Homeschool Update: Week 23

It’s hard to believe that we are already on week 23 of our homeschool. This past week was one of those week. The ones where you find yourself praying for strength more than ever and questioning why you even homeschool in the first place. I felt like I was drowning and Friday wasn’t coming fast enough, but that’s life and those are obstacles that we face from time to time.

What made last week so rough? I talk about it a lot in the below homeschool update video.

For those that don’t have time to watch a video, I’ll touch on some of the issues. Here we go…

I started out the year with high hopes, as most of us do. After a two-week break at Christmas, my little guys came back refreshed and ready to take on the world. We had an amazing four weeks. They were both doing their work, no complaining, minimal fighting and then..like last week it ended. It ended at the pace that one would hit a wall.

My oldest has been a major struggle for me ever since we started homeschooling four-years ago. Yes..it’s been four years of dealing with this and let me say that I couldn’t get through most days without a lot of praying. He has the personality that if he doesn’t like a subject or isn’t “feeling” it for the day, he feels he shouldn’t do it. Now obviously this is the real world and that’s not how it works. Just because you don’t like a particular subject, or topic of the day doesn’t mean you get to skip it. That’s where all the problems begin. Even in fourth-grade he has a very hard time writing, so I do try to keep the writing material to a minimal. We do a lot of oral questions and things like that.

This year, I also started him more on independent work. I felt he was getting older and should be able to do it his Geography, Spelling and Math (TT) on his own with my assistance when he needed help. This has worked somewhat alright over the course of the year, but it’s been a struggle. He can’t stay focused and I’ll often find him wondering through the house, or trying to distract his brother. While looking over and checking his independent work for the week, I discovered that he felt he could just skip answering his geography questions, doing only half his spelling, and skipping two math days. I enter his work for the week in his planner, so he knows what to do. With that being said, it appears that I need to go back to doing one-on-one with him in order for him to focus and get his work done. This is going to be long days for sure, but in the end I think the sacrifices will pay off. Ultimately, I’m doing this for them, and I’ll do whatever it takes for them to succeed. Even if it means wanting to pull my hair out on some days.

Basically, all this to say that homeschool isn’t all roses and flowers. Everyone has their days, weeks or even months. I promise it will get better. Turn to God for guidance, and you will get through the storm.

Now onto other things for the week. What did we do?

Field trips:
We did have a field trip this week to the local radio station. I thought it went well, but will say that I wish it would have been more of an educational field trip since it was in the middle of the school week. I went expecting them to walk the kids through what goes on a radio station in a given day. From being on air, making commercials, etc. I had called a different radio station a few years back and they did that with the Davis for his Cub Scouts, but Luke was too little. I may have to call again in order to get an actual education trip. Basically the kids went in and were able to talk on air about homeschool, but weren’t really told what goes on at a radio station.

Hands-on Learning:
This week, Davis has been working hard with creating fun boards using Bloxels, and has also started creating Minecraft Stop Motion videos in his spare time. While time consuming, he loves making the stop-motion.

Luke has also helped with creating characters and boards using the Bloxels, and has been playing Thumbs Up, working with gears, Old Maid and Crazy 8’s this week.

The boys also teamed up together and made our family a delicious meal to enjoy for dinner one night. I love getting them into the kitchen, and they are always so proud of their accomplishments!

As always, I’ll start with Davis. While he does try to get out of doing his math daily, he’s almost wrapped up his fourth-grade Teaching Textbooks. As of right now, he has 15 more lessons and he’s finished with that. So what are we going to do when he’s finished? We are going to probably take a couple weeks off on math and just simply do math facts. After that, I’ve decided to use Abeka 5th grade math with him. I really feel that he needs that hands-on approach still, and he has a hard time doing school on the computer.

We also went from learning about birds in our Christian Liberty Nature Reader to learning about bees. He was a little sad about that, since he loves the birds so much, but he also has tons of knowledge about bees. We garden and we have studied bees and their effects on the environment a lot. On his list of items to make once the weather warms up are: owl box, purple martin houses and a bee box. I’ll be sure to share it with you guys as he makes those.

I know I sound like a broken record, but we love the Well-Trained Mind Language Lessons 4 so much! I wish this curriculum went up higher. This is one subject that he looks forward to doing daily. Not only does he love it, but so do it. It’s different than any curriculum we have used and it’s perfect! We are about half-way through the book since we started it later. Our school year began with a different curriculum and he was really struggling, and since I was using Well-Trained Mind with Luke, I thought I would give it a go with Davis and I’m glad I did!

What’s he reading?
We wrapped up Little House in the Big Woods. It took us three weeks to finish the book, and next week we’re going to go back and make a couple of the foods that were mentioned throughout the book. He loves cooking and I have a feeling he’ll really enjoy the hands on.

As a read aloud, we are now currently reading Tom Sawyer. I’m not sure he’s loving it as much as he thought he would. We’re taking it slow, since it uses a lot of slang and wording that he isn’t familiar with. For myself, I love reading it and I’m sure that eventually he will too, once he gets used to the writing style.

Since I’m a slacker and STILL haven’t ordered Wimpy Kid #11, he’s still reading the Dragon Breathe series that I already had here. He seems to be enjoying it, but not as much as he enjoyed Wimpy Kid. Now for me to find another series that is similar to Wimpy Kid.

What’s Luke up to?
Luke is trucking right along with his 2nd grade Abeka Math. We are getting ready to leave the “jungle” section of his math and move onto the “transportation” section. He has done nothing but complain all week about this, even though we haven’t gotten there yet. He says he’s already missing the animals. Crazy kid. But we are LOVING this math!!

He’s still loving his Well-trained Mind Language Arts Level 1 and we’re over half-way done. I already have 2nd grade sitting on the shelf, waiting.

In Science, Luke has went from learning about insects to animals and he’s really enjoying it. We have learned some really cool things over the past few weeks and utilized several different books and YouTube videos to enhance what we have been learning.

In Luke’s My America and My World Abeka history, we covered Niagra Falls, The Statue of Liberty, Fort McHenry, Washington, DC and Williamsburg, VA.  I’m currently in the planning process of a field trip to Williamsburg, VA. It’s been several years since we’ve been and I can’t think of a better time to go back now that we’re learning about it. Along with the lessons, we tuned in to a few YouTube Videos.  

Books Luke’s reading:
He wrapped up Sarah Noble and has started reading The Sword in the Tree as a read aloud.

A few weekly favorites:

Sometimes It’s Storks

Baby delivery is a tricky business: When the top-notch stork is not available, a substitute has to step in. But a delicious-looking fish distracts him, and he misplaces the baby en route. As one animal encounter leads to another, the baby travels the world: up to the North Pole atop a whale, to Australia with migrating geese, and to the Brisbane Zoo by kangaroo, before finally landing at home.

Plenty of Love to Go Around

Plum the dog loves being her family’s Special One. So when Binky the cat moves in next door and everyone showers him with attention, Plum feels left out. Cats are not her favorite thing! Binky follows Plum everywhere, even to the park, which everyone knows is not for cats. And on top of that, Binky is so annoyingly clever. Is he the new Special One? Or is there enough love for both of them?


Weekly Wrap-Up

Samantha

Samantha has been blogging for over 8 years and is a wife and homeschool mom of 4 from North Carolina.

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