Back to Basics Part 2

I spent a good part of today in the schoolroom again. This urge to simplify seems to have taken on a life of its own!

I cleared out and boxed up extra workbooks that we'll probably never use, some learning resources the kids have outgrown, curriculum we've tried and didn't like, various supplemental items that I thought we're neat, but now just nag at me because I haven't used them yet......

Hopefully now that I don't have to look at them, I can concentrate on what we're trying to accomplish here.

Blakester is excited about trying his new cursive copywork, so hopefully it'll show up this week.

I spent some more time reading at the Simply Charlotte Mason website and they suggest you add one new activity per week if you are wanting to switch to CM. I decided to add in dictation once a week. So last night I ordered and downloaded the e-book Spelling Wisdom for Lulu and Blakester. I'm starting Lulu on Book 3 and Blakester on Book 1. These are books from which we can work on dictation and should have enough activities to last about a year and a half.

This is the prepared dictation method that Simply Charlotte Mason uses to work on spelling. The child looks at an excerpt, preferably from a living book, and determines if he can spell all the words in it. He is given some time to study the passage, either a few minutes or a few days, as necessary. When he is ready, I read the passage aloud and watch while the child writes it out. If I notice he spells something wrong, I place a small sticky note over the word while he continues to write. Once he is done, I have him study any misspelled words and then write them correctly on the sticky tab. Similar to traditional spelling, but instead of word lists, the child reads words in context. Ms. Mason emphasized that a child should not be allowed to look at the misspelled word for any amount of time, because that spelling is what they will remember.

In the spirit of simplifying, I've also decided to spend less time on the computer. I tend to check in on e-mails during the day and surf the net looking at new ideas when I have a moment. I'm going to relegate computer time to in the morning before school, once at a break in the afternoon and do my blogging and research in the evening after the kids bedtime. Hopefully this will free up more of my time during the day.

Till tomorrow-

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