Saturday, March 27, 2010

Taking Time

I wish I had already known some things several years ago when I began to teach my oldest child.  Being the first child, he was the one with whom I compared the "normal" home-schooler.  If "most" kids were understanding something at a certain age, then he should be as well.  If it wasn't a difficult concept for me to understand in my childhood, then why was he struggling?  If he didn't get the day's concept, we worked on it until he got it - some nights we worked until 9:00 p.m.  It was my immaturity as a homeschool mom that many of our "bad" days were formed. 

Now that I've been homeschooling for 7 years, I'm either wiser or just plain tired. 

My six year old son is a first-grader this year.  He has been doing quite well, though he would much rather be outside running around than writing spelling words.  At the beginning of the year, he really struggled with expanded form in Math (i.e - 50 + 2 = 52).  This concept was so easy to me as a  youngster.  My previous 4 children never struggled with this and I had no idea why he just didn't "get" it.  Just recently, I realized it had been quite a while since we had done expanded form - months, in fact.  I wondered if he would get it now that so much time had elapsed and he was doing quite well in other areas of Math. 

Wouldn't you know it?  Just the other day, his review section on his math page was....expanded form.  And, again, wouldn't you know it?  He got EVERY SINGLE ONE.....RIGHT!!!!!!!!!  No problem.  Piece of cake.

All it took was time.  Not time in beating the lesson into his head over and over.  Not time in making him write different numbers in expanded form for hours on end.  Not time in me worrying and pulling out my hair.  Just time off without even thinking about it.  Through time, stress was removed.  Through time, precept was built upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.  And, he GOT it.

What I wouldn't give to have known that seven years ago.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Fantastic Opportunity

My husband, myself, and five of our children recently returned from a whirlwind tour through history.  Most of our time was spent in Southern Virginia - more specifically, Williamsburg.  We spent one day at the Jamestown Settlement where the America we know today began, one day in Yorktown where the Revolutionary War ended, and two days in lovely and historic Colonial Williamsburg.  For the seven of us to tour Colonial Williamsburg for 2 days this time of year, it would cost us $207 - and that's the "special" rate.  However, a special opportunity just for homeschoolers is extended twice a year - one week in September and one in March.  With this deal, the seven of us had a 5 day pass for a whopping total of - ready? - $77!!!  I could have bought the 2-day pass for just $8/person, but at the time of purchase, I wasn't exactly sure of our schedule.  Jamestown and Yorktown also offer a combined pass to both sites for $10.95/person for the entire week.  This includes the guided tours, full access to the museums, and special classes offered to the students. 

I would highly recommend any homeschool family to take advantage of these offers - especially if the number of children you have limits where you can go on vacation.  This was our first family vacation in three years and I am so grateful to the historic sites in Virginia for making it possible for us to have such a memorable time together! Each of the three areas had wonderful interpreters and there were many hands-on activities to make history truly come alive for my children. The ages of the children we took were 6-12 years old.  Each of them had something they loved.  We didn't take our 2 & 4 year old as we were sure they wouldn't be able to keep us with all the walking and would become bored (we all have been around bored and tired toddlers - not "happy-family-memory" material!).  We were glad we made that decision and they were happy with Grandma!

Check the offers out at the following sites:  Colonial Williamsburg (they are still showing the Spring Program, but I know they will be offering their Fall Program in September for the same price) and Jamestown/Yorktown (their Spring info is still up as well, but they mention the Fall program).  Let me know if you are seriously considering taking this trip or let me know if you've gone already.  Tell me what you think!

I am logging our trip over at my other blog, Love & Rewards.  If you care to read more about our time there and see pictures, feel free to stop by.