Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Digging Punctuation Out of the Cracks. Help!

Has anyone else ever gotten a month into school and realized they need to revamp a bit?  Yeah, this frequently happens with me.  Usually it's because my eyes are bigger than our homeschool stomachs and we can't possibly do all of the amazing things I'd like to do (and some of the not so amazing things we must do).  This year though, our schedule seems to be working out somewhat well and we're happy with the curricula we've chosen and the way we're together for some subjects and independent for others.  So why do I need to change anything? Ugh, I don't even want to admit this. I'm feeling like the bad homeschool mom. Which happens frequently. And is often why I find myself frozen and unable to post here.  Who am I to give advice or share thoughts when I still haven't figured everything out yet?

But, yeah, I decided to think aloud here and maybe get some input.

I realized that while my younger kids are super creative and love to write (my 12 year old is currently creating her own manga book as a Christmas gift for a friend), their mechanical skills are rather...well...lacking. I'll be the first to admit that homeschooling seven at once was hard. Things fell through the cracks. Apparently punctuation and handwriting were among them.  Would I do it again? In a heart beat.  Do I believe the pros of homeschooling outweighs the cons? You betcha. But here I am with kids who need a refresher course on punctuation and the mechanics of writing. Oh. Joy. 

This is not my thing.  You say you've noticed?  Mhm. 

Talk about dullsville. I don't want to sacrifice the good things we have going on this year with our curricula to work on these mechanics but I can't ignore them either.  So here's what I'm considering. We'll continue with what we have but we'll set aside Institute for Excellence in Writing and Life of Fred (love them both!) for the next two months and substitute Time4Learning.com, focusing on the punctuation and language mechanics skills (and math, may as well use it since it's included in the price).  Hopefully two months will be enough to hammer home those skills and we can get back to learning the finer art of writing.

As I was typing, I realized that I own the book, Language Mechanic.  This may cover these issues without the expense of an online program.  But that would also be without the ease of an online program and that's a definite draw with a busy two months approaching.  Hmm...I'll have to go take a peek.

I would love some feedback on this, other ideas for punctuation refreshers, simple been-there-done-that-you'll-catch-up-before-you-know-its, encouragement to not go into mourning for allowing this to get lost in the cracks, etc.  I know I'm a NotSoSuperwoman and yet the evidence of this always throws me for a loop. I believe homeschooling to be the best for my kids, I believe it makes a huge impact on the people they are and the confidence they feel, but sometimes I need a little help with the basics. I'd rather sit and discuss history and read great books and write stories all day. Help me get the basics down so we can do more of  that! GRIN.

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