Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back to School

Well, with great reluctance on the part of both students and teacher, we have begun to tread back into the book cluttered waters of fall. I generally like to tread lightly by slowly adding to our schedule over the first few weeks so we don't get overwhelmed and collapse into tears (me) or freak out and throw fits (okay... me again) or simply meltdown because of the absence of games, TV and X-box in our days. I also tend to start this process in early August, but, well, I had socks to knit and stuff... and it was inconceivable to get other children to do work when my oldest wasn't back to school yet... so we waited a bit longer this year. At any rate, I must say we are off to a good start. Such a good start, that I am able to sit here and blog for a few minutes in the middle of the day.

School Daze

I thought I'd share a bit of what we're doing for those who might be interested. If you're not, go ahead and skip to the socks. ;)

I'm especially grateful to have discovered Teaching Textbooks for math this year. I'm using it with my 9th and 6th graders (and can't wait until my 4th grader is ready for it). It is a text with CD-Rom support that teaches the lesson, checks their comprehension, then grades their work! If they get stuck on a problem and can't correct it, it will lead them step-by-step through the solution. (I am doing less math with them than I am with my 10th grader!)

Aside from that, my 9th grader is taking Spanish, English, Science and American Government with other teachers, then doing a Formal Logic curriculum with me. I LOVE Logic! My 6th grader was even able to sign up with a few classes through our homeschool group (Astronomy, Writing & Latin II) so that leaves me as his History teacher; the younger three and I are doing a literature study of American History this year to supplement 6th grader's Child's Story of America.

Now my 4th grader, Daniel, is just not the normal 4th grader. Actually, I don't think I've ever used the word "normal" in any description of Daniel except to say that he's NOT. But I'm learning... he moaned and groaned through the math drills I would give him last year, instantly forgetting every set of multiplication facts he learned... so to get started this year, I've been relying on Math Worksheet Factory for some amusing worksheets. Apparently if the problems are put in circles (see photo) he will actually beg for more sheets! Add in a bit of spelling, copywork, reading and Explode the Code and he's doing fine.

I'm so glad I waited a year to start my youngest in Kindergarten! We worked a bit on reading, 'riting & 'rithmetic last year but only as his interest held out. This year he's ready! He also loves the number worksheets and I've been using Startwrite software for some basic penmanship skills such as his name and numbers. He does his work cheerfully and is finally conquering the blending skills in his Phonics Pathways book. We've also been working on his memory work for his first year of Awana, where his older brother will be one of the helpers.

Back to knitting:

I haven't gotten much knitting done lately and when I do knit, I've been surprisingly content to focus on my DIC Baby wrap. Monogamous knitting only comes in rare spurts for me.

I did manage to finish up these socks though...

Boomerang Socks

Southwestern Socks by Wendy Johnson
Fiesta Boomerang "Cool Breeze" on size 2 magic loop
Quick and squishy.

When one of my very stressed friends saw these she described them as peaceful colors so I'll be giving them to her. I love that my friends are starting to get interested in my socks!

Okay... break over... it is clear that they are ready for more work. Or straightjackets. Must go.


Maria said...

You are my hero!!! Homeschooling four at once. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for juggling one!!!

I love the socks too. Can't wait to see the lace project.

marit said...

Homeschooling is unheard of here in Norway- a few people does it, but the authorities are not very willing to allow it! I think it's great that you are able to do it, and I admire your patience!
Have a fun year(with lots of knitting too:-D)

Becca said...

I too, love Teaching Textbooks this year! I miss being part of a HS community for things like co-ops. Also, for things like, "Alex just missed 18 out of 22 problems on his MUS test, maybe I should switch him over to TT." Sigh..homeschool is so full of doubts sometimes!

That is too funny about math in circles.

That's Boomerang? On size 2s? Hmm...I was hoping I could go with 3 for that yarn. But the socks look terrific! Love the colors.

Angelika said...

I would never have the patience to have my kids around me all day. Don't get me wrong, I love them to death, but I do need my "me-time". Right now my husband is even spending too much time at home and that cuts into my knitting time.

Donna Boucher said...

Happy school year Tammy!

Do you like the routine of it all?

I ask Katie every day if she did math, and she doesn't know. Today she wrote 1- 50 on a piece of paper.

That's all. Hum???

Love those beautiful socks!

knittinwolf said...

Very cool online homeschool stuff! Thanks for posting! We haven't had to pull out the straight jackets here yet..some complaining about school but then I tell him I can go dump him off at school and I could knit all day!:) All of a sudden homeschool isn't so bad!:) Boy our days are sure busy though..and I only have the one! You're super woman!

Love the Boomerrang yarn...very pretty!

mom said...

YAY for getting your school year started! We've been very very lightly working on schooling over the last three weeks and more formally hit the books hard on Monday. Back to the regular routine again :::sigh::: It will be good once I get used to it again, right? LOL!

Okay, your friends are WAY overdue in being blessed by a pair of beautiful socks handknit by you!!! They just don't have any idea what they've been missing....


Blessings from someone who is thankful to have a new pair of warm socks for my cool days,
Tammy ~@~

Lydee said...

I could never in a million years have enough patience to homeschool my little ones. Guess that's why I teach music in public school? LOL!

you rock!

Sarah said...

I do not know how you do it.
I love those socks- Fiesta Boomerang is great stuff

Yarnhog said...

So, I have a bunch of questions, none of which you are obligated to answer, of course! (I find homeschooling fascinating, although I'm not constitutionally suited to doing it myself.) How many hours a day do your kids spend doing schoolwork? What do they do the rest of the time? Do they miss going to school with their friends? Do they have a way to do extracurricular activities with other kids? Do they do group activities or lessons with other homeschooled kids?

Anonymous said...

I think you're amazing for homeschooling your children. Does this mean the handknits won't fly off the needles? Will you be slow like the rest of us? ;-(

janet said...

Congrats on the successful start with the homeschooling. I have many friends who homeschool and I always felt like a loser because I never gave it a try.