled!
Most importantly though, she loves to read and that's always been my only goal!!
She is {correctly} spelling words like:
spinning
beginnings
disagreement
Seriously, you should see the absolute giddiness when we go over the spellings and
she gets them right. And better yet, when she gets them right and Em doesn't.
{It's only happened once.}
Yesterday, the word "wee" was introduced. Lauren got it right. Emma knew it wasn't "we" so she wrote the only other spelling of it she could think of.
Yes.
She spelled it "Wii".
Blerg.
I really love the way it teaches homophones
{and I do not think wee and wii are homophones!}
and builds on words like be and inning so that within days, they are spelling beginning.
It just plain makes sense!
And I'm a big fan of things making sense! ;)
Secondly: We love Sonlight's Core 2 Science & History!
Last year we used Story of the World for history.
I liked the idea of it.
I didn't really like it!
I still don't know if it was just the time period {Nomads through the end of Rome}
or the way it was written or what, but it was so....
boring!
The girls really liked it {although I don't think they retained much}, but it was
one of those things I dreaded.
And then there was science...
another thing the girls would say is their favorite subject.
And the thing we usually did the day before we had to meet with our resource teacher
so we would have something to turn in.
Mostly because I didn't have that one great curriculum I could go to.
Sonlight is a lot {a lot!} of reading, but it is great, interesting reading.
We do their "Four Day" schedule for each subject,
but I just combined the days so that we do 2 days of each subject per week.
{It seems less daunting somehow. Even though it's the same exact amount. Whatever.}
I also really like Wordly Wise {vocabulary} for Emma.
Emma will also {hopefully!} learn to type this year. She and Ms. Mavis Beacon are gonna work on it, at least.
I figure she has cursive down....now it's time to move on to something useful.
And now I'll leave you with a lovely little story about my dad's day
teaching at a local public high school.
{Mind you, this is supposed to be one of the "good" high schools. And by good, I think they mean "wealthy". I'm not really sure.}
One of his students was standing up instead of sitting at his desk and when my dad asked him to sit he claimed he couldn't. Apparently there was gum on his desk.
The gum was removed and he was told to sit. Again.
He claimed there were traces of gum still there and so he still refused. Again.
My dad told him to sit up front then because he was not going to be permitted to sit in the back with his buddies {which my dad figured was the reason for refusing to sit in the first place}.
This time, the little darling cussed my dad out.
Like stark-raving-mad cussed him out.
He used the F word more than once and apparently called my dad {in Spanish}...
a N****.
Um.
It's so totally ridiculous {and not just because my dad is white!}
that's it's almost funny.
Almost.
Mostly it's infuriating and terrifying
that there are 14 year olds who behave this way.
But ultimately? It made me feel pretty good about even our worst day of home schooling.
Because when it comes down to it, at least I didn't get called the N word.
Awesome.

4 comments:

Pajama Dren said...

I care! I love reading about what you've all been up to.

And your dad is a whole lot more "gangsta" than I realized. Can I get a holla?

XOXO

Talia said...

I care too!! you need to blog about homeschooling every once in a while so I can glean ideas and inspiration from you.... didn't you know that was a responsiblity of yours?? ;)

Seriously though, I really do love hearing about what you and your girls are up to, and how you're progressing, what you're using... it's all so interesting and fun. And I really do get inspired by you too. :)

also, you are hilarious.

Sunny said...

Hey, are you bashing my first day of homeschool pictures? ;)

I totally care about what you have to say! Especially when it comes to homeschool. I'm becoming a curriculum junkie, it's scary. Talk all you want about homeschooling. I'll savor every word! :)

Your spelling program sounds awesome. I checked it out on Sonlight and did you realize that they don't start until grade 3? Lauren is doing what 3rd graders are doing!! Yay that Lauren loves to read! Who knew a good spelling program would increase reading skills! That is amaazing. I'm really happy for you! I love that Emma spelled wee Wii. Hahaha. That would be my kids!

Typing... oh wow, I guess Emma is old enough for that. Crazy. How are these little kids getting so big!

Public schools scare me. Public high schools TERRIFY me. Your dad's story just makes me that more afraid. I'm glad you don't get called the N word! lol

~ Kati :) said...

haven't been in blogger world in forever...love this post!! and i need to get that spelling curriculum for christian!! thanks for the story, too. needed that confirmation :) I'm glad you guys are coming home tomorrow and everything's fine. been praying for em like crazy!!

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