Monday, October 10, 2011

Not Feeling the Love

Do you know what one of the single best things about homeschooling is? 

CONTROL baby!  (Insert Dr. Doofenshmurtz laugh here.)

That's it...That one little word.  Who doesn't love it?  (Again, insert the evil Doof laugh. I love Phineas and Ferb but that is another blog post for a different day.)

Seriously, I am not at all a control freak.  Really, I'm not.  I do, however, love options and choices.  One of the great things about options and choices is, if something does not work, it can be changed. That flexibility is a definite perk of homeschooling.

Last year we used ABeka Language Arts curriculum and I thought that I would be way more impressed than I was.  Cooper was in second grade and Jay in fourth grade.  Cooper went through his second grade book by November and I ordered the third grade book for him.  He was done with it by late April.  He needed a challenge and there just was not one in this curriculum.  Jay finished his fourth grade book by mid May.  It was enough of a challenge for him. 
Last summer, when I began looking at curriculum, I went on a search for something that might offer Cooper the challenge that he needs.  I decided on a Harcourt book for both of them.  I went back to third grade with Cooper.  He is flying through this one also.  Jay is working at a steady pace through his. 
What I am learning about Coop is that I am going to have to supplement and give him some extra challenges on my own. 
What I add to the mix
I start each Grammar lesson with a daily warm up.  I give them three sentences that they have to correct.  They have to determine what is wrong in each sentence and make the appropriate corrections.  I mix this up sometimes as well.  One warm up was a friendly letter that they had to correct.  Another warm up assignment was to write a paragraph with a given topic sentence.  I can not let them get too comfy with things.  Change is good folks. 
Tomorrow we will begin working on an essay for 4H.  They will have to research a topic and write an essay based on their research.  This will be a great challenge for Cooper because he does not particularly care to write. 
This year, I am also going to introduce him to the types of writing (descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive) and he will have to write with a given prompt.  Jay had already met with these but he will do these assignments also.  Practice leads to perfection.

English has been one of those things for us that I have had to play around with to find just the right mix.  The great part is, I can play around a bit.  That's just my prerogative as teacher. I have...wait for it

If I am not particularly feeling the love of something, I can and will find something I do love. 

Has there been something you have not loved if you homeschool?  What to you use for Grammar?  Do you love it? 
Much love,

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