Friday, April 30, 2010

Little Blue-Door Schoolhouse (aka "Giger Academy")

Here's what I did on my way home today:

This has not been a banner week for my homeschool either.  Monday started pretty good, Tuesday things started sliding, by Wednesday we were in full skid and today we just gave up.  Well, that's pretty dramatic, but I guess it wasn't really all that bad, I just didn't live up to my expectations.

I guess that is the problem though, "my expectations".  I know how I want it, I know how my husband wants it, I know how we planned it.  The problem is getting that "Vision" to "Reality",  We've been reading Andy Stanley's book The Principle of The Path with our church's small group. 

Pretty much all of us have wondered "how did I get here?" Maybe it's a relationship, maybe finances, your career (or lack thereof).  The basic premise of this book is that Direction (not Intention) Determines your Destination.  Wow, that seems pretty simple, but it's much harder to apply to our daily lives!

We applied this teaching to our finances, cracked down, had a $900 garage sale (yikes!) and with God's help, a cashed out IRA, and our IRS refund, we are DEBT FREE!

I've been working this week to apply this to our homeschool.  I have to stop for a minute and admit that I am a reluctant homeschooler.  I'm not one of those gung-ho, "it's the only way to go", hard-core, public-school hating, types (not that there is anything inherently wrong with those views, except maybe the hating one!).  I did not WANT to do this, but with our options here, it was the best decision. The more I see, the more glad I am that we made that decision!

This is our first year back to homeschool. We HS'd for Kindergarten for our oldest, since we were in Dallas ISD and then did a charter school for his 1st-4th grades. He did very well.  My daughter was at the charter school for Kindergarten through 3rd grade. She is a kinetic-auditory learner, so she was always in trouble for being out of her seat and talking :)

We use Swtched-on-Schoolhouse from Alpha Omega Publishing. It is a computer-based curriculum that starts at 3rd grade (after reading and writing are firmly established).
 
I hope that as we continue the HS journey I will get better and better. The good news is, my kids learn much more on accident than I could ever teach them on purpose. As long as I keep my eyes open for learning opportunities and sieze them, I'm happy.  My hubby is more of a "6 hours around the kitchen table" type. So we are compromising with the core curriculum (Bible, Math, Language Arts, Science, History & Geography) supplemented by lots of "found" learning (i.e. "ooh - that's a neat spider, I wonder what kind it is? How do they get their webs to look like that" inspires a trip to the library and a few hours of hanging out, looking at books and talking about it.)

Yesterday we went to "Bodies, The Exhibition" at Dallas West End, spent about 45 minutes walking around, bought a book and then I am having them each write one page on it. I have other anatomy "stuff" to follow-up with them later.

One thing that I did accomplish this week: I made a school house!  Well, actually I repurposed my dining room by placing the dining table in the kitchen, and moving the smaller round table to the dining room.  To make sure it was ECO-chic and ECOnomical, I took 3 bulletin boards (picked up by thrifting, off course!) and spray-painted the frames the same color.

(sorry about the lawn honey!)


Then I covered it with a fabric that complemented my rooms and finished it off with nail-head trim. 

The shelf in front is our old changing table from the nursery! In the corner is a blackboard that our neighbor gave us, in the front is my lovely daughter, working on her laptop. This was Wednesday, right before the slide - LOL.

So, I guess we ARE moving in the right DIRECTION, and with God's help, we will arrive!

Don't stop - there's lots more good stuff...

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