Week In The Life (Yodel-ay-hee-hoo)

So, after a week of pondering I’ve decided that I am going to continue doing what we have been doing. I needed to remember why I began on this journey of homeschooling in the first place. Even though more and more reasons have been added since then, my original reason still holds true.

Sky, from the day she was born, was a very spirited child. Even in my womb she was constantly moving, making it very hard for me to sleep. My life has not been the same ever since. It’s like she has stored inside all the combined energy of both her dad and I. Constantly touching everything, constantly moving. I would make  jokes how when we were at an outing she had to see everything at once, but really it wasn’t a joke. If I didn’t keep a tight grip on her hand she would have been gone. She even bounces, rocks in her seat while sitting. We have gone through several couches where she has bounced right through, why she has her own swing outdoors. She has always reminded me of the horse Spirit from the movie. Actually that was one of her favorite movies as a child, still is one of mine. She still sleeps with her huge stuffed animal horse she named Rain. It’s her “Woody” like from the movie Toy Story.

I still remember taking her to be tested for Kindergarten, and them telling me I needed to work with her on knowing the alphabet. What they didn’t know was that I did. I just couldn’t get her to sit long enough. That year, that she was to start school, they had passed all day kindergarten in our district. How in the hell was she going to sit for half a day let alone a full day? It was no longer like the kindergarten I remembered. Some said, “Oh she will grow out of it.” Guess what, she is 14 years old and though she has calmed a bit, she has not grown out of it.

When she was a baby I was lucky to get a few hours sleep. I would sleep in a recliner chair with her on my chest, sleeping whenever she did. Eventually, when big enough, she slept between Papa and I. It was a blessing when Little Sis was big enough to sleep with her in their own room. She still doesn’t sleep much.

“Discipline”, “Make her mind you.”, “If you do not do it now, she will never listen to you.” I am going to be honest and not pretend that there were not some pretty nasty years of me being a parent. When spanking and hitting is all you know and are around, it tends to be what you do. It’s an ugly cycle. Know what, it didn’t work. I kid you not, after getting her butt wacked, she would continue with the same behavior as before. Know what else, I felt like I was braking a horse, my beautiful child. That is exactly what it reminded me of. This is when I started to question, question everything.

Why, why does *she* need to change? Why does she need to sit still and know all the alphabet at “this” age? How do you know she won’t mind me later, she is not *your* child. Maybe *your* child didn’t mind, maybe it wasn’t because of *their* behavior. That’s the thing about being a child, you have no say in matters. You must obey what you’re told, that’s the way it has always been.

Maybe I am wrong, I have never homeschooled before. I can’t see how this journey is going to end. Maybe I made a mistake. Sky is not up to “grade level” in certain subjects. What if I failed her? This is exactly how I was beginning to feel with high school quickly approaching. Then I remembered back to kindergarten and her not yet knowing all the letters. She now knows how to read and write. She has *never* been at “grade level” and may never be, but that does not mean I failed, and it does not mean she is a failure.

She and I sat down this past week and really brainstormed some solutions if plan A doesn’t work. We came up with quite a few options, all the way to a plan F. Our goal is to aim for the academic honors diploma, needing 47 credits to qualify, but we are not going to beat ourselves up in the process. Some horses, I mean people just can’t be broken.

Language Arts:

We finished Heidi. Both girls, Little Sis especially, really enjoyed it a lot. Little Sis started MTH, Night of the Magicians and Sky made her first purchase from Japan.

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(L File No. 15)

Continuing with my “assessment”, we did the spelling bee interactive from learner.org. The girls made it all the way to 6-8th grade, the last challenge, before they started missing any words. Where one child is not at “grade level”, the other is far ahead. Little Sis did well up to 8th grade in reading comprehension and now in spelling.

http://www.learner.org/interactives/spelling/

Their word of the week was respite.

Mathematics:

Both girls warmed up with multiplication math war, and Little Sis finished the Early Math mastery challenge from Khan Academy. Monday she will continue with 3rd grade.

Sky added adding and subtracting, with and without whole numbers, same denominator fractions to her math journal. She practiced at both Coolmath.com and is working her way through the fraction portion at Khan Academy.

