Friday, January 12, 2007

Hoeschooling thoughts and reflections

I was looking for a way to keep better track of my daughter's grades. I typed "grade book" into Google and I found this FANTASTIC, FREE, grade book tool!!!!! http://ww1.engrade.com/

I have put YDD's math grades for the last 2 "marking periods" and started putting in the grades for this "marking period." I figured I would go with 4 marking periods per year as she has been accustomed to in school prior to coming home this year. I was pleasantly surprised to see that her grades, when I actually put them all together, were much better than I had thought. I guess I must be a bit of a "glass is half empty" person when it comes to grades....

I am trying to start thinking ahead to next year for YDS. He is about 6 months ahead in his studies so far making him grade 1 1/2. He has started a second grade arithmetic curriculum and is nearly finished with Hooked On Phonics at approximately the first grade level. I anticipate finishing the entire HOP Deluxe program by the end of the "school year" which I anticipate will be around the end of May. According to the folks at Hooked On Phonics, completing the deluxe program brings a child through second grade. Nothing is set in stone, though. Who knows, we may wind things up earlier or later.

I talked to my friend Mary who has homeschooled for many years now. She told me to not worry about it right now and just enjoy what we are doing. I guess I am trying to prepare for the financial aspect by planning what I will need to purchase for next year. The second bit of advice from Mary: NEVER make a decision in February. I am not certain why, but this is my first "real" homeschool year. YDS has been homeschooled for the last 2 years with preschool and kinder curricula, but this year I have the privilege of homeschooling 2 children at different age levels. I have the impression that February can be a kind of "hairy" month.

In looking back on our year thus far, I am pretty pleased. We have settled into a bit of a routine. The children know what is expected from them (even if they do not alway give what is expected). YDD is becoming more confident in the area of mathematics and I think we may have her on what is considered "grade level" by the end of the year. She is a much more pleasant child than she was at this time last year. I believe that having her around children from families with similar belief systems to ours has had a huge impact. She participates in a Challenge Club (
http://www.challengeclubs.org/) where she has met some wonderful young women who share our beliefs. She has become less "me,me,me" and more giving. YDS has become more able to focus, and while he is still "busy," even DH's aunt who sees him a few times a year commented on how much he has "calmed down."

Dear Lord,
You called me to home school these wonderful children. They are your children. Please help me to guide them along "the paths of righteousnous for Your name's sake." I am trying to be the mother and wife You want me to be, Lord, but I know that I need to F.R.O.G. (Fully Rely On God) much more than I have been. Please fill my heart, oh God. Pour Your fire into my soul and help me to see out of the desert and into the promised land.

Amen.

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