23 September 2012

Reflections On Our School Year So Far

We "officially" ventured into year-round homeschooling in early July, per Agent E's request. We did make a minor adjustment to our curriculum a few weeks later, but mostly we've been humming along for nearly three months now. Following is a bit about what we've been learning.

I shared a little about our average day in a previous post. For the the most, this is still what our days look like. We don't really "do" school only Monday through Friday, so our days pretty much look the same even on the weekends. I am still trying to wrap my brain around afternoons being when most of our "work" takes place. I was completely convinced we would be get-it-done-in-the-mornings-and-have-afternoons-free kind of people. Our routine just didn't work out that way.

For the next few months (until around Christmas) we are focusing on states, ocean life, and Spanish. We incorporate these three main focus areas into our reading, writing, math, science, and social studies work.

Sometimes Elmo joins reading time
We continued our study of the 50 states. This week after reading a book about Pennsylvania Agent E added "visit Chocolate World" to her must do list.

For our study of the oceans, we've been reading a lot of books from the library. And those darn Octonauts keep filling her head with sea creature facts.

Our Spanish studies, however, have mostly included me re-learning some basic vocabulary and pronunciation (I studied it years ago) so that I can better instruct the Agents. We labeled items around the house with the English and Spanish words, and added a few printouts in strategic locations. For example, on the girls' bedroom door is a list of Spanish terms for bed, dresser, window, blanket, closet, etc. I've also made little reminder sheets of how to say the basics: My name is . . . I like . . . How are you? . . . please/thank you. Honestly, I've found that in spite of my best attempts they haven't really shown overwhelming interest. This may be one of those times we just kind of float along and pick it up again next semester or even next year.

As far as our overall style, I tend to waffle between wanting to give the Agents more freedom in what and how they learn and wanting to do something more concrete. I'm somewhat neurotic and a confirmed list-maker. Hard habits to break. I know that they are learning, even when I feel like I haven't accomplished much. Still, sometimes I struggle with this whole homeschooling lifestyle. (Boy, this freedom in learning thing is harder than it looks.)

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