Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wrapping Up Our Week - 12/10/2010

No pictures this week, I guess we've been busy!

Busy and productive, I should say.  We've gone completely back to basics as far as school goes, and it has made all the difference.  We stripped away all the extra, "busy" work that was clogging up our day. 

 We have for some time, been following the Robinson Curriculum (RC), but adding in a few extras out of worry that it wasn't enough on it's own.  

My sister, Jen,  is considering making some curriculum changes at her house, and asking questions about RC.   Nothing like questions and research to rekindle a flame!  Discussing things with her, has helped me to remember why I loved this curriculum to begin with.   By adding in the extras along the way, based on my own insecurities, I have watered down my childrens' education. 

Simplifying their day, actually allows them a more in depth study of the basics.  It also allows them to self-teach, a skill that builds confidence, independence, and a true, lasting understanding of their subject.  I'm not spoon feeding them the information, they are taking responsibility for their own education, with my supervision and leadership, of course.   

So, what does an RC day look like in our home?

The girls begin their day with 1 lesson of Saxon math, this includes reading/referencing the daily lesson, then working all the problems in the lesson practice.  They also correct their own work, keeping track of their accuracy rate for the day.  We are going to start graphing this, in hopes of continuous improvement of focus.  Typically they are getting 2-3 problems wrong the first time through.  Not bad out of 30 problems.  Usually they are careless mistakes.  

We discuss their results.  What went well, what was difficult, etc.  It's fun to see them invested in and excited about their work.

After math, they move on to writing or reading.  They are just beginning to move through the RC reading list.  I love this list, but the books are tough. It's mostly, out of print, oldies, but goodies.  No twaddle here!  It's been a little hard for them to get into, because they are just more difficult to read than they are used to.  Proof positive that the educational standards have dropped considerably in this country.  

Reading consists of  a chapter or two a day, and memorizing vocabulary words from a pre-determined list for each book.   

The goal for writing is an essay a day.  We are not there yet.  This week the girls did some creative writing, then IEW'd a paragraph from their current reading.  We are still working on getting a good structured paragraph before they are let loose on essay's.  

The end result was a more productive, more calm week.  The girls spent more time on less work, and felt more challenged.  

With Owen, who is 6, we have been concentrating solely on reading, handwriting, and math basics.  Skip counting, memorizing math facts, reading skills, and copy work,  fill his time right now.  This is all in preparation for his first RC year.   I'm not sure if he will be ready in the fall for that or not, we will see.

So, what is Ben up too?

Exploring, babbling, and eating fill his day.  He continues to do really well. 

 The spitting up has improved tremendously!  I'm not sure if this is a result of his metabolism being regulated by correcting his thyroid issue, or because we have removed gluten from his diet.  We did both at about the same time, so who knows.  Whatever the reason, we are loving the results.  

We also had our first post-placement visit with our social worker this week.

Also re-kindled this week, knitting!  The girls picked up their needles again, and have been obsessed ever since.   Fun!  And something we all love. 

Have a great weekend!


  1. That curriculum sounds a lot like Seton. We use Saxon Math as well. It isn't offered until 3rd grade. Which is fine with me. I heard the Saxon Math in the primary grades is very long and sometimes painful. I love how it constantly goes back and reviews what they've already mastered.

    Ester has started using her thesaurus and LOVES making a word bank now. Her paragraphs, reports sound so mature. Seton starts pushing the thesaurus in fourth grade.

    I am big on basics. I like the extra, and we do extras here and there, but I want to to know that they will do well on their achievement tests come spring. For me, it is a peace of mind as well.

    American standards are so behind in the world. Very sad indeed.

  2. Can I come for a knitting class? So happy things are going so well for you guys!