Sunday, March 13, 2005

School Update

A homeschooling blog? Oh, right! This is supposed to be our homeschooling blog! The blog I ORIGINALLY started to chronicle what all we were doing to educate our son, since some people think homeschoolers just sit around and type all day on the computer.

So here's an update on how Reagan is doing in school:


We've started a new chapter and he's learning all about the clock and telling time. Which I thought I'd taught him before, but it turns out we had enough digital clocks that he'd forgotten. So, he's getting it. Sometimes we have to work a little extra on a page, but I bought this cheap little whiteboard at Target and so we sit on the couch and I make up stuff until he gets it. Really he's doing great. It just always surprises me how hard it can be for me to communicate an idea that is basic to me. I have trouble seeing what he doesn't get sometimes. But we get there together.


He's doing really well here. We're working on subject and predicate right now and he's not having any difficulty. Sometimes the spoken word offers him more of a grammatical challenge. His writing is very nice, I'm thinking of starting him on cursive next year. Maybe typing, too.


He's getting A's on every spelling test. We get through a Spelling chapter in 3-4 days. He's doing his tests Bee style.


Despite the fact that I wish he'd read more, he's really good at it. He reads a lot to his sisters, and I need to get him more chapter books to read on his own. He's booking through his cardinal reader and his devotional stories books. I'm kinda missing the reading textbooks I had in school that were full of great short stories. They really sparked the imagination. I should look into something like that for him.


We finished studying the body and have been studying animals. We did a great paper on the Saiga, which is a type of antelope that lives in Kazahkstan <sp>. We're finding lots of great animals in his National Geographic kids magazine. We tie it in to Geography by finding the country on the map and then looking the country up on the internet.


Reagan is making progress in his religious studies. He's awesome at his catechism questions, and we have just finished learning some about why we need a Saviour. He's also getting jealous that he can't take communion yet. I told him that he'll have to go to class and make his First Communion. But he doesn't understand why he needs the classes. I'm not sure I do either. He's really quite aware of how special it is. Maybe I'll have Lucy talk to him. He's also taking turns leading the Rosary at night, which he's very proud of. Last night I explained that it's okay if he forgets something or messes up. That God is just happy that we are praying.


We're working on it. He can't roll his R's, which makes some words really hard for him. I grew up in Southern California and heard people speaking Spanish all the time. So, vocabulary for me is crud, but my pronunciation is really good. For Reagan, pronunciation is harder. He sounds like such a little gringo when he speaks!

I've started splitting school into two sessions. We work an hour and a half in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon. He doesn't get too burned out, and we actually get things done.

I'm really pleased with his progress. There are still pieces of his character that I'd like to work on, but I'm not having much luck. I asked him if he wanted to join the children's choir at church, but he was afraid of what the other kids would think of his singing. I had hoped that homeschooling would be a magic pill for self-doubt. But I guess it's not. His attitude with school has much improved since we split the day in two. He's not as resistive to starting school when he knows he'll get a break within a certain amount of time.

As we've continued on the homeschooling path, I've had to let go of some of my ilusions and ideals. But I've gained a lot in the way of understanding my son, and myself. His personality is so much like mine at his age. As I learn patience for him, I learn patience for myself. And the bond that it's created between my children and myself, not to mention my children themselves is incredible. I'm really happy with where we are.

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