Saturday, 25 June 2011

Term 2: Ups and downs!!

After such a wonderful term 1, I expected that term 2 would be great!! And it has been but we have faced a few struggles! The kids found it hard to settle back into learning and so I worried that our approach may be too 'schooly'! So I started to look towards Charlotte mason. I loved her suggestions and so picked up a sample timetable and tried to apply this. Only to realise I was packing in a lot and needed to tailor it to suit our family.

Damon never copes with change so his behaviour disintegrated and I began to wonder if I could ever get on top of his behaviour. He said he loved the new approach but just was unsettled! So we plodded on.

Here is a sample of what we did:

7 - 9am: brekkie and chores
9am - 9.30am Bible and prayer time.
9.30am - 9.40am morning tea
9.40 - 10.10 History (Australia - Australian book traveller/science(bats)
10.15 - 10.30 family reading time - Chronicles of Narnia
10.30 - 10.50 Art appreciation - Van Gogh - a chance to try some of his techniques/ nature studies (frogs- lots in back yard)
11am - 12.30 Independant work would begin - handwriting, copywork, dictation, math, typing (for Damon), reading, music practice and english.

The from 12.30 they would have lunch and time for other interests, handicrafts or group homeschool activities.

Later in term I have set independant work first because this gives me time for house work and time with the littlies. As when we do our family work it is very involved and the litties can become a hand full. They need time first.

This term I have also learned that for me to homeschool successfully I need to rely on God! I need to ask him to help me to change my heart and my bad habits. So I am focusing on changing me. I am doing this by visiting a christian counsellor once a week, reading my Bible and praying when I wake and go to bed, by connecting with other seasoned homeschool and christian mums to see how they did it.

Also I have purchased a door post if...then chart to help with my consistency in parenting and a blessings chart so that I make sure I praise their good character, not just rebuke them! it is working - my 4 year old was copying some bad behaviours, but since using this chart she knows and accepts the consequences!! And her behaviour is improving! The best part of these charts is that it is based on scripture and has scripture written next to the behaviours on both charts, so they are learning what God thinks about how we behave towards one another :)My son who I have struggled with for years (he is strong willed) is also responding well to this chart. It seems I am more consistent and they know what to expect. I am very happy with this new method.

We have also changed how we do chores in this house. We now have areas of responsibilities. Every friday I pull out the colour coded paddle pop sticks. We all choose one (no one wants black as this is the kitchen!! lol). Each colour has a laminated card to go along with it. On one side is information on their bedroom responsibilities, general everyday expectations as well as an extra job each day. on the other side is their area for that week - again daily responsibilities as well as a new responsibiltiy each day. But at the end of the week they have a fun duty - choose movie for movie night, choose friday night dinner, choose snack for movie. And if they have fulfilled their weekly duties then they get $5 pocket money at the end of the week. They get paid 50c for each morning and afternoon mon - fri. But if they don't do their job, I get paid 50c to did it instead! It is working really well.

Avril has started her preschool program and loving it! Heart of Dakota: Little Hands to Heaven. I loved that is based on Bible stories and devotionals. And they are learning science,character, ABC and number through fun actvities. She is also starting Teach your child to read in a 100 easy lessons and it is going well. She has intiated this! She is also enjoying playing on reading eggs and

I have decided to move all the kids over to Heart of dakota as they have a charlotte mason style of teaching, based on the Bible, short lessons, lots of living books and hands on learning. and I can teach my two olders together. We hope to start this next term. So even though it has been a hard term it has meant that we have learnt a lot and started to implement some necessary stratergies that are working.

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