Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Schooling at Home

I can't believe that we're already into the second semester of our first year in home schooling. What a nice break we had over Christmas - time to relax, regroup and get our ducks in a row! This next semester will look a lot different that what I worked through last semester. I'm moving more of our school time into the afternoon, the mornings are for more playing, running, and creativity. Drew has shown that he is more focused in the afternoons, so I've changed things up a bit. We're working on the following this semester:

  • Hymn's For A Kids Heart - one hymn per week, we're learning about the author of the hymn and then memorizing the words to a verse or two. 
  • A Child's Geography - we spend about 20 minutes in the mornings learning about our home on earth and that expands into other topics we're working through. The first few days Drew drew a post card with the world from outer space and memorized a cute story to remember the names of the 7 continents.
  • Teach  Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons - we didn't work on this last semester so I've brought this back up, subtracted 30 lessons and picked it back up. I've come up with some fun cheers, limited the time to 15 minutes and no more and if Drew is at all frustrated we stop and pick it back up the next day. Drew is excited to be reviewing sounds and words he already knew and loves the cheers! He told me yesterday that he LOVES reading and is actually excited to sit down and work on it. I've come a long way, my mindset did a lot of changing last semester and I'm excited to see how much of an encourager I can be!
  • My ABC Bible Verses - we're completing letters M-Z this semester working through one verse & story a week
  • Big Truths For Little Kids - we're pushing through this one too, the boys love the stories and are adding new truths about God to their life experiences!
If you came to our home on any given day you would say it is quite random! I guess we're learning that the Type A schedule doesn't work for our family at this phase in our journey. I love it and find it so freeing! Here is an example of today's home learning.

We woke up, went to the Chiropractor and worked on obedience, The boys say and read books while I had my adjustment. Then off to the playground, in 30 degree weather, to burn off some energy. Then home for some free time playing with castles and knights. At 11 we sat in the playroom with our map and did Geography, learned about the homeless, spurred a conversation about Haiti and earthquakes, looked on a map where Haiti is, prayed for the people there and brainstormed ideas on how God would want us to help. Then we had some counting, skip counting, weather, and calendar time with a short catechism at the end. Finally we settled down for some lunch, sang while I made lunch and the boys picked up, and recited our memory verses from A to M while digesting pineapple, PB&J, and hard boiled eggs!

After lunch we watched two You-tube video's on the Haitian earthquake and then I put the  two little ones down for a nap. Drew and I learned about water and how the Haitians needed clean drinking water to prevent disease, we purchased a clean drinking system through Compassion International and Drew cleaned the bathroom to pay for his portion of the filtration system. Then we took a break for about 30 minutes and I did some laundry. Finally, we colored a map of Haiti, learned about earthquakes for Science on Brainpop Jr, looked on our big map again and found Haiti and practiced 15 minutes of reading (didn't make it through the whole lesson, so we'll pick up that again tomorrow). I threw in a few spelling words for him to copy and we were done! It looks like a lot, but in all I think we spent 2 1/2 hours throughout the day working on school and having tons of fun! Each day looks different, the days just go with what we're wanting to learn within the framework of the above curriculum. I love how each day is different and Drew doesn't even know he is doing school! Fun Times!

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