Weekly Wrap-Up – October 1, 2010

I’m going to try participating in a Weekly Wrap-up. I guess I should have taken a some photos of things that we did, but quite frankly, I’m just happy we finished the week without any major disasters (actually, we didn’t finish the week without disasters, we had a plumbing disaster and an earwig infestation – shudder!).  So, to make your day, here is a photo of an earwig (if anyone ever tries to tell you they don’t crawl in people’s ears, don’t believe them. I had one crawl in my ear while I was sleeping when I was in college. Since then, earwigs have scurried in fear whenever they see me coming – because I scream super, super loud for my husband to come kill them.)
imageThis was our first “official” week of homeschooling. I had intended to start bookwork earlier, even though none of my son’s classes started until this week, but we were on vacation and then had colds. My older kids are all going to community colleges, either as full-time students, or through Running Start, which is a Washington State program that pays for eligible high school students to attend college for 11th and 12th grade. My youngest, having just turned two, is not doing much in the way of bookwork (obviously!).
So, my youngest son, who is in 6th grade and who I will now refer to as “Gohan” has the disputable pleasure of being the sole focus of my homeschooling zeal. Fortunately for him, he is my 4th, so my zeal has lost some of it’s oomph over the years.
It took me about 24 hours to realize that I had taken on too much this year. Gohan is taking about 10 hours of outside classes, plus spends 5 hours/week playing in a game league. All of his activities are 30-60 minutes away (yes, we hope to move soon). In addition, Gohan has severe learning disabilities. So, though he can read, I have to read all his bookwork for him if I want him to be able to do grade-level work. Plus, my toddler, who I will now refer to as Dora, is extremely high maintenance.
So the first thing I did on Day 2 of bookwork was announce that we were dropping Latin, logic, art appreciation, and computer programming (yes, I need to have my head examined!). It was really hard to drop the programming, but that was going to be particulalry time-consuming.
Even with dropping these subjects, we struggled to finish the other subjects everyday. Things were also compounded by multiple doctor and service appointments.
Anyway, I would say that the curriculum that seemed to mesh into our life the easiest was his new grammar curriculum, Growing with Grammar, which is made by and for homeschoolers and it shows (I do not get any money from them for this endorsement).
We are also continuing to work through the Phonics Workbook for Dyslexics, which has really helped with my son’s reading (or lack thereof). We tried to incorporate Writing Strands, but are going to shelve that for a while as he has enough writing to do for Pandia Press’ History Odyssey – Middle Ages. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, we are using the Getty Dubay Italic handwriting program, which transitions from print to cursive much more easily, than traditional print/cursive programs do.
For math, we are using Singapore Math 6, Standards Edition. He is also taking a class that works on fun, hands-on projects using applied math.
He is using Awakening Wonder’s Physical Science for science. He is also taking two science classes, CSI and Hand-son Science. Gohan loves science! This is the first year that we have done any science curriculum, but a) he really wanted to do chemistry and b) I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t having any knowledge gaps as the various science classes that he takes kind of jump all over in regards to topics. I am really hoping that Awakening Wonders continues to produce subsequent curriculum guides as we are really enjoying the layout. I like that it incorporates a textbook with living history books and quality hands-on labs.
As I mentioned, we are using History Odyssey for social studies. I like that it covers so much, but it is a big leap for Gohan. He really dislikes history and geography and I have never made him study them much, but his lack of knowledge in regards to history and geography has reached the level of embarrassment for him and me. I feel that once he completes the four years of History Odyssey, he will really be grounded in world history. We had covered quite a bit of early history previously, not to mention Gohan requested it, so we started with Middle Ages.
And that is it for bookwork. He is also taking musical theatre, guitar, PE, swimming 2x/week, and art. So, yes, he is a busy guy, but that’s how he likes it. The real challenge is meeting Dora’s needs through all of this. Not to mention, it is nice to wave hello to my older kids and husband once in a while.
How about you, how has your school year been going? Have you used any curriculum that you just love? Any flops? Are you feeling like you’re balancing everyone’s needs, including your own (ha ha, just joking! Meeting our own needs? That’s a good one – I need to remember that one!)?
I’m linking this post to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Forever, For Always, No Matter What…

Labels: Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff