Saturday, March 16, 2013

This Week's H/School Journal

In our homeschool this week... was another fairly productive week and it felt like we were in a bit of a groove.  Despite the gnashing of teeth that happens almost every day with the oldest, the boys mostly seem to understand that we do school most days.

...Matthew is making great progress through his grade 3 work.  He's only about 12 lessons away from finishing his curriculum work in both Math and English, though there's still some extra stuff that I want to do with him this school year in Math as well as in Science and Social Studies areas. that Seth is officially doing grade 1 work, he's even more determined than ever to get to grade 2. Crazy kid is so's awesome!  And he's gonna get there, I just know it now.  It'll take a while, but he's on his way.  He asked me yesterday if he'll ever catch up to where other kids are who were born in Canada because he knows that he'll be 8 in summer and that 8-year-olds in Canada go into grade 3 (like Matthew is this year).  I told him that I didn't really know, but that it didn't matter to me at all, because he's had so much other life experience that other kids don't have.  I said that I knew he'd be getting to grade 3 but that I just didn't know when.  He said, with absolute confidence, that some day he's going to be the same as other kids in terms of grade level, and I smiled and said that it wouldn't surprise me at all because he's such a hard worker!  He grinned.

...Seth is working on learning and writing numbers up to 30 now, and has tackled addition problems up to 20.  On the English side of things, he has also mastered matching up all of his uppercase and lowercase letters and knowing most of their sounds.  One highlight for him was actually reading four words that I printed out in large font:  BAT; CAT; RAT; SAT.  I didn't bother telling him about the rhyming because that wasn't my goal; my goal was for him to understand that the 'A-T' part of the words stayed the same each time, so that he learns that there's continuity from word to word (he'll learn the complexities later!).  It took him almost 20 minutes to figure out BAT; then it took less than ten minutes to figure our RAT and SAT; and only a minute or so to figure out CAT.  He was totally self-motivated and sooo pleased with himself!!!

...none of the kids seem to be enjoying karate all that much at the moment, despite a promising beginning.  In fact, Matthew already quit last week.  In addition, I'm experiencing some scheduling challenges with that afternoon, and so we might end up having to call things quits for all three for a while.  That would be disappointing for me because I've been enjoying getting to know some of the other families (moms and kids) who go to karate.

Places we went and people we saw...
...on Tuesday, my folks were kind enough to take the kids for a few hours while I took an elderly former neighbour of my mother out for tea.  Mary often joins our family for special occasions, such as Easter and Christmas and Thanksgiving, and I've come to care about her over the years.  She has no family of her own, and it's been on my heart for some time to take her for tea.  After a few false starts, we made it out on Tuesday and it was a lovely afternoon.  I think/hope she enjoyed it, and I did, too. day this week, after pushing the kids a bit to get their school work done, I had a friend come over for tea from just around the corner.  Her boy is one of Matthew's good friends, and I also very much enjoy her company, so I put a movie on for the kids and she and I sipped tea and chatted in the library.  We need to do this more often!

...I went out for dinner on Thursday evening with a newish friend - a fellow h/schooling mom.  We've gotten to know each other on Saturday mornings over the past year while our kids are all engaged in music lessons of some form or another at a local university.  Her daughters are older than my trio of kids, and it's always encouraging to see h/schooled kids 'turning out' so nicely.  Anyway, we had a lovely dinner out and the hours seemed to pass by quickly.  I am discovering her to be an encouraging, kind-hearted, generous, and compassionate woman (with a phenomenal memory!) and I feel blessed to have her in my life!

...Matthew had an extended play time here with a great friend, and he LOVED it.  He said while getting ready for bed that night that it was one of his best moments ever.  He's very blessed to have a small, but wonderful, group of people to call friends.

My favourite thing this week was...
...without a doubt, it was a moment with Seth in the mudroom on Friday...I'll be blogging about this shortly.  That moment is still doing a dance around my heart!

What's working for us...
...having a very specific agenda for each boy for our homeschool day/week.  This takes time for me to prep on the weekend, but the inconvenience of that is certainly a nicety when it comes time to sitting down to school all prepared.  The alternative is what happens too often: I wake up early to make sure everything's ready to go.

Things I'm working on...
...prepping a very specific agenda for the boys for the next couple of weeks.  How much we get done in a day/week is very fluid at times, and largely dependent on the boys' abilities and attitudes of a given day/week.  But given that we're on a bit of a roll at the moment, I think I can be more specific for the time being. weekend is our annual (Christian) h/school conference so I'm mentally gearing up for that.  I can hardly believe that this is my fifth consecutive h/school conference - it seems just yesterday that Matthew was barely five and we'd just decided to school at home the following fall, and I attended my first conference to see what h/schooling was all about.  It's a great opportunity to hear speakers, attend some targeted seminars, peruse curriculum, connect with friends, and maybe meet one or two new h/schoolers.  I've arranged child care and I'm a'going.

I'm cooking/baking...
...breakfasts, cookies, loaves.

...delicious hamburger soup, flatbread pizzas that everyone gets to assemble for themselves, and fish (sole, with a sage butter sauce)

I'm grateful for...
...I just cannot express how thankful I am that Seth is making such strides in so many areas.  He really is a different child than just 21 months ago.  That boy was so full of rage and grief and screams; this boy is heart-gentle, happy (he sings!), and sensitive.  This week what I'm specifically thankful for is the upwards direction that our relationship seems to be taking...though there are many hiccups, it's truly awesome and more than a bit of a miracle...and surely an answer to prayer.

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