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Monday, September 29

Feeling Good (Nina Simone)

Sigh.  I just love Miss Nina....

Four weeks into school, I'm realizing that just "taking a break" doesn't create real change.  There are some things that just aren't working, and it's time to fix them.  I think, as moms - and home school moms in particular, when we've sunk a lot of money into something, we plan to make it work.  Like that old saying :  Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!  Well, the best laid plans of mice and men and all.....   (Let's play a game.  How many catchphrases can I throw into one post...?)
So, we're four weeks in and back to the drawing board in some areas.  If your husband had the wrong tool for a job, he'd get a different one, right?  I don't think this is any different.  You'll find a bit more in the way of curriculum under our Sale Page now, but we needed different tools for the job.
Changes we have made....
1.  Back to School pictures.  Since leaving public school, the boys haven't had any pictures made.  That needs to change, starting with these crudely-made signs.  We'll do better next year.
(One thing that HASN'T changed is that it always rains on the first day of school.  ALWAYS.  This year, the boys said that God is crying....that he wants them to play some more.)
2.  Mixing it up.  We gave the whole boxed-curriculum thing a shot, and we're still using it as a backbone, but it wasn't comprehensive enough for my tastes.  So we're adding back some basic grammar and reading workbooks.  As usual, Fred will accompany our Saxon in math adventures.
3.  Typing and online computer games.  Our curriculum was written in the mid-1990s and addresses this at no point.  We're adding ten minutes of typing each day, and computer games two days a week, to reinforce what they're learning.  Here, the youngest is putting all of the states in their correct spot.
4.  Art.  The eldest is so artistically-natured...he can learn almost anything through art.  So we're going to let him!  Comic books for writing assignments, science posters, sculpture...however he wants to demonstrate.  That's not to say he's completely off the hook on writing...
5.  Headphones.  Specifically, noise-cancelling ones.  I don't know if the children have developed ADD since starting to homeschool, or if it's just that it's distracting to try and work at the table when mom is working aloud with another child across the table.  Either way, these little babies have helped to stop tears in their tracks!  We found them in a random box of stuff in the basement.  Right now, we only have one set, so they have to switch back and forth - and someone is out of luck if they're both supposed to be quietly concentrating.  If you have a distractible child, I recommend trying them.
Five little changes...they're not much, but they've already added up to visible progress.  Each child is different, and what works for one will almost always NOT work for the other.  But it keeps things lively.  Have you had to change things around already this year?  What's working (or not working) for your family?  We want to know!
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