I know we're only two days into our new homeschooling plan, but I just have to say it is going really well! Both kids have been doing more than I ask of them, and [with some tweaking, naturally - I can't help it] all of our resources are big hits. I'll post a more detailed report when we've made it through the whole week.
Other than that, Cyrus is back to fencing today, which he has been missing. Cassia also misses roller derby, but that doesn't start back up until February! Speaking of roller derby, I have to say I am proud of our local league for placing third in the National Championships! We also hope to make it back to our beloved park day this week, as we haven't been since before Christmas, due to both the holidays and the weather.
One of our main resources these days is Life of Fred math, which I have written about before. We took a leap of faith, and decided to go with it as our primary math program. The kids love it--I never have a problem getting them to sit down for math, and they each listen to me reading the other child's book aloud. One of the things I have noticed lately, and that I very much appreciate, is that Stanley Schmidt, the author, introduces the kids to algebraic concepts right from the beginning. Cassia has worked with set theory and simple variable equations, and yesterday Cyrus worked out a few problems with variable equations. These are examples from the Elementary set of books. I like this because I really believe that in introducing these concepts early on, the author is working to avoid the panic I know I felt when I got into algebra and was confronted with letters in my math equations! Part of me does worry, just a little, that in taking such a different approach to math, my kids might have issues later on, but I've done my research, and it really seems that kids that have used the upper levels are well versed in mathematics, so I do feel (mostly) that we are laying a good foundation. I was also worried in moving Cyrus back a few levels (at the author's suggestion until Cyrus is stronger with multiplication & division), as I thought this might put us "behind" in math. I thought about this some more, and at the rate he's going, two lessons per day, I should just stop worrying.
One more quick review, and then I must be off... I'd like to recommend the book The Homeschooling Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick. This was recommended to me by a friend, and I read the entire thing in one sitting. It was a fun read! The author has a good sense of humor, AND made me feel a lot more comfortable with taking my own approach, to "hop in [my] Minivan of Awesome" and just go with it. If you are plagued by doubts, as I too often am, read this book, or read it just for fun. She had a lot of good insights into things too, like the fact that, although I'm sure they're not trying to be, homeschoolers can be judgmental, and being the odd one out isn't always fun... I live in an area where nearly every homeschooling family I meet unschools, and I can't say that doesn't influence my thinking. However, that is not the approach that best suits us, at least not right now. Anyhow, read the book. The Kindle version is under $3, or you can borrow it for free. Next up on my homeschool reading list is Our WORST Homeschool Mistakes (And How You Can Avoid Them)! Surely someone out there has made more mistakes than I have!
Anyhow, I have other work to do, so more later! Have a good week!