Well, trying to stick to the schedule and be a 'good' role model for the children (I'm trying) has limited my computer time. I think I have signed on everyday this week only to get called away and then come back to find someone else has claimed the computer. I think it may be a conspiracy.
We have already tested out how the 'schedule' will work when life is happening. So far, so good. I have to give many, many kudos to Librivox. Although the disclaimer at the beginning of each and every chapter is a little distracting, the fact is I love being able to have audio recordings of several of our books (both pleasure read and school work). The best part is that Mary and Katie have yet to figure out that those car rides are actually part of their school day.
My favorite part of the new schedule, although I can't say the same for the girls, is the quiet reading time after the two littles go down for their naps. I am making myself read right along with them - no doing other chores or making phone calls during this time. It is quiet and peaceful with us each curled up in our favorite position. Unfortunately, the girls are going to have to get used to it. Everyday I have had to answer the same questions - "no, computer time is not reading time," "No, you may not color," etc. And, the same complaints. But, I figure they will come to enjoy the down time at some level before too much longer.
The actual lessons are not drawing too many complaints. Which does reassure me that we may have hit our target this year. I don't foresee much tweaking with our curriculum at this point. I do think I need to figure out a grading plan though. Mary wants more feedback on her work - the happy faces and stickers just are not cutting it for my BIG 7 yr old. But deciding what value grades will actually have, and mean to her is where I am stumbling. A's, B's, C's just don't have the intinsic value to her that they had to me, a product of the public schools.
And, the one thing Mary has asked to add for this year is typing. I've been looking and I think I may go with The Read Write Type program. The price is a little steep, but it can be used with all the children. It has a phonics/spelling component that for Mary we really need. I've got to sneak those subjects in wherever I can. I could start two kids out on it this year. Most other typing programs are for older children, or have strong literacy skills already. I have not had to buy much in the way of materials this year, so it may be a good purchase.
It has been a good week for reading. One of the things I am loving about our approach this year. More books, more read alouds...shorter lessons overall. We get up in the morning and read, after we have lunch we read and before we go to bed we read. So, what do we have on the shelf?
If Not For The Cat; Jack Prelutsky (book of animal haiku)
The Iliad; retold by Ian Strachan
We're Riding on a Caravan: An Adventure on the Silk Road; Laurie Krebs
One Sun Rises: An African Wildlife Counting Book; Wendy Hartmann
1,2,3 To the Zoo; Eric Carle
The Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear; Illus Leslie Brooke
Better Homes and Gardens Story Book (circa 1950)
The Little Red Hen; Helen Dean Fish
Months of the Year; Christina G. Rosetti
Over In the Meadow; Olive A. Wadsworth
The Nonsense ABC; Edward Lear
The Tortoise and the Ducks
Belling the Cat
JollyMon; Jimmy Buffett
The Prince and the Pauper; Mark Twain
An Island Story; HE Marshall
Anne of Green Gables; LM Montgomery
Rhapsody in Blue; George Gershwin (our composer for the Month)
Wee Sing and Pretend
Various Jimmy Buffet tunes
The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941; Robert S. McElvaine
Easy Homeschooling Techniques; Lorraine Curry
Rise and Shine; Anna Quindlen
It has been a good week. Tomorrow DH is off work and I am guessing, hoping that he will do something with the girls. Especially since he is traveling the rest of the long weekend. So, we will not have school. Gives me a chance to breath and get things ready for next week and the beginning of more outside activities (piano and gymnastics).