Third Grade Update


It's been a while since I've answered the common question "How is homeschooling going?"
(My last update was here, when we were 8 days in).

We are now about 50 days into 3rd grade, so we've finished the first quarter and are entering the second quarter of school (in Indiana we have to school for at least 180 days per grade level).

We are using a curriculum package called Sonlight. It's heavy on literature and involves quite a bit of reading each day. Some of that reading is out-loud (me reading to/with my daughter) and some is independent (her reading quietly by herself). We're finishing up a study on Native Americans which included several good books. We read about Pocahontas and Squanto and did some more in-depth studies on the Incans, Mayans and Aztecs of Central America.

My daughter just finished reading through the Kaya book series from American Girl. Kaya is a Nez Perce Indian from the 1764 time period, so I thought this series would supplement our studies well... and it has. Next up we begin studying more about the pioneer and colonial days of early America.

We're about 10 letters into the cursive alphabet, so there are many words she can now write in cursive (which is good motivation to continue on). In science, we've learned about the life cycle of frogs and are now discussing snakes and reptiles (which tend to creep her out so she covers up the pictures to not have to see all those ewwwy things). :-)

The biggest turn-around for my daughter this year has been related to math. She used to hate it and now she loves it. She loves it because it's now on CD-ROM and she enjoys all the computer time I'll allow her to have. This means that she is asking to do a math lesson on days we are not planning to do school. At this pace, she will finish math well before we finish the rest of 3rd grade but I see nothing wrong with that!

The most difficult part of homeschooling right now is not about the curriculum or the studies. It's about attitude. Even though my daughter agrees that school is more enjoyable this year than it's ever been before, she still struggles to face the school day with a positive attitude. There is often whining, complaining and procrastination. Dealing with her character is more important than completing the curriculum lessons but is also so hard to pin-point and to know how to address effectively.

Although I'm "the teacher," I learn a lot as I homeschool my children. Homeschooling serves as a refresher course for me, in matters like early American history. But I learn even more as I grow as a parent, learning how to walk alongside my children through challenges, how to gently instruct, how to weave the Bible into our day, how to share life with these two little people. And on difficult days (yes, we have those too) I remind myself that I am blessed to be at home with my children. Although we are a homeschooling family, we are first and foremost a family. We learn through life together. There is great comfort and security and trust in simply being there for one another through it all. God sure knew what He was doing when He created families!


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