23 January 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: 2 Days Late

It was a busy week for the McFamily. Throwing my daughter's first slumber party preparations into the plans for the week added to our normal schedule. 

I realized a couple things throughout the course of the week.

1. I suspect that school is going better lately because my husband (God bless him) is working full time again. He's wonderfully helpful, but my children are easily distracted when Dad is home.

2. I am so much more tired than usual because I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do again (i.e. Because my husband is working full time again, so he's not doing random tasks to keep himself busy, which means I have to do them all again.

3. I don't think I fully appreciated the help my husband gave me during his 15 months of being home so much. Getting ready for our daughter's birthday party without his undivided help took a lot more effort on my part (I'm not whining about this. I'm just stating a fact).

Other than those realizations, school was mostly problem-free this week. We read Daniel's Duck for Five in a Row. If you're studying American History (we actually aren't), or, if you're from Tennessee and you're studying Tennessee history, grab a copy of this book. It's a lovely historical story that provides many lessons as well as an opportunity to discuss the power of a sibling's words to effect their sister or brother for good or bad.

I started setting a time limit this week for Ava's reading lesson. Prior to this week, I had been setting a limit on how many pages we would read each day, but there often comes a moment in the reading lesson where Ava has checked-out of the lesson, which means those last 2 or 3 pages might take 10 minutes to read(10 VERY, VERY long minutes). Something had to change.

A friend told me she was using a timer for all subjects to keep herself on task and so that her kids new that there was an end in sight. If they don't enjoy a certain subject, they know they only have to tune into that subject for a specific amount of time. Even if she doesn't get as far as she wants to, that subject is done for the day when the timer goes off. I wish I had listened to Sarah's wise words 5 months ago when she first shared them because it has made all the difference in our daily reading lesson. I noticed that Ava often checks out after 15 minutes, so I set our reading time at 20 minutes to stretch her limits a little. It's working like a charm, and it only bugs me a little that we are consistently stopping 2-3 pages before the end of the story each day.

I've been looking for fun ways to incorporate simple copywork into Ava's curriculum. Lukas can obviously handle larger portions of copywork, and I didn't do very much copywork with him when he was in 1st grade (getting him to write anything was a chore at that age). I'm trying to give Ava something to copy 2-3 days each week. I use these great, brief journal prompts from Brightly Beaming Resources. She draws a picture and then copies the sentence from the white board. We also did an acrostic poem on the white board this past week. We used the word "winter." Both kids helped to create it and copied it.

Speaking of white boards, we don't have an official wall mounted white board. Last August, I accidentally stumbled upon my new favorite homeschooling supply. It's a poster with a pretty border around the edge that comes with sticky tape on the back so you can mount it on the wall and use it as a white board. It is perfect for small spaces!

Stop back next week to find out how this week goes with a 10 month old in the house. It should be an exciting and fun-filled week!

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  1. I REALLY like the timer idea. I'm going to use that. We've been having way too many long school days.

    It is amazing how much our husbands do that we don't realize. I'm sure you've told him already. I'll be praying for your coming week with your house guest. You can do it.

    Also, I couldn't quite understand about the poster thing you were talking about. I think you should post a pic. :)

  2. I tried to post a pic, but I couldn't find it. I think it's on my external hard drive. I will post one later this week.

  3. My husband has been at home with us now for about 6 months and I KNOW that when he gets back into a full-time position it's going to be a shock to my system! It made me smile when you said your kids are distracted by Dad though--it's the same way here!