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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our maiden voyage into homeschooling

Well, today was our first day at Faith Christian Academy. Our #1 goal in this adventure or chapter of our lives is to foster a love for learning. I was sitting with him to instruct, read, reread, encourage, and guide him. The lessons were both engaging and entertaining, so this made for fairly easy lessons. There was twinkling of the eyes and some laughter (at the cartoon characters or voices talking during the guided lessons) so all is well thus far. We were both slightly agitated with the number of times they repeated information even if he answered the question correctly. I suppose to him "once I got it, I GOT IT!" But to the rest of the world repetition works.

In math we learned about reading and writing whole numbers. Example: 8,150 = eight thousand, one hundred fifty. We also learned about expanding numbers up to a billion. Both reading and writing again. Both lessons and quizzes took approximately 50 minutes to accomplish. He scored 100% on both quizzes bringing his grade to a 95% in math. He was impulsive to answer the questions even if it was incorrect so I need to focus on having him slow down. During the multiple choice questions in math his method to getting the correct answers was eliminating the wrong answers before figuring out what the correct answer was. Weird! But he recognized the incorrect answers rather quickly. Hey whatever works.

In Language Arts we studies prefixes. It was broken down into two parts. There was also a quiz after each lesson in the form of a game show. This lesson took 40 minutes. By the way...he scored perfectly with little assistance! He was very confident in the answers he selected. So thus far in Language Arts, he is maintaining a solid 100%. He also received 10 dreaded spelling words, which are all prefixes: disbelief, midyear, etc. His vocabulary is already above grade level so I intend to keep on expanding it. Spelling on the other hand will probably be a headache for both of us. JD does not learn phonics like his peers. He learns whole words. So I will use the proven techniques we have used in the past to try to get him to "burn a copy" of those words into his "mind file."

I loved the one-on-one time JD and I had learning together. Now I'll get to know first hand what are his "problem areas," strengths, and quirks. Tater Tot seemed to like how calm Jonathan was just sitting at the computer. She laid right there at his feet the whole time. When asked how JD liked his first day he responded with, "I liked it a lot. The lessons were fun." I said, "Is that all you want to say about your first day?" (Thinking he would say, "Yep.") He added, "The teacher was very nice. She acted like the assistant, helping out the students who were falling behind." In other words, he requires and/or desires one-on-one instruction.
(Oh be still my heart! This little gift from God amazes me! Not to mention he scored MAJOR teacher' pet points!)

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