Friday, May 06, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 10

In my life this week…It's been a big week for me.  I have posted before how difficult I find teaching.  It seems to have come to a point where I have decided to quit my job as a high school science teacher.  The school is still trying to convince me to do otherwise, but I think the words of my wise 10 year old daughter say it all...."Don't go back Mummy, you are so much happier at home with us" and my smart 11 year old son "You can find another way to make some money".  

While I believe I am a good teacher and I do form good relationships with the kids I teach, the contrast between what we achieve at home and the "system" is too great.  My health is also faltering, with very high blood pressure and all the risks that that entails.  I guess I'd rather be happy than make other people happy.

On the plus side, I'm still running!  No more walking intervals for me now - just building up my endurance to get to the goal of running 5km without stopping and then working on the speed (I'm not breaking any records at the moment, let me tell you!).

In our homeschool this week…
Back to school!  This term's theme is "Home".

We have finished reading Who Really Killed Cock Robin (you will have to read it to find out!) and have started on Anne of Green Gables.  Wombat Girl was very excited by the prospect of this book; Video Boy...not so much! But after the first 2 chapters, he announced (after having laughed his way through them) "that was really not as bad as I thought it was going to be!".  Obviously, it's the way I read it aloud :-)

The Story of ScienceWe really enjoyed The Story of Science - Can We Have Unlimited Power?  It nicely introduced the concept of energy and we had fantastic discussions about the first law of thermodynamics and the different sorts of energy.  We have put those ideas into an Inspiration Mind Map, which we will build on and update as we learn more.  I love mind mapping as a learning tool - it really helps cement concepts, is great for visual learners and also helps those higher order thinking skills like analysis and synthesis.

In maths, we watched the "measuring" episode of Basic Math and got started on metric units of length and converting units of length.  We hope to put this knowledge into good use later this term (stay tuned!).  We also did a bit of "fun" maths with the Beyond Base 10 unit of work from Prufock Press.  The kids really got into it and we are enjoying exploring other number systems (bunch of maths nerds!).

Thanks to fellow Blogger Helena, we are playing Forbidden Island and loving it!!!  How fabulous to find a board game that the whole family can enjoy, but we aren't playing against each other.  Loving the cooperative nature of it.

We are also working on our handwriting and freewriting.  Using the Speed Up! program, I am working on the kid's stamina and their kinaesthetic sense.  Video Boy has motor dyspraxia, so this is something that I'm hoping will be beneficial for him especially.

We also got an exercise ball - and enjoying it to do some strengthening exercises and stretching!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Back to gymnastics this week for Wombat Girl, who is now working on her flexibility and stretching! I was very happy being at home for the entire week with my kids and had no real desire to venture out at all!!!

My favorite thing this week was…
Getting back into homeschooling and spending wonderful hours and days with my kids.

What’s working/not working for us…
Mind mapping and using technology to record our learning.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
How lucky am I to be able to do this with my wonderful children?!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Cos I'm free! Freewriting...


Wombat Girl gets creative

Speed up exercises


  1. Sad to hear that work is so stressful... Glad to hear that homeschooling is going so great! :)

  2. I agree with your daughter, do what makes you happy =)

  3. If you are a science teacher you are likely sitting on a homeschool jackpot! In my area, science programs are in high demand and parents will pay to put their kids in one - especially high school. You may want to consider teaching a once a week class.

    Stopping by from HSMJ.


  4. I know just what you mean, Ingi, about being happiest at home. Isn't it amazing, when you go down this path, just how right it feels? There are difficult days, but I would say the joy that comes from homeschooling totally outweighs the negatives.

    I hope leaving your job isn't too stressful (could it be more stressful than the job itself? Doubtful). I think choosing what makes you the most happy and putting it first is wonderful.

    I love all the links here! Now I get to have a happy time looking them all up :) And yes, Forbidden Island is great, isn't it? So pleased to see you got it too.

    It would be lovely to meet up sometime. We should do that one day, don't you think?

  5. I'm loving that mind mapping chart. I'd love to see more!

  6. @ April and Crisc - Thank you for all your positive thoughts!

    The homeschooling path does feel right and quitting opens up lots of other options.

    @Mary - will think about that - could be a good option!

    @ Helena - I'm glad you are liking the links, share the joy, I say! And I think we should meet up one day - we are not that far away from each other :-)

    @ Sue - I will have to conquer the technology and see if I can actually post up one of ours (maybe when we finish). The inspiration software is pretty nifty!


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