The last couple of weeks has been wrapping up all projects and getting ready for our month long break while visiting family. While away I do try to do a little bit of the core subjects with the children like math and writing. The rest we leave alone until we return home. I try to take very little in the form of work books with us while we travel. Preferring to incorporate a more relaxed home schooling approach allowing the children to really enjoy their time off and just experience being with extended family. This doesn't mean there isn't a lot of learning going on, it is just a different kind of learning. The whole family is looking forward to our spring break and visiting with friends and family.
I have been selected to be a reviewer for the TOS crew. I am so excited to be part of this group and can't wait to get started. I have my first review coming up shortly after our holiday. So we will be working on this while away.
What we are reading:
Princess is reading along with Daddy the story War Horse as part of our WWI unit.
Little Man is still working on the Harry Potter series with Mommy
I am reading How to talk so kids will listen and Listen so kids will talk and How to talk so kids can learn books by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish -- My oldest has hit the pre-teen years and with it comes attitude:(, and I am just not handling it well. I will admit while things still aren't perfect I do see a bit of a change in us both since I have implemented a few suggestions from these books. I think I will be re reading these books a lot in the months to come. Any other book suggestions for managing the tween/teen years:) I have a feeling I am going to need them!
In our school this week:
We are wrapping up all of our school projects in order to prepare for our upcoming spring break. We just completed our geography lesson on Mexico. Now working on Physics in science (see below) . We are beginning our WWI unit for History and found some great resources that clearly explain the reasons (and madness) of the war. To be honest all I remember in school about WWI was someone shot someone. So this has helped me understand the whys of the war as well.
What's not working for us:
We have hit a major snag with our Science program...Real Science 4 kids. I loved, loved the Chemistry books and experiments however since we have moved onto the the Physics book and experiments I have not been impressed at all. There are too many variables that can occur in each experiment that so far we haven't had a successful turnout of an experiment. While it is good for the children to see and problem solve when an experiment goes wrong, it is not good when you can't worked the experiment too show how the experiment can go right. It means the kids lose interest and quite frankly so does the MOMs. We are half way though this book, I keep hoping the next experiment will be better. On top of all that my favorite site for downloading Bill Nye Videos has been out of commission for 2 weeks and I use those to help the kids see experiments that do work in regards to our physics lessons.
On a positive note the actual physic text book is great and really explains things at a younger child's level. So I do like that portion of the books. We still love having our friends join us every week for experiment day, as the Moms get a chance to talk and the kids get a chance to play, after science that is:).
Thoughts I am having:
I just received the CAT test for this year and reviewed it. There are a few areas I need to go over before giving the test to the kids. One of the things I noticed is fractions is on this test. Since we are using the Math U See we haven't done fractions yet. So I am trying to figure out what to do. Do I jump a head and see if we can tackle this area ahead of Math U See's schedule or should I just let those answers go unanswered on the test. I have used this test for the past 3 years mainly as a way of helping me judge how my children are doing in the areas of math and language arts. However, now I am questioning if I should give up testing and just keep going with the schedule we have. While a huge part of me wants to quit the testing there is a small part that wants to keep it just to make sure I am doing everything to make sure my children have the necessary skills they need to enter college and/or work force. My husband and I will be having further discussions about the need for testing.
Question that I have:
I am looking for a new writing program for next year. Anyone have feed back for the IEW program versus the Winning with Writing program? I have heard good things about both of these products. I don't know of anyone using these products personally in their homeschool. Good honest feedback would be very much appreciated.
We are off to visit friends and family for the next month. So school and blogging will be taking a back seat for a bit. I will post when I can but it will be sporadic. I love visiting posts of all those who comment on my blog but am not sure I will be able to keep up while away. However don't let that stop you from visiting or commenting as I love seeing that people have stopped by. I will be sure to visit back as soon as we return.