Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Weekly Learnings

I learned a long time ago that I am very disorganized and scatter brained and this can be a deadly combination when you are homeschooling your children. The thing that works best for me is to make lists and then use them to complete my to-do's. The lists hold me accountable and let me know when my work is done. Since I need a list for everything, I also make lists for the boys. I believe children thrive with structure and the lists help me keep them on target while we do our school work and house work.
We've recently started letting the boys earn money for the work that they do. Jeremy and I were noticing that we are always buying stuff for the boys and they never get the opportunity to earn, budget and spend their own money. Our new system is working great! We love it, the boys love it, and they are motivated to earn their money each morning. Here's briefly how it works: each boy has certain jobs to do each morning. These jobs have to be done by 9:00am and then checked by dad. Their list tells them which job to do and then they can check it off when they're done. James writes "R" when he's completed a job because he now insists we call him "Robin", Batman's sidekick. If they don't do their list they don't get paid. Sunday is payday and the boys can earn $1 per their age. From that they save 20%, give 10% and keep 70%. They love it! Their savings goes in to their bank accounts and their giving can be used wherever they see a need (we do not make them give to the church).
During the school day, Terrance follows a lesson plan and James has his independent list that he does when I can't work with him. Every day he completes these 6 things on his own. I love this because I can't always sit down with him while he works and if left to himself he would just play or wander around the house. This holds him accountable with his morning. He has used this list for about 6 months and I'm actually creating a new one today that is upping his work load a bit.
Here he is listening to a book on cd
And doing his puzzle
This is a new thing I started to help him learn his memory verses. I just cut them up into chunks and he can mix them up and then lay them out in order. Great for reading practice as well. I store them in envelopes so he can do them again and again.
 James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
 His "new fact" from reading about penguins. I like to read nonfiction books with him and then have him write down something he learned in his reading journal. He learned a lot from this book, but writing still takes him a long time so we just record one fact and then I write right the rest of his facts on the back. It says, "Penguins get warm by snuggling up together"
 This is Remi's fact, "When Penguins slide on their bellies they get algae on them". Remi comes twice a week for a few hours to do school.
 I had to share the cute little snowman Gabriel made when he was here for school. He's learning his letters so we built a snowman with the letters of his name. Then he dotted snow all around him. I wrote the letters on his manila paper and then he matched his snowballs to spell his name.
Hope you are having a great week learning with your little ones. Sometimes homeschooling can be the most rewarding experience and sometimes it can throw you in to the pit of despair. Being solely responsible for your child's education is a lot of pressure, but remember that them being home with you each day is a blessing in itself and that you are fully equipped to teach them. Enjoy!

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