Our Reasons for Home Education:

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Although he was achieving good results, he wasn't reaching his full potential because his love for learning had been destroyed & hence his grades were steadily declining.

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Completely failed by the system, he hated school, was always tired & homework time was a major frustration for both of us. He was severely frustrated & quickly heading to become yet another ADHD statistic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Progress Report

We’re nearing the end of the schoolyear & the difference in Misha is amazing since we started homeschooling in August… He is no longer a whiny, frustrated child. To top it all my boys who used to be fighting all the time, have had their first fight since August about 2 weeks ago. Although he’s very reluctant when it comes to school books, he enjoys the Smart Tutor lessons.


Of course since, Wum passed away in September, this has become his favourite way of schooling & I’m sure Trixi’s not going to complain.


Every now & then he even manages to get hold of Smokey to sit with him.


So who cares how the work gets done? just as long as we manage to finish our goals…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Well done, Misha, you’re a Star!!!


For the past 2 years, whenever homeschooling was mentioned as an option for our boys I protested: “There’s just no way I’d be able to do that”, “I’m not teacher material”, “I’d strangle them within a week.” etc. etc. Those were my excuses… but in the end it was more a lack of confidence in myself than anything else…


Well, it’s been 2 months since we’ve started homeschooling Misha & he’s still very much alive & amazingly enough I’m more relaxed than I could have ever imagined I would be.  I have since learned that he’s a strong kinesthetic as well as Visual Spacial Learner and dug up all the info I could as to how to teach him in his learning style.

chriscrap_el (5)

When we started homeschooling in August, Misha was completely anti-school. I started him on SmartTutor for Reading & Maths because his books from Le-Amen had not yet arrived. He was very reluctant at first, but within a week or so he started looking forward to learning. Although he still isn’t very keen on schoolwork, at least now he’s willing to do it again.
We’ve continued the remedial lessons with Tannie Hettie, once a week for an hour. During this time she addressed the foundation & gross motor issues. She let him do brain gym & physical activities that would promote the necessary brain development. Within a few weeks he became a very happy, relaxed 8-year old & we were actually able to see an improvement in his reading skills. Initially he hated that & refused to even read aloud to himself because this was his biggest problem area. So we worked on his rhythm & midline crossing. Lots of trampoline & skipping rope. Finally he mastered the skipping & his reading improved. Then he realized he could read & the reluctance started fading. During the holiday he went to Tannie Hettie in the morning especially to read to her class of 20 little ones ranging between 3 & 6 years old. That was an awesome sight to see. Now every week he reads to the little ones for a few minutes and like a real teacher asks them questions. His confidence is growing & with that his reading is improving steadily… He still has quite a way to go, but at this rate I’m sure he’ll get there much faster than what I could have ever anticipated.
Another problem area is writing, he struggles to write fast & neatly. All due to his shoulder muscles not having been exercised properly. We’ve hung a rope ladder under the carport for him to climb. This he does regularly & is slowly showing some improvement when he does his handwriting practice.
Of course, I knew we would have to get the books out again at some stage, but this was met with great reluctance, so I decided to leave all the other workbooks & just focus on letting him complete his portfolio for monitoring by Le Amen and just let him continue with SmartTutor & reading.

Now Misha's portfolio's back from Le-Amen & it seems they are happy with his schoolwork thus far. Here’s the feedback: "I wish you well for the next term. Keep on working well and you will succeed. Well done Misha, you're a star".

chriscrap_el (11)

This term we hit the ground running and he’s making good progress. We still have the odd days when he’s reluctant to work, but this week he’s actually started to show some enthusiasm at getting the work done.

We’ve also invested in the WiiFit Plus & he starts every day with some physical training via the WiiFit and some exercise games to get the brain started. It’s absolutely amazing what a difference the little bit of exercise at the beginning of the day makes to his learning abilities.

I’m also noticing a willingness to help around the house. This morning, by the time I got home from dropping Jesse at school he’d already taken his washing from the line, folded it & packed it away. He’d also unpacked the dishwasher & packet the stuff away & still wanted to more stuff around the house. It took some convincing on my part to get him back to his books instead. But by the time his first break came along he was off vacuuming in the lounge & wiping down surfaces… amazing…

We try to stick to 8h00 to 13h00 school day with lots of breaks in between. Sometimes he’ll opt for a longer break & choose to do the work later in the day. Then if at times we don’t manage that we’re lenient & reschedule what we weren’t able to achieve. I don’t stress about work that’s not done & he doesn’t stress with too much workload, but somehow we’re still managing to stay well on track to have his workbooks completed by the time they need to be ready for monitoring at the end of November.
chriscrap_el (14)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homeschool Skedtrack

I’m still very new to homeschooling but have already found that a whole lot of mom’s time goes into planning & creating schedules for the kids so they can get their work handed in on time. Fortunately I have just discovered this awesome schedule & report tracking site for homeschoolers. I just had to share it, please go check it out.


Homeschool Skedtrack is a FREE online lesson planner, scheduler, and tracking system rolled into one. The heart of the system is the automated scheduling of activities that frees you from the headache of rescheduling everything once an activity/lesson is missed.
The whole system is a personal virtual school that features:

  • easy record keeping from PK-12 for each student
  • worry free data back-up
  • access of your virtual school from anywhere around the world
  • secure access of information between the server and the user's browser using secure socket layer (SSL) just like online banking
  • flexible scheduling of your child's activities/lessons per year, per month, per week or as you go
  • automated display of daily home school activities/lessons per course
  • automated tracking of total number of hours/days completed
  • scheduling and tracking of field trips
  • scheduling vacations and declaring holidays
  • a school calendar for each student
  • a resource list per course
  • tests recording
  • automated grade calculation
  • report card generation in pdf format
  • transcript generation in pdf format ( two columns or by subject )