Thursday, January 25, 2018


So school is different than we expected this year. We tried to do Abeka homeschool using the DVDs. I had heard great things about it, and I can see how it would work great for some families. I think it is a great program, but it has been hard to have someone else doing all the teaching and just watching videos. It is basically like your child is sitting in a private Christian classroom. The teacher in the program is amazing at making the kids watching feel like they are part of the class. She addresses the kids who are watching, drawing them in, making them feel like they are all a part of the class. She introduces the kids in the actual class to the kids who are watching. In so many ways it is a wonderful program.
However, I am use to finding my kids learning style and doing that to help them learn. So a program that is more like a school where one size fits all, just isnt working as well as we hoped it would.
So we will finish up this year with Abeka, but we will be looking for something different for next year. I still want a more packaged program, but instead of DVD or computer lead, it will be lead by me so I can customize their learning to their learning styles.

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

 Some school work pictures


Field Trip to the Tree Farm

Teaching our kids has been wonderful. Because some of our kids have Down syndrome there are some things they struggle with. For Gavyn and Veronika fine motor is a struggle. They go to OT, PT, and Speech weekly. 
However Gavyn excels at reading. He is currently reading at about a 2nd grade level. 
One great program we are also doing is called So Happy to Learn at Home this program works on reading, math, communication skills, conversation skills, and so much more. It is mostly geared at kids with Down syndrome, but when I was teaching I was able to use the ideas from this program to help teach the kids in my class that had no special needs and they did great using it! I have been using the So Happy to Learn at Home program with Veronika and Gavyn since they were toddlers. One of the great things about the program is that there is an online group where the founder Mrs. Brown is always there to answer questions and help families using the program. It is also open for families to talk with other families doing the program, where we can share ideas, videos, and bounce ideas off each other. I can not say enough good things about this program. No matter what other work we do, we will continue to do the So Happy to Learn program.

 So what else are we doing??
Well, the kids are current in Soccer. We try to aim for 1-2 sporting activities per year. We are hoping later this year (depending on how their gross motor skills are coming along) is enrolling them in dance. 
For Gavyn, who is very visual, he is LOVING a handwriting program called The TV Teacher. The TV Teacher is an occupational therapist who teaches letter writing through fun engaging videos (not cartoon style) with letter chants to help remember how to write the letters. Because Gavyn loves to watch movies and music it was a perfect combination for him. He use to hate writing but he loves trying when he watches the DVDs. 
Speaking of music, our kids LOVE music and dancing. It is so much easier to remember things when you are learning with your whole body. Because of this we have looked up Youtube videos to teach things like counting to 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and many other things. One of our favorite YouTube channels is Jack Hartmenn Kids Music Channel. Our kids love singing and dancing and learning with him.