Our School Journal: Entry 31

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

I’m still checking off on my pregnancy project list, trying to get things in some kind of order before the baby comes. Eight more weeks, folks! This week, my project was to get started on updating (or at least cleaning out) my household notebook. And I found some great new planner forms that I am really enjoying using.

I’ve also been scouting the internet for our curriculum choices for next year (I think I was doing that last week, too).

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my review of iPlanLessons homeschool lesson planning app for the iPod/iPad.

In our homeschool this week…

We’ve had such a great week overall. I can’t tell you the difference it has made to let my preschooler choose a lot of her activities. I think it has taken a huge burden off all of us.

Her favorite monkey made it into her pockets this week. I just had to get a picture.

I’ve tried a different approach with my son’s math this week, having him do more writing. Since he just isn’t getting a lot of the combinations down with the flashcards, I thought perhaps that writing them out would help. Still in the experimental stage on that, so I cannot yet report success or failure. But he loves doing it. I either have him write what he has missed on the chalkboard, or I’ll give him some manipulatives and will have him write on the whiteboard all the combinations he can make (for instance, how many different groups can you make with 5 counting bears?).

I also started looking at Math Mammoth curriculum. I love the approach, the style, and the price. But it is about a year behind A Beka it seems. The first grade material would be a great reinforcement to all he has learned in K5. (But, of course, a slower pace might be just what we need). I am thinking of perhaps using it this summer. Hmmm. The website has a huge selection of samples to print off and try, so I have been doing that with my son, too. But, of course, without all of the lessons it’s hard to know for sure if the progression of ideas will work with him. But I am really intrigued by the system, which is based on mastering (with drill and review worked in) rather than spiraling. I’ve read that it is a lot like Singapore math, only with a lot more worksheets per concept.

I’m wondering if “spiraling” in math is just not for me, the teacher. Covering so many topics at the same time (coins, time, addition, skip counting, etc. all in one lesson!) is tough! Maybe I’m a unit-style teacher—one thing at at time, please!

Anyhow, I’m doing a lot of pondering and self-evaluating this week.

My favorite thing this week was…

By far the highlight of the week was a trip to a homeschool consignment store!

Because we live in a rural area, our consignment store is about an hour and a half drive—quite a journey. And we went in true homeschool style. A friend of mine came with me, so we had two 4 year olds, two 3 year olds, and a 4 month old infant between us (and me with my huge baby belly). That’s five car seats in one vehicle! (I was glad to know that was possible.) We had an absolute blast!

And I found a great deal on some cuisenaire rods. (Thanks for all the feedback last week!) They had a set of 155 wooden rods with the Mathematics Made Meaningful book/cards for only $15! Brand new the set would have cost about $40 (see the new set).  I also picked up a cuisenaire workbook (Prek-8th grade concepts) for $5. So, I felt like I really scored, especially when I absolutely could not get my kids’ little hands out of the box while I was checking to make sure all the pieces were there.

I’m sure a review will be in order after playing around with them for awhile. I can’t wait!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

I’m running a giveaway for an Usborne Encyclopedia this week, along with a series of posts on all of the ways we love to use Usborne in our homeschool.
The giveaway is for an Usborne Encyclopedia of World History or an Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World—your choice!
So, please stop in and enter while you’re here!