I thought I would be able to have Maxwell be an independent learner this year, but now that I've started to delve in, that's just a joke. His math is going to be video taught. It's a program called "Video Text."
Thankfully, they sell an internet bundle so I can actually access it out here in Vanuatu.
HOWEVER they say that this is just a supplement to an actual human instructor, helping the student through the program....uhh...I want an A.I. teacher please.
Also, I want to make sure Maxwell can type. So I've really neglected to teach typing because I've neglected writing because I've thought that dyslexic boys (or rather dyslexic mummas) need a break until they can actually read fluently. I'm finding that I shouldn't have done that.
Introducing Typewriting Without Tears (by Handwriting Without Tears. Which btw has added an overall name of Learning Without Tears.) Maxwell is in Grade One level that we skipped a bit. He should be in grade Grade 7 and be a graduated typer by now. You know, I didn't learn to type until Grade 8. Well....oh bother. Whatever. He'll zoom through the grades I'm sure.
But now ALL my kids (and I mean ALL) are doing typing.
Did I ever mention that Homeschool is just one big experiment, and you never know how you're hurting or helping REALLY?
And I'm going to figure out a good Grammar program, and Maxwell really needs P.E. You would think being in a tropical paradise with the ocean in your front yard would be enough P.E. but perhaps we've been more focused on construction than anything lately, and maybe a certain boy loves reading and only reading.
SO Maxwell and I are now going to go on hikes and adventures. Including exploring ruins:
And writing. I'm doing writing seriously this year. I love THIS POST that shares how to treat spelling. Basically, if it's creative writing, let it go. If it's during a grammar/spelling lesson, correct it.
I really needed this philosophy in a dyslexic crazy spelling family. I feel like I've taught spelling. And I mean TAUGHT SPELLING not just memorization but spelling rules and methods. And yet.....oh boy.
You know how happiness is the difference between expectations and reality? In a dyslexic family, it's REALLY hard to have realistic expectations. When you've taught something a MILLION TIMES it's hard not to just EXPECT that what you've taught will have some sort of manifestation in REALITY. And then where's the happiness in teaching? Well...wow. I'm starting this year out grouchy.
Oh boy. you guys! I feel quite worthless sometimes. I have a secret. Here in Vanuatu I have....wait for it....a HOUSEKEEPER! That's right! Someone who's here 8am-4pm five days a week cleaning and cooking, and yet I'm still a grouchy unproductive homeschool mum.
How can things be easier? Yet I feel like I'm failing so often.
If you ask on Facebook, (and I've seen the polls, so this is real) what moms like me would want the most in life, they would all say a housekeeper. But if they actually got one, I bet some would be like me and feel like they were more worthless than ever because they don't even have the excuse of being a housekeeper on their list.
Oh blah. I'm not THAT down in the dumps. But this thing called life: it's not for the faint at heart.
And anyways, there are SIXTEEN (16) people living in this house (which is basically a tiny house UNDER CONSTRUCTION....with construction workers everywhere...with a tinier cottage UNDER CONSTRUCTION...with construction workers everywhere.) And FOUR of them are little minions who want nothing more than to run around naked playing with Penises and POOP everywhere.
So hey, I have a right to be grouchy sometimes...Right?
And going back to writing, sometimes they just make me smile. I just love them. At this point I'm letting them write whatever they want, and they've gotten to writing me letters to tell me things. Check these cuties out:
"Hey mom can you tell the toenail fairy how I almost forgot to let you know that all my toenail fell off last night. I know that the toenail fairy could not get you one thing last night, so I want you to tell the toenail fairy that I want a Box with a code lock."
"William found a girl iguana and I know where Daniel’s iguana is, and and I got the iguana and I was wondering if they would mate and we waited and waited and waited….but they didn’t. Then they ran away. "
And I DO see improvement. So that's something. When I think of Hyrum's reading at the beginning of last year and his reading now, I know something's going right.
Daniel, whom I've always thought would be my ONE CHILD to read at regular pace, has his struggles, and is not a typical reader after all, but one interesting discovery was that it's just as easy to read upside-down as right side up:
Daniel and Hyrum's math has been going good. Rightstart has sworn me to secrecy about how I'm able to do math in Vanuatu without manuels being mailed to me, but let's just say Rightstart math has the BEST customer service EVER and math is up and running for Hyrum on down.
But I've found it hard to take my littles away from their tropical paradise because of the "good better best" conundrum. For instance: all week the only thing Daniel's wanted to do is garden with our gardeners (yes, I have gardeners....but since I've never gardened, they don't make me feel worthless haha.)
Of course I want him to learn how to garden!!! So I have a hard time taking him away from it, but it's not like he is constantly doing school anyway.
Especially since I have FOUR boys I've teaching this year! Yep, William is in kindergarden. Of course, I did teach him preschool, as you can see from his ability to write his name:
Oh the cuteness thereof. Soon he will see the difference between "m" and "w" my truly dyslexic boy!
He's been starting Handwriting Without Tears, which has been a lot trickier than Rightstart to figure out. There's all the supplies that I didn't bring to Vanuatu. I've had to improvise and I've also had to personally make worksheets.
But it's worth it because there's no better program on the planet, I'm convinced.
All this new school stuff has been tricky. We had a special time of getting father's blessings to help us, which was incredible. William drew a picture of us at the occasion: most of us are sitting on the bed:
And I instigated a rewards system where they got to choose their own goals. They spent HOURS choosing, and they won't get them at least until we get back to Canada any way, but whatever. Here's Hyrum's because he's been the most adamant about this whole thing:
As for geography, well, we didn't do any true activities. BUT check out the movies that I made that we are learning!