Week Three: Tired…but 4 Great Victories!

We observed the holiday on Monday with Lars spending the day at his friends, Ben working and me enjoying the great luxery of a nap and some private time with Anders.  The cousins spent the night Tuesday night, which is always fun. Needing to have them at school by 8am had us all up at 6:45.  Which was good as we are still struggling to get started before about 8:45. You would think after 8 years of having kids I might be a morning person. I’ll get there yet.

There were four great victories this week: First, Anders is very fond of watercolors. He began a book I made out of watercolor paper and permanent marker of the alphabet and sat seated at least an hour a day to paint with great concentration. Of course, the palette is all brown now and he asked me “where do all da olors Mama? I can no find ’em!”.  He also is beginning to recognize a few of the letters and some numbers and can identify six colors. Secondly, our Lars (an auditory learner) who battles with the task of physical writing, overcame this week and began his essay on the life of Shakesphere. We worked for 2 hours on a flow chart ( I filled it in as he directed) and editing our work orally. The key to this boy is doing everything orally, dictating to me his thoughts as he organizes them. We diagrammed all of his sentences and by the end he had composed a four-part essay which he is now copying and illustrating.  For him to hear that he can write and then do the copywork was a huge encouragement.  My goal is by the end of the year he can do them solo. Third, we started a co-op today and Anders went to a class for 3-5 year olds himself with no fits! Finally, he is able to relate to kids his own age!  He was very proud and earned his three beloved gummy bears. Lars started his six week class on the elections and the Titanic.  He was astonished that the 40+ kids were all educated at home! It brought the comfort of normalcy to him.  Fourth, after the co-op we went straight to SAINTS, a 3 hour accredited PE program every Friday for home educated kids.  This experience was beyond my expectations and I will have to expound on it more later. Let me just say it is what I have been praying for in the life of my son. Athletic training and confidence with organized and truly God-honoring integrity and hard play outdoors.  He went to bed tonight thanking me profusely for bringing him such great joy and declared he never knew he was a good athlete! 

I wll tell you teaching is both energizing and exhausting as we try to get the routine down and I firgure how to cover everything I need to in four days, with Fridays off for co-op and sports. I am really tired!  There will be some shifting around this week, I am sure.  May you all enjoy a weekend of rest and I urge you, prayer for our country and the world.

6 Replies to “Week Three: Tired…but 4 Great Victories!”

  1. Lisa, yes, handwriting is incredibly laborious for Lars! He does well with copywriting (after he composes orally and I write it down for him to copy, or just his regular copywork) and it seems to be less of a stress on him. On his own, it can get really bad and he gets very frusterated!

    I was reading how involved it is for the brain to compose, remember grammer/punctuation rules and do the manual work of forming the letters. It is huge! I am trying to challenge him but not expect too much. This is our greatest hurdle. Any tips you can share would be great.

    I try to do handwriting in the morning as he is motivated to get it done and get on to history, lit. that does not require so much. I am also trying to break it up with other things or he gets really encouraged. The timer is helping. We did start his penmanship program (grade 1 level-Rod & Staff) and I can see improvement in one week.

    All in all it seems it is different for every kid and I have noticed boys seems to be slower at it. The thing is he was never taught penmanship in K or 1st grade, just to figure it out. I am starting Anders in K!

  2. Kris, I am encouraged with your words/approach to Spanish. How impressive that Elia understands everything! I found when we lived in Mexico for such a short time I was able to understand WAY more than I could communicate and was told this was the first step. Ben is convinced you speak the best spanish ever and that is why your kids are getting it!

  3. Angela,
    I had a question when it comes to Larsen and his handwriting. You mentioned
    he is an auditory learner. When he writes does he get really exhausted afterwards-even after a short time? I haven’t been able to get moving with
    Drew this week to other subjects because he has just had it after writing a little. Does Larsen struggle with letter direction?

  4. Ah, Spanish. I would love to say that the kiddos are totally fluent, but I would be fibbing. When we are home I speak to them 95% of the time in Spanish. So they understand directions and your basic conversational Spanish. But My reading life, my thought life and conversations with Mike are all in English. Mike’s family only speaks English. So unfortunately, the kids are only speaking English right now. I try to force the issue, but sometimes they just don’t have the words in Spanish to express themselves!

    I was really feeling quite defeated about the whole Spanish issue before we went to Mexico. I was thinking that there was no point in my trying, when they don’t seem to be getting it. But!

    Elia understood everything in Mexico. She answered people when they talked to her, she understood the waitresses in the restaurants, she went to Sunday School and was able to tell me everything they had learned, and aside from a little shyness, really did quite well. It was so gratifying to know that even though I can’t see any results, we really are getting them.

    So long story short, I’m continuing to speak to the kids in spanish, and will try to get them familiar with the Spanish alphabet and reading in Spanish. I figure the more imprints that I make in their brains now, the better they will be in the future.

    It’s not perfect, but it’s about the best we can do right now.

  5. So are you going to go the distance with homeschooling? What types of things do you do? You are good to start when you are. For Lars, I am glad he got the experience of public school for K & 1st grade as he could be taught the basics (which I am not to patient with usch as phonics etc.) and learn how to take his work seriously. It prepared him and he really needed that I think.

    It is encouraging that others struggle with the morning thing too. I gues I really want to make the most of our day and teach Lars timliness as he tends to be a no-concept-of-the-day-or-year type like Ben.

    I do find it easier to do things during Anders nap that take him unsual concentration. Thank God for naps.

    How do you teach your kids Spanish? Ben never remembers to speak it and I feel like it is a lost cause unless we move back to Mexico! By the way, the photos of your trip were fab and looked like you had a great time! Is Elia fluent?

  6. I keep feeling that I am fortunate to start this homeschool “thing” at kindergarten. I think there’s a lot less pressure, at least in my mind!

    I am not a morning person either. We’re lucky to be eating some sort of breakfast at 8:30, let alone doing “learning time” as the girls call it. Isn’t that one of the great things about homeschooling, though, that you can make your own schedule? On the days we have to be at places at a certain time, we get there and follow a timetable, but on the days we stay home, I find it much easier to do bookwork while the boys are asleep in the afternoon.

    All that to say, don’t fret about not being a morning person, 90% of us aren’t either!

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