Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Our Very First Edition

I recently became aware of a great homeschooling blog known as Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. (Isn't that the best title?) Kris hosts a weekly link-up where bloggers can share what's going on in their lives that week. I especially like how the focus is not only on the "school" part of homeschooling, but on each family's life as a whole. As I've stated on the sidebar, I personally believe that life is learning and learning is life, so this makes a lot of sense to me. I really like the idea of taking time each week to recap what has actually happened. I'm hoping to be able to keep this up from week to week!

Here are some of the highlights of our week:
  • J and I have accepted the C25K running challenge, and are going strong! Read all about it in this post.
  • I am making progress on putting together the framework for our World Investigations study. This has been a great opportunity for me to really dig deep into what I want my children to learn about who they are and what their place in the world is. This has turned out to be more challenging than I thought it would be, but also more rewarding! It will definitely be a long-term ongoing project, but maybe the materials I create will be useful to someone else in the future as well as to our own family now. That would be very satisfying to me!
  • We have discovered two very well-done computer learning programs, Timez Attack and Typing Instructor for Kids, that have served as great incentives for N. Although we do not use them to replace the other math and typing materials we are using, they are a fabulous supplement for extra "drill" work. Who needs flash cards or boring practice sentences when you can conquer "bad guys" with your multiplication prowess or become king of Typer Island by improving your keyboarding skills? N is nothing less than thrilled with both of these programs.
  • K's Drawing Notebook continues to be a favorite activity, and we have enjoyed looking back through the pages to see her progress. We've also nearly completed Level 1 of All About Spelling with her. We zipped through it pretty quickly (since she already knew most of the material) but I am glad that we started with the first level anyway. The explicit instruction in concrete spelling rules have been very helpful for her at this stage in her writing/spelling development. I love the fact that, when she is writing something during the day and asks, for example, "Does this word end with 'k' or 'ck'?", I can remind her of the specific rule we have learned, and she figures it out on her own. I find this program extremely empowering!
  • B is becoming more and more verbal, and is maturing in many other ways as well. One thing I have particularly noticed this week is that he has begun searching for his favorite letters whenever he encounters print, making an important connection between the letters he knows individually and the contexts where they are usually found. He is also showing lots of signs that he is ready for serious potty learning. (Wish me luck on that one!)
  • Baby P has begun insisting on feeding herself almost exclusively. I love to see her choosing greater independence, but I had forgotten how messy, emotional, and frustrating this stage can be! She is also cruising around and desperately wanting to walk. We have been working on balance with her, which she loves.
The other day, a friend commented that my blog seems to portray a homeschooling life that always runs smoothly. I guess I do have a hard time writing about things that I am struggling with, at least until I know they're getting better. I've decided that this weekly wrap-up would be a good place to list things that have not been going so well. (So, here you go, Em!)
  • Baby P has not been sleeping well at all this week. We think she might be getting more teeth in, but so far, nothing is showing through. This is a big challenge for me, since I have a very difficult time going back to sleep if awakened in the middle of the night. This lack of sleep makes it really hard for me to function as a mom the next day. I'm still learning to be patient with myself in this regard, but it's not easy to let go of the guilt.
  • Both B and Baby P are in the process of settling into new nap schedules. (Baby P is trying to move to one nap instead of two, and B is trying to give up naps altogether.) This is extremely frustrating, since it throws off our precariously-balanced schedule far too easily.
  • My kids are backsliding quite a bit in the area of "first-time obedience". We've had to increase discipline in order to get us all back on track, which is not fun for any of us.
  • Personally, I am struggling to feel like I have enough time for my own growth and development. I did enjoy two evenings this week out of the house with wonderful friends. This definitely helped, but it is a constant battle to find the right balance.
All in all, this has been a fairly calm and productive week, though, and I feel very blessed in many ways. Stopping for a moment to evaluate how things are going is such a great idea--thanks, Kris! I look forward to getting to know the other bloggers who participate in Weekly Wrap-Up!


joelle said...

Welcome to the weekly wrap-up blog hop. I really enjoy meeting new blogger through Kris's blog. Looks like a good productive week you had.

Tarasine (pronounced Tara-seena, in case you were wondering) said...

Thanks for stopping by, Joelle!