Time for an update!

Time for an update since I know I haven’t logged on for awhile.

Li, Hayden, and Jared are continuing homeschooling, and it does have its frustrating moments mainly with the boys. Sometimes, if I’m not standing right next to them, they have a tendency to go back to watching YouTube videos or playing video games. They’ve gotten better, but it’s a matter of getting their focus back on track. But I still wouldn’t want to put them back into private school. I LOVE the flexibility of homeschooling and how we’re not rushing out the door in the mornings nor worrying about what they have for homework for the night or if they even DID their homework or what projects are due when or if they have enough lunch money or if I paid after care or needing money for various school programs or wearing a certain something just to get an ‘out of uniform’ pass. I like that they’re not getting in trouble (ie “thinking time” or detention or points off conduct) for talking in class or for forgetting a pencil or for wearing the wrong uniform. I love that I get to be home with my kids and how they can come to me whenever to ask questions about something they don’t understand. And sometimes, I learn new things with them as well!

I had started doing MUS (Math-U-See) with them back in July and realized that at the pace they were going, they would be into the next level by September! So I will probably end up buying the next level in October or so. I really don’t see a reason why I should slow down since it would then just be a lot of busy work for them.

We went up to about Lesson 70 in the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” book with Li. I’ve stopped using that, although, Li will occasionally pick it up and want to read from there. Her reading has improved tremendously. I videotaped her reading a 2nd grade level book, and my brother, who has a daughter about 6 months older than Li, said they have got to “get on the ball” with their daughter and that he could tell Li was actually reading and had not memorized the book. Michael also said I did a tremendous job with Li and her reading. I wish I had used that book with the other kids growing up (less fighting, less tears), but live and learn. Li’s reading now comes from a variety of areas – starfall.com, RazKids (usually does Levels D-F), library books, Junie B. Jones etc.

I’ll also have the boys do a couple of activities on http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com. Jared told me he knew what today’s Word of the Day (“melee”) meant since it was used in some video game. heh.

I hadn’t intended on buying any more programs, but I saw this Mod Design I course by Youth Digital offered on the Homeschool Buyers Coop website. And seeing as how the boys like Minecraft, I thought (AND HOPE!) this would be a great way for them to learn Java. We haven’t started it yet, but Jared did like the videos about the course.

Jared is currently listening to The Maze Runner on YouTube and wants to see it when it comes out in theaters. When he first started listening to it, he was really bored with it but also had no idea a movie was being based on it. After I showed him the trailer, he said the book got more interesting. 🙂

So the boys and Li basically do Math, Science, Social Studies, Vocabulary, Spelling, Reading five days a week. And the other 2 days, I think they’re still learning as well. I told my sister that homeschooling is really just constant learning.

Michela started school this week at a local Christian high school. She’s doing great as a new Freshman, making new friends, understanding her classes and is already on their Cheer squad. But surprisingly, she did tell me she was interested in homeschooling next year. She has it in her mind that she wants to graduate early. I’m thinking, though, she might change her mind. It’s funny, I was reading through each of her teacher’s syllabi and their expectations etc. I mean, it’s what you would typically expect – when the teacher is talking, the student must be quiet and no bathroom breaks during class etc – and it’s just funny how the parent and student have to sign a form for that. I wouldn’t give it a second thought if I wasn’t homeschooling, but now that I am, it’s just eye-opening that I would always just sign those forms in the past without thinking much of it. Can you imagine telling your homeschooled child they couldn’t use the bathroom while in the middle of a Math problem? And then just the assignments itself? I mean, last night, Michela had a Science worksheet on conversions. Seriously, how many of us have had to convert a decidime or a kilogrand? Yes, you read that right. Granted, that part of the worksheet wasn’t graded, but she probably would’ve gotten an Incomplete if she didn’t even try. And I get that it’s basically all review in the beginning of the year, but how basic does one have to get? I LOL’d when I saw her Algebra I assignment where it pretty much asked you to add 3-digit numbers! And I’m paying $700/month for this? I’m sure it’ll get more challenging. 🙂

We will probably reassess early next year on what Michela wants to do, but I’m hoping she does want to homeschool. Okay, so part of it is for selfish reasons. I would like for all of my kids at home and to not be paying anymore private school tuition. Plus, Michael and I celebrated our 5 year Anniversary in Hawaii 9 years ago. I LOVED Hawaii, but I always felt guilty for not taking the kids. So next year, with hopefully all the kids homeschooling, I’m thinking how great it would be to take a Hawaiian family vacation maybe in October 2015…when typically most kids should be in school. We’ll see. It’ll be expensive, of course. And I want all our credit cards paid off first! But I’m still working my at-home jobs and I’m very appreciative for how much I get paid for such easy work!

Oh, I did end up telling one of my managers how Michael and I have decided to homeschool. Surprisingly, she was excited for me. And although she herself wouldn’t consider it (I think she has a 2 and a 5-year-old), she does ask me how it’s going. That was one thing I was worried about – having to tell her – and I’m super happy she has no negative thoughts about it!