"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Monday, March 24, 2014

Yes, We ARE Still Here!!


Absence makes the heart grow fonder......well, that's what they say anyway.  I'm not trying to assume you love this blog, ha!  But, we certainly have been absent!  My last post was in November 2013!   I was encouraged to read a piece of it just now and see that we had had a good school week.  I will say that while the blog has been quiet, it doesn't mean we haven't been doing school.  My last post for a school update showed week 5-6 of MFW, we are currently in week 21 of school.

We had a lot of "life" happening last fall.  We had illness, dental issues, the loss of sweet loved one's, and basically it was a struggle to get through a typical school day, much less keep up with all that was going on AND write here on the blog. I have truly missed my time here because it is something I enjoy doing.

So, what I would like to share today is this.  We took a MFW break. Dum, dum, duuummmm.....Yes, the curriculum that sold me on homeschooling and is what I would consider another love of my life, became overwhelming.  Not just for Caleb, but for myself. So, I did what any good momma would do, I hit the pause button.  Our last week of MFW was #9.  I still love it and we will go back to it.  Just as soon as I'm sure we're both ready and in the right place.  My heart knows that time is fast approaching....Honestly, one day I realized that too much was going over Caleb's head and things that he needed to be mastering, weren't getting mastered.  We were using ECC (Exploring Countries and Cultures) and it was written for 3rd to 8th graders.  So, it was up to me to give him what he needed at HIS level.  We were missing consistency with all the interruptions from that season of our life and I think that also made it hard for me to find the time I needed in order to figure out WHAT was really his level.  And that happens.  That is a part of homeschooling though.  Things happen; we tweak and adjust and then we move on.

In January 2014, we began a time of regrouping for us.  I switched things up.  I bought a new/different math curriculum.  I went back a bit and we have spent a lot of time reviewing and reinforcing those things I didn't think were clicking.  I bought a very inexpensive science and social studies curriculum for us to do in the mean time. I found a different bible curriculum from Apologia and we have just loved it. We stayed with our current spelling and language arts books because I felt progress was being made in those areas with the materials we had.  

Fast forward to today.  We're about to wrap up the spelling and language arts books.  We have flown through 1/2 a year of the new math curriculum in 2 1/2 months.  We will be moving onto the next level soon.  Caleb really loves the new bible lessons.  And he has enjoyed some of the science and social studies.  I say some because if it doesn't involve hands-on science, he really doesn't like it.  But, the books come with new definitions, reviews and tests and so far he has done exceptionally well with the lessons.  We do some of it orally and some of it written.

I told the principal that I didn't think we needed more than a 3-4 month break from MFW to regroup and reinforce the cores.  I wasn't far off the mark.  I see Caleb maturing and understanding so much more by leaps and bounds.  I'm so proud of him.  

So, weeks 10-20 have been very different.  This post will not be picture heavy because while a lot of MFW is basically hands-on and has a lot of picture worthy stuff, what we've been doing during our break is not.  I do have some pictures, so I will post them here for you to see:

Caleb was being creative during spelling.  Used a different color for each word.

 Caleb insisted on doing this experiment.  It was something we had done before and he wouldn't let up until I let him do it.  So, I let him.  He wanted to melt ice on the plates with one ice cube just on the plate, one ice cube in warm water on the plate, and the last ice cube in cold water on the plate.  He learned that the ice cube sitting in warm water cooled off the warm water pretty quickly.  He wanted to know which ice cube would melt first.

 Another creative spelling list.  These words he underlined.

This is a picture "he" colored from our new social studies book when we talked about beavers and what their world looked like.

 In science we talked about seed pods and he learned that he still doesn't like peas. 

The apple was a part of our math and a discussion on what makes a half.  And then we took the seeds out and used those on a math worksheet, counting seeds and doing addition/subtraction problems with the seeds.

In this math lesson, Caleb was to use the different patterned shapes to fill in a triangle, doing it four different ways.  When he was done he had to sort the shapes, count how many of each he used in all four attempts and then put the totals into a graph.

So, there are a few pictures from our escapades since the 1st of the year.  Like I said, there aren't very many.  Part of that is I just did not take the time TO take pictures either.  We tried to stay focused.  :) 

I am looking forward to our return to MFW.  Caleb says he isn't.  I think it's because of all the sad memories that took place last fall amidst our school attempts, and the struggles we had trying to get through and understand a curriculum of which much was over his head.  I know with this break, his increased maturity since last fall, and my own new, refreshed outlook, things are going to be so different.  We have incredibly productive school days now and I look forward to when we are wrapped back into MFW.

Educating in Christ,

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