Well we are 4 days into this new school year. I think we've had a good cross section of what the year will look like. Now keep in mind that this is Apple's 3rd year of homeschool and in general she loves to read and learn. This is Speedy's first year of homeschool and he is not typically interested in sitting and learning and so far his knowledge is about cars, toy guns, and beating up bad guys.
Monday- Speedy was SUPER excited about school. He dove right in and cheerfully completed all of his tasks. In fact when he was finished he actually came back and asked for more! WOW! Apple not so much. She was very ho hum about the whole day. She was more into staring into space than completeing her tasks. I really thought she would be excited especially about her new Math U See but really she wasn't (and I'm wondering if we should've chosen Gamma instead of Beta). It was difficult to keep her on task but we eventually made it throught.
Tuesday- Speedy was TIRED and whiny and beside himself. So he completed a minimal amount of tasks. I contemplated throwing Hooked on Phonics PreK out the window, and he went to take an early nap. Honestly I/ we LOVED HOP K, 1st, and 2nd grade but the PreK version just isn't doing it for us. For one thing back in the day when I had no idea how to homeschool or what to teach, I taught Apple the alphabet Uppercase letters first and then went back and tried to teach lowercase. I realized quickly that I should have taught them together and included some phonics sounds while I was doing it. Most classes, curriculums, etc teach it that way. It was a lesson learned and eventually she caught on that A is a is ah but it took longer than it would have the other way. So I was detemined that Speedy would learn them all together. I was shocked to see that HOP PreK teaches A= ah but that they go through all the uppercase first and then do the lowercase. Also it isn't set up to be easily planned. It says on the box and the beginning page to do the workbook page (which is consummable- frustrating!), then the DVD, then the story. But the DVD only has 3 videos: A-H, I-Q, P-Z and there are only 3 books. The videos are looooooong too. So all summer he'd do a letter page, then the looooooong video, then a story. Well lo and behold I finally found a page that indicated he should've done all the letter pages A-H and then only watched that video and read that story 1 time. First he isn't retaining the letter by doing one page and second the video is the fun part he wants to do. So I adjusted all that and now instead of HOP being his main teaching tool (which is what I paid the money for) it now is secondary while I teach him through other things like flash cards, etc. Wow that was long. Sorry needed to vent about it! Apple did better that day because her work was easier. I basically have her set up to learn new material on Monday, practice Tuesday & Wednesday, test Thursday, and do PE/ socialization/ etc on Friday. So she burned through Tuesdays work pretty quick plus she was not distracted by her brother.
Wednesday- A FABULOUS day for both. They were in the classroom ready to go before I ever got in there. They were excited to learn and didn't wanna leave the classroom when we were finished. In fact after lunch they both went back in and worked puzzles and played with Play Doh while I did the dishes. I'm thinking about getting the Play Doh numbers and letters set above. Speedy loves Play Doh and he's so hands on that I need things like this to keep his interest. They learned a lot yesterday and Speedy impressed me by matching some pictures to the letter that begins them by himself and doing an ABC puzzle all by himself! Apple did her work well and was cheerful and pleasant. I wish everyday was like that day!
Thursday- Boo. Seriously I wanted to cry or walk them across the street to public school or something. Boo. Their attitudes stunk and their work ethic stunk worse than that. First week blues maybe? Speedy woke up asking where we were going. He just wanted to get out of the house. He didn't want to do school AT ALL so he had a few short flashcard drills and then he was sent to do chores. Apple wasn't much happier. Let's just say she'll be redoing her tests tomorrow. So we will have regular class again in the morning although that wasn't the original plan. She also had some chore time and then we went out to lunch and to do errands with the Nonna. Sigh..... hope it's better tomorrow and next week!
All in all we have accomplished pretty much all the schoolwork I had set out for us to accomplish. It wasn't easy but it could have been a LOT worse! Did you begin school this week? How was it? Also I am seriously considering K12.com's online public school for next year now that it's available in my state. Have any of you tried it? Thumbs up or down? I'm intrigued by the FREEness of it all but have my concerns about it being up to Apple's level. Let me know what you think!