Thursday, June 14, 2012

the other major find at convention was...

I went to convention with three 'holes'.

#1 - Bible.
#2 - Language Arts.
#3 - 'busy' work, to keep little minds occupied with something other than Littlest Pet Shop while I worked with another sister. games, workbooks, manipulatives, etc...

#1- Bibe.  DONE. the post down below. We are loving it.

#2 - Language Arts.

A few years ago, I don't even remember how, I got my hands on THIS book (The Writing Road to Reading by Ramona Spalding)

It wowed me.
It still wows me.
It scientifically broke down the English language and made it not just 'words to memorize' but a decodable language.

I searched high and lo (er...I thought I did) for a system that I could use at home that implemented the philosophies talked about and discovered by Ms. Spalding (and a few others) in her book.

She has somewhat of a system outlined in the book and I found some random out of print book tailored to a homeschool environment and we have been MUDDLING our way through them for a few years now.

It's been just ok.
The girls reading, spelling and hand writing is superb for their ages.
They all skipped those Level 1, 2 and 3 kind of books and just went straight from phonogram recognition to chapter type of books. (for the most part!)

But I knew I was missing stuff.
I knew they were starting to really NOT have fun with it.

I 'knew' I was going to just have to switch gears and maybe even philosophies because I couldn't make it to Arizona or California and pay the $800 something to attend the teacher training on the material so that I wouldn't screw up teaching them this stuff.

And I was sad about that.

To Jake and me, reading, writing and the grasping of it is #1 in the traditional sense of education.
Love of reading = ability to educate themselves the rest of their lives.

So, for me to have a gaping hole here in our days and know that I wanted to use a certain philosophy but couldn't figure out how to implement it, was really discouraging.

We were doing it, but I just knew we were doing it with excellence.

I was fearful that we'd have to switch philosophies and I was fearful that the new philosophy would be millions of different workbooks a day (separate reading, writing, grammar and spelling is the trend right now - no. thank. you. bleh.)

I get to convention and the very first breakout session I attend is called:
Daughters of the King.

My bad.
I didn't read the description.
I thought the title said it all.
I thought it was about raising little/big girls.
waaaaaay wrong.

It was about fashion and dressing and color matching and shape and....and I don't know 'cause me and my skinny jeans and teal sandals got up and left. (apparently I was too good for that session....hmm?)

And if I were in my 60's I might possibly take fashion advice from the speaker...possibly...but I'm not.

I'm sure that session was a blessing to many but may I just say that God will use ANYTHING to get you to where you are supposed to be if you are just listening!?  Even your own stuck up attitude.

I was in the FRONT ROW (in a very dark, theatre-like room - it wasn't that rude).
And after about 15 minutes I just couldn't take it any longer.

A picture of the color wheel flashed up after many pictures of Duchess Kate and Ann Gedes Baby shots and I was OUT.

The other session I had circled for that hour was called 'Easy Ways to Teach Spelling'.

I'll just go and hear what some other philosophies are and start my search for a new system.

(no, don't guess, let me tell you!)

#1 - God used my snobiness to get thee out of the wrong session and into the right one.


That's my God.

In. my. lap.

I walked in late and I looked up to the screen to see a whole slew of phonograms
(1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4 letter combinations that always say the same 'eigh' always says long 'a')

I thought, 'Hey, I know what those is!!' (see, we need help)

And I walked right up to the second row (rude, again, I know...but it was THE only seat) and I just smiled through my tears as she talked about her system.

(HERE is a two minute video clip of the basic gist)

Yes, that was me.  The girl having a spiritual moment in the spelling session.  Right here. (points to self)

The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading

Not only does she use the same philosophies she:
#1 - has a DVD that the teacher watches once a week to help you teach the material properly (uh...a lot cheaper than traveling west for a month to get the info!)

#2 - after three years of incredible phonics information, she moves the students straight into LATIN and by the time they've completed six years of this stuff they are so equipped with the English language (both the Germanic roots and the Latin roots) that spelling, reading, writing, literature, etc.....will never be a problem for them.

#3 - it's all together: reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

#4 - no workbooks.  phew!
(Lydia loves herself a good workbook, like I'm pretty sure if we bought them for her for Christmas she'd be a happy camper, but we use them for busy work so she'll still get them in, no worries!)


It's not here yet so I can't give a full report.
I'm a little apprehensive because I hear that one draw back is the DVD's I have to watch (all of 15 min's a week) are a little dry....but I'm not convinced they will be because I am thirsty for this information...we'll see.

Another draw back others have had with the program is that it's teacher intensive.
I do not usually have this apprehension, I am their teacher and I have been called intense, again, we'll see.

It will most likely not be a shock to our school day though because my girls are ALL at ages where our day is teacher intensive.

It's my biggest struggle.
They all need me for every single subject.
Not a ton of independent work goin' on in this house yet.
Some...just not lots.

Now we have this:

Subject done all together:
History (we are moving through American history one prominent figure at a time, in order - we've been stuck on George Washington for two months...he's just that cool)
Art Projects (various books and blogs and pin's)
and now LANGUAGE ARTS!!!!!!! (until Lydia flies through the first level anyway)
Art/Drawing Techniques  (mostly independent!)

Subjects done separately:

so.....the balance on those two lists is very very NICE!

I have all kinds of thoughts rattling around in my brain about the judgment that may be going on in some people's minds about having them all in the same level at the same time....

Trying to decide whether to touch on it or not?

#1 - may I remind you that they are 2 yrs and 3 months apart.

#2 - Just because they are all using the same curriculum does not mean they are expect to retain the information equally nor does it mean they are all required to do the same amount of work as their sisters.

I feel better.

Onto complete this said school day!

School does not 'break for the summer' here in our home.  We take few week breaks here and there all year long but none of this 3 month break stuff ;-).

tally ho!!!

and yes, obviously, I recommend going and researching The Phonics/Latin Road to Spelling and Reading

No, it's not for everyone, but I for one am so stoked that I will never have to tell the girls,

"I don't know why that words sounds out the way it does, just memorize it"

I hate hearing those words come out of my mouth and now I can say GOOD BYE to them!!!!


Courtney said...

wow...that sounds PERFECT! i love the PASSION you have in teaching your kids!!!

i'm beccy. said...

I am interested in what you think after you get into it. My boys' fine motor skills have just reached the stage where they are ready to learn to write and I requested the sample pack to check out. I am all about having them do the same stuff, and sometimes it surprises me... Gavin has caught onto multiplication concepts and is quicker than Seth in figuring out answers to simple problems. Now if he could learn to identify the number symbols above his age... :o). Thanks for these posts.