Oh and due to finally getting some snow,

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made the perfect time to bust out our new puzzle.

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I love Ravensburger puzzles, they are a bit more pricy but their quality is well worth it if you plan to put them together more than once, which we do. 300 is the perfect amount to finish in an afternoon but I think I will add a few 500 pieces to our collection too.

Science:

We finished Earth, the New Wild series with the episode Water.

Social Studies:

World History,

We watched a 3 part documentary, found on YouTube, about the Crimean War. The girls added notes to their timeline binders.

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(Miss Sky)

I prefer having a timeline in a binder because it makes it so much easier to add any new information later that we may have been forgotten. Maybe we learn about a person that took place during a certain timeframe we already studied that we didn’t know about before, just file them in the right spot, done. I like to think our timelines are evolving along with us.

Geography,

We watched Rick Steves , Travels Europe episodes about Switzerland (again found on YouTube).

I printed out a color sheet, to add to our binder where they added 10 things they learned, and the girls filled in Switzerland on their map of Europe.

http://www.raisingourkids.com/coloring-pages/printable/kids/003-kids-coloring-pages.html

American History,

We watched the movie American Pop by Ralph Bakshi.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082009/

This movie would have fit in perfect with our Russian history study as it follows a Russian Jewish immigrant family, but it also fit in with our orphan “theme”. It is rated R for language, war scenes, and drug use but has nothing obscene or too violent. I will compare it to the Captain America movie. As a music fanatic, I really loved seeing how music evolved over time and it has a great soundtrack.

The Arts:

We watched the Japanese anime version of Heidi, found on YouTube.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi,_Girl_of_the_Alps

I am use to watching Japanese anime with English subtitles, thanks to Sky’s interest, but there is an English version, also found on YouTube. All of us really enjoyed this anime (release this series to the states!) and it follows the book well.

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More drawing from Sky.

Home Economics:

Starting the sides portion of their cookbooks, the girls made French bread.

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It turned out really good. The only changes they made to the recipe was adding in olive oil instead of Earth Balance.

http://www.marystestkitchen.com/perfect-vegan-french-bread/

One loaf they ate with cheese and with the other they made garlic bread to go along with our dinner.

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The garlic bread is 2 TBSP softened butter with 1/4 tsp. garlic powder mixed in. Bake 350 for 6-7 minutes.

Both girls loved having the smell of bread baking back in the house again.

P.E.

Yep, besides playing in the snow, Walk Away the Pounds 3 miles.

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Peace for the journey.

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2 Responses to “Week In The Life (Yodel-ay-hee-hoo)”

  1. Miriam Says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I also have a “spirited child” and I know exactly what you’re talking about. He just turned 13, and has mellowed a lot, but he still has an intensity in the way he approaches things and deals with stuff. I was already homeschooling when he was born, but it turned out to be the best thing I could have done with my spirited child. Actually, both of my younger boys wouldn’t have been ready for traditional school in the early years, and I imagine they might have been diagnosed with something or had medication suggested.
    I think that trust is a huge factor in successful home/unschooling. You have to trust that kids WANT to learn, that it is natural and normal and they’re doing it all the time. I know that the high school years are different- I haven’t actually homeschooled through high school yet because my older two chose to go to school at that point. But I think it’s possible to find an appropriate balance between traditional education and one that honor’s a particular child’s needs. Good luck to you 🙂

  2. dkjsv05 Says:

    Thank you for your open and honest posts. They have helped me open up and broaden my thoughts in how I want to use this space. I am a firm believer in the power of words, good and bad, and it is nice to know the impact they might have. 🙂

    I believe Sky would not only have been medicated, but put in remedial classes too. Being even more honest I don’t think she would have graduated. She knows she is different, no one needs to point that out to her. She gets frustrated all the time at her limitations. Why add more baggage?

    I know my children like to learn, we are with them daily and can see it happening. I think while researching high school it brought back all those feelings of why I dislike the whole system in the first place and started homeschooling. In a way, it is like they are starting school all over again but at a more costly level. I know, like when we first started, we will get there. And thanks I could use some luck. 🙂

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