This week is our first "off" week of homeschooling this school year, so I thought I'd do a bit of an update...
1. Our homeschooling is going so much smoother with just the two younger boys. :) We're finishing sooner and with less conflict and more fun. Reflecting on this, I don't feel like things were horrible with Noah home. But. I'd be lying if I didn't acknowledge that I spent more time than I'd have liked on Noah's case trying to get him to finish his work or trying to convince him of why it was necessary or batting down his excuses. Working now with just Asher and Micah, I can see that it was not an insubstantial amount of time and energy. It's refreshing to leave that behind us and renew our enthusiasm for homeschooling. :)
2. It's liberating being able to use more "kid" materials and stories in our homeschooling. Unsurprisingly, Noah objected to some of this in the last few years. Asher and Micah enjoy almost identical things, so this has been lovely.
3. I think Asher, in particular, is benefiting from Noah being in school. He's able to be who he is without having Noah on his case about little things...without feeling like he should try to be more mature than he really wanted to be. It's truly wonderful to watch.
4. In terms of specific subjects, things are mostly going as planned and nicely. The basic subjects like math, history, and language arts are going well. Both boys continue, too, to read up a storm.
5. Art is going surprisingly well. Micah's LOVING the book we're using and practicing on his own time. If I let him, he'd just work through all the lessons right now. ;)
6. Cursive is a work in progress. Neither boy enjoys learning it but both are progressing okay and finally learning to recognize more of the letters when they see them. (For what it's worth, this is the book I've been using.)
7. World geography may be a bust this year. I tried out Mapping the World with Art (by Ellen McHenry). The first week went pretty well and the boys thought it was cool that they drew Mesopotamia. Since then, though, it's a bit too intricate for their liking. I'm going to hold onto it for another year or two, as I think they may appreciate it more when they're a bit older. For now, I think I'll probably switch to some other approach...
8. US geography, though, is much better. Using 50 States & Where to Find Them is working great. The curriculum has some supplementary children's books that involve travels through the US. Both younger boys love the stories and I'm hoping it helps with holding the state locations in their heads.
9. I slacked on science. I got a book and even a practice lock but didn't manage to actually do any lockpicking. Sigh. I still really want to do that "unit" but haven't figured out a good way to approach it. I'm going to put it on the backburner for the time being and tackle some SparkFun tutorials next session.
10. All our "extra-curriculars" continue to go well...with both boys thoroughly enjoying Options, gymnastics, karate and karate demo team. Micah's JOAD/archery season officially starts up this weekend.
And that's how homeschooling's been going. ;)