Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Where to go from here.....

As I stated previously, Friday is it... the last day... the finish of our third year of homeschool. While I've purchased some items all ready, the question still begs to be answered... where will we go from here?!!! And the answer... I just don't know... yet!

I have thought about enrolling Michael into a Classical Conversations group here... however, I'm just now sure that this is "him". I fear that it might just be more than he can deal with.

I have tried to get information on the local homeschool co-op... twice. I've called, and I've emailed... and so far, no one is talking! I understand that this next year is to be focused on drama and the "arts". Not sure that this would a good fit him either. He is about as outgoing as a turtle stuck in its shell!!!

I feel that it would benefit him to be in a group activity, to be around other children, to be taught by someone other than me. Yet, I'm not sure that he would do more than totally shut down.

Decisions, decisions, decisions! I've been doing some reading on all the different types of homeschooling that are out there. Pretty sure that we fit directly into what is called the "eclectic style". I pick and choose what I think will fit him and his style of learning. I also throw in unit study and lapbook work. With that said, I'm not sure that this style works well with Classical Conversations... and I don't want to confuse the issue now that we are starting to get somewhere!!!

So, if you're a homeschool family, what has been your take on Classical Conversations? Do you have a child who is pretty "backwards" when it comes to being around people they just don't know, and if so, how did they do in a group situation?  I really like to hear how others may have handled a situation similar to this!

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Countdown is ON!

And exciting week here in the Neal household... it is our last week of school! Yippee!!! And Michael is EXCITED!

We've had a pretty good 3rd homeschool year. Half way through the year, I totally changed up his math. Switching from Horizon to Singapore Math has made a huge difference. He seems to be doing much better with their approach. His reading has taken off! He has gone from easy readers to chapter books this year... and he really is beginning to enjoy reading! He began writing stories at the end of this year, and is doing pretty good with that as well.

It hasn't all been roses... he still struggles with some concepts... money is a biggie. He also has a hard time with word problems in math. There are still areas where he is behind, but I've seen great strides. That has been awesome to see.

A major portion of his excitement to have school over stems from the fact that we'll be going on vacation soon. He really enjoys going to the beach... he loves the pool, and where we are going we'll have both. He thinks that will be pretty sweet. Not sure how he'll manage without his "grandkids" being there, or his Carly... but I hope that he'll still have fun with his "old fogey parents"!!!!

I've already purchased a good portion of our schoolwork for next year. I've got a few options that I'm looking at.  A Classical Conversations group meets in the area. There is also a homeschool coop that meets as well. Not sure which would be good for him... or if either will work. Still checking into both. He is pretty shy, and has NO desire to be part of a group... so we'll see!  I'll sit down and begin planning next year in earnest after our vacation is over...

What I'm absolutely sure of is that Homeschool has made a difference for Michael, and I'm so thankful that we are able to do this for him. His is growing is so many different aspects of his life, and I feel that being able to work one-on-one with him has been a huge blessing.

While I'm looking forward to taking a break, I'm also looking forward to what next year will bring....

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Reading is FUN....

Michael has recently taken off where reading in concerned! I am SO thankful that he is enjoying it. I come from a long line of readers... it is just something that has always happened around me, and I had hopes that he would come to enjoy it, many boys don't!

Last week I introduced him to chapter books that he could read alone. We've been reading the Little House books together (actually, I read, he listens!), but I wanted him to begin a series that he could read on his own.  I found the Ready Freddy series at the library. That was PERFECT as my nephew and his wife recently had a new baby and named him Freddy. Something that he could relate to. So he is currently reading book one in the series... Tooth Trouble, and he is really enjoying it.

I had to laugh, he told me that it was a funny story, and it had bad words in it... I knew immediately what that bad word was... stupid. A word that we have always told him he can't say, along with the word fat, and a few other words that just aren't nice!!! It is great that those are the only "bad words" that he knows!!!!

I have always believed that reading should be fun... because reading is VERY important. If you can read, and understand what you read, then you can do anything. More than that... you can go anywhere. Reading can take you places you will never go to in "real life". It can take you to far away lands. It can take you to the moon and back. It can take you on adventures that will carry your imagination for days!

Right now, I love nothing more than to sit back and watch him read. I love watching him when something strikes him as funny and I see a smile, or hear a giggle. I love when he stops to tell me about the funny thing that has happened to Freddy. I love knowing that he is well on his way to many adventures that will carry him into adulthood.

I still have a few of my favorite childhood books, and he has read them all now. They are kept on a bookshelf with my "big books", and he loves to take them out to re-read them. I'm excited that he is learning to share my love for reading. A good story goes a long way!!! Best of all, yesterday he told me that when he grows up, he wants to make sure he keeps some of his favorite books so that when he has a son or a daughter, he can share them. Now that truly warmed my heart!!! I truly believe that for Michael, reading has become more than school work... it has become FUN!!!!

Have a Blessed Day!