Now that I have a new blog for posts about my art, we can get back to ‘normal’ here. I was feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t been posting about homeschooling. That’s what most of my readers come here for, to read about homeschooling. Not painting. But if they do want to read about my painting, they can do so here.
I wasn’t going to set up a new blog, because I thought it would be more work and hassle than it’s worth and take up too much time, but I’m happy I’ve done it. WordPress makes it easy. I only need to log in once, and I can switch between blogs so easily. At the top of my screen, it no longer says ‘my dashboard.’ It now says ‘my dashboards,’ so I can click on which one I want via the dropdown menu. I can also choose to create a new post for the other blog while I’m still here with just one click, and vice-versa.
I like having things separated. I can’t explain why, I just do. It feels neat and orderly. The other blog is also a resource centre, with links and book recommendations, etc, so those interested in watercolour don’t have to sift through the homeschooling stuff to get to the art stuff. It’s also nice to see a different layout.
Did I mention that I have a new blog?
Despite my obssession enthusiasm for watercolouring, we are still managing to homeschool. But because the week before was cut short, we used this week just gone by to finish up the previous week’s work, which left us with some free time. And not only have I been painting, but so has Esa. He’s also been using acrylics.
He recently did a bike swap. He had a Radio Flyer Twist Trike (bought at half-price), but has sort of out-grown it. So he gave that bike to a younger cousin, and the older brother of this cousin gave Esa his bike which he’d outgrown (got that? 🙂 ) I didn’t see the point in spending £60-80 on a brand new bike that he would only ride for about 2 years when there was a perfectly good one in my sister-in-law’s shed. I also had a suspicion that Esa wasn’t wanting a bike to ride, he was just wanting to buy a bike for the fun of it. But I was wrong. He loves riding this bike. He’s been out every day, pedalling around our driveway, and in the evenings dh potters about outside while Esa rides on the road (we live nearly at the end of a no-outlet street, so it’s pretty free from traffic),and takes him other places to ride. He even took him on the cycle path near Tesco today while I did the shopping.
But if the novelty does wear off, then we’ve not wasted precious £’s.
Here he is pretending to fall.
I haven’t mislead you; I am going to talk about homsechooling. Here goes.
We’ve got an issue with math. Esa is saying that math is hard and he doesn’t like it.
That’s not good. Esa’s always enjoyed math: numbers, counting, patterns, working out his own made-up addition and subtraction equations.
Some might say a change in curricula is warranted. And a year ago, I might have agreed. But that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m going to do one of the following:
- Completely unschool math.
- Use the Teacher’s Manual from Singapore math as a guide for what to learn, but use games and activities instead of the workbooks. (We may do a few of the workbook problems on the dry erase board.)
- A little unschooling, a few planned activities, a few workbook pages.
I’m leaning more towards unschooling math altogether. I know he’s motivated mathematically and will pursue it. But I’m reluctant to ditch the curricula altogether because he has learned a lot of math, much of it he has enjoyed, and the workbooks have been great for his reading. The instructions are written at his reading level and he’s learned the importance of reading the instructions first.
I’m not totally sure where we’ll go with this. I’m going to have a look at next week’s lessons and see what I can do with it. I’ll make a few plans and we’ll try it out. I want him to be able to dig deeper into something if that’s what he wants, a bit like we do with history and science.
We’re cutting out the artist study notebook. It just seems like busy work. I don’t want to have to tell him to stop narrating so I can write or type things out. I want the narrations to be more like discussions, and less like work. Maybe we’ll start them again when he’s older and an independent writer.
Our phonics lessons have gone up a few notches in difficulty. Esa’s now learning sounds such as -tious and -tion, and the rules associatied. Fortunately, we’re nearing the end of our phonics instruction. Reading is coming along well and he seems to be enjoying it a little more. He’s also begun to read things silently.
The Universal Wishlist has finally arrived at Amazon.co.uk. I LOVE this thing! I’ve been able to add things like our microscope and art supplies to it; it’s great! It’s really going to help me to budget and plan purchases without having to visit multiple sites. What a time-saver.