Friday, October 29, 2010

A Successful Week

Wow.  We made it through a whole week of lessons, and no one melted down (I'm pretty proud of myself for that) and no one got bored or unmotivated.  That is my definition of success.

This seems to be a pretty good combination of Waldorf and other more traditional methods of teaching. We all love doing main lesson blocks and I guess it was a mistake to toss those when the boys asked for more math and science.  This week we learned the story of Divaali and the boys were entranced.

So far I really like our resources.  I am seeing regular improvement using Daily Grammar and Spelling City, especially with spelling.  It may be that the boys were just finally developmentally ready to learn spelling, but I think it also helps that there are games and that I am not the one giving a "test".  I removed myself from the equation completely and stopped being vested in whether or not they are good spellers.

Life of Fred is even better for our math than I thought it would be, and I love that it is so simple.  There aren't manipulatives to keep track of or separate worksheets, just the one book and our math notebooks.  I also think that it is teaching math in a way that is meaningful and long lasting.  We took our time this week, working all of the bridge exercises, and then today I separated them for their final bridge (test) and they were both less stressed.  We talked about why they felt stressed and how they don't have to do everything a book says they have to do.

It all feels so simple and right ~ basic academics mixed with humanities and the arts.  I feel more patient because I am more in tune with my purpose, which is to expose my children to new ideas and skills but not to force information into them.  We have good rhythm to the mornings and time in the afternoons to explore or just relax.  I'm not killing myself planning out every detail, either, since we are mostly just working in sequence.

Balance, that's what it is.  Simplicity and balance.  It feels good.

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