Friday, September 25, 2009

First week of school...check!

Today was our play date/field trip day. We played with friends in the morning and after naps did a little bit of school to end our week on germs/health.

More books that I had ordered from the library came in last night just in the nick of time. So, we spent a good portion of the afternoon reading the books and playing with our borrowed Doctor kit. The kids had fun putting band aids on Lovey and our other stuffed friends. We also talked about going to the Dentist and the importance of brushing our teeth.

Charlie also did some copy work and handwriting practice.

Books to read:
Everyday Science: Health by Riley
Meet the People in Your Neighborhood! Doctors! Elmo's World
Wash Your Hands by Tony Ross
My Health: Sleep By Dr. Alvin Silverstein

This week went really well. I think that Charlie liked doing his projects, writing and drawing pictures and reading all the different books. We spent a lot of time together, working with one another, talking, coming up with ideas. I loved it!

There were some things about this week that did surprise me. I went into this adventure thinking that I would be the kind of home schooler that was very scheduled, down to the minute of what we were going to do and on what day we would do them. However, and I realize I am only one week into it, but I think I am leaning more towards having a general idea of what I want to cover within a day, have projects ready to go, and then having a flexible plan of when things get done. Today was a perfect example. I had planned to finish our lesson in the morning but then got an invitation for a play date in the AM. So we went to play with our friends and then finished the lesson in the afternoon. No biggie.

I also think that I need to ease up on the pressure that I have been placing on myself regarding the content of the curriculum. Charlie is only 4 for goodness sakes! He does not need to be writing hypothesis and reading novels. I think for this year my main focus is going to be on Bible teaching, character building, lots of reading and some math. I like doing the unit studies as it keeps things organized and fun for the kids. This is all a great learning process!!

A lot of my ideas for this weeks unit was from Jennifer over at She is a creative gal...thank you!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Germs Day 2

Today was a good day. Charlie was again eager to do all the activities, improved with his writing, was not frustrated at all during copy work...neither was I! I had to be quick on my feet though...if only Tommy did not have the attention span of a 2 year old! :) I definitely need to find and have on hand some more fun and quiet activities for Tommy to do while Charlie is doing learning time! But I improvised and all was well!

Books to read:
Common Colds By Alvin Silverstein
Achoo! By Patricia Brennan Demuth

Group Learning Time:

Lacing Beads and peg board blocks(I don't know the name of them, but they are blocks in different shapes and colors that click together and on a peg board. There are a lot of different activities you can do with them)

Then we read some books on germs and getting sick. We looked at pictures of viruses and learned about how they spread. We used green glitter and a little hand lotion, to make the glitter really stick to our hands and pretended that the glitter was germs. We then ran around the house picking up toys and cups and watched how we left behind "germs" on the items. Charlie thought this activity was really did I! Tommy wanted to wash his!
Germs on our hands
Then we did a hand washing demonstration on how to wash our hands. Tommy will do anything to get the chance to play in water. So while he washed the dishes, Charlie and I did some individual learning time.

Individual learning time,Copy work:

Charlie wanted to do the word "Sick" again and he did really good. He also decided to trace his hand and put some "germs" on the drawing, just like the activity that we did.

I certainly have a "plan" for the material that I want to cover. However, I am finding that both the boys and I are really enjoying the fact that they can also make some of the choices of what we do during our learning times.

The end of the day left us with the Sneeze project! How fun is this!! We used a spray bottle filled with water and blue food coloring and showed the boys what happens when we sneeze into a tissue. They LOVED it!! We only had one spray bottle so they had to take turns which was hard for them since they were so excited. I thought about getting another bottle, but did not. It was a great lesson in being patient, kind with our words, taking turns and sharing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Germs Day 1...First day of school!!!

Today was our first "official" day of homeschooling! To sum it up, it was GREAT!!! If only all of our school days could be like this!!

We started off with our morning snuggles in Daddy and Mommy's bed as Daddy readied himself for work. Watch a little show, put away laundry that had been sitting in our room for eons!, took a shower, dressed, had breakfast together, washed dishes while the kiddos played and then started school.

We did thing a little differently then how I had planned, but so is life! One thing I knew before writing out our tentative schedule for the day was that in no way would we stick to the time constraints. I just put them in there to give me a guide. The other thing that was glaringly obvious (do you like how I make up my own words?....I do!) was that I need to have the lesson plan in front of me. So, I need to make a binder and hopefully will get that done by next week.

The other thing that I have been learning during the times that Charlie and I do academic things is to watch him closely for signs of frustration or tiredness. When I see those red flags I either need to end the lesson we are working on or I need to inject something funny and silly into it to keep him going. I think there is nothing wrong, actually it is something he needs to learn, but nothing wrong with letting him get a little frustrated or keeping at something until he finishes it even if it is hard. But there is a fine line, and if I push him to far then I have lost him. That happened today during our copy work. He did the first assignment so well, he was excited, participating in the decision making, easily accepting correction, writing so nicely. But then we did a second lesson and by the 2nd line I should of called it quits but didn't and we both ended up frustrated. But he drew a cool picture of a bucket excavator! :)

Group Learning time:

Sorting craft noodles based on color. Charlie knows his colors so he was the old pro and helped Tommy despite the fact that Tommy really knew all of them too. But that is just the older bossy brother coming out in Charlie! We also used a large kitchen spoon and thongs to put the noodles into different containers, working on fine motor skills for both, but primarily Tommy.
We then made silly creations out of the noodles by dipping them in water. Surprisingly this activity took up about 45 minutes and the boys really liked it!

Then Tommy washed the containers in the sink while Charlie and I read You Are What You Eat!, talked about eating healthy food, the food pyramid etc. I then asked Charlie some questions about the book and he reiterated some of what we had just read. I think that as we do this more, his narration will expand. Charlie then did his copy work, using the words Milk and Sick. Like I said before, he did great with Milk. Picked out the word from the book, was excited to be writting etc. On his own he drew a milk truck etc.

Individual learning Time:

After Tommy was down for naps Charlie and I did a Math game with the craft noodles. This time he put them into piles by color and counted them. We also did some simple addition, he was able to do 5+1=6 and 6+2=8.

Our school day was about 1.5 hours long which is just about where I would like to keep it for now.

Books to read:
You are what you eat! By Sharon Gordon
Achoo! Achoo! By Patricia Brennan Demuth

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time for School!

School starts this week! Wish us luck!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekly Schedule

Here is what our weekly schedule is going to look like. We will try it out for a few weeks and then reevaluate.

Tommy speech therapy
run errands and or clean the house
Outdoor play and or craft project
Get ready for dinner

Free play/learning activity for Tommy
Circle time (song, poem, calendar etc)
Unit study: language arts, narration, copy work
Free play
Outdoor play and or craft project
Get ready for dinner

Free play/learning activity for Tommy
Circle Time (song, poem, calendar etc)
Unit study: lanquage arts, narration, copy work
Free ply
Charlie math/Tommy nap
Charlie nap
Outdoor play and or Science project

Mastering Motherhood at church
Free play
Outdoor play and or craft

Free play
Condensed studies : Circle time (song, poem, calendar etc)
Unit Study: Language arts, narration, copy work
Field Trip
Free play
Outdoor and or art project