(Last Updated on April 17, 2021)
In the first post in this series, I focused on subjects that are going well. I do love it when a plan comes together!
But that was the easy part. Now we come to the part that can get discouraging really fast if we’re not careful…
As uncomfortable as it might be, it’s so important to look back and find ways to improve! To homeschool successfully we simply MUST be willing to learn from our mistakes! And to learn from them, you have to name them.
So brace yourself! Here comes the bad news…
Year 5 Homeschool Progress Report
Part Two: The Bad
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Bible & Character
- Original Plan: RightNow Media Bible studies – This is all my bad. I never set a specific goal for which studies to use, so after one or two Phil Vischer kids’ Bible studies (which we did love!), we fell off the wagon with this one. It’s still good to have resources like this in my back pocket, though, for times when we need to switch things up.
- Original Plan: Hero Tales Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 family reading – These are great books that we enjoy when we remember to read them… but after we got our Pureflix membership we got distracted (more about that in the next post). I plan to bring these biographies back out as we study the time periods of the characters in the future.
- Original Plan: Math-U-See (MUS) Delta & Epsilon – We’ve been loving MUS but this year my 4th grader lost patience with MUS Delta’s mastery approach to long division (and I think I burnt him out with too many worksheets and not enough fun math) so he’s been using Kahn Academy almost exclusively since about November. This is ok for now but he’s lacking written math practice so eventually I’ll need to work MUS and other supplements back into the mix. Ugh. I was secretly hoping I could just go on MUS auto-pilot but I think this area will need more intentionality.
- Original Plan: Daily silent reading – I know I listed our silent reading on the good list but I did want to mention an issue we had with it earlier this year. I assumed because my kids love reading they’d somehow naturally gravitate towards good, quality books without me picking for them… unfortunately, not so much. When I leave it completely up to them they pick mostly Minecraft and Garfield books. ? These are ok sometimes but I’ve had to be more intentional than I thought about finding good books.
- Original Plan: Jr. Analytical Grammar (AG) – Jr. AG worked well to a point but we hit a wall – a big, 10 ft. thick, brick wall – halfway through (Unit #7 to be exact). I actually contacted the company and explained our situation. They advised me to hold off and just put it on the shelf for a while. (I had a great customer service experience with them, by the way).
- Original Plan: Jr. AG Mechanics – Their rep. also told me not to attempt Jr. AG Mechanics without finishing Jr. AG first so the second half of my grammar plan never even had a chance. Thankfully, I found another resource we could use (more about that in the next post) so I was able to transition smoothly without it seeming like “giving up” to my son.
- Original Plan: Writing prompts – I found cute writing prompt printables and we may try them again when he’s older but, for now, this just is not working for my 1st grader. I thought prompts would provide a good balance of structure & freedom in his writing but he seems to prefer extremes – either complete freedom (no prompts) or no creative writing at all (straight-up copywork).
- Original Plan: AIG God’s Design for the Physical World (Machines & Motion and Inventions & Technology) – This one was also listed in the last post because it’s working overall. But there are some tweaks I’m going to need to make with the Inventions book we recently started. I’ve noticed some of the invention explanations get very technical so I’ve been losing the boys when we read it together (it’s easy to tell when I’ve lost them… their eyes glaze over and they start rolling around on the floor like bear cubs). I’ll need to cut back on the details in the reading and focus more on the hands-on activities which might require supplementing with some other experiments and museum visits for the trickier chapters.
- Original Plan: Story of the World Vol. 2 – Like science, this subject is definitely on the good list overall but I’m going to need to tweak our methods to keep it working well. I’m having trouble working our 2 yr old into things when we need these long chunks of time to concentrate on reading, narrations, and map work. Now that she doesn’t nap reliably ? I’m brainstorming ways to get this to work without relying too heavily on our babysitter, Daniel Tiger.
- Original Plan: Bastien Piano Series at home – I’ve included this here since I’ve let this one slide and I need to be more intentional about getting it back on track. Bad mom! Since we’re just going through the books at home on our own and no longer taking an outside piano class, our progress is slowing down. I figure we’ll eventually take some group or private lessons to keep us more accountable, but for now I’m planning on a lesson a week so we have a schedule to keep us on track.
Phew! OK, I guess that wasn’t too bad after all. There’s only a few things that require a complete change – most areas should work with a few adjustments.
If you’re hesitant to do your own mid-year homeschool progress report, remember, it’s MUCH better to make a needed change than to suffer through another four months of tears and whining and terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad days!
Check out the last post in this series for a look at some of the unexpected and helpful additions we’ve had in our resource line-up!
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