Saturday, August 19, 2017

Week 1 ~ Adjustments Already!

First and foremost, we had a really good week. Everything went more smoothly than anticipated and only one child completely balked over one curriculum choice. So I am calling the week a strong start. We completed all that we set out to do. However, I did make two changes already. This year I am not struggling through stuff that doesn't work. If I can't adapt it to make it fit, out it goes! If it is in my power, we are going to have a smooth, productive year without all of the drama of last year.
The first day of school started with a run to Starbucks!
So what did I change? Anne was calling me to come help her on the first day of math, insisting she had no idea how to do the subject at hand. I looked at it and saw that the curriculum (Kumon Math) didn't explain the concept well. It only explained the simplest problems and then asked the student to do harder varieties that hadn't been taught. I looked ahead and saw that this method continued throughout future lessons. It worked well last year, but much of it was review to make her foundation more solid. This year is new material. So I switched her to No-Nonsense Algebra. She is pleased and asks to do math first thing each day. That is a win in my book!

The second change is removing Cover Story from their course work. We struggled through a third of this program last year. I knew the kids were not thrilled with parts of the curriculum. However, since the girl we homeschooled a few days a week really hated it and complained tons about it, I thought my kids were just copying her. This year, I decided to only use it with my crew. However, Dean was very distraught when it was brought out and, after reminders to express his feelings in a more respectful manner, gave me several valid reasons why he did not want this to be his writing course. I switched him to Spectrum Writing (8th grade)even though it will count as part of his 9th grade credit. This program covers the same basic material that Cover Story did. He is much happier and life goes on. Anne is also using the Spectrum Writing program.

What Dean did this week
  • He worked two mornings at the Nature Center fulfilling his volunteer job for the summer. He logged another 8 hours in his Career and Technology course.
  • He attended his guitar lesson and practiced his guitar at home for three hours.
  • Dean did three chapters in Life of Fred Fractions and the corresponding pages for each chapter in Zillions of Practice Problems Fractions.
  • Dean listened to a reading of Macbeth and participated in a family discussion with some of the related questions from Progeny Press. We completed one act a night. 
  • He spent two hours drawing a new picture he calls Experience Tranquility.
  • He did two chapters in the Book of Trees and the corresponding workbook pages. He really likes this one. 
  • Dean read four chapters of The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic and did the corresponding workbook pages.
  • Dean did Lesson One of Spectrum Writing  and lesson 27 of Cover Story.
  • He watched CNN10 (formally CNN Student News) daily.
  • He attended two hours of physical education class with the Wandering Swordsmen.
Anne center back
What Anne did this week
  • Anne attended six and one-half hours of ballet this week. Her pointe shoes "died" mid-class one day and her teacher deemed them dangerous. We had to race off to the store to replace them the very next day. 
  • Anne sewed all of the elastic and ribbons onto her sixth pair of pointe shoes. She gets faster at sewing, and her needlework improves with each pair. Her sewing was recorded for home economics credit.
  • She watched CNN10 daily.
  • She shopped for ingredients to make four recipes from her home economics cookbook (which we will be reviewing next week). She prepared them without help and fed them to her family.
  • She did nine pages in her logic book, Unlocking Analogies.
  • Anne listened to a reading of Macbeth and participated in the discussion of questions from the Progeny Press unit study.
  • Anne finished four lessons in No-Nonsense Algebra.
  • She read two chapters in her history text and answered the corresponding questions.
  • She completed two lessons in her Spectrum Writing Book.
  • She continued reading one of her Harry Potter books.
We will be adding more workbooks and reading/writing assignments over the next two weeks as we progress into a full schedule. 

I am glad to be back to school and to a routine!

Blessings, Dawn


  1. How awesome that your kids were able to articulate why they didn't like some of the work and that you were able to work out new plans! That's so much nicer than kids just whining and whining and whining!!!

    Here's to enjoying MacBeth!

  2. I hate finding that a curriculum doesn't give enough instruction. That was our biggest issue with Albegra last year!

    I'm glad you were able to find pointe shoes in stock when you needed them. We always had to order and wait on Olivia's.

  3. I need to look into CNN10Daily for my kids. ALgebra is a thorn in our side too, so hard to find a good program that explains it all

  4. I completely forgot about CNN student news, and had no idea its named changed. Thanks for the reminder.

    It's great that you are able to work out the kinks in the kids' lessons earlier on this year. I hope the changes work well, and not too many more are needed.

  5. Being able to quickly change what isn't going to work is a great advantage of homeschooling. Here's to many more weeks of happy homeschooling.

  6. I would certainly call that a very successful first week back! So happy just a few minor adjustments worked. I'm still slowly adding in subjects one at a time... and they've balked every single time. (Not about the actual materials we're using but that we are gradually covering more and more each week).

  7. Sounds like a wonderful week! I have Cover Story, but I haven't used it yet - was thinking maybe next year I would use it with Malachi. Did you like it?

    That's a lovely picture of Anne at ballet!

    1. I like it, but my kids are really more interested in business or necessary writing. Cover story is more about fun and imaginative writing.

  8. I'm so very glad to see this blog!! such a great job!