Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homeschool Epiphany

Hello! Yes, I know I've been gone for quite some time, but I have some pretty good excuses (though they are just excuses, and I should've tried a wee bit harder to write this summer...and fall!) So let me take a minute to update everyone on the Blackard family happenings.

On June 21st at 11:47 pm, we welcomed our Sadie Marie into the world. She just turned 5 months old and is so sweet. She loves her brothers, is sleeping through the night and is very,very tall.

Both sets of grandparents came to visit. We shared a garden with our good friends the Abels, bought 3.65 acres of raw land (woohoo, our own Alaskan cabin here we come!), and raised our ducks. So we've been busy.

We also started 1st grade this year, which brings me to this post and the restart of this blog. This year I decided to try Sonlight Core B curriculum with their science. We are continuing with RightStart math, since we enjoyed it last year. When the Sonlight box arrived, I was ecstatic! Tons of books, which are my favorite.

Yet after our first quarter, I was a little frustrated. Tucker is doing amazingly in reading, loves learning about animals and overall does well with school. But, it seems there is a disconnect. I'm trying to get all the facts, do all the assignments in the curriculum and get through the books. Math especially does not seem to be connecting. Now don't get me wrong. Tucker can spout answers and fill in worksheets with the best of them, but it just doesn't seem to be deep rooted knowledge. And the rest of school is the same. Aaaugh! This is not the homeschool I always dreamed of.

Enter the epiphany in the form of a book: The Three R's by Ruth Beechick.
Now I've had this book since July 2011, but like a lot of books that could help, I put it on the shelf and forgot about it. Until this week. In my desperation, I started reading it and couldn't put it down! I read the whole book in 1-1/2 days (which is a difficult task with a baby, two boys and Thanksgiving!!) The amount if wealth on reading, writing and arithmetic was more helpful than all I've read combined. Like with most epiphanies, the ah-ha moment was followed by the man-I-wasted-good-money moment. She explains the different modes of thinking our children go through, manipulative, mental image and abstract, and how most textbooks require children to think abstractly before they are mentally ready to, causing them to have the disease she calls "Arithmetic Anxiety", which I was seeing in Tucker and I know I have. Her solutions are so simple it's ridiculous! And math was just the tip if the education iceberg she exposed.

Now it's not a cure all book. However, if I had read it last year, I could have saved a lot of headache, heartache and budget. I will be using this as a tool throughout the next three years and have put her second book "You Can Teach Your Child Successfully" on my must read soon list. As we implement our changes, I'll keep you updated!

Have you had a homeschool epiphany?

Get The Three R's here:

No comments:

Post a Comment