Saturday, May 31, 2014

E is for Evolve

Evolve - develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form

I have decided that I need to de-volve.  We have many challenges that face our family on a daily basis.  All of our children have unique special needs that need to be met.  Some days there are very few waves and then other days I feel like I have been hit by a hurricane.  

One of the areas that I see lately that has become like a hurricane is our schoolwork.  Our oldest daughter has been an emotional roller coaster lately.  The mention of schoolwork sends her into a fit.  So I have been racking my brain to see why.  I have tried having conversations with her, but she would say there's nothing wrong.

Well recently Joe and I started an online server for Minecraft and it has been taking a lot more time than I bargained for.  Although he tries to help, Joe has been really busy with work and there are just some things he cannot do...I have to.  So I openly admit that we have been gradually switching to textbook learning more and more each week.  It was easier for me to plan.  Two of our kids like that style, but Lydia and Caty are not loving it.

So I have decided that I need to de-volve, since I want to adjust from complex to simple.  I finally got a little talk in with Lydia about what she would like to do.  Of course she said she wants to start learning more about animals.  

I decided to see if this works.  So now I am going to take on the challenge of planning out new lessons for her over the next few weeks that center around animals.  Last night I ran over to the local bookstore (we are on another trip), and I dug through shelves trying to find books on animals and cats for her.  

I came up with this temporary fix to keep her steadily improving on her reading and writing skills.  It's got a long way to go, but I need her working with the materials to see what she wants and likes and what I need to adjust.

So I won't give on math.  We just do that a little different.  We are working on topics with and without worksheets in this area.  Also going to use games to keep the learning continuing.

So this week, we played Boggle.  I hadn't attempted this game with her yet, but she has greatly increased her vocabulary and spelling skills playing a game called Animal Jam online.  She is also learning more using the Chatbox in her Minecraft game.  She has a notebook she writes down words in that she doesn't know or wants to remember.  It cracks me up, but it works for her.

I bought her a cool notebook she would like to keep as a daily journal.  
 Yesterday we saw a movie on Great White Sharks.  I told them to remember 3 facts from the movie.  When we got back to the hotel, we attached her movie stub and then worked on the 3 facts.
 The day before she read about giraffes in the animal book, and did a short paragraph about them.  
I also have a page a day we are doing in this book to help her with her spelling skills.  She whines, but then as soon as she realizes how she knows the answers she gets very excited.
This is the book that she is working on reading.  A HUGE difference in the past few months.  

It'll be a journey to go from complex to simple, but if it's what she needs to keep a love of learning.....that just shows another reason we homeschool.  

Have you looked at what's not working for your child lately?  

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