Homeschool Progress Check 2

I last checked in back in January and I felt like I wanted to do another check-in because it makes it easy to assess my progress as a teacher and planner for the kids. It's also good accountability. My check-ins will never be showy or extravagant. They reflect our daily doings and how the kids are actually doing.

We've had an adjustment through February, with Andrew's job change - it naturally brought about a schedule shift, so we had a couple weeks of adjusting and figuring things out this month. If you'd like to read our homeschooling goals, you can do that here.

Things that have worked:

  1. Time blocking. I have a chalk clock from Target dollar section and I drew on it with chalk, to mark times out, partly for me and partly for Bennett. I have alarms set on my phone at all the right intervals as well. It seems to go really smoothly and it gives me freedom to move through our schooling without feeling like there's so many other things I NEED to be doing.
  2. Games. Both of the kids love to play games, so adding games into the school day is super helpful for all of us. They feel like their mom attention is filled up which makes them fight less and I feel more at peace...who knew? I keep them to educational games, we have a memory matching game that is Uppercase/Lowercase letters and a counting game for math.
  3. Reading time on the couch. I was struggling with the kids getting antsy, fidgety, and noisy while I was trying to do reading time at the table where we do school . I decided to move it to the couch and it seemed to flip a switch in them and they sat quieter (not necessarily less fidgety), but less antsy for sure.

Things that haven't worked:

  1. Loosing my temper. I struggle with Bennett's reading sometimes. Half of the time he will read words that shock me, the other half, he fakes through it and will stop after a simple word and look at me with puppy dog eyes to give it to him. It's a game that he likes to play and it DRIVES ME NUTS so I have to step back and move on to something else in the meantime. I always make him come back to it though, because sometimes he does it to get out of doing it...

  2. Putting Elliot down for a nap during school time. First, he doesn't WANT to nap, and second, if he does, then he doesn't nap while I'm trying to get work done...I would MUCH rather have him awake during school and napping while I'm working...
  3. Having the boys sit next to each other. I found that if I have them across from one another, I can work with both of them easier - otherwise I'm reaching across one to get to the other. Plus, I can barricade Bennett off with a big cardboard tri-fold so he can focus on his own work. He likes to try and do it for Parker...

Successes and Progress so far:

  1. Bennett's reading is becoming smoother and he will sit and read his Bible to himself, just on his own! Reading the Bible is a success in itself! It's just a Beginner Bible so the stories are short and the words are made for him, but it's creating a love in him that will be unending.
  2. Memorizing verses and reciting them during trials with them. We've been struggling with the kids listening and obeying (I know - what parent doesn't) but then this week, the verse, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority" came up. It's been good to recite it when I want to yell at them, I think it's helpful for them to connect too.
  3. Parker has taken off with his learning, he is just soaking everything up and really enjoying it. He constantly asks for more to do, so as much as he wants, I give it to him. I'm trying to really monopolize on his desire to learn and do work beside Bennett! He has even begun to write numbers. He still isn't doing letters so well, but numbers he's becoming a whiz at, so that's progress!

We started working with money in February, Andrew has developed a real passion to help the boys understand it and manage it well so he set up an allowance system for them. It was hit and miss until I gave the boys an end goal. I had them each tell me one thing they wanted, I found something similar for $10 on Amazon, and now they are SO excited to earn money. I need to make a little goal chart for them so they have a visual, but just knowing what they are working towards is helpful.

Coming up, I'd like to begin tackling fractions. Bennett already worked on double digit adding and subtracting - those things come so naturally to him.

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