What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The homeschool year, begun

Yesterday was our first day back to school, only our school requires no shoes.

Or bus commute.

Or brown-bag lunches
(though do children even HAVE those anymore??)

Nope-ours require only a walk to the family room and a tush plop onto floor or couch or chair tucked into the table. And wouldn't even require "day clothes" if I weren't such a mean Mama.

But it does require day clothes (though sometimes, the combed hair IS neglected.)

I had grand plans to work on Corynn throughout the summer in a more casual way to help retain all the information I burned into her little brain last fall.

But then the garden was made.
Our first family vacation was had.
Then the garden produced.
Then I got distracted.
Then I got distracted again.

Needless to say: not much was accomplished in true book form and unfortunately for me, I realized yesterday, it was too our own detriment.

Yeah yeah, I read LOTS of library books this summer. We experienced LOTS of things and had many "teachable moments" throughout our time off but as I am even more convinced of now: just living life doesn't give you all that you need to succeed.

After two months of doggy-paddling, we have got some serious serious waves to make. (wow, that was lame)

I am also reminded about how accomodating home-educating is to introspection. If you want to see how badly you stink at things, just homeschool.

I realized on DAY ONE that the hideous, four-eyed monster named Impatience is actually my first cousin and wants to hang out with me all the time. Oddly enough, I don't like the guy but I can't get away from him either. Weird.

Maybe it comes from having to RETEACH things that we had mastered a while ago.

Nevertheless, I need help. That is MY goal this year, while Corynn is practicing new concepts and Andrew is practicing his letters, my daily lesson is going to have to be patience and long-suffering. (huh. long suffering has an interesting name, wouldn't ya say?)


One of the things that Corynn began to re-struggle with is the different sounds TH, CH, SH, and WH make.

After my eyes rolled back in my head and my teeth hurt from grating them so hard, I took a few deep breathes and decided something PRODUCTIVE needed to be done to help reinforce the sounds.

These are what I came up with:

I folded a strip of paper into thirds and made a casing out of blue construction paper with tape. I cut a piece of white paper to fit inside the tube and to be just a smidge longer on either end.

Each of the four sounds is on an end of one of the "bookmark" things next to a "window" I cut from the blue. I made sure to alternate the sides for the window to get two invisible "columns" so I could fit two sounds on one bookmark.

On the white sheet is all sorts of different "endings" that will make great practice words for the sounds. As you pull up on the paper you get another and another.

I hope it helps~ I know Corynn is excited about them. That is important.

But even more important, is that she know that I am here to HELP her succeed this year, not be frustrated when she fails.

Here's to a new year!
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...they call me mommy... said...

YEA! What a great idea...I will be filing this away for future use! Thanks! :) And I hear ya with the patience thing...:)

Peggy said...

Oh I loved those when I was in school! My 2nd grade teacher used them. Some she made herself and some came with the curriculum. I was a late bloomer when it came to reading so I can understand frustration! Oddly enough in 2nd grade we moved and the new teacher wanted to keep me back a year but agreed to summer school instead only if it caught me up to where I needed to be. During that last month of school I went from being as far behind as the slowest student had been at the beginning of the year to having caught up with the slowest students. That summer a whole new world was opened up to me! The world of reading! From that time on I always had a book with me... Mom read to me every night as a young child but I just couldn't make sense of it. I think you will find the reading slips help... I know they did for me!

Grandma Bibby said...

That is a very creative way to teach the sounds. Good job, momma! And the patience will be learned. Bobby has taught me and keeps teaching me patience and self control. As you have said man times, it is convicting when our children point out our sin. And they will see your impatience, and you will learn from it. Home school is not only for the children. :-)

Tracy said...

Teaching those whom you love E.V.E.R.Y. single day can be tough and is trying for sure, but it is so worth it, Rebecca. Of this I am sure: You will NEVER, NEVER be sorry.

Love the sounds idea, btw!

Wendy said...

It sounds like you are off to a good start even if you had a few setbacks! We all have our flaws that we struggle with. I have tend to have a short temper, when I exhibit it the kids do too...so I have been working really hard on that and doing well. I use the time on the way to school to memorize verses thathelp the kids and I with our problem areas...so we all benefit. Good luck on the new school year!

Kimberly said...

What a cute idea. Homeschooling does bring out your faults and makes you face them, doesn't it? We are going into our tenth year and it is always very trying the first few weeks of getting back into the routine and remembering what you tucked into that brain oh so long ago!
Hang in there!!

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Homeschooling is definately not the easy road. I come face to face with my own sin every day. No wonder so many Christians where we live choose not to do it.

But the fruit is SOOO worthwhile. I've had my days when my 7 yr old hasn't wanted to finish her math page, and yet, after storming off, she'll return of her own accord to do it later; or she'll be off studying 5 or 6 books later on her own, and come out wanting to know what was happening in ancient Brittian and China when Jesus was on the earth; or I'll hear the girls singing hymns or saying memory verses in the garden...

I've found it hard at times this year homeschooling with our little twins around, but God has been so faithful and on the many days when I've felt like quitting, He has sweetly encouraged me, often through blogs such as yours.

I love the little slider you made to help Corryn with her sounds.


Vanessa said...

So - kind of a random question. But that beautiful star made of colourful tissue paper on your window. . .I've seen it on several homeschooling blogs and think it's so pretty that I'd like to make them :) Is there a trick to making them??

Thanks so much!