Saturday, August 25, 2012

Homeschool - Two Days In

Thursday was our first day of homeschool; it went pretty well!  The day started with some french toast casserole that baked in our slow-cooker overnight.  School began with a prayer, pledge of allegiance, and calendar time.  Then we did a short history lesson - it came with a family tree that they filled out (I wrote Little Lou's for her) and colored.   As they were coloring, I did a short interview about their favorite things - I'm interested to see which items change at the end of the school year.

We also read a few pages in our science book.  It was obvious that I can't do science right after history again, too much reading for two little ones. We've changed the order of subjects - they'll also only do science two times a week (they'll do art some days instead).

Then we worked on a rhyme about the animals and which continents they live on (they got to run and jump so they were very excited about that!).  Next we had a short devotion and practiced our first memory verse (Matthew 19:14) - we have a CD which plays the verse in a song which has made it easy for me to memorize the verse (even Little Lou almost has it memorized!).

Next we had our first lesson.  At the beginning of each lesson (one new lesson per week), there is a DVD with a teacher explaining the new material - I LOVE this!  We did some practice with our cuisenaire rods and he did a worksheet  (he got every problem right - woohoo!).  I use a composition book as a math journal for Little Lou.  She practiced writing numbers 1-5 and then put that amount of stickers on each number.

Then, it was lunch time!  We also took a break before heading back to our classroom.

After lunch I had X-Man read a book on his own (he'll read a short book or one chapter out of a novel) while I worked on a phonics lesson with Little Lou.  After that, we did some handwriting - that was difficult.  X-Man has always had delays in fine and gross motor skills, so some things were very difficult for him.  He is also a perfectionist, so if his work doesn't look exactly as he would like it, he scribbles all over the page or cries (Mom, Dad, does this sound familiar?!).  He had a few meltdowns, so we cut the lesson short.  Day two was much better for handwriting - we actually were able to extend our lesson!  X-Man writes the letter 'F' like a champ now.

At the end of each day, all three of us read a book together.  Then we do a mini-book report.  I write the name of the book and author - then there's a place for both of them to note if they liked the book or not (X-Man has to write 'yes' or 'no' and Little Lou circles a happy or sad face).  We keep these on note cards attached to a binder ring.  This can help me keep track of which books we've already borrowed from the library and help me to determine which type of books they'll like going forward.

Then they get free time - I have a play kitchen and a few toys in our classroom they can play with.  They can also read books, or work on a maze/dot-to-dot book I made (printed free worksheets then put them in page protectors so they can use dry-erase markers on them over and over again).  They can also play with some sensory bottles I made, do tangrams, work on geoboards, flashcards, or artsy stuff.  We also listen to orchestral music (they can already recognize some of the parts from 'The Carnival of Animals') and I prepare our lessons for the next day.

After school, we got some frozen custard and then went to the pool - that's homeschool P.E., right?!  We ordered pizza for dinner - pretty much, the perfect day.

All in all, I think (two days in) that homeschooling is going to be a great fit for our family.  It's so nice to be able to customize each lesson to meet their needs.  It's also wonderful to get hugs and kisses all day from my sweethearts.  Yep, I'm a fan of homeschooling!

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