Monday, November 3, 2008


In two weeks, the first 10-week marking period will be over and the quarterly reports will be due. I’m not relieved about that, but I am breathing an inward sigh of relief that we’re almost on track with science.

Larissa just finished chapter 4 (out of 16) of her Physical Science today, so she’s actually a bit ahead. Jacob and Alexandra are finishing up chapter 3 (out of 16) of their Chemistry. They won’t quite finish chapter 4 before the marking period is over, but we’re not as far behind as I’d feared. With my brother’s death and the kids’ struggle with chapter 2, I was afraid that we’d be so bogged down that I’d be homeschooling science year round just to get through it. So despite the setbacks this fall, we’re almost on track with Chemistry, the subject I’d been most concerned with.

In math, the kids don’t seem to get as much homework from the math tutor as I had expected, especially since they go to her only once per week. (She lives over 15 miles away, so math takes a big chunk of the day when we do go there.) I was assuming that they’d be doing an hour of homework per day — but they aren’t.

“You’re not getting as much homework as I thought you’d be getting,” I mentioned to Jacob today. “Do you think that you’re learning as much as you did in school?” Jacob had been in public school until last January, so he still often compares homeschool to ‘real’ school.

“Yes, I think we are. In school we’d go over the homework in class over and over and beat it to death. Here we’re moving along more quickly. We’re not going over the same thing so many times.”

Hm, I hadn’t thought of that. But I do remember how Jacob and Alexandra, both in the same Spanish I class at the public high school last year, lamented how slowly they were covering their material then, waiting for the slowest student to catch on before going on to the next lesson. That class never did cover all the Spanish I materials before the end of the year. Once Jacob left public school in the middle of the year, he sped ahead of the public school class even though he took Spanish only twice a week. His sister, whom we pulled out of public school only this year, still sat through each painfully tedious Spanish lesson day after day, falling more and more behind.

Perhaps, despite my trepidation and insecurity, I’m not doing as badly as I’d feared.


Alison said...

I'm glad to hear you are doing better than you feared - that is always good to discover! Doing a review can be very helpful in this respect.

Lori said...

I remember in high school, our (terrible) teacher's method was to have us read new material on our own and do the accompanying homework. She would then go over it in class the next day (after taking our homework - so it was too late to benefit from actually understanding what we were supposed to be doing). She would slam through the lesson, then assign the next day's work - something new we'd never seen before and more homework that wouldn't benefit from any time in class. It seemed backward then, and it seems backward now. When my own children work on their math, there is no sense of something moving quickly or slowly - each thing simply takes exactly the amount of time needed to learn it. So simple.

Faith said...

There certainly are teachers in schools who simply don't know how to teach and who knows how they got there. When I compare myself to them, I feel good ;-) However, there are also those who truly care, know their subjects, and know how to teach - the science teacher with interesting experiments that prove a point, the history teacher who made medieval Europe come alive for me - when I compare myself to them, then I start to have doubts...

Chili said...

It sounds to me like you're doing great! Remember, homeschoolers don't have to spend time on things like classroom management like public school teachers do--it's only natural that we can get more done in less time.

The Reluctant Homeschooler said...

Yes, I often cheer myself with the thought that I'm saving time on classroom management - settling in, taking attendance, going over homework, etc. However, there are those times when I have to hunt for the kids and chase them away from a window where they're watching a squirrel or from the family cat that they're playing with!

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)