Week 3 Homeschooling

 

 

We made stone soup.  The kids loved to choose a vegetable and prepare it, with various levels of independence.

 

 

We got knitting towers from A Child’s Dream and the kids knitted many many ropes, scarves, belts.  Caleb, may be turning into a Grandma though, because he asked for a rocking chair… to knit in.  …that is one step away from early bird dinners!

 

We also made many peg doll projects.  Which has led to hours of open ended play.

 

We are also blastng through our reading material for the year.  Elise has been reading between 4 and 6 books a day…  some with 7 or more chapters.  Caleb is still reading a tonne, but since they are novels, it takes him a few days to get through them.  He is currently loving “the Littles”.

We are wrapping up our safety unit for Science, next week.  We are also just beginning a big project studying Ancient Egypt.  The three oldest began designing an art project and a presentation about their favourite Egyptian God or Goddess.

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Toys for imagination

Around here, we prefer to buy good quality toys that encourage open ended play, are made of natural materials and stimulate creativity.

 

Since getting rid of most of our plastic toys, (again… We do this regularly), I definitely notice my kids playing longer and more creatively.

Week 2 Homeschooling

We are most of the way through our second week of school.  We survived!!!

Both the kids and I are just getting into a good rhythm… I think, that I had a harder time going from summer to school…

The kids are loving our science units, so much, we take over an hour to get through a lesson, not because they are necessarily lengthy, but because they spark so much conversation!

The oldest two kids are very big fans of the reader that accompanied the Good and the Beautiful language arts course.  They have both finished them as of this morning!  (They are about 200 pages each!  They contain old, out of print McGuffey readers)  They had the choice to read it again or move on to other novels and both have chosen to read it again!  Caleb was so excited about the last story in his book, he had to stand to read!

This week, we have also begun to read Wheel on the School, which the kids are really loving.  The girls keep asking for a wagon wheel to put on our roof.  We also started reading the Golden goblet, which so far is a little hard for my kindergartener to follow… but I am hoping we will get more into it soon, because it will perfectly tie into our unit on ancient Egypt, beginning next week.

Tomorrow, we are mostly doing art with another homeschool family, reading poetry and completing our study of Hansel and Gretel (Complete Grimm’s fairy tales, Pantheon edition- for the oldest kids).  For art, we will be doing a 3D representation of the seasons changing, and enjoying some pumpkin bread we made this afternoon.

I am hoping we will also make “stone soup”.  We will prepare a soup where the kids choose the veggies and we will put in a clean stone.  Whoever gets the stone gets to make a wish.  I got the idea from a youtuber, Sundays with Sarah.  She has wonderful ideas.  …and I plan on using as many as I can. Lol

My Father’s World Review

This is a review partly about a curriculum, but mostly about my new homeschooler ineptitude.  Perhaps in jotting this down, that will help me avoid it in the future!

Since my kids were in second grade, 5k, 4K, as well as a toddler, who isn’t schooling yet, my thinking was, I should get the Exploring Countries and Cultures, which is suggested for grade 3 and up… are you seeing where this is going yet?

It does seem obvious why this didn’t work in retrospect, however, there are a few reasons I misjudged the level.  They do say that if you have an older child, you can start this curriculum a little younger.  Also, we were beginning this curriculum in late winter, and I figured this could be used for the next school year, when my oldest would be in 3rd grade.  The reasons behind beginning a new curriculum mid-year deserves a whole other post, and won’t be addressed here.

Despite buying a curriculum for older children, and having challenges within a few days of beginning this curriculum, I pushed through for the majority of the remaining school year.  However, I noticed I was slowly shedding materials like layers in the spring.  The kids were not into it.  Of course my kids are brilliant *wink, but it seemed like some of the material was just going over their heads, and it was a fight to sit through the read alouds.  These are the same kids that happily sit for 2 hours when I read different books, so I realized it just wasn’t a good fit.

Another aspect that is a plus or minus depending on your personality is the daily grid schedule.  For me, it was a little stressful.  Coming out of a private school setting, I had concerns about organizing everything in homeschooling, just like the kids would do in school.  I did not find a way to be flexible when the kids had extra interest in certain areas.

Although, when speaking with other homeschoolers, many people appreciate having everything laid out for them on a daily basis.

We started ditching the things we were not interested in, and I just built my own units based on what we were interested in doing.  Some examples: Ancient Egypt, the Human body, Bears, Wolves.

The kids were fascinated with the ocean, and I saw online that the Good and the Beautiful were offering a free unit on the Ocean, and we loved it!  We took our time with it, and added in extra things, like the Professor Noggins Ocean game, Toobs ocean life, a few Shark week documentaries and many many books from the library.

I also started researching for alternatives and found Julie Bogart’s youtube videos, and added in much more poetry, and art study.  We began the Jot it down program and the Quiver of arrows in the last 2 months of school, and the kids loved it!  Gone were the struggles to do school work.  In fact, the kids have done many writing projects over our summer break, inspired by my Bravewriter readings.

Although, I could see how a family who wants to have a plan laid out for them would love it.  The curriculum is complete, and covers a lot of material.  Most likely, if I had gotten a younger grade I would have loved it.  However for us, My Father’s World is currently living in a box under my bed.

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Happiness in the little things

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This little guy got his first haircut, and surprisingly loved it.  We went to First choice haircuts in Oakville.  It wasn’t busy, so this little man got a lot of attention.

Last week, the two oldest kids had a red and black day at school.  So I had a little fun with Caleb’s outfit.  His shirt says “It’s not broke, don’t worry, I’ll break it later”.  His suspenders are skull and cross bones with black h&m slim jeans.  I even found him some red and black sketchers with skulls on the back.

Elise picked her own outfit… avoiding a long discussion about clothing choice, I put out two full outfits with accessories and let her pick her favourites.  She ended up with a red dress with plaid patches from the children’s place and black leggings with stars on them.  I guess she’s into patterns these days…. but who isn’t?

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