February School

February was strange.

Between crazy weather, Andrew's work schedule, and preparing for Gabe's surgery, school just felt off.  I struggled a lot this month with feeling like I wasn't doing enough with Josie.  Then the next week, I'd feel like I was pushing too hard.  I know it's the stress of Gabe's surgery playing tricks on my mind so I'm not putting any stock into it.

We will be taking the majority of March off for his recovery and I think the break from school will do us good.

We didn't do any extras this month, but we did go on some fun field trips and had some major, major breakthroughs.

For starters, one night Josie picked Curious George Flies A Kite to read to me.  I'll be honest, I was tempted to talk her out of it.  I knew that a long book like that was going to prolong bedtime by at least 30 minutes.  Not to mention I had been flying solo for three days and wasn't sure I could listen to her sound out words for that long.

Girlfriend cracked open the book and read every dang word like she'd been reading for years!

I totally cried.  It was like watching all those frustrating lessons click.

My girl can read and that is life changing!  She was just as proud.  I don't think she thought she could do it either until she did.  From that day on, her reading time has been a lot of fun.  She is finally confident enough to go beyond her Biscuit books (that we both love).

Our other "Ah Ha" moment was on my end.

I've been pretty open about how difficult writing has been for Josie.  Not just creative writing, but handwriting too.  She was rushing through and very sloppy.  I didn't stress about it too much, but knew that we had to get it moving forward before too long.

Then one night, after a particularly rough evening, she slipped an envelope under her door and when I opened it, I found a perfectly formatted apology letter.  Sure the spelling was very phonic, but the letters were all sitting where they were supposed to.  Two pages!  I had given up on asking her to write anything close to that long.

And suddenly I realized that it wasn't writing Josie was hating, it was pointless writing she was so against.  Ask her to write a letter or a card that actually means something to her, and you'll get her best work.

So I ditched most of our copy work and traded it in for more meaningful writing.  We started a notebook writing letters back and forth to each other (adorable) and she is now in charge of writing out my grocery list each week.  She feels like she is doing something worthwhile and I know she's getting that practice in.  We are still doing A Reason For Handwriting to get letter formation down and she has to do writing in her english book, but this is working so much better for her.

Sometimes I look at her and she looks so grown.

We started our new biology curriculum this month.

I went with Christian Kids Explore Biology.  I honestly hate the name because I think it makes it sound overly religious.  It isn't.  It's peppered with verses in the sidelines, but other then that it is pretty unbiased.  It does lean towards Creationism but also teaches what Evolution is.  So far we are loving it. I'm hoping to make it through 2 units before Summer and then we will pick it back up in the Fall.

I love the way it's laid out.  One day is reading and vocabulary and the other day is a hands on project.  We review the vocabulary every day.  The reading sections are very short so it's easy to keep her attention.

And the hands on projects?  Well so far she has gotten to do paper mache and make an edible cell out of jello and candy, so I think it's safe to say Josie is thrilled with it.

She wrapped up her unit on early settlers.

I really enjoyed the way 123Homeschool4Me put her Colonial America information together.  With simple copy work, a great book list, and a few hands on projects Josie was able to learn about 5 explorers and get an in depth look at what it was like for the first European settlers in American.  Her last project was to build a log cabin.

I'm getting antsy to go a little deeper with Gabe.

So far we've been doing a lot of flashcards and letter tracing.  He loves art and Leapfrog Letter Factory.  The plan for him is to keep going with that until the Fall.  We have no clue what to expect with surgery so I think it's wise for us to hold off on anything else.

We spent a day at a local animal conservation park with this crew:

That's a lot of little people!  And people worry about homeschool kids getting socialized.

We also hit up a couple more concerts at Spivey Hall.

No photos allowed in there so you'll just have to take my word for how great they were.  If you live in Georgia, I recommend looking up the Education Concerts at Spivey Hall.  It is only $2 per person and there are quite a few left this year.  I'm hoping to make these a regular field trip for next year.


Nicole T said...

Hey Nicole! First of all, praying for you for Gabe's surgery. Have you ever used Starfall.com with your kids? All of my kids loved it until they just absolutely outgrew it. That might be something fun (and educational) for Gabe to do while he is confined to the hospital bed.

Hugs for you!!

Liz said...

Oh my gosh! I was going to say exactly what the above commenter said!
Definitely praying for you during Gabe's surgery.

And we LOVE starfall.com. We have the yearly membership, and all my kids use it daily. The apps are great too. :)

Sweet Tea said...

Praying all goes well,(and I KNOW it will) with your sweet Gabe's surgery. We have done homeschooling with high school, but never with younger children. Amazing!

Cristi said...

What an exciting milestone for Josie!