Cardinal Alternative Learning

Infinitely Tweakable Education. Because Learning is a Dynamic Process.

That Third R

‘Rithmetic, check. Reading, going well – well enough I feel like we should start tiptoeing into spelling and some phonics reinforcement for D, who tends to rely primarily on her whole-word recognition skills. Writing – well, she likes to, so that’s good. Letter formation – probably a little behind her peers.

I’d prefer to spend more of our time on her strong areas, so we’re spending just a little time on this weak one first thing every morning, right after our circle-time-ish stuff. Read more…


The Mystery Jar

What’s really working in our homeschool this week: The Mystery Jar.

So many things beyond the basics look fun and enriching to do with Miss D. On the one hand, the thought of scheduling so many bits and pieces makes me want to hide under the bed. On the other hand, I don’t really trust myself to encourage her to try these things without having it as part of the routine somehow. Read more…

Banning Myself from the Boards

I love so much about the internet – all that information right at my fingertips! But I’m going to have to ban myself from homeschooling sites for a while so they don’t drive me crazy. We started kindergarten this week with Miss D, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun! With 5 years worth of experience parenting this kid, I generally feel confident that our plans are a great fit for us – lots of launch pads into creative play and learning! But if I look at one particular site, I’m going to end up feeling frustrated and a little discouraged that so many people there would think I’m too structured, would consistently imply that parents like myself are overeager, pushing and damaging their kids by doing things like working on learning how to read. If I look at another site, I’m going to constantly wonder if I’m not doing enough, if there isn’t a better curriculum or game or routine or…

Nope, not going to do it. If it works for us, it works. Everyone else, do your thing. Here was our structured-yet-relaxed day yesterday. Read more…

Digging Into Dinosaurs

The photo-essay – the friend of the busy, tired, working & homeschooling mom who wants to keep some semblance of a portfolio/record of learning?

Reading & Watching

Anyone else who can still sing the Reading Rainbows song?  (And yes, I know a dragon isn’t a dinosaur, but Little Miss D is certain they would be related if they were real – works for me!)

Read more…

Brain Food

This week looked… different.  Partly because Ua had a day off, which meant extra time for family fun.  Partly because I was waiting for a big stack of books to come in to the library.  Partly because I really felt the urge to try some new crafts with Miss D. Partly because she hasn’t been enjoying our short little writing and reading lessons as much, and I’d rather wait until she hits a more motivated period again.

So we went out, did all sorts of crafts, listened to stories, talked and played, and there was all sorts of learning wrapped up in it all.  I started thinking about how likely it is that our learning will have lots of these ebb and flow periods, diving deep in certain areas while resting in others.  It reminded me of the good advice I heard about feeding a toddler a balanced diet – not to look at how she ate over any one meal, or even day, but over the course of a week or month.  It seems like that may apply for “brain food” as well! Read more…

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