This school-year, school is different for me and my kids. We are taking on a homeschooling adventure and we've been at it for over a month now. I think we're now in somewhat of a groove.
As part of homeschool, I want my kiddos to learn responsibility and house skills, so I set aside 15 minutes a day devoted to a weekly project. I decided that we would take a week and weed our front flower bed. My kids haven't had much experience weeding (and I personally dislike weeding) plus, the flower bed was in sorry shape. I figured 15 minutes a day was doable and we'd be done in a week.
Well, weeding was happening, but much slower than I anticipated. You see, with the pull of a weed, usually a neat bug or cute creature would be uncovered, inhibiting our progress. This, however, was an excellent time to incorporate our nature study (which is what we are focusing our science lessons on this year). We found potato bugs, caterpillars, beetles, honey bees, ants, spiders (do you see why weeding is not on my favorites list?), and even a dead mouse body that had decayed into nothing but bone and hair, a large carnivorous wasp nest, and a cute little frog. I may be missing a few things, but you get the picture.
|Amara holding a potato bug.|
|Another bug that wanted a picture taken, but I can't even see it. Is it an ant?|
|We can see the ground again!|
HistoryThis year we are studying Ancient World History and one of our first lessons we learned about was archeology. For our activity that day, I buried toys in the unused garden bed and let the girls do an excavation to find them again. It actually took them a lot longer to find all the toys than I thought. I figured 5 minutes max- but it took more like 20 minutes and I had to help find the last 2 toys.
We went out to eat for lunch with my mom. Again, nature study popped up as we admired the flowers growing by the entrance of the restaurant.
MathWe've been using a very popular and highly-recommended math curriculum (Saxon Math). Amara uses a lot of manipulatives for her learning along with lessons from me and a written practice as well.
Co-opWe also attend a co-op with 4 other homeschooling families. We meet together for our kids to present to one another something they've learned. We also have an art lesson and art projects. And once a month we go on a field trip. We went swimming at the Vernal pool and it was nice to have it all to ourselves basically. This month we will head to the Corn Maze.
BalletMy girls wanted to learn ballet. It wasn't all the fun and games they thought it was going to be. The DVD we use is basically a lot of technique and basic ballet exercises. 10 minutes into the DVD the girls were whining about how tired their legs were and Amara wanted to learn how to spin and leap and didn't want to do more pli'es. They don't enjoy the DVD. Ballet class is something we are still tweaking. Today we ditched the DVD and used a few YouTube tutorials. At first, the girls were way excited to try the new tutorials, but minutes later, they ended up whining again. It took a bit of a pep talk from me, but they did pick up their attitudes and practice the soute' and chasse' and are now getting the hang of it. I honestly could care less if they do ballet, but they want to. Surprisingly, they will mention to people with the greatest of pride that they are learning ballet. So, for now, we're sticking with it.
My Tech HighThe girls are enrolled in a charter school through an online program called My Tech High. As a part of that, they do educational test-prep computer games to practice for state tests.
|A working swingset|
RecessDuring recesses, we've had some feline visitors (they belong to the neighbors up the street). They are so cute, but they drive me nuts because I know they're going to get killed by a neighborhood dog or ran over by a car. I will not allow them in my house or for the girls to feed them, so their welfare has me so anxious every time they're here. They did sneak into the garage yesterday and leave us a couple smelly gifts if you know what I mean.
The JoysAll in all, home school is going well. I am really enjoying it. The girls are really enjoying it. I've already felt the joy of seeing my kids learn something new and I've marveled at their ability to absorb all they are being taught. I am also learning as I teach them, and it is really fun. I feel blessed to be able to see and foster their love for learning. It is so awarding to be a teacher to my children!
Unrelated side note- the weeds near our driveway are as tall as Lily. Icky. And I'm not tackling that project. I'll let winter kill those beasts.