Friday, March 20, 2009


I am so frustrated right now that I want to scream at the top of my lungs and not stop for at least ten minutes. I want to go back to my room and beat the living crap out of my heavy bag, but I have the ending of a migraine, and I don't think that would make it feel any better.
I have a child who cannot stand to have her work corrected. 
Regardless of if she has no understanding of what she's doing, regardless of if she's frustrated out of her GOURD, and has NO IDEA what she is doing, if I try and help her, SHE GETS MAD AND TAKES HER FRUSTRATION OUT ON ME.
Heaven forBID that I try and help her understand what she's doing, she'd rather flail along like a fish out of water and just get more frustrated. 

And then, if I make a suggestion like, "Hey, honey, why don't you just go and sit in your room for a couple of minutes, get away from your math and then come back to see you understand it a little better." I'm met with, "Well, THAT won't help!"
She wants me to GIVE her the answer, of course, rather than guide her to find the answer herself. 
It. Drives. Me. INSANE.
I really think I'm going to lose my mind.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Picking Curriculum

Well, we're reaching the end of the school year - can it be? How can that be? - and I'm beginning the search for curriculum for next year. I'm probably not going to change much of what we do because I really feel like we've found a great mix that works for our family. Here, in great bullet format, are my considerations for next year:
  • Language Arts - do I continue to use both Learning Language Arts Through Literature and  Shurley English? I really like both curricula, but it can be kind of time consuming to do both of them in one day. Shurley English is very thorough, but LLATL really provides a lot of variety, though, which I think is good for her. It's mainly the time thing that has me rethinking our system.
  • Spelling - I've used A Reason for Spelling this year, for the entire year  *pats self on back* and I like it, but it's really geared for a classroom setting, so some of the activities are a little hard to pull off. , Plus, it's requires quite a bit of one-on-one interaction every day, and I'd like something that Reilly can do a little more independently. BUT, we've been able to make it work fairly well, so part of me thinks "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
         I'm also debating beginning spelling with Declan. I know that I didn't "officially" do spelling with Reilly until third grade, but that was really because of lack of being able to  find a curriculum that I liked, not because I didn't want to do spelling with her.
         ARFSpelling does have a Level A that I believe would be the correct level for him. The down side to going with it is, again, the one-on-one required...sheesh, one would think I just want someone else to teach my kids from the way I'm talking! That's not what I mean, I promise!
  • Math - we're sticking with Math-U-See, for sure! I love, love, love it and, barring a change in learning style with one of The Kids, don't forsee ever changing that particular curriculum.
  • Science - I'm excited to stick with Sonlight Science again for next year! The Kids have really enjoyed all of the experiments we've gotten to do this year. I've loved all of the experiments, once I got used to the fact that they didn't necessarily match up with the lesson being taught, and I love having all of the materials on hand. I've already looked over the next level and I'm excited about what they will be'll be a great year! One consideration that I'm making is whether to get the four-day schedule or the five-day schedule. You get more materials, obviously, with the five-day, but seeing as we only do science one day a week (the four-day schedule can actually fit into one day, it just takes about 30-45 minutes) I'm wondering if the five-day schedule will fit in the same way.
  • History - I'm also sticking with The Story of the World and moving on to The Middle Ages. I'm hoping that my Homeschooling Guru Friends will still want to do a history co-op to do all the fun stuff, because The Kids and I have really enjoyed that this year. I don't think I'll buy History Odyssey because I ended up using it mostly at the beginning of the year but I've abandoned it as we've reached the end of the year. She did all of the chapters out of order, which made NO sense to me at all, and I spent a lot of money on a whole lot of books that I've used just a few times. Waste 'o' money!
  • Handwriting - Still going to use Handwriting Without Tears because I like it and it works well for both of The Kids.
  • Declan - Here's my main "deal" with The Boy. I'm going to start him in LLATL in second grade with Red Book, like I did for Reilly, which means I don't have a language arts thing to do for first grade. I'll continue with reading from Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, and math with Math U See, but I'm a little stumped as to what else to do. Do I jsut get some of those big 'ol workbooks from Sam's (Comprehensive Curriculum - First Grade) and work out of those? *shrug*
I think that one more thing I'm really going to try and do is actually use Rosetta Stone Spanish that I bought last year! I fully intended to use it this year, but I think that I thought that we'd just fit it in somewhere. Nope, we didn't. I realize that it needs to be scheduled in, so I hope to do that next year. I'm thinking 15 or 20 minutes, maybe twice a week?
So, that's what's going on in my little noggin right now! Thanks for reading this far!