Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year on the Horizon

Christmas was so nice this year. The kids made out like bandits, as usual, and my little sister got engaged! I'm so thrilled about that - now I have to seriously lose some weight. We spent Wednesday and Thursday at my mom's. Wednesday was an hours-long wrap fest. I gotta start getting the presents wrapped much earlier. Wrapping totally sucks. Well, I suck at it. The kids were very happy, though. K's gifts included a beautiful wooden jewelry box, lots of clothes, and a new dresser for her bedroom. J's included CDs, clothes, and a vanity table/bench for her bedroom. W's included some board games, a red Nintendo DS, and a floor chair that his video games plug into and sound comes out of it. The together gift was the Wii. We've never been a family to have a big gaming system (I think the last one we had was the outdated Gamecube and before that the Nintendo NES and Sega Genesis - bought real cheap). But I caved in. It's fun and it gets them up and moving. B and I got a new camcorder - woohoo. I haven't taken any video of my kids in 4 years.

We were planning on staying home for New Year's Eve, but this friggin apartment STILL isn't completely finished. The stove isn't hooked up, no ceiling fans up yet, no where to put sheets, towels, and blankets, no curtains, bare walls, bare light bulbs, no table and chairs. It's beautifully painted, rewired, re-ceilinged, and rewalled, but too bare and cold looking. Maybe we'll go to my mom's again.

J has been losing interest in the AO Yr6 schedule, so we talked about it and she decided to try a lower year to see if that works better for her. She loves the whole curriculum, but Yr6 is a heavy reading load for someone who isn't into reading and isn't used to a schedule like that. We're going to do Yr4 instead, yet still keep the 7/8th-grade level math and grammar/writing. She's definitely a free spirit and spends most of her time doing her own thing - creating, writing, dancing, researching, etc. I often ask her if she'd just rather not have a schedule (I'm still the unschooler at heart), but she insists she wants to keep at it. So I just bought all the Yr4 books she'll need. After looking through some of them, she seems much happier and excited to begin. Fine with me. W, is still enjoying his Yr1 schedule - so much so that he gets everything out that we need before I remind him. He's reading very well now, writes in gorgeous cursive, retains just about all of every story we read, and has so much pride in his work. I'm amazed at the difference in him from just 4 months ago.

W got teased by his cousin on Christmas about his homeschooling. Then he looked at me and said, "WHEN is W going to start going to SCHOOOOOOOOL???". Before I could answer, my mom jumped in with, "W DOES schoolwork, is learning more than what he'd learn in school, AND he gets to SLEEP LATE". Hahahahaha. Go Ma!


mom of 3 said...

Go grandma! Go grandma! good comeback lol
Happy New Year!
love ya

Susan said...

Hey! Haven't commented in a while.. My kids have been told once that homeschooling sucks.. by a kid thats never been homeschooled.Go figure! So you guys are liking the ambleside curriculum? I tried year one but I really couldn't get the hang of using it. Maybe I was going about the schedule all wrong or something. I'd love to use it again, But I nervous to get the books and then not like how its working out again. I'd really love to hear about how you make it work with the two seperate years. Thats what I'd have to do. I have a 3rd grader and 2 first grader.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Susan, AmblesideOnline looks really confusing, but it's incredibly simple.

1. Buy the books (I spent less than $100 on everything). You can also find lots of them free online.

2. Follow the 36-week reading schedule.

3. Add in timeline work, map drills, composer study, artist study, foreign language, and nature study according to the guidelines on the Ambleside website.

4. Use whatever math and grammar/phonics program you like best.

5. Keep lessons short (10-15 minutes) each, and afternoons free to do whatever you want.

That's it. I found it beneficial to join the AmblesideOnline yahoo group and read back a bit so I really understand it all. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. I'll try to keep the blog updated on how the schedule goes. :)