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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Irregular Learning

A walk around the pond
I am really enjoying what we are doing for school. The children are learning so much, and I can see their progress.

The ones who are just beginning are already showing areas that are their strengths, and others that are their current weaknesses, but I am not concerned. I have learned that, just because I child is struggling in the area of reading or math at the age of six, doesn't mean that he/she will be struggling forever! I am a firm believer that many "learning disabilities" disappear as children mature.

Of course, some of us simply are weak in certain areas, and this can take some acceptance. The idea is to strike a balance between what we should expect and challenge our children to do, and what they are actually capable of doing.

The middle girls are both growing greatly. They are doing well in their McGuffey's, and they are moving steadily forward with their Ray's Arithmetics, both in different places in the Elementary book. The story problems can sometimes be a little difficult, but that is when we get out the chalkboard and make pictures.

Questions about math
Besides their regular work, these girls read voraciously, and one has decided to do a number of lessons in Long's Language each week, and she loves memorizing the little poetry as she is directed, etc. The other has been working through a writing curriculum from 7 Sisters which I won as a prize through the Homeschooling Blog Awards. She already gobbled her way through the poetry section, totally on her own, and now is zipping through the short story portion--and loving every minute! She definitely has the writing bug.

The older children have a great time with the McGuffey's and Ray's, the daughter of the two really, really loves McGuffey--she would do four lessons a day if we had the time. She not only likes to do the lessons, but she likes to share what she is discovering through them with all of us. She is very quick, and she loves to decorate the pages as she does her work in her copybook. Ray's is her favorite, though, and she would probably do that all day--she is always asking for more time to do it! She also excels in domestic skills, is learning to create a pattern on her own and sew her own clothes, has been doing little stitchery works, and will be baby-sitting her niece once-a-week. She is hoping to learn DSLR photography and put her photos on her blog.

Long's Language work
The son of the two is so full of artistic creativity--and yet he can also be technical. I hate to hamper him in any way, but I have to help him by goading him a bit now-and-again and making him do his lessons (well). He is sweet about it, though, and sees the wisdom of it himself. He can sometimes feel as though his creativity makes his mind wander from one wonderful thought to another in rapid succession, so I am trying to help him to learn how to discipline his gifts (the spirit of the Prophet is subject to the prophet).  He is working on learning to use the Adobe creative suite, and his handiwork is fantastic! Perhaps someday he will be selling them through our website, one that he is currently working on with much fervor so that we can launch it soon. Probably then this blog will end up there...

Meanwhile, both are also  reading, the Creative is often found with his nose in something from J.R.R. Tolkien (he wrote more than just the ring trilogy and The Hobbit) and the Dear Young Lady is searching for something to follow up after reading all of the popular classics.

Together we have finished a concentrated study of the etymology of the English language, fascinating and one which has enabled the children to have a better grasp of vocabulary, grammar, even spelling, with a greater appreciation as to how our Bible came to us. Of course, we studied all of this because I found it so fascinating, and the children caught my enthusiasm!

Sarah sewing
Our current studies together include an overview of all punctuation (I repeat this study periodically, using different methods, etc. to reinforce their own studies) and have daily short dictation exercises.
I have also begun to cover all sorts of very practical areas of living in greater detail, such as our current study of microbiology and keeping our homes and our lives healthy. I am planning on covering all sorts of growing-up skills, such as caring for clothing, nutrition and cooking, etc. I am taking these subjects on because I have often assumed that they just "know" because I have learned about these different areas and become skilled in homemaking slowly over many years, and I forget that this is a new group that needs to be taught and led more specifically.

Of course, I am enjoying each subject, even each part of each subject. Whenever I get feeling pressured, my loved ones will suggest that I put our little learning sessions aside for a time. What they don't realize is that I would gladly give up a lot of other things, but our learning times are the best parts of my day! My oldest daughter, who also home-schools her children, feels very much the same! 


  1. This post was encouraging to me. My oldest child seems to hate most things about school work (she'd rather spend her whole day crafting). However my next younger would love to do school all day if he could. So I guess I'm doing something right.
    When do you do your school planning? I have a young baby and am just having a hard time getting that in. It's frustrating to me yet I know it's one of life's "seasons."

  2. Dear L,

    Yes, this is just a season. I try and do a tiny bit of planning each week, but using the McG's gives us enough structure that most everything else can be done "on the fly", with a minimum of planning. I do sometimes hit on something we want to study and then reserve books from the library on the subject, or sometimes I will have a scribbled sticky note in my record-keeping book that will jog my memory as I am sitting down at the table in the morning. I really don't stress things, usually, though, and just trust God!