Being in a new home, I figured school would definitely be easier. More space, less distractions, yada, yada. Boy, was I wrong.
I understood that being in a new home provided a lot of excitement, but what I didn't count on was the excitement not being extending to school in the new home. WHAT A JOKE! Turbo refused to do any kind of schoolwork because Tank was having fun and he was not. Little did he know that Tank was suffering just as much has he was because his task was to group colors in his "toy set" and not just throw them or chew them.
So we had to make some changes. I reviewed my blog entries from his Therapy, and realized that I had failed to introduce a new schedule to Turbo, ESPECIALLY since we are in a new place, starting a new year of Kindergarten/1st grade, and in reality a new life.
So, I stopped school all together for a few days to take some time, step back and reorganize school. This is what we came up with: I know that Turbo does REALLY well with focusing on one subject per day. Instead of transitioning to different subject every day. Yes, I know that this is a valuable lesson for him to learn, but he is 6 and a BOY!, and that is the luxury I have in homeschooling.
MONDAY is MATH MADNESS.
I ordered and began using Number Neighbors from Muggins Math. It is a hands one way to show numbers and how they relate. IT. IS. AWE. SOME. I'm so glad I spent the money to get it. The lesson on EVEN and ODD numbers was simple and easy and he got it RIGHT AWAY!
We still use the math concepts from My Fathers World but no longer rely on it being the only thing. Of course I supplement with fun math activities such as Pumpkin Seed Math (since it is fall), cooking, going to the pumpkin patch and weighing pumpkins, sizing them to small, medium, large, etc. and using the computer for games such as Cool Math Games.
TUESDAY is TRUTH Day and I have now included SPANISH
A homeschooling mom showed me this curriculum for teaching Bible stories using stick figures. It is called Grapevine Studies. The teacher draws the stick figures while teaching the story just as the student follows drawing on his/her own paper. I finally found something where Turbo will listen and sit through. Tank likes to sit down too, although he just colors on the window like I do and doesn't really pay attention. Go figure.
For Spanish, I am still searching somewhat cheap...OKAY FREE...curriculum and have found some beginning studies at Homeschool Share where you type in the search engine "SPANISH" and some lapbook studies appear with free download and printables. We will be using that until find something better.
WEDNESDAY is WACKY WORD DAY.
Here is where we focus a lot of Spelling, Writing, and Reading. I've complied a lot of different curriculum here from everything we are doing and have. Spelling comes in every subject, but I specifically use Hooked on Spelling computer program. Turbo likes and dislikes it. I don't use it often, only when it works with the words/blends we are studying at that time.
I found this free Reading program from 1+1+1=1. It is called You Can Read! It is mainly a free program, with the option to pay $5 to get to the ad free section. Here, she breaks down all of the site words into groups of 4 and provides activities and worksheets to help the student learn and remember the site words. Very awesome.
Then, we supplement this all with the reading/writing/blend ladders from My Fathers World. Although the Kindergarten level seems to be a bit easy for Turbo, we pick and choose things that will strengthen his understanding of the English language. We use BOB BOOKS and other beginning readers to help with comprehension as well.
THURSDAY is TRICKY SCIENCE DAY
With all of the curriculum comes experiments and fun activities that we found we didn't have time for throughout the day because I realized school was going a bit too long for Turbo's attention span (that of a gnat) and we were missing some really fun things! So Thursdays are saved for such things. I have found fun science experiments online and checked out books from the library that show age appropriate experiments. For example, this week, we are learning the letter "U" in MFW. Which is translating into "US". We were to take the whole week to learn about a different sense of the 5 Senses each day. Instead, we will use Thursday to do those activities. With it being the fall season, we will learn about decay using a pumpkin after we carve it. Small things like this will increase because now we have dedicated a specific day to do it. It also means that if we need another day to work on a core subject, we can use Thursdays.
FRIDAY is FUN DAY
This is the day where we have planned to get together with other homeschoolers to just have fun. We use this day to do field trips, or to just play games. Last week we met at a park. Then Turbo and I came home, put Tank to bed for a nap and then jumped on the trampoline while using a large ball with all of his site words written on it. After counting to 10 ( and now we can include counting in Spanish) he catches the ball and reads all the words in a section. This part is where our relationship will really blossom because now it isn't just task master to student, we can actually play instead of having to check something off the list.
Of course, this all sounds great when you write it down, but for us, it has worked and is working so far. I'm sure come mid-year I will have to revamp our schedule and morph it into something that will work better for us. But for now, this is what we've got. I'll tell you one thing, I am MUCH, MUCH, MUCH busier than I was before and have to say "no" a lot more to things. Good and bad, but better for us. It may mean that our school year will go all year long instead of having a break in the summer, but Turbo thrives on schedules and it may not be such a bad thing. But then again, we will probably have a new schedule by then when he realizes that option of having a break in the summer. ;-)