Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Today I asked if anybody felt like doing workbook with me. Two voices screamed, "ME ME ME ME". Hmm, ok. I normally don't ask, but since I know for a fact that they enjoy them, I figured they just got forgotten about. W was first and we flipped through the pages, stopping on what looked like fun. What he passes over one day will be the fun one the next. He did pages on beginning and ending sounds, telling time on the hour (I didn't know he knew how to do that - he even knew the tricky 12:00), addition and subtraction up to 10 (using pennies and fingers), and learning how to use a table of contents. Then we read several stories in a book that actually had a table of contents. He liked to read me the same story I just read him. It makes sense because he feels like he is reading really well, when in fact he's just remembering what I read first. But, he points to the words as he reads (remembers) them, so he's really teaching himself.

J was almost losing patience that I was taking so long with W. She really wanted to get started. I really wish I had this drive for learning at that age. She got out her new bridge workbook and we did pages on metaphors (she totally gets it and came up with excellent ones that I feel she should put into a story), a quick review of prime and composite numbers, and about an hour on US states and capitals. We first labeled all the states in the correct places (I always get stuck on everything between Nevada and Kentucky, sigh). Then matched up the states with the capitals. Forget it, I totally suck at that. So, I decided to just cheat and found J's "Kids Atlas of the US" and told her to read me off the capitals, lol. I was done, but J remembered how much she loved the Kids Atlas and did a 2-page puzzle where the only way to find the answers are if you know what a legend is, what scale means, and what coordinates are. She also had to know what city was in what state and how to find an interstate, National Park, and river on a map. I never seen 2 kids have more fun with workbooks.

Musical Theater was at 4:45pm (all 3 kids), Boys Hip-Hop at 6:15pm (W), and Advanced Hip-Hop at 7:15pm (J). W was the best behaved he's ever been. I swear it makes all the difference in the world whether B or I take him. Today *I* took him. And I will be taking him from now on. B doesn't mind when W goofs off. Sorry, but I do and W knows it. And I will be taking W to his solo lesson from now on, too. He has one tomorrow at noon. W's behavior has been incredible lately. With me, anyway. I do believe that with homeschooling he is learning how to act and be in the real world. He has more patience, is less frustrated and angry, is way more interested in things around him, and is more open and friendly with new and old friends. I've noticed a huge difference since JUNE. I mean he has his moments, but he's just such a happier kid now overall.

One of the moms at dance was telling me she read an article on homeschooling today and how they mentioned advanced test scores and higher achievement than schooled peers. I told her yesterday about our Russian afternoon and she said it all sounded to wonderful. Today all I heard from moms (at least 5) was how much studying and homework their kids have, how many tests are this week, how they had so much to do they had to miss the dance class yesterday, how their kids' class is reviewing old stuff to death because of the big standardized test this year, how this one was up til midnight finishing a report, yadda yadda yadda. I did feel bad at what the kids and parents had to go through, but inside I was dancing and so thankful that we homeschool. We are freeeeeeeeeee, and yet my kids are still very smart, very socialized, and very active. 'Nuff said.

